MEMPHIS, Tenn. Aug. 20, 2020 For the first time in its 83-year history Ducks Unlimited (DU) has distributed their Excellence in Conservation Awards. DUs Conservation Programs Committee (CPC) created the awards to recognize outstanding conservation accomplishments and the 10 DU staff who made them possible.

Any extraordinary accomplishment that supports DUs conservation mission of filling the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever is eligible for recognition. The inaugural 2020 awards were announced Aug. 20, during the CPC summer meeting.

These awards were created to support morale, help maintain a high level of motivation and convey the gratitude of DU supporters and volunteers by recognizing truly exceptional conservation professionals, said CPC Chair Dr. Christine Thomas. The awards recognize particularly outstanding conservation achievements by individuals who are part of the staff of Ducks Unlimited.

The 2020 Ducks Unlimited Excellence in Conservation award winners are:

Dr. Scott Manley, DUs director of conservation programs for the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, for his continuing work on DUs Rice Stewardship Partnership.

Biologist Abby Rokosch for Farm Bill program delivery in Montana.

Regional Engineer Steve Carroll and Regional Biologist Dr. Renee Spenst for their exemplary work in San Francisco Bay conservation and restoration.

Dr. Todd Merendino, DU manager of conservation programs for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, for his role in increasing habitat conservation in Texas.

South Dakota-based Agronomist Brad Schmidt for his efforts with the Soil Health Program.

DU Southern Region Director of Conservation Planning Dr. Dale James and GIS/Remote Sensing Analyst Mike Mitchell for conservation planning in DUs Southern Region.

Ducks Unlimited de Mxicos (DUMAC) David Canul and Jorge Cern for their work on DUMACs Mangrove Restoration Program.

Ducks Unlimited has the greatest team of conservation professionals in the world, DU CEO Adam Putnam said. These Excellence in Conservation Awards recognize the employees who are the boots on the ground for Team DU. Their daily efforts fuel our mission to fill the skies with waterfowl, as well as provide important benefits for people, their communities and other wildlife.

For more information visit Follow DUs newest Twitter feed @DUNews1937 to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

About Ducks Unlimited
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 almost 15 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