The vision of a small group of American sportsman has grown into the world's largest private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization.

Ducks Unlimited was founded in 1937 to save the natural habitat of waterfowl. Today, the organization has thousands of members across every state in the U.S. as well as chapters in Mexico and Canada.

The organization has a crystal clear vision: The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

The grassroots volunteer organization's mission statement to implement that vision is equally clear: Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Ducks Unlimited is currently led by Adam Putnam, the CEO of the organization. Mr. Putnam was the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Florida prior to taking the helm at DU. He served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2000, Putnam served as co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus; as a member on the Agriculture, Financial Services and Rules Committees; and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Reform and Oversight. He rapidly earned the respect of his peers and was elected in 2004 to be Republican Policy Chairman, and as the Republican Conference Chairman in 2006.

At the end of 2018, DU completed it's "Rescue Our Wetlands" fundraising campaign. Over seven years the organization raised $2,000,000,000 to preserve wetlands. That is TWO BILLION DOLLARS for wetlands and the animals that require that space to exist.

Ducks Unlimited has had a significant impact on the environment here in Massachusetts through the work of its local membership.

"Ducks Unlimited conserves habitat at the continental scale to meet the lifecycle needs of North America's waterfowl. Massachusetts is part of the Atlantic Flyway, providing important migration, breeding and wintering areas for many of the continent's waterfowl such as American black ducksgreater scaupbrant, and Canada geese.

Working with a variety of partners, DU's Massachusetts conservation program has restored and enhanced 1,749 acres of wetlands and adjacent habitat. Massachusetts' conservation projects are designed to maximize the amount and quality of migration, breeding and wintering waterfowl habitats as well as improve conditions for waterfowl production."

Since 1937 the organization has conserved over 14,000,000 acres of land in North America. The state of Massachusetts is comprised of 6,754,925 acres of land to put the work of Ducks Unlimited in perspective.

The local chapter of DU has an event this month at Whites in Westport:

The Atlantic Frontier Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is gearing up for our Annual Banquet Saturday, March 30, 2019, at White's of Westport. This will be another exciting evening in support of the ducks, with a Live Auction, a Silent Auction, a Special Raffle for the Ladies, our Huge (!) General Raffle, our Sponsor only Raffle, and many other prizes to be won! And don't forget the Kids, there are prizes and raffles for them too, including youth hunting and fishing trips!

This group of conservationists, most of whom hunt, has made a tremendous contribution to saving the environment of our great country.

If you would like to learn more about the organization, go to their website.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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