You have probably heard of them but may not completely understand exactly who or what they are or what they do.
Ducks Unlimited (DU) is a volunteer driven, membership based, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds for the conservation of wetlands and the protection of waterfowl.
Founded in 1937 by Joseph P. Knapp, Robert Winthrop, and E.H. Low and based in Memphis, Tennessee under current CEO Dale Hall, DU and its 700,000 members will be celebrating 81 years of existence on January 29th.
DU focuses on a combination of projects related to the conservation of wetlands and upland habitats for wildlife. While DU maintains an active presence in all 50 states, their efforts are concentrated in areas deemed most beneficial to waterfowl. Referred to as a “continental landscape approach,” the projects of DU have resulted in the conservation of over 14 million acres across North America. Their dedicated efforts work towards ensuring a better future for ducks in particular and wildlife in general.
DU conducts “conservation initiatives” to connect interested groups, individuals and resources to nearby areas in need of assistance and support in sustaining and improving upon the future of waterfowl and wetlands. These initiatives are congruent with DU conservation priorities (i.e., Prairie Pothole Region; Western Boreal Forest in Canada; Mississippi Alluvial Valley; Central Valley of Coastal California; and the Gulf Coastal Prairie) across the continent.
Ducks Unlimited habitat projects are ongoing in all 50 states, every Canadian province and in key areas of Mexico and Latin America. In total, DU has now delivered more than 20,000 conservation projects across North America since its inception over 80 years ago.
North Carolina represents an essential area for the work of Ducks Unlimited. Since 1985, DU has actively conserved over 100,000 acres of waterfowl habitat throughout North Carolina.
As part of the “Atlantic Flyway” migratory path of many waterfowl, NC provides an important winter habitat. North Carolina is relatively unique in that it winters more than 80 percent of the continental Tundra Swan population and provides important habitat for thousands of Atlantic Brant, several species of diving ducks, black ducks, and some species of puddle ducks.
Ducks Unlimited maintains a strong local presence in the Richmond County area. The DU chairman for this area, Gary Weyant, welcomes contact, input, ideas, and/or assistance at any time. Gary can be reached at G.Weyant@Yahoo.com. Gary notes that Ducks Unlimited is a fully accredited charity so all donations are tax deductible. Get more information at Ducks.Org.