From the breeding grounds to key migration habitats to crucial wintering areas, Energy Transfer’s $5 million contribution to Ducks Unlimited in 2018 has directly conserved thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat across the country.
The Ducks Unlimited–Energy Transfer partnership has strategically emphasized wetlands restoration in Louisiana and Ohio and is working toward nearly 8,000 acres of conservation. Many of these projects focus on coastal wetlands.
“If we can create something where we’re protecting wildlife and creating wildlife habitat, while at the same time protecting those communities and coastlines, that’s very important to Energy Transfer,” says Matt Ramsey, Energy Transfer chief operating officer.
In Louisiana, this important partnership has benefited DU’s Gulf Coast Initiative. These efforts protect, enhance, and restore waterfowl wintering and migration habitat and improve outdoor recreation opportunities all along the Gulf Coast. Ducks Unlimited has completed several major conservation projects with support from Energy Transfer, including the enhancement of southwest Louisiana’s Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge. The partnership also has funded work on Bayou Monnaie in southeast Louisiana, where DU constructed and planted about 29,000 linear feet of earthen terraces to restore approximately 1,200 acres of key habitat. This created suitable conditions for desirable plant communities that will enhance foraging, loafing, and nesting conditions for a multitude of waterbirds while also improving habitat for fish.
Most recently, the partnership helped restore brackish marsh on Cameron Parish School Board land and Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge in the Calcasieu/Sabine Basin. Nearly 80 percent of marshland in the project area was eroded away, primarily due to Hurricanes Rita and Ike.
In Ohio, Energy Transfer’s support has benefited more than a dozen ongoing conservation projects through DU’s Big Rivers and Great Lakes Initiatives. These efforts protect, enhance, and restore waterfowl nesting and migration habitat and improve outdoor recreation throughout the Buckeye State.
In 2019, the partnership helped the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife purchase 718 acres of land in Hardin County to establish a new public wildlife area. The land, which will be open for public recreation, contains a mix of restored wetlands, warm-season grasses, and forests.
The partnership also has enhanced large wetland complexes along the Lake Erie shoreline, such as Toussaint Wildlife Management Area, and helped acquire and protect tracts of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Kim Kaufman is executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in northern Ohio. She has seen immediate improvements in bird habitat through the partnership. “Corporate partners play a huge role in the success of restoring these coastal wetlands,” she says. “The quality of life that coastal wetlands bring to the people that live, work, and visit this area means it’s in our best interest on every level to continue to restore habitat along the lakeshore.”
Energy Transfer’s commitment also has acted as a foundation for further funding. Ducks Unlimited has been able to leverage more than $8.6 million in public grants and partner funds to pair with Energy Transfer’s gifts. For full details, videos, and photos of the conservation efforts being carried out as part of the Ducks Unlimited–Energy Transfer partnership, visit ducks.org/energytransfer.