Ducks Unlimited Canada
Our Story Why We Exist
In settled areas of Canada, up to 70 per cent of wetlands are lost or degraded. Every day up to 80 acres of wetlands are lost. This loss is the equivalent of about 45 soccer fields every 24 hours. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is committed to conserving these critical areas to ensure a healthy future for waterfowl, wildlife and all Canadians.
Wetlands are some of the best places to experience nature.
Birdwatching, hiking, hunting and fishing promise unique glimpses of plants and animals in their natural habitat. Behind the scenes, wetlands are working for the environment, providing a host of benefits we can’t live without. This includes clean water to drink, flood protection for communities and healthy lakes and rivers. But the real power of wetlands is how they inspire people. Their beauty, diversity and ability to deliver outdoor adventures of all kinds capture our imaginations and keep us coming back.
Our conservation efforts begin in your backyard, extend across the country and cover the entire continent. We are transparent and trustworthy. We are creative and collaborative. We have a 77-year history of success that lives in the hearts and minds of people who share our love for the outdoors.
Wetlands are valuable natural resources that provide many environmental and economic benefits.
Our Impact What We Do
Once we lose a wetland, it’s really hard to get it back to its natural state. We have a variety of conservation programs designed to restore wetlands but the best thing we as Canadians can do is to prevent wetland loss in the first place. DUC delivers on-the-ground conservation projects, research, education programs and policy work to conserve, restore and manage wetlands.
We have over 75 years of conservation excellence to our credit and are the most trusted and respected conservation organization in Canada. We are conserving Canada’s wetlands, the foundation to a healthy environment and future. Make your contributions to the environment count. Wetlands such as marshes, ponds and bogs:
- filter water and provide safe, secure water sources
- provide essential habitat for waterfowl and wildlife; including species at risk such as the piping plover, the northern leopard frog, and snapping and painted turtles
- reduce flooding, drought and erosion
- lessen climate change impacts
- offer recreational and learning opportunities in nature
To date, DUC has completed 9,557 habitat projects and conserved 6.4 million acres of wetlands and associated habitat. Here are some numbers from our 2015 Annual Report:
- 6.4 Million acres of habitat secured (2.6 million hectares)
- 9,726 Habitat Projects completed – conserving and protecting Canada's natural beauty and ecological assets
- 127 Million acres of habitat positively influenced (51.4M) – restoring and maintaining the wetlands and grasslands
In Alberta, conserving habitat that benefits waterfowl, other wildlife and communities across the province requires strong partnerships and a vision for the future. Flooding and drought are devastating realities for people living in the Prairies. Albertans know all too well the impacts these events can have on communities, livelihoods and the environment. The Government of Alberta has created a new Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program to combat the impacts of these extreme weather events – and DUC is poised to lend a helping hand.
The program provides grants to municipalities and organizations for projects that enhance watersheds’ resiliency to the impacts of flooding and drought. DUC submitted a proposal requesting $11.6 million for a three-year period to conserve and restore wetlands on 1,380 acres (558 hectares) in flood and drought-prone areas of south central and southern Alberta.In Alberta, conserving habitat that benefits waterfowl, other wildlife and communities across the province requires strong partnerships and a vision for the future. Our work with the provincial government and the success of our education programs are two highlights from the past year that are moving us closer to our conservation goals.
The Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (IWWR) provides scientific research for DUC. Its respected team of biologists finds answers to important environmental questions and establishes the value of wetlands to society.
DUC delivers the Project Webfoot education program to thousands of students and teachers annually and partners with interpretive centres where the public explores and learns about wetlands firsthand.
DUC works with all levels of governments, advocating for programs and policies that benefit wetlands and stop critical wetland loss.
Our Programs How We Do It
As a science-based conservation organization, we have our own dedicated team of experienced scientists from The Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (IWWR). They find answers to important environmental questions and establish the value of wetlands to waterfowl and society. Our science helps guide our various conservation programs.
Habitat Retention programs secure habitat for the long term. This include the acquisition of land, conservation easements and agreements, and the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to retain productive capacity of the landscape."footer"
Wetland Restoration programs involve the restoration or enhancement of degraded or drained wetlands through the restoration of hydrological or ecological function. We restore wetlands by simply plugging drainage ditches, or through more elaborate measures involving dykes, dams and engineered water control structures.
Government and Industry Relations programs support all conservation programs. This includes working with various levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal, etc) and industry to change behavior or land use to meet conservation objectives. Examples include advancing effective provincial wetland policies or helping designate protected areas in the boreal forest.
Landowner Relations programs provide support to the thousands of dedicated landowners across Canada that we partner with in delivering on-the-ground conservation efforts. Together with landowners, we develop practices that benefit both them and the environment.
Upland Restoration programs restore upland areas around wetlands to a condition that better supports nesting waterfowl. This is done through the conversion of annual cropland to grassland (including hayland, pastures and areas managed specifically for nesting waterfowl), and by encouraging farmers to adopt winter wheat into their annual cropping practices.
Habitat Asset Management programs maintain the condition of habitats (both upland and wetland) that we retain and restore.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Do you want to know more about DUC? Ask Breana Jones, Development Manager, at 403.476.1886, what you could do for DUC and wetland conservation. Support DUC by making a donation, volunteering for your local chapter, attending a local DUC fundraising event, volunteering for the “Marshkeepers” conservation program, or writing a letter to your MLA in support of a strong wetland policy. You may also become a Feather Society member by making a donation to DUC in your will, introduce a friend to DUC and visit a wetland.
Approximately 64 per cent of Alberta’s wetlands have been lost or degraded in settled areas of the province. This trend must be stopped. We can do it together.
Alberta is home to DUC’s largest concentration of habitat projects. We take pride in maintaining and monitoring our existing projects while growing our impact with new ones. We invite you to visit them to experience Alberta’s natural beauty.