Ducks Unlimited hosted an appreciation event at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on September 13, 2017, to honor the refuge staff and other Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) employees. DU staff hosted the event to thank LDWF for their cutting edge conservation work and all of the logistical and financial support for past DU projects and events at the refuge over the years. Rockefeller Refuge has been a leader in coastal management, restoration and research since the inception of the refuge in the 1920s.

DU and LDWF have been working together to enhance wetland habitat on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge for more than 25 years. Beginning in 1991 with the Price Lake project, DU has partnered with LDWF to complete five projects improving more than 11,300 acres of this important coastal marsh and 14,400 acres of adjacent marsh. DU and LDWF are currently working together on a planned project on Lake 4 that will enhance an additional 5,000 acres. Construction is set to begin on this project later this fall.

Many employees from Rockefeller Refuge attended the event along with some of their family members, LDWF administrators, LDWF retirees, DU volunteers and staff, DU CEO Dale Hall, DU Canada Chairman of the Board Jim Couch and DU de Mexico Director Mickey McMillin. Because of the area's continental importance to waterfowl, each of the three DU leaders presented Refuge Manager "Scooter" Trosclair with tokens of appreciation from their respective DU organization. Some species of waterfowl spend more time on wintering grounds like Rockefeller Refuge and those further to the south in Mexico than they do on the prairies of the U.S. and Canada.

During the event, DU CEO Dale Hall stated, "We wanted to highlight the tremendous work the Rockefeller Refuge staff and LDWF have done and continue to do for wetlands conservation, restoration and protection and show our appreciation for all of the help and assistance that they provide to Ducks Unlimited. We know what a treasure we have here in Louisiana, and we know what a responsibility we have to protect it."

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is a glowing gem in the crown of Louisiana's Sportsman's Paradise, and Ducks Unlimited and LDWF will continue to work together to ensure it shines for generations to come.

See more photos from the celebration.