Duck Stamp Funds New Projects
The California Fish and Game Commission on Thursday, June 15, approved funding for 15 new waterfowl habitat and resource evaluation projects over the next fiscal year with money from the State Duck Stamp and Ducks Unlimited's Matching Aid to Restore State Habitat (MARSH) program. Funding will also add one more project in Canada and continue seven previously approved projects in California.

Waterfowl habitat projects span the state and include habitat development and resource evaluations. The new programs will receive $615,500 in funding that includes the addition of one full-time wildlife biologist and equipment repair. Financing for the seven established programs total $373,000.

Some of the larger new projects to receive the Duck Stamp and MARSH funding include:

Imperial Wildlife Area will widen and clean current water delivery and drainage ditches, and replace current water control structures with larger structures and pipes with the $21,000 Duck Stamp, and $31,000 MARSH funding. The project will enhance water delivery and drainage, provide better waterfowl food production, and increased water conservation for the area.

Brant/Eel Grass Study will receive $25,000 in Duck Stamp funding to map the locations of eel grass beds in Humboldt Bay and analyze each bed for its nutrient value. The study is in conjunction with Humboldt State University. Brant observations will be made to evaluate habitat use with eel grass quality with a goal of using measures of habitat quality to potentially estimate Brant use.

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (Blue Goose Unit Addition) receives $55,000 from the Duck Stamp program, $25,000 from the MARSH program, and an additional $44,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. This project will restore an additional 200 acres of seasonal wetlands to be added to the Blue Goose Unit of San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. Blue Goose is open to public hunting, and this addition will be open as well.

Butte Valley Wildlife Area receives $150,000 in Duck Stamp funding to install a crop land irrigation system to enhance wheat production that will benefit migrating geese and hunting opportunity.

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