Cargill, DU enhance Great Lakes wetlands

$150,000 gift will help fund several projects

Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, Michigan

Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, Michigan

Download high-res image of Pointe Mouillee State Game Area

DETROIT – Jan. 27, 2022 – A new partnership between Ducks Unlimited and Cargill will improve a broad range of Great Lakes wetlands, to enhance water quality for residents and wildlife habit for birds, fish and mammals.

Cargill and its Salt business contributed $150,000 to Ducks Unlimited to conserve wetlands in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Cargill is a longtime partner to Ducks Unlimited conservation efforts across the country and this latest gift will restore or enhance wetlands on public land and private property.

“The Great Lakes provide drinking water to more than 30 million people in the United States and Canada,” said Russ Terry, DU manager of conservation programs. “Wetlands are nature’s filtration system. Thanks to Cargill’s support, Ducks Unlimited is adding more of these marshes to our landscape, which will clean the water needed by people and wildlife.”

Cargill’s support benefits DU’s Great Lakes Initiative, charged with enhancing, protecting and restoring the freshwater swamps and marshes across eight states. The projects also help refill groundwater, protect against seasonal and coastal flooding and provide recreational and economic benefits to surrounding communities.

“Cargill has a strong track record of successfully addressing complex challenges and proactively taking action to protect the environment,” said Sonya Roberts, president of Cargill’s salt business. “We’re delighted to support the team at DU in improving these critical wetlands and further our partnership to enhance communities throughout the Great Lakes region.”

In 2021, Cargill also provided support to Ducks Unlimited for a two-year project to restore watersheds across Colorado and Kansas.

Ducks Unlimited is using Cargill’s support on the following projects:

Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, Monroe, Michigan - Pointe Mouillee, 30 miles south of Detroit, is one of the largest freshwater marsh restoration projects in North America. Cargill’s support will help Ducks Unlimited and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources restore an additional 15 acres of wetlands at Pointe Sec Coastal Wetland in the state game area. The restored complex will increase the productivity of valuable coastal marsh conditions, improve bird migration and nesting habitat and better control invasive plant species. The project is also funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Reynolds Creek Gamebird Habitat Area, Michigan City, Indiana – This 1,250-acre property in northwest Indiana was established in 2011 and is primarily comprised of agricultural fields, small woodlots and several restorable grassland and wetland sites. Ducks Unlimited is helping the Indiana Department of Natural Resource restore 88 acres of agricultural lands to 10 acres of wetlands and 78 acres of grasslands. Restoring natural conditions will positively impact Lake Michigan, less than four miles north of the site. Other partners include the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Lake La-Su-An Wildlife Area, Pioneer, Ohio – Located in the northwest corner of Ohio, this public wildlife area is popular for outdoor recreation, particularly bird watching, fishing and hunting. The 2,430-acre wildlife area is 40 years old and original infrastructure to manage water levels are failing. The Cargill gift will support Ducks Unlimited’s ongoing effort with the Ohio Division of Wildlife to enhance six wetlands here, including rebuilding berms and installing new wetland management infrastructure. The project also is funded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Western Lake Erie Basin Private Lands Program, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana – The Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) is a broad, flat landscape which used to contain 300,000 acres of swamps and marshes across three states. Today only about 4% remains. The WLEB Private Lands Program provides funding and support to private landowners to encourage them to restore or enhance wetlands on their property. The program, in its third phase, has completed more than 60 projects ranging in size from one acre to 25 acres. Funding also comes from the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act.