Ducks Unlimited Establishes Platte River Program With Lottery Money
NET grant focuses on restoring the river
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA- Ducks Unlimited has begun work on conservation projects along the Platte River, funded in part by the Nebraska Lottery. The Nebraska Environmental Trust uses profits from the Nebraska Lottery and awards grants to organizations like Ducks Unlimited to fund natural resource conservation projects in Nebraska. The trust granted Ducks Unlimited $304,000 to enhance 119 acres of wildlife habitat on the Platte River, working with private landowners from Garden to Dodge Counties.
"If the Platte River were like the plumbing pipes in your house, we are essentially cleaning those pipes by removing trees and brush from sandbars and excavating degraded sloughs and river channels," said Jonas Davis, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist for Nebraska.
The restoration process will restore water flow to the backwaters and wetlands associated with the Platte River. This work will rejuvenate these wetlands, increase beneficial vegetation and improve habitat for migrating sandhill cranes and waterfowl. The restoration will also enhance the recreation opportunities and ensure wetlands continue functioning to filter runoff water and protect residents from severe flooding.
"The trust grant will also be used as matching funds for a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Both grants plus partnerships with private landowners and public agencies will help us make a significant impact on restoring the historic beauty of the Platte River," Davis said.
Ducks Unlimited will work closely with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other landowners to design enhancement plans and implement a comprehensive conservation program. Ducks Unlimited has identified ten properties along the entire stretch of the Platte River with significant wetland enhancement opportunities.
Ducks Unlimited will begin construction on two properties during September including a six-acre backwater slough on the South Platte River near Big Springs and a 23-acre emergent marsh along the floodplain of the Platte in Phelps County. These projects will provide critical spring resting habitat for the millions of ducks and geese that rely on the Platte River each year as they travel north to their breeding grounds.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature's most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.
Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided grants to 1035 projects across the state. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations. Visit the Trust's website at: http://www.environmentaltrust.org for more information.
Jennifer P. Kross, (701) 202-8896 or email@example.com
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