Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DU Praises New Gulf Coast Restoration Plan

WASHINGTON - - Ducks Unlimited looks forward to working with the Administration to implement its plan to streamline and coordinate restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast. The plan, developed under the leadership of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, brings together stakeholders from the states, federal government, and organizations like Ducks Unlimited to expedite landscape restoration efforts.

"The Gulf Coast is a sportsmen's paradise," said John Newman, first vice president for Ducks Unlimited and a coastal Louisiana resident. "It is very good to see that the Administration realizes the importance of these marshes to waterfowl, other wildlife, and people both locally and nationally. These wetlands are a national treasure and provide many, many benefits to people across the United States."

The effort highlights the importance of waterfowl and wildlife habitat to the overall ecosystem restoration of the region.

"With 10 national wildlife refuges totaling over 300,000 acres in coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, the Department of the Interior recognizes the vital role that Gulf Coast wetlands play in supporting fish and wildlife resources, as well as the nation's commerce and domestic energy," said Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland.

Ducks Unlimited's efforts to restore Gulf Coast wetlands are ongoing. The region comprises the most important wintering area for waterfowl in North America. The coastal marshes may winter over 15 million waterfowl and myriad other wetland-dependent migratory birds.

"We are pleased that the Administration sees the need for swift, large-scale action to save the Gulf Coast," said Barton James, director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. "Ducks Unlimited has been working to restore Gulf Coast wetlands for millions of wintering waterfowl for many years, and it is good to see this new commitment from the federal government to restore this vital national resource."

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved over 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.