Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has been awarded $5.98 million to protect habitat for migratory birds and expand hunting opportunities, thanks to the Duck Stamps program.
Funds raised from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps go into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which just awarded $15.1 million in funds to conserve five different national wildlife refuges.
Blackwater, which covers more than 28,000 acres in Dorchester County, and is a key stopover for migrating ducks and Canada geese using the Atlantic Flyway. The nearly $6 million in funding will protect habitat for ” migrating and wintering American black ducks, mallards, Canada geese and greater snow geese, as well as habitat for black rail, salt-marsh sparrow and other wetland-associated migratory birds.”
The project will also add more than 2,600 acres to the refuge’s public hunt program, allowing hunters more opportunities to target deer, turkey, and waterfowl.
Duck Stamps – while required for waterfowl hunters as an annual license – are also popular among birders, outdoor enthusiasts, and wildlife refuge supporters.
“The Duck Stamp program has been instrumental in conserving wetlands around the country for decades,” says U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, chair of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. “These refuges and many others across the United States show our ongoing commitment to providing more places for Americans to hunt, fish and recreate.”
For more information on Federal Duck Stamps, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano