Ducks Unlimited has a ‘fowl focus’ on habitat restoration in Wyoming and Nebraska
Submitted by Enbridge Inc.
Wetlands aren’t just for bullfrogs and cattails—they’re important for wildlife and humans alike.
Since 1937, Ducks Unlimited (DU) has worked across North America to provide sustainable ecosystems for wetland species and supporting clean and abundant water, among countless other positive outcomes to benefit wildlife and improve public recreation.
“Waterfowl conservation faces many challenges, with wetland habitats being threatened and destroyed across North America,” says Tom Peterson, DU’s manager of conservation programs for Wyoming and western Nebraska.
“If habitats begin to disappear, many species will too.”
Two key projects emerged this year to improve the landscape for waterfowl, wildlife and surrounding communities, each with critical benefits to its respective ecosystem.
The Nebraska project, at the Fleisbach Wildlife Management Area, restored and enhanced one of the most important publicly owned wetlands and wildlife habitats in western Nebraska in the North Platte River.
The restoration project in Wyoming will complete similar upgrades to two important public recreation and habitat areas: the Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area and the Renner Wildlife Habitat Management Area.
Enbridge supports sustainability projects in communities where we do business that help improve, grow and nurture our environment. Our two recent $5,000 Fueling Futures grants supported both the Nebraska restoration project, which wrapped up in 2023, and the Wyoming project, which is slated for completion in 2024.
“These projects restore and enhance wetlands and other wildlife habitats in areas that are really important for migratory birds,” says Peterson.
The restoration includes installing improved infrastructure to create shallow-water wetlands for species to thrive in. With improved water control, wetland managers can provide better habitat conditions for migrating waterfowl.
“This area is nationally recognized for its importance to migratory birds,” says Peterson. “It’s important to provide a healthy habitat when waterfowl are traveling to and from their breeding grounds, so they reach their destination in the best condition possible.”
The projects involve collaborative partnerships with organizations such as Enbridge, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Platte River Basin Environments, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, and other private donors and foundations, all of whom contribute to these projects’ undertaking and success.
“These major projects are really hard to pull off. DU alone can’t do it,” says Peterson.
By restoring these wetlands, water will be distributed at preferred depths for both waterfowl and plants. The result? A healthier environment and more opportunities for public enjoyment of these areas.
“The best part of the job is seeing wetlands thrive and become fully functional with more wildlife,” says Peterson. “We know our work is long -lasting and has an impact on the landscape and benefits wildlife and waterfowl.”
With the two major projects set for completion within the year, DU continues to work towards its vision of flourishing wetlands and creating everlasting habitats for species to thrive in.
“That’s what drives us forward,” says Peterson.
At Enbridge, our name spells out our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day, fueling quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable power, the energy we deliver through networks spanning North America and our growing European offshore wind portfolio helps to heat homes, feed families, fuel vehicles and power industry. We’re investing in modern energy infrastructure to sustain access to secure, affordable energy. We’re also building on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver, and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
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