April 11, 2016 - Minnesota-based Cargill Corp. will continue its support of Ducks Unlimited and wetland habitat conservation through a three-year, $243,000 grant to benefit projects across upstate New York.
Ducks Unlimited will use Cargill's commitment toward required matches for public grants, aiming to turn the $243,000 into a combined total of $1 million to benefit some of New York State's most critical conservation areas, including:
- St. Lawrence River Valley - Restore wetland complexes and secure grassland habitat to ensure the region's prominence as one of the most important waterfowl nesting areas in the eastern United States. Originally drained for agriculture, many of the former fields are abandoned and prime for restoration to wetland habitat.
- Montezuma Wetland Complex - A 40,000-acre complex of private, state and federal lands in central New York, this area provides tremendous opportunity to return agricultural "muck lands" to bottomland hardwood swamps and wetlands to support waterfowl, cerulean warblers and hundreds of state-listed rare or declining bird species.
- Tonawanda-Iroquois-Oak Orchard Complex - This complex support 266 bird species, including more than 250,000 migrating and staging waterfowl, 42 mammal species and numerous warm-water fish. The complex is the most important migratory stopover point for waterfowl in western New York.
"Cargill has given us a tremendous opportunity to launch several new important habitat restoration projects in the area that would have otherwise not been possible. This type of funding is crucial to the success of our conservation program here in New York," said Brandy Neveldine, DU biologist in New York.
The donation will enable Ducks Unlimited to support the critical restoration of wetland ecosystems and community outreach activities in and around the Lake Ontario watershed. The region has lost about 70 percent of its wetlands mainly to agriculture and urbanization.
The donations are the result of collaboration between four Cargill business units in New York, with matching support from Cargill leadership. The units include:
- Cargill Salt, Watkins Glen: $112,500
- Cargill Deicing Technology, Lansing: $112,500
- Cargill Animal Nutrition, Albany: $11,250
- Cargill Grain & Oilseed, Albany: $6,750
In addition to providing essential wildlife habitat, restored wetlands provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, outdoor education for school-aged children and recreational pursuits by the visiting public. Other environmental benefits include reduced soil erosion, surface and groundwater quality enhancement and improved downstream flood control.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.6 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.