On February 19, 2020, Ducks Unlimited announced that they—with numerous partners—had invested $2.1 million to protect, enhance and restore 2480 acres of wetland and grassland habitat across 21 Ohio project sites in 2019, greatly enhancing both water quality and wildlife habitat.
Those 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), and Metroparks Toledo, plus corporate partners such as Energy Transfer and major donors.
The milestones in 2019 added to a sizeable historical investment in Ohio. Over the last 30 years, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 93,000 wetland and grassland acres across the state, investing nearly $37 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. 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 2019 include:
- Andreoff Wildlife Area, Hardin County – Ducks Unlimited and partner Energy Transfer helped the Ohio Division of Wildlife acquire and establish Andreoff Wildlife Area, nearly 720 acres of prime Ohio habitat now open for recreational opportunities;
- Private land restoration – Ducks Unlimited is using a $490,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act to restore or enhance at least 250 acres of wetlands and 250 acres of upland native warm season grasslands on private land over the next three years in northwest Ohio; and
- Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ottawa County – Ducks Unlimited purchased two former agriculture properties totaling 75 acres and will turn them over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion into the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge after they are restored. The restored habitat will provide migratory and breeding habitat in the vital western Lake Erie basin, and help reduce the amount of nutrient runoff reaching Lake Erie that contribute to algae bloom outbreaks.
Photo of Toussaint Wildlife Area in Ohio is courtesy of Ducks Unlimited.