DES MOINES, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited have committed $2 million to conserving and protecting Iowa’s waterfowl and wetland resources. This increased financial commitment expands their existing Living Lakes partnership to strategically target habitat conservation work on priority shallow lakes and wetlands located throughout Iowa’s Prairie Pothole Region.
“We’re pleased to have the Iowa DNR partner with us to expand our existing cooperative agreement by another $2 million over the next three years,” said Eric Lindstrom, DU regional biologist. “Since the mid-1980s, the Iowa DNR has been a tremendous partner and ardent supporter of waterfowl and wetlands conservation work in Iowa, as well as portions of prairie Canada.”
Under the Living Lakes Initiative, the Iowa DNR, DU and a number of other conservation partners are working together to restore the health and ecological integrity of Iowa’s shallow lakes and large wetland complexes. For decades, many of these systems have been severely degraded by increased nutrient and sediment loads, an overabundance of invasive fish and a lack of effective management capabilities.
“The Iowa DNR and DU use a science-based approach to conserve strategically targeted waterfowl breeding and migration habitat in Iowa,” said Todd Bishop, DNR special projects coordinator. “We’re pleased to expand our shared habitat conservation vision with DU under this cooperative agreement.”
Since launching the Living Lakes partnership in 2005, DU and the Iowa DNR have invested over $1.5 million in large-scale renovation efforts on several formerly degraded shallow lakes and large wetland basins. Some project examples include work on Diamond Lake (Dickinson Co.), Jemmerson Slough (Dickinson Co.), Dan Green Slough (Clay Co.), Four Mile Lake (Emmet Co.) and Kiowa Marsh (Sac Co.).
Major renovation efforts continue on a number of other high priority projects throughout the state including Eagle Flats (Hancock Co.), Burr Oak Lake (Emmet Co.), Pickerel Lake (Buena Vista Co.), Lizard Lake (Pocahontas Co.) and the Barringer Slough/Blue Wing Marsh complex (Clay and Palo Alto Co.). The success of these projects is directly attributed to the strong partnership that the Iowa DNR and DU have developed over the past 25 years.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 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.