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WATKINS GLEN, New York – May 10, 2019 – A partnership between Ducks Unlimited and Cargill Corp. has conserved more than 5,500 acres of vital wetland habitat throughout New York since 2016.
Three years ago, Cargill contributed $243,000 to Ducks Unlimited, continuing a longstanding corporate commitment to conservation. These donations enabled Ducks Unlimited to enhance, restore or protect critical wetland ecosystems in and around the Lake Ontario watershed. The region has lost about 70 percent of its wetlands mainly to agriculture and urbanization.
The donation came from several Cargill New York business units:
- Cargill Salt, Watkins Glen: $112,500
- Cargill Deicing Technology, Lansing: $112,500
- Cargill Animal Nutrition, Albany: $11,250
- Cargill Grain & Oilseed, Albany: $6,750
“Cargill is proud to be part of a collaborative effort of organizations and agencies working together to complete these projects, which have a direct and positive impact on numerous wildlife species,” said Eric Hallman, Cargill Salt Group environmental manager.
The partnership has advanced a dozen conservation projects. It also provided Ducks Unlimited with funding to be used as match on state and federal grants. Ducks Unlimited leveraged Cargill’s gift 30 to 1. For every $1 in Cargill funding, Ducks Unlimited generated $30 in state and federal grants.
Ducks Unlimited, Cargill and other partners recently celebrated the completion of the latest project at Catharine Creek Marsh in Schuyler County. The management area, owned by Finger Lakes Land Trust, needed enhancement because of failing infrastructure.
Ducks Unlimited contributed Cargill funds to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program so the service could improve a 120-acre wetland on the property with new a water-control structure and berm. The enhancements enable the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to manage water levels and replicate natural wetland cycles, improving water flow and plant and wildlife diversity.
Some partners gathered in April at the wetland to dedicate a sign, created by the Watkins Glen Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
“We are excited and really grateful for Cargill’s support,” said Jesse Pully, Ducks Unlimited volunteer with the Watkins Glen Chapter. “Everybody plays an essential role. Our chapter has been really trying to get something to happen that we could hang our hat on, and this has us excited.”
The Catharine Creek project shows what is possible when a team of conservation organizations, state and federal governments and corporate supporters unite for wetlands.
“Cargill’s partnership has been the catalyst for several important habitat restoration projects that would have otherwise not been possible. Its funding is crucial to the success of our conservation program here in New York," said Brandy Neveldine, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist in New York.
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 14 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.