LORAIN, Ohio Feb. 17, 2022 Today, President Joe Biden announced $1 billion in funds available to the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative money Ducks Unlimited and numerous partners will use to improve Great Lakes Areas of Concern through coastal wetland conservation.

As the largest source of fresh water in the world, the Great Lakes provides drinking water for more than 30 million people and habitat for 3,500 species of ducks, fish and other wildlife. Since 2010 the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has funded projects that strategically target the biggest threats to the freshwater ecosystem.

Ducks Unlimited (DU) uses GLRI funding to improve and protect Great Lakes wetland habitats, vital for wildlife habitat and water quality, which has resulted in the conservation of nearly 28,000 acres. Congress appropriates funding each year to 16 federal agencies, which disburse the funding to organizations like DU.

Wetlands conservation is a major component to de-listing Areas of Concern, said Russ Terry, Ducks Unlimiteds manager of Great Lakes Conservation. Coastal wetlands are crucial to improve water quality for people but are also one of the most threatened habitats in the Great Lakes. This funding will help the conservation community expand our impact for fish and wildlife while also providing benefits important to society.

Human development has greatly damaged natural coastal habitats. Wetlands have disappeared, pollutants have destroyed drinking water sources and invasive species have choked out native plants and animals.

The $1 billion will be allocated over five years. Visit www.ducks.org/GLRI for more information. See details from the White House announcement.

Assets for media:

Details on more than 90 Ducks Unlimited GLRI projects (pdf)

Interactive Ducks Unlimited GLRI wetlands project map

Download photos of GLRI wetlands conservation projects (credit Ducks Unlimited)

Download videos of GLRI wetlands conservation projects (credit Ducks Unlimited)