Tom Bramble is always on the lookout for ways his Hastings, Nebraska, business, Mid-America Pump and Supply, can make a difference in the community. One such opportunity came about when Tom got a good deal on a 48-inch pump that could move 46,000 gallons of water per minute.

"That pump was bigger than anything we could use around here," Tom says, "so I thought maybe Ducks Unlimited could find a use for it."

It turned out DU did need a pump capable of efficiently filling a three-square-mile reservoir on Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in north-central Louisiana. Tom and his company donated the pump, and DU and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) used it to complete the WMA's largest pump project to date.

"This pump gives LDWF staff the ability to manage this greentree reservoir for water and waterfowl hunters, without being dependent on rainfall alone," says Jerry Holden Jr., director of DU's Southern Region.

The restored habitat will benefit waterfowl and enhance public hunting opportunities as well as improve water quality by filtering out nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.

"Tom was particularly excited about supporting a project that might be used as wintering habitat by ducks that migrate through his home state of Nebraska," says Steve Donovan, DU manager of conservation programs.

Tom became a Major Sponsor in 2003 when he and others helped fund a restoration project on Nebraska's Whitefront WMA. The restored wetland was renamed Ackles Marsh, in honor of longtime DU volunteer Robert D. Ackles, who passed away in 1996.

"I wanted to be part of developing the marsh because it had Bob's name on it," Tom says. "He was a good friend of our family and part of the original Hastings DU committee."