DU staff receive Excellence in Conservation Award for work on Dagger Island

ROCKPORT, Texas. – Oct. 7, 2021 – Ducks Unlimited Regional Engineer Carter Coleman, Construction Manager Keith Wesley and Regional Biologist Kevin Hartke received a Ducks Unlimited (DU) Excellence in Conservation Award for their work on the Dagger Island restoration project.

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.”

Coleman, Wesley and Hartke received the award for their work on the construction of 0.71 miles of breakwater and 1.17 miles of containment levee to prepare for the future placement of dredge material to restore 25 acres of Dagger Island. Also included in the project was an additional 0.55 miles of breakwater to protect an adjacent island. The work ultimately enhanced 5,236 acres of continuous seagrass beds, intertidal wetlands and coastal islands in the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area.

The project will protect seagrasses from wave energy caused by winds and large vessel traffic on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. These seagrass beds are important for waterfowl and fisheries resources, including finfish, shrimp, blue crab and sea turtles.

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.”

For more information visit www.ducks.org. Follow DU’s news Twitter feed – @DUNews1937 – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.


About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world
's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.


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Emily Austin