Watch a video of the dedication

See a photo gallery from the event

Ducks Unlimited and industry leaders gathered June 10 to dedicate Andreoff Wildlife Area, one of the newest Ohio wetland habitat projects.

Nearly 40 people from DU, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and Energy Transfer celebrated the site with a bronze plaque, tours and conservation education.

"This project is a jewel for the state of Ohio," said Bill Ebert, Ducks Unlimited senior vice president and former DU Ohio state chairman. "It's also a perfect example of what we can achieve when state governments, nonprofit organizations, conservation-minded corporations and individuals work together."

The Ohio Division of Wildlife purchased the land from the Alexander Andreoff Revocable Trust for $1.26 million. Ducks Unlimited provided the Division of Wildlife with $275,000 in funding from Energy Transfer, part of a $5 million Energy Transfer contribution to Ducks Unlimited in 2017.

Ducks Unlimited and Energy Transfer are partnering to conserve more than 3,000 acres in Ohio over four years.

"For us at Energy Transfer, work like this is very personal," said Vicki Granado, Energy Transfer vice president of marketing and communications. "We are firm believers that energy development and environmental conservation can work hand in hand."

Andreoff Wildlife Area is in Hardin County and contains two tracts of land. Both are former agricultural property restored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Wetlands Reserve Program.

The northern site is 584 acres and contains restored wetlands and native warm-season grasses. It is located just south of the village of Forest at County Road 205 and Township Road 50. The south tract is 135 acres and includes restored wetlands, native warm-season grasses and a 36-acre woodlot. It is located on County Road 190 just west of Ohio 292 south of the city of Kenton.

"The biggest thing is, we are walking away from here with a new wildlife management area that Ohio has done great work on," said Jamie Rader, director of DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. "If you are looking for a place to hike, birdwatch or hunt, this is your spot. We are flattered to be part of this process and a trusted partner with Ohio, our industry partners and all of our DU supporters."

The event recognized the need for people, organizations and governments to unite to achieve major wetland goals.

"Ducks Unlimited is our oldest conservation partner," said Kendra Wecker, chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "Look at all the tremendous things we've done with DU. We couldn't have done this by ourselves."