SYRACUSE, New York - Oct. 12, 2021 - A trio of New York Ducks Unlimited (DU) staff members received a DU Excellence in Conservation Award for their work on building a robust wetlands mitigation program in New York and Vermont.

Patrick Raney, John Fraser and Ed Farley earned the recognition. Based in DU's Syracuse field office, the team coordinates mitigation programs across both states.

Under the U.S. Clean Water Act, development and construction projects that impact a wetland are required to mitigate the damage by restoring and preserving larger wetlands. To meet this requirement, developers can purchase mitigation credits from a wetland mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program.

The DU mitigation program is a leader in providing these wetland services for developers. The Ducks Unlimited New York In-Lieu Fee Program sells wetland and stream mitigation credits for permitted impacts in 11 watersheds in New York state. The Vermont program sells credits in four service areas.

"Mitigation is a crucial tool to keeping valuable wetland habitats on the ground," said Jamie Rader, DU director of operations for the Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. "Patrick, John and Ed have grown DU's mitigation efforts to new levels. They have achieved over $14 million in credits collected, strengthened existing service areas and worked to open additional service areas, and have protected 1,700 acres of lands in support of wetlands mitigation."

Learn more about DU's mitigation program at

DU's Conservation Programs Committee (CPC) created the awards to recognize outstanding conservation accomplishments and the DU staff who made them possible. Thanks to the continued commitment of DU's staff, the organization reached an historic milestone this year, conserving more than 15 million acres since DU was founded in 1937.

Any extraordinary accomplishment that supports DU's conservation mission of filling the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever is eligible for recognition. The 2021 awards were announced during the Sept. 9 CPC meeting.

"These awards recognize Ducks Unlimited's exceptional conservation professionals and the work they do every day," said CPC Chair Dr. Christine Thomas. "The awards were created to support morale, motivate our staff and convey the gratitude of DU supporters and volunteers."

Click here for a complete list of 2021 Ducks Unlimited Excellence in Conservation Award winners.

"The greatest team of conservation professionals in the world work for Ducks Unlimited," DU CEO Adam Putnam said. "These Excellence in Conservation Awards recognize Team DU's boots on the ground. The work these folks do enable DU to fill the skies with waterfowl and provide important benefits for people, their communities and other wildlife."

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Media Contact:
Chris Sebastian
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