Ducks Unlimited & Partners Improve Atchafalaya Wetlands

Ducks Unlimited & Partners Improve Atchafalaya Wetlands
NAWCA Small Grant Supports Louisiana Conservation.

Atchafalaya Wetlands
Ducks Unlimited & Partners Improve Atchafalaya Wetlands
Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited

LAFAYETTE, Lou. –-( Ducks Unlimited received $56,824 through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Small Grants Program for wetland enhancements on the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge and Sherburne Wildlife Management Area in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Wetlands America Trust and Ducks Unlimited are providing $167,630 match for the grant.

“What makes this project particularly beneficial to waterfowl is that it enhances managed moist soil habitat situated within a large tract of bottomland hardwoods. The combination of annual plant communities in close proximity to forested wetlands provides a variety of foods waterfowl need during the winter,” Bob Dew, Ducks Unlimited manager of conservation programs, said.

“Providing this habitat is especially important now, in light of potential impacts to coastal waterfowl habitat from the BP oil spill.”

The project area was originally developed as a moist soil impoundment, but inadequate pumping systems failed to facilitate flooding or to allow for active management. Without a dependable source of water, managers are unable to maximize habitat for migratory birds and provide adequate flooding during critical migration periods. This project will be completed in time to provide habitat during peak fall migration.

The area is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). This project is a continuation of a long-standing partnership between Ducks Unlimited, USFWS and LDWF, but it is their first collaboration on a NAWCA Small Grant proposal.

“The Service is proud of the cooperative working relationship we have with Ducks Unlimited. They have been an outstanding partner over the years, and through our combined efforts we have been successful in helping meet the needs of wintering waterfowl. The spirit of conservation partnership was spelled out clearly in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in 1986,” Daniel Breaux, refuge manager, said.

“We are glad that tradition continues today.”

“This is a unique opportunity for us to work with two of our best partners on one project,” Dew said. “We have completed more than 45 projects in Louisiana with USFWS and LDWF over the past 25 years. Both are certainly great partners.”

The NAWCA Small Grants Program supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects that further the goals of the NAWCA. Project activities are usually smaller in scope and involve fewer project dollars than in the Standard Grants Program. Small grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and funding priority is given to grantees or partners new to the NAWCA grants program.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 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.

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