According to Ben Vaughn, Delaware Regional Director of Ducks Unlimited, the local chapter of the organization is one of the top 100 chapters in the country. The Central Chapter, which includes Milford, holds two major events each year, including a crab feast that is normally held in August and shooting competitions. Like many volunteer organizations, however, Mr. Vaughn said that Ducks Unlimited is in need of more people to help with their efforts.
“We want to get the word out about what Ducks Unlimited actually does,” Mr. Vaughn said. “We are primarily a conservation organization, focused on preserving wetlands and waterfowl. We hold banquets throughout the year as well as the two fund-raising events in order to raise money for our conservation efforts. We need assistance with the events because it seems as if it is the same few people putting these things together.”
Since 1937, Ducks Unlimited has preserved more than 14 million acres of waterfowl habitats in the country. In Delaware, Ducks Unlimited has helped preserve 15,497 acres of wetlands. The group is working with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources to enhance a 375-acre impoundment at the Ted Harvey Conservation Area on Kitts Hummock Road. This project includes improvements to dikes and water control structures to provide better habitat quality for waterfowl.
“Bombay Hook is an important project for us as it is an important stopover for waterfowl during their migration,” Mr. Vaughn said. “Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering to enhance more than 500 acres of emergent wetland as part of this project. We are also working on projects in the Delaware Wildlands in Milford Neck and hope to soon start on a project in Little Creek as well. Ducks Unlimited does not actually participate in the work done in these areas, but raise money to support the projects.”
Mr. Vaughn says that anyone who has a desire to preserve wetlands and waterfowl could benefit from membership in Ducks Unlimited. He says it is a great way to meet new people who have a shared interest in wetland conservation and to share a passion for the outdoors. Opportunities for volunteers exist at the high school level through DU Varsity, the college level through Ducks University or the adult chapters.
“There are many ways for volunteers to help us,” Mr. Vaughn said. “Selling tickets, gathering donations, securing sponsorships or reaching out to government officials are just a few of the things available for people to assist our organization. We need people to help put on our events, whether it is chairing a committee or just helping at the event.”
Anyone who is interested in assisting Ducks Unlimited can learn more about volunteer opportunities at www.ducks.org/get-involved/volunteer or call Mr. Vaughn at 302-535-6741 or Roger Satterfield at 302-382-3431.
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