MEMPHIS, Tenn. – March 28, 2022 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently honored Elisabeth DeLuca for the donation of a 27,000 acre conservation easement in Florida – the largest conservation easement in the organization’s history – by presenting her with this year’s Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award in the local/private conservation category.
DU presents Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards annually to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl.
“Thanks to the generous donation from Ms. DeLuca, 27,000 acres of natural Old Florida will be protected in perpetuity,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “The DeLuca Preserve is a one-of-a-kind example of landscape conservation. And through the donation of the land to the
University of Florida Foundation, it will be an international model for research, education and outreach. It brings together the best of the University of Florida’s land grant mission and DU’s passion for partnerships. The property, along with other state and federal lands, is central to a mosaic of 250,000 acres of protected landscapes in the Northern Everglades Headwaters, an important ecosystem for wildlife corridors, watershed protection, flood mitigation and endangered species habitat.”
The DeLuca Preserve presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between DU and the University of Florida. The University will utilize the property for research and educational opportunities, and DU, through Wetlands America Trust, will preserve the land and ensure the protection of a critical nature corridor between the Kissimmee Prairie State Preserve and the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area. The nearly 7,000 acres of wetlands on the property will provide habitat for waterfowl, including Florida mottled ducks, and other wildlife. This incredible act of conservation was only possible thanks to the care and commitment of Ms. DeLuca.
DU recently announced the winners of the 2022 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 87th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Spokane, Wash. To view a complete list of the 2022 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winners, visit www.ducks.org/wetlandawards.
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.