Ducks Unlimited is a conservation organization which is dedicated to preserving and restoring wetlands, along with supporting the animals which prefer the wetlands environment. Like many such organizations, it is run as a non-profit, and relies heavily upon support from the public to accomplish its goals. The organization partners with numerous groups and individuals all over the world to secure the future of global wetlands. Wetlands are a vital resource around the world, and most people appreciate the efforts of Ducks Unlimited, along with similar organizations. Some conservationists, however, criticize the organization because it is pro-hunting.
In 1937, the organization which later became Ducks Unlimited was founded by a group of sportsmen who were concerned about the future of healthy waterfowl populations. They recognized that expanding human enterprise was threatening wetlands in the United States, and that rapid action was needed to preserve wetlands habitats. A Canadian branch quickly followed, and other countries soon had chapters of their own.
The stated mission of the organization is “wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.” To accomplish that goal, Ducks Unlimited partners with other conservation organizations to restore damaged wetlands habitats all over the world. It also works to protect existing wetlands by creating protected areas, parks, and reserves. Governments, organizations, and individuals are all important contributors to the mission of the organization. The group focuses heavily on landowners, encouraging them to protect wetlands areas under their control, or to allow the organization to restore damaged wetlands on their land.
In addition to fieldwork, Ducks Unlimited also runs conservation centers and educational programs to get people enthusiastic about the environment and conservation. In addition, it promotes sustainable hunting of waterfowl. This has been a subject of controversy, since some conservations are opposed to hunting. However, by promoting safe, sustainable hunting practices, Ducks Unlimited allows sportsmen to enjoy themselves while ensuring that waterfowl and the other animals and plants which live in the wetlands will thrive.
Members of the general public can help Ducks Unlimited in a number of ways. Hunters can work with the organization to combine the missions of conservation and sport. Landowners can inquire about buffer zones and marshlands on their own properties. Others can donate to the organization, or join work crews which clean up and restore wetlands habitats. Ducks Unlimited also appreciates the partnership of educators, and is always happy to send biologists into classrooms to talk about wetlands conservation and environmental issues.