Seven-year effort conserves more than 650,000 acres of important natural
Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba, June 02, 2019 - Ducks Unlimited Canada's (DUC) Rescue
Our Wetlands campaign has made history as one of the country's most significant
conservation achievements. The seven-year effort conserved more than 650,000 acres
(263,046 hectares) of wetlands and other natural habitat. On top of this, DUC collaborated
with governments, industry, Indigenous communities and other conservation partners
to positively influence another 96 million acres (39 million hectares). Together,
it's an area nearly the size of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The benefits of this habitat are powerful. Dr. Karla Guyn, chief executive officer
of DUC, says wetlands provide solutions to some of the most pressing environmental
"The wetlands we conserve play an essential role in keeping Canada's lakes and rivers
clean," Guyn says. "They also guard against floods and droughts, mitigate climate
change by storing carbon, buffer storm surges and sea level rise and provide critical
habitat for species at risk. Wetlands benefit every citizen, and the campaign has
helped create a healthier and more sustainable future for us all."
The Rescue Our Wetlands campaign was launched in 2012 as an ambitious response to
the alarming trend of wetland loss across Canada. Up to 70 per cent of wetlands
in settled areas of the country have been lost, and more are lost every day. The
goal was to secure $500 million to deliver conservation programs from coast to coast
to coast. DUC vastly exceeded this goal, raising $559 million.
"We have our supporters and partners to thank for these incredible results," says
Guyn. "It's inspiring to witness people's generosity when it comes to wildlife and
the natural world. It's also extremely humbling to deliver the work they believe
DUC's conservation achievements in Canada are further amplified by successes across
North America. Rescue Our Wetlands was a continental campaign that included Ducks
Unlimited organizations in the United States and Mexico.
"Working collaboratively across borders is a fundamental component of North American
wetland conservation," Guyn says. "Water and wildlife are resources we share, which
means we have a shared responsibility to protect them. For more than 80 years, Ducks
Unlimited organizations have been working in partnership to conserve wetlands in
Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The Rescue Our Wetlands campaign represents one of
our greatest achievements to date."
Collectively, 2.2 million acres were conserved across North America.
Despite the success of the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign, these natural areas continue
to be at risk. The need for wetland conservation never stops, and the work of DUC
and its partners is not over.
Facts about DUC's Rescue Our Wetlands campaign
The campaign spanned seven years, from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2018. Official
results were shared with the public and DUC supporters today.
DUC exceeded its conservation goals in every priority area across the country, with
the following results:
- British Columbia: 45,157 acres conserved; 3.0 million acres influenced
- Alberta: 134,308 acres conserved; 1.0 million acres influenced
- Saskatchewan: 285,301 acres conserved; 7.2 million acres influenced
- Manitoba: 114,557 acres conserved; 1.9 million acres influenced
- Ontario: 49,703 acres conserved; 441,843 acres influenced
- Quebec: 11,721 acres conserved; 9.4 million acres influenced
- Atlantic Canada: 10,310 acres conserved; 8.2 million acres influenced
- Boreal Forest: 64.8 million acres influenced
In addition to habitat conservation programs, the campaign supported DUC's Institute
for Wetland and Waterfowl Research. Its world-leading scientists are studying our
changing environment and determining the best conservation actions. Examples of
research include quantifying the role wetlands play in water quality, flood and
drought mitigation, carbon storage and in supporting biodiversity. DUC scientists
are also examining the effects of human activities on waterfowl populations and
The campaign also supported education programs that are empowering young people
to become conservation leaders through DUC-recognized Wetland Centres of Excellence.
The centres (many located in schools) engage students in conservation projects,
student-to-student mentored field trips and outreach in their communities. There
are currently 25 DUC-recognized Wetland Centres of Excellence across the country,
14 of which were established during the campaign.
Rescue Our Wetlands was an "all-in" effort that brought together financial contributions
from U.S. and Canadian governments, individual donors, foundations and corporations,
grassroots fundraising and conservation activities as well as planned gifts.
ducks.ca/rescue-our-wetlands to learn more.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered
charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners
to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.