Ohio wildlife habitat, water quality boosted by 1,500-acre Ducks Unlimited wetlands conservation effort


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TOLEDO – Ducks Unlimited and numerous partners protected, enhanced or restored 1,509 acres of wetland habitat across 17 Ohio project sites in 2018, greatly improving water quality and wildlife habitat, according to a press release.

A total of $3.75 million was invested in the projects by Ducks Unlimited. Partners included the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (ODOW), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Metroparks Toledo, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ottawa Soil & Water Conservation District, corporate partners such as Energy Transfer, and major donors.

The milestones in 2018 added to a sizable historical investment in Ohio. Over the last 30 years, Ducks Unlimited has protected, restored or enhanced nearly 91,000 wetland acres across the state, investing $34.8 million into wetland habitats.

“Ohio’s wetlands play a significant role for Great Lakes and continental waterfowl,” said Russ Terry, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist in Ohio. “But our wetlands are also crucial for water quality for drinking and recreation. Ohio has lost 90 percent of its wetlands, which help filter rainwater before it enters the Great Lakes. The more wetlands we can put back on the landscape, the better for ducks and residents.”

Highlights from 2018 include:

Howard Marsh, Toledo – Ducks Unlimited, Metroparks of the Toledo Area (MTA), ODOW and NOAA created Howard Marsh, MTA’s newest Metropark. Since 2013, the partners have worked to restore the 1,000- acre former agricultural land back to wetlands and other habitat to benefit ducks, other fish and wildlife, and provide recreational opportunities. Ducks Unlimited engineered the project.

Mercer Wildlife Area, Mercer County – Ducks Unlimited partnered with ODOW and Pheasants Forever to restore two emergent wetlands totaling 36 acres at Mercer Wildlife Area along the south shore of Grand Lake St. Mary’s.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ottawa County – To improve the Great Lakes region’s ability to support waterfowl and people, Ducks Unlimited purchased two farms totaling nearly 130 acres and donated them to the USFWS for inclusion into Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Ducks Unlimited and USFWS are now restoring these properties to wetlands and uplands.

For a complete report of 2018 activities, and look into what’s planned for 2019 and beyond, view the Ohio Conservation Report. For all Ducks Unlimited events and programs in Ohio, visit www.ducks.org/Ohio.

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.

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