Private lands management to support waterfowl, wetlands and the environment
The mission of the Louisiana Waterfowl Project is to provide critical migration and wintering habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Managing off-season agricultural fields and other wetland areas as waterfowl habitat results in migratory birds returning to the breeding grounds physically conditioned for maximum reproductive success.
To meet the ever-growing demand for assistance in managing private lands, the Louisiana Waterfowl Project - South was initiated in 1999. Since that time, Ducks Unlimited and its partners have restored and enhanced over 26,000 acres of waterfowl habitat
Teamwork can get it done
Technical assistance and incentives are available to landowners interested in improving the status of waterfowl and the quality of wetlands on their property. Ducks Unlimited, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have joined forces and created the Louisiana Waterfowl Project South to develop wetland habitat on private lands.
You can make the difference
Private landowners are the key to the future for waterfowl and other wetland-dependant wildlife. More than 70 percent of the remaining wetlands in North America are privately owned. Landowners are making the difference in restoring and maintaining America's waterfowl populations. In South Louisiana waterfowl management projects will fit most farm operations and improve water quality, pest/weed management, and erosion control. The Landowner Retains All Property Rights.
Winter flooding of croplands
Harvested croplands provide waste grain and other natural foods for waterfowl. Crops such as rice, soybeans, corn, and other seed crops become especially attractive to waterfowl when flooded with 1 to 12 inches of water. Rice fields provide ready-made impoundments while other fields or pastures can often be inexpensively flooded.
Natural foods on fallow areas
Croplands or pastures not planted often provide a wide variety of natural moist soil plants and an abundance of associated invertebrates that are high quality waterfowl foods. When shallow water can be held on such fields throughout the fall and winter, these highly attractive foods become readily available for waterfowl. In addition to the Louisiana Waterfowl Project there are other programs that are designed to retire marginal farmlands from crop production and put back into wildlife habitat.
Marsh restoration and management
Several options are available to private landowners to increase habitat availability of altered wetlands or natural marshes. These areas provide excellent habitat for wintering waterfowl.
Wetland development agreements
Landowners interested in restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands on their property may receive assistance in exchange for a commitment to maintain their wetland for a minimum of 10 years.
Guidelines under the agreement
- Projects may include management of croplands, moist soil areas, forested wetlands, and other created or natural wetlands which provide habitat for waterfowl, other migratory birds, and related wetland-dependent wildlife.
- Project agreements will be for a period of not less than 10 years, with longer agreement periods a consideration for project funding.
- Projects must maintain appropriate water levels for waterfowl for a minimum of four months, with no maximum, between the months of August and March. Agreements with longer durations of flooding improve the opportunity for project funding.
- Landowner contributions to the project (cash and inkind) may also enhance consideration for funding.
Parishes targeted by the Louisiana Waterfowl Project - South:
Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion
For more information, please contact:
Lafayette Field Office
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
208 Rue Beauregard, Ste. K
Lafayette, LA 70508