WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced today a major project to provide critical wetland habitat for migratory birds affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With a $2.5 million investment from NFWF's Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife, NFWF will join with Ducks Unlimited and others to establish the wetlands on farms and other private lands along the Gulf coast. These alternative habitats outside of the spill area will provide habitat for millions of migratory birds that will soon descend upon the region.
Tens of millions of shorebirds, waterfowl, marsh birds and other migratory species depend on the Gulf for feeding, resting, and nesting. By providing wetland restoration and enhancement and other coastal improvements, the projects supported by the fund can increase survivorship of the birds that will migrate through or overwinter in the Gulf beginning as early as July.
The partnership between NFWF, Ducks Unlimited and others will create and enhance tens of thousands of acres of aquatic and wetland habitat on lands outside, but adjacent to or nearby, the spill zone. Projects will be focused on the coastal plain of Louisiana and Texas. NFWF will work with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Ducks Unlimited to identify opportunities to involve agricultural producers and other landowners in the rapid creation of habitat areas.
NFWF Executive Director Jeff Trandahl said, "Using resources from NFWF's Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife, we can make an immediate difference for shorebirds, waterfowl and marsh bird populations affected by the spill. Through our collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, NRCS and others, we can put projects on the ground to benefit these species now."
Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall added, "Ducks Unlimited is pleased to partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on this important Gulf Coast habitat initiative. This effort will not only offer alternative habitat to migratory birds affected by the oil spill, but will also serve as a foundation for work that will help solve long-term habitat issues waterfowl face along the Gulf Coast. NFWF has been a catalyst in this effort, which stands as yet another example of their dedication to America's wildlife resources."
NFWF's Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife was made possible with proceeds from BP's share of net revenue from oil recovered from the Deepwater Horizon site. The fund will support immediate actions to safeguard the populations of species most at risk from the Gulf oil spill, notably shorebirds, waterfowl, marsh birds and sea turtles.
For more information, visit www.nfwf.org/mediacenter.
SOURCE National Fish and Wildlife Foundation