BISMARCK, N.D. – May 9, 2022 – Thanks to a $2 million North American Waterfowl Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant, Ducks Unlimited and its partners will be able to continue an eight-year, statewide conservation plan in Kansas. The $2 million NAWCA grant will be leveraged with another $2 million in matching funds, for a total of $4 million available for critical conservation work in the state.
Last week, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the approval of $95 million in funding to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and its partners to conserve or restore more than 300,000 acres of bird habitat in North America. Of that amount, $78 million was available to organizations like DU through NAWCA funding grants.
"Due to the required public-private partnerships, NAWCA projects provide some of the best ‘bang for your buck’ in conservation," said Lynne Rozine, Kansas DU state chair. "Supporting Kansas’ wetlands means supporting our people, economy and wildlife. Representative Davids and LaTurner and Senators Moran and Marshall have long been champions for voluntary conservation programs, like NAWCA, and we’re excited to build on the program’s success throughout the state to protect and improve more habitat for future generations."
"Over the past 300 years, Kansas has lost nearly 50 percent of its wetlands, endangering birds and plant species that are necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem," said Representative Sharice Davids. "I am honored to support NAWCA and help bring this funding home to Kansas. The investments announced today will protect and restore our state’s wetlands for generations to come, ensuring a thriving habitat for our local wildlife."
Because more than 98% of Kansas is privately owned, developing one-on-one relationships with landowners and helping them with restoration efforts is a critical part of DU’s mission in the Sunflower State. Upon completion, DU’s work will have protected, restored or enhanced more than 7,000 acres of Kansas wetlands and grassland habitat.
"Ducks Unlimited has already done fantastic work to help conserve and restore thousands of habitat acres across Kansas," said Representative Jake LaTurner. "This investment from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission made through the NAWCA will protect over 7,000 additional acres and grow our local economies by supporting hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities across our state."
In addition to private landowners, DU is partnering with Juniper Environmental, LLC, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program to complete the projects outlined in the NAWCA grant.
"Hunting, fishing and birdwatching help bring tourism to Kansas, especially in rural areas," said Senator Jerry Moran. "I’ve seen the important work Ducks Unlimited is doing in our state on my annual conservation tours, and this investment will help continue their mission to preserve Kansas’ wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife for future generations."
"The rich partnerships created through programs like NAWCA have been monumental in preserving American bird habitats and fostering tourism in rural communities," said Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. "This investment in Kansas will be pivotal in wetland conservation and I look forward to the impact it will have on hunting and fishing opportunities in our state."
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.