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DUC and Agrium Partner to Protect Wetlands

An aerial view of the land that is part of the Legacy Wetland Restoration Program supported by Agrium.

 

DUC biologist Pascal Badiou displays and explains the abundant life found in wetlands.

Landowners, partners, supporters and media got an up-close look at the great work the Legacy Wetland Restoration Program facilitates.

New program to restore wetlands across the Prairies

Daysland, Alberta, May 29, 2012 — Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Agrium Inc. have teamed up to restore wetlands across the Prairies and the first project is well underway.

Through a $1-million contribution toward DUC’s new Legacy Wetland Restoration Program, Agrium is providing funding for the restoration of the Gabruck project, a 314-acre parcel of land north of Daysland and situated in prime waterfowl habitat. There are 30 acres of drained wetlands on the Gabruck property that will be restored and 220 acres of cultivation that will be converted to waterfowl nesting cover. The parcel has another 30 acres of intact wetlands and 34 acres of pasture that will also be protected.

“Agrium’s leadership in sustainability and their desire to work with DUC is what made this program possible,” said Scott Stephens, director of regional operations – prairies, DUC. “We depend on support from progressive organizations like Agrium to help us conserve wetlands and retain functional landscapes for wildlife and agriculture.”

Agrium’s contribution provides funding for the initial purchase, the restoration work and the placement of a conservation easement on the property. The conservation easement will protect the habitat portions of the land in perpetuity and is an important element of the restoration work. The conservation easement follows the land regardless of ownership, and also allows for agricultural use. This means future landowners with an appreciation for wildlife and waterfowl can use the land for forage production or cattle grazing.

“We all have to be doing more because in today’s environment, compliance is not enough,” said Michael Wilson, president and chief executive officer, Agrium Inc. “Agrium’s brand and reputation as a responsible corporate citizen are important to us and we look for ways in which we can grow responsibly by protecting the environment as we manage the rest of our business. We are committed to partnership with organizations like DUC to maximize the potential of existing assets that contribute to environmental well-being.”

Once restoration work is complete, funds from the sale of the Gabruck project will be used to buy, restore and then resell another parcel of land under the Legacy Wetland Restoration Program.

“In the early 20th century, land was cleared and sloughs drained for agriculture production, and now trees are removed and wetlands have been drained to make room for bigger machinery. The poor quality land we had did not lend itself to ‘big agriculture,” said landowner, Werner Strohhaeker. “We felt to hold back water and create habitat for birds and animals for our climate and environment would be very beneficial. We are pleased how the land looks after the ditches were plugged and water retained in the lower lying areas.”

On May 29, 2012, DUC and Agrium invited supporters to view the Gabruck project from both air and land to get the best view of the wonderful progress that has already been made.

The Legacy Wetland Restoration Program is a tangible, leadership project under Agrium’s trademark Caring for Our Watersheds Program. For more information, and to view photo story of the wetland restoration process, visit www.agrium.com.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, other non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.

For more information, contact:

Jill Mooney, j_mooney@ducks.ca
Communications Specialist
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: (403) 476-1879