Ducks Unlimited (DU), Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico, and Wetlands America Trust committed to making DU’s vision of abundant wetlands a reality through its ambitious Rescue Our Wetlands campaign. The $2 billion continental campaign was launched seven years ago and will go down as one of the largest conservation campaigns in history. The money raised is already being put to work conserving, restoring and protecting critical wetland habitat across North America.
Ducks Unlimited President Rogers Hoyt announced during DU’s 82nd National Convention in Hawaii that the campaign, which concluded in December 2018, vastly exceeded the $2 billion goal, raising an astonishing $2.34 billion from more than 2 million donors and conserving 2,236,435 acres.
“Team DU surpassed our $2 billion fundraising goal,” Hoyt said. “When I became president of Ducks Unlimited in 2017, one of my many goals was to see that this ambitious continental campaign reached its goal. We did that and more in terms of both dollars and acres conserved during the campaign. I am proud to have played a part, along with the millions of DU volunteers, members, donors and supporters who made this happen.”
DU Major Donor and Wetlands America Trust trustee James Cox Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises, helped kick off the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign seven years ago. Now DU’s largest individual donor in history, Kennedy joined representatives from Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Ducks Unlimited de Mexico on stage in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, to celebrate the success of the campaign and to urge DU supporters to keep up the good work.
Nearly half the bird species and two-thirds of the fish species in the United States rely on wetlands at some point during their lives. Wetlands serve as nature’s sponges, slowing the flow of water across the landscape and allowing sediment, nutrients and other particles to settle to the bottom. Wetlands also play a central role in recharging important groundwater supplies. Wetlands such as bottomland hardwood forests absorb and store water, which helps prevent flooding in the surrounding watershed. Along America’s coasts, wetlands serve as a natural buffer against hurricanes and other dangerous storms. Unfortunately, these vital wetland habitats are disappearing from North America’s landscapes.