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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Presents Two Regional National Wetlands Conservation Awards for Wetlands Restoration in Coastal Louisiana


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 17, 2003

Contact:
Elsie Davis, 404/679-7107




On Saturday, October 18, 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor two recipients of Regional National Wetlands Conservation Awards for 2002. The winners are Chad Courville of the Ducks Unlimited Louisiana South Office in Lafayette and Entergy Corporation in New Orleans. Elizabeth Souheaver, project leader of Southeast Louisiana Refuges, will present the awards during Wild Things, a community event at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

"We are very proud of the accomplishments that both Chad Courville of Ducks Unlimited and Entergy Corporation have achieved,." said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service's Southeast Regional Director. "Their efforts are conserving and restoring wetlands in coastal Louisiana, which has had the highest coastal wetlands loss in the nation."

As project officer for Ducks Unlimited, Courville is responsible for coordinating and securing grant funding for large-scale wetlands restoration projects that impact migratory birds. Ducks Unlimited, through Courville and other staff, works with local coastal advisory groups to nominate and put projects together for Breaux Act, and National American Wetlands Conservation Act funding, as well as funding from other sources.

By February 2003, Courville and Ducks Unlimited, with the help of many partners, restored or enhanced more than 62,566 acres of marsh by terrace construction and planting, structure installation, and levee repair. About 340 acres were restored to moist soil wetland habitat, and 8,000 acres of agricultural land was enhanced as seasonal wetland.

"It is an honor to receive this award and an honor to work for an organization like Ducks Unlimited which allows staff like myself to conserve, restore, and manage habitat for North America's waterfowl," said Courville.

Entergy Corporation was honored as Southeast Regional Runner-up for the 2002 National Wetlands Conservation Award. Partnering with the Conservation Fund, Entergy Corporation purchased 600 acres of farmland in the Red River floodplain of Natchitoches Parish and replanted it with bottomland hardwood trees. The land was then donated to the Service to establish the Red River National Wildlife Refuge.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.



For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.

Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286


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