Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) mission is to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people and are in perfect concert with the goals of California Watchable Wildlife.
“DU is excited to partner with California Watchable Wildlife to promote outdoor recreational opportunities on DU projects and public lands throughout California. This is a natural partnership as DU’s conservation work not only benefits waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds, but also the public,” said Craig Garner, Manager of Conservation Programs, CA, NV, AZ, and HI.
“We have completed numerous conservation projects on California Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service properties that enhance or improve public recreation opportunities such as outdoor education, wildlife photography, bird watching, and other activities that promote public interaction with public lands.”
Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. In Merced County along the San Joaquin River, Ducks Unlimited worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Frito-Lay to restore and re-engineer 2,000 acres of wetlands in the heart of the Grasslands Ecological Area that mimic the historic function of the floodplain.
Also recently completed, the restored wetlands at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge’s East Bear Creek Unit provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, while also serving as a place for floodwaters to go when the San Joaquin River and its tributaries are roaring.
Ducks Unlimited’s conservation programs have always had a strong biological foundation. That science and research tradition continues today with hundreds of studies to address the habitat needs of waterfowl. Although a great deal of work has been done and many important questions answered, there is still much to learn about how the birds respond to landscape, habitat and environmental changes.
To date, DU and its partners have conserved more than 984,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in the U.S. portion of the Pacific Flyway alone, focusing on the top conservation priority areas in this flyway, including the Central Valley and Pacific coast of California, the Pacific Northwest, and the western boreal forest.
Ducks Unlimited and California Watchable Wildlife celebrate the state’s wildlife and diverse habitats by acknowledging and elevating the value of wildlife viewing to benefit individuals, families, communities, and industries while fostering awareness and support for conservation and protection of wildlife and habitats.