Ducks Unlimited and partners have been awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to fund habitat enhancement work as part of the Southeast New Jersey Coastal Program. These funds will be used to enhance almost 1,000 acres of diverse wildlife habitat in Atlantic and Cape May counties. Partners contributed more than $2.5 million in matching funds toward this $1 million federal grant.

Ducks Unlimited is working with many partners, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to launch the first phase of this initiative. This program's initial phase will enhance nearly 1,000 acres of waterfowl habitat at Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Estell Manor. Restoration work at Tuckahoe WMA will include replacing water-control structures, altering the topography, and dredging, which will give the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife the ability to manage water levels on several impoundments, providing optimal habitat for migrating waterfowl and associated wetland-dependent species.

"This is the first standard NAWCA grant awarded to DU in New Jersey, and it's an exciting step in the Southeast New Jersey Coastal Program," said Nick Biasini, DU's regional biologist in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "In the future, Ducks Unlimited hopes to build on the success of this initial project at Tuckahoe WMA by expanding the Southeast New Jersey Coastal Program to conserve other important wetland habitats across this region."