Conservation News

DU Conserve Films: Mississippi Alluvial Valley

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Aug. 13, 2020 – Ducks Unlimited released the latest film in its online series.

In Mississippi Alluvial Valley, DU Conserve Films travels to the Mississippi Delta, exploring the region and its importance to wetlands conservation and wintering waterfowl. 

Watch the film at www.ducks.org/media/du-conserve.

The Mississippi Alluvial Valley stretches all the way from the Missouri Bootheel to the marshes and wetlands of southern Louisiana, covering 25 million acres. It was all forest long ago, but time and progress converted much of the landscape into agricultural use.

Ducks Unlimited is at the forefront of Mississippi Alluvial Valley conservation and restoration. DU works with private landowners and state and federal partners to ensure this immense area is vibrant and wildlife sustaining.

Scott Manley is Ducks Unlimited’s director of conservation programs for the valley.

“There is no place like it in North America,” said Manley. “It is where the mighty Mississippi River, the Ohio River and many tributaries come together. Over years, over centuries the valley has been converted to an agricultural landscape, the most productive outside the mid-west corn belt.”

Manley and his team create stability in an environment prone to major flooding.

“What we are after today is a balance,” Manley said. “We need agriculture to feed the world, but this area is a historical floodplain. We seek a balance between the natural wetlands, forested wetlands and the agriculture. The way we coin it is, ‘farm the best and restore and manage the rest.’”

Many private landowners have played a crucial role in Mississippi Alluvial Valley conservation. None are more important than Billy Dunavant of Memphis, Tenn. His generosity and tireless work brought DU National Headquarters to Memphis back in the early 90s.

Ducks Unlimited’s Executive Secretary Dan Thiel summed up Billy’s pivotal role in the organization’s history.

“There have been a number of individuals who have had a tremendous impact on our organization,” Thiel said. “Billy is one of those. I put Billy on the Mount Rushmore of Ducks Unlimited. He’s one of those pivotal figures that made something very important happen. We would not be in Memphis had it not been for the vision and determination of Billy Dunavant.”

Dunavant resides in Memphis and keeps close ties with DU to this day. He reflected on why he believes the organization’s headquarters belongs in Memphis.

“Number one, and the most important, it shouldn’t be anywhere else,” Dunavant said. “This is the heart of it, this is where it all starts.”

August is DU Conserve month. The 2020 season includes four films released each week in August.

Follow DU’s newest Twitter feed-@DUNews1937-to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited. 

DU Conserve is produced by Rock Road Creative and sponsored by Yeti and the First National Bank of Omaha.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved almost 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.

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