RALEIGH, NC – July 21, 2014 – Ducks Unlimited is proud to announce that through collaborative efforts with state and federal agencies, other non-profit organizations and private landowners more than 106,000 acres of vital wetland habitat has been conserved throughout North Carolina.
“North Carolina is an important part of the Atlantic Flyway,” said DU Director of Conservation Programs Craig LeSchack. “In addition to providing important winter habitat for waterfowl produced in the prairies, Great Lakes and eastern Canada, this state winters upwards of 80 percent of the continental tundra swan population.”
North Carolina’s bays, sounds and associated coastal wetlands provide important habitat for hundreds of thousands of Atlantic brant, several species of diving ducks, black ducks and other puddle ducks. Since 1985, DU has worked with partners to conserve important waterfowl habitat across the state. Through more than 130 projects, DU and partners have protected more than 19,000 acres through conservation easements or public acquisition, and restored or enhanced more than 87,000 acres of wetland habitat.
“DU projects on public lands like the Futch, Goose Creek, Roanoke River Wetlands, North River, and Holly Shelter game lands and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge also enhance public hunting opportunities,” LeSchack said. “DU focuses on habitat conservation to provide waterfowl the resources they need across the continent, but providing hunters with improved and increased opportunities to hunt is also vitally important to us.”
Hunters and anglers are largely responsible for funding conservation through licenses and special taxes on hunting equipment. In 2011, more than 1.6 million sportsmen and women spent $2.3 billion on hunting and fishing in North Carolina. They supported 10,000 more jobs than the two largest employers in the state, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp, combined.
“Wetlands conservation provides critical habitat for hundreds of wildlife species and recreational opportunities for millions of people,” LeSchack said. “The conservation work DU does with our partners and supporters also provides important natural benefits like clean water, flood water absorption and storm surge protection.”
cover photo – Chad Horwedel