DU and Partners Recieve $998,576 for Mottled Duck

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DU and Partners Recieve $998,576 for Mottled Duck Habitat Restoration

6/6/08

Federal NAWCA grant supports waterfowl conservation in Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA - Ducks Unlimited was awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to enhance over 2,337 acres of coastal wetland habitat in Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion Parishes in southwest Louisiana. Partners contributed more than $2.2 million to match the $998,576 received from the federal grant. The project will restore breeding and wintering habitat for resident mottled ducks.

Coastal marshes like this one will be restored through DU project.

"This proposal represents a continuation of long-term efforts to protect and enhance important wetland habitats in coastal Louisiana. These habitats support a rich diversity of wildlife species," said Tom Moorman, Ducks Unlimited Director of Conservation Programs.

Large areas of wetlands along the Louisiana Gulf Coast have been lost to subsidence, altered hydrology and saltwater intrusion. The overall health of the coastal marshes and the benefits they provide to mottled ducks, other wildlife and people that depend on them are in jeopardy. Additionally, the coastal prairie region within southwestern Louisiana has lost more than 99 percent of its native grasslands due to intensive agricultural practices and urban development.

To help the coastal wetlands continue to fulfill their role, project partners will restore estuarine intertidal marsh by installing water control structures to manage water and salinity levels and by controlling invasive Chinese tallow trees and other woody vegetation on upland prairie habitat.

"Successful delivery of this project will partially compensate for the region's loss of emergent wetlands and coastal prairie grasslands and will maximize waterfowl and other migratory bird values," Moorman said. "This proposal will provide breeding habitat for mottled ducks as well as wintering and migration habitat for northern pintails, mallards, gadwalls, American wigeon, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, and other waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and grassland dependent land birds."

Specifically, this project includes the enhancement of 1,458 acres of moist-soil, agricultural wetlands, 29 acres of coastal freshwater marsh and 850 acres of important prairie uplands within the Gulf Coast Joint Venture's Chenier Plain Initiative Area (including the rice prairie), thus providing improved breeding and wintering habitat for resident mottled ducks.

"The end result will be a complex of habitats that meet the needs of mottled ducks throughout their annual life cycle including nesting, brood rearing and winter survival," Moorman said.

This NAWCA project combines the fish and wildlife management capabilities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the wetland enhancement expertise of Ducks Unlimited. In addition, the partnership incorporates contributions from BP America, Stream Companies and private landowners.

"Like all of our projects, the partners involved in the Mottled Duck Habitat Restoration and Enhancement project make it possible," Moorman said.

"The Stream family is proud to be a partner in enhanced land stewardship practices that restore and maintain productive and diverse habitats," said David Richard with Stream Property Management, Inc.

To date, NAWCA has helped fund more than 1,800 wetland projects on 23 million acres in all 50 states, every province of Canada, and areas in Mexico. Thousands of partners, including private landowners, corporations and state governments have worked together to conserve wildlife habitat through NAWCA grants.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization, having conserved over 12 million acres. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - natures' most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.


Media Contact:

Andi Cooper (601) 206-5463 or acooper@ducks.org
 


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