$3 Billion Conservation Campaign to Provide Clean Water for Wildlife, People
International campaign to raise a record amount for wetlands conservation
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A coalition of conservation organizations has launched a historic $3 billion international fundraising campaign to protect and restore wetland habitats across North America, resulting in cleaner water for communities and wildlife.
The campaign, one of the largest ever launched in North America devoted to landscape conservation and the future of our outdoors heritage, will fund ambitious projects to build back nature in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. The goal is to secure support, donations and commitments totaling at least $3 billion by 2026.
Together the organizations have already conserved more than 16 million acres of wetlands and grasslands across the continent since 1937. In addition, the partners are part of a multi-year effort to advance species and habitat conservation across 1 billion acres of Canada’s Boreal Forest. This campaign builds on that momentum.
“Conservation For A Continent is more than a statement,” said Ducks Unlimited President Chuck Smith. “It’s a promise to improve wetlands across North America on a scale large enough to improve quality of life for waterfowl, people and other wildlife.”
Peacefully disguised as breathtaking marshes, wetlands relentlessly perform their job as powerhouses for biodiversity, water quality and recreational playgrounds. Yet more than ever, these landscapes, some of the most productive ecosystems on earth, are threatened and lost every day.
Wetlands provide food and shelter for more than 900 species of plants and animals and are crucial to the populations of waterfowl and other migratory birds. Encompassing just 6% of the Earth’s land surface, wetlands support the lifecycle needs of 40% of all plant and animal species.
These habitats are just as vital to people across North America. Environmental resilience, natural infrastructure and water sustainability are all critical to society. Wetlands are uniquely positioned to address climate adaptation by filtering pollutants from water, buffering coasts from rising sea levels and protecting communities from the impacts of flooding.
This campaign will position all the organizations to achieve significant milestones. Conservation For A Continent is built on five priorities guided by science and vital to the survival of wetlands, waterfowl, communities and ecosystems that rely on those resources:
Breeding Landscape Conservation – Supports DU initiatives to protect and restore threatened breeding habitat across the continent, a key conservation priority for Ducks Unlimited.
Migration and Wintering Landscape Conservation – Will support efforts to protect and restore wintering and staging habitat along North America’s coasts and the central and southern United States.
Conservation Research and Education – DU is the world’s leading science-based nonprofit organization dedicated to wetlands and waterfowl. This campaign will support the science needed to inform our conservation efforts on the most critical landscapes to wildlife and people.
Wetlands Forever – This priority focuses on funding programs to encourage volunteerism and mission-focused projects where the need is greatest.
Conservation Legacy – The Conservation Legacy component focuses on growing DU’s endowment to ensure a strong organization sustaining critical conservation work for decades.
Conservation For A Continent builds on the success of previous major Ducks Unlimited fundraising campaigns:
- The $2.34 billion Rescue Our Wetlands campaign, which concluded in 2018.
- The $1.88 billion Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign, which concluded in 2010.
Learn more about where Ducks Unlimited works, how we conserve wetlands and who supports the organization by visiting www.ducks.org/campaign.
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 more than 16 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.
Ducks Unlimited Communications Director