Seven years…a $500-million fundraising goal…and an opportunity to change the face of conservation. These are the ambitious building blocks that gave rise to DUC’s Rescue Our Wetlands campaign.
This historic effort is now just two years away from the finish line, and results continue rolling in. As of December 31, 2016, $391.5 million has been raised. But after the last dollar and the last acre are tallied, what will be different about the world we live in?
The short answer: a whole lot.
Successfully raising $500 million for wetland conservation will make an incredible impact on Canada’s land, water and wildlife. Pothole wetlands that were once drained dry will teem with new life. Floodwater that once raced across a farm families’ fields will be tempered with a new natural line of defense. Forestry companies will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to minimize their impacts on natural areas like wetlands. Our lakes and rivers will be cleaner. Our wildlife will thrive. Our communities will be better equipped to combat the effects of a changing climate.
Sometimes, these changes aren’t obvious. But they’re proof that some of the most powerful results are often the most subtle.
Progress in priority areas
Here are a few examples of the work that the Rescue Our Wetlands is making possible in key areas across the country.
Prairie Pothole Region
DUC signed the largest conservation easement in Saskatchewan’s history. The Lamb and Bushfield families’ conservation easement covers 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) of native parkland, tame forage, natural and restored wetlands.
Along with several forestry partners, DUC launched the Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative. This will allow us to work collaboratively on projects that integrate wetland conservation into forest management planning and field operations.
On Amherst Island, located in Lake Ontario, DUC has given new life to some aging wetland infrastructure. By restoring the earthen berm as well as installing a “beaver baffler” and new debris screens, DUC’s conservation work provided some TLC to this important coastal wetland.
DUC celebrated a huge conservation win on the east coast of Vancouver Island with TimberWest’s donation of the entire Somenos lakebed. The lakebed contains 235 acres (95 hectares) of freshwater wetlands (valued at $430,000) and is a cornerstone for the conservation holdings in the Cowichan estuary and surrounding area.
DUC conducted work on Andy Teas’ property in Upper Stewiacke, N.S., This includes 42 acres (17 hectares) of floodplain wetland restored from a too-wet pasture. Run-off water from adjacent agricultural fields will collect in this project. As a result, water storage and filtration capacity was drastically increased.
The Rescue Our Wetlands campaign concludes in December 2018. Join Ducks Unlimited Canada in the final leg of this historic undertaking and provide hope for a healthier future.