Warren Coco honored by Baton Rouge DU sponsors

BATON ROUGE – March 13, 2015 – Ducks Unlimited recognized Louisiana businessman and conservationist Warren Coco last night at a tribute event in Baton Rouge. More than 300 people gathered to honor Coco and contribute to a conservation project in his honor.

"Warren is a dedicated conservationist and generous supporter of Ducks Unlimited's efforts to conserve waterfowl habitats in Louisiana and across the country," said DU Director of Development Bob Dew. "His love of the resource and his appreciation for the habitat work Ducks Unlimited does led Warren to be extremely generous to the ducks, totaling more than half a million dollars through his personal and business contributions."

Coco's company, Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana, has donated several boat, motor and trailer packages for DU fundraising efforts. Additionally, Coco donated a conservation easement to Ducks Unlimited — the first in southern Louisiana — on his 1,600-acre property to permanently protect the habitat and natural resource values of the land. Go-Devil and Coco's donations are important contributions to the more than $89 million Ducks Unlimited has spent to conserve more than 387,000 acres of vital waterfowl habitat in Louisiana

Coco is a tremendous example of a home-grown business success story. In 1977, the 22-year-old from Baton Rouge founded a company destined to become one of the most important and influential members of the waterfowl industry. The first version of the Go-Devil motor weighed nearly 200 pounds, but worked like nothing Coco had ever seen. For the next three years he put in 16-to-18-hour days without a paycheck, founding Go-Devil with about $1,000 capital and a handful of garage equipment. Today, the company maintains more than 30 full-time employees with more than 52,000 square feet of high-tech buildings turning out at least 1,000 engines per year.

"Everything that Coco does is top notch," Dew said. "From his service to duck hunters through Go-Devil to his dedication to conservation and Ducks Unlimited, Warren Coco is indeed an inspiration to us all."

Ultimately, a wetland restoration project on Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area near Alexandria will be dedicated to honor Warren and his wife, Donna, for their dedication to conservation. The project will restore 3,000 acres of forested wetlands to improve habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. In addition to the money raised at the tribute event, funding for the project comes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wetlands America Trust, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and others.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.