OMAHA, Neb. - March 13, 2015 - Ducks Unlimited recognized the Louisiana, South Carolina and Ohio state wildlife agencies for 50 years of supporting waterfowl habitat on the Canadian breeding grounds during a ceremony at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. All three states have been participating in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' (AFWA) State Contributions to Canada Program since 1965.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has contributed more than $10.8 million through the program to enhance and protect habitat in Canada, where many of Louisiana's ducks are produced. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife has invested $4.1 million in Canadian habitat conservation, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has contributed $2.7 million through 2015.

"Ducks Unlimited commends these states' long and storied history of making wise investments in waterfowl habitat important to the birds that wing their way to them each year," said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. "Investing their dollars in common breeding grounds provides a great return for the states' waterfowl hunters."

The AFWA State Contributions to Canada Program is funded by states that understand investments in the breeding grounds pay dividends during the fall flight. Last year, 37 states participated in the program. Individual state contributions are combined with other state contributions, matched dollar for dollar by DU Inc. and DU Canada, then are used as match for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants. These collective investments in Canadian habitat conservation recognize that waterfowl are a continentally shared resource.

"The importance of state contributions to habitat conservation and restoration projects in Canada cannot be overstated,"said AFWA's North American Waterfowl Management Plan Coordinator Dean Smith. "Breeding ground habitat work is critical for the health of continental populations of waterfowl, and U.S. waterfowl hunters understand the need to invest in Canadian projects."

Ducks Unlimited's programs in the U.S. and Canada are consistent with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and are structured to protect native, highly productive habitat while also improving waterfowl production in working agricultural landscapes.

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 Connect with us on our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at and watch DU videos at