Volunteers help make the conservation of wetlands possible.
“It’s so important to raise dollars for Ducks Unlimited and our volunteers are the backbone of what we do. Without them we aren’t able to raise the money that we raise,” said Keith Mackintosh, Ducks Unlimtied Canada (DUC) national manager of special projects.
“They are the life blood of who we are … Whatever they can do to help the cause is what they do. It’s amazing. I’m blown away every day by volunteers that are doing something and you just look at them and go, ‘Wow. That’s dedication.’”
This week was National Volunteer Week across the country. DUC has more than 6,200 volunteers in Canada and 600 in Saskatchewan. Volunteers help out with fundraising as well, including annual banquets and dinners.
“All the money raised in Saskatchewan stays in the province,” said Mackintosh. “The budget in Saskatchewan is somewhere between $11 and $12 million a year is what we spend right in the province … It is a priority spot for us.”
The money is used for the maintenance and progression of DUC projects.
“(Money) goes into our mandate all under the preservation of wetlands in Saskatchewan,” said Mackintosh. “Conserving and preserving wetlands, especially in the Prairies, we are a high priority area for Ducks Unlimited because of the production of waterfowl, but just the overall conservation and preservation of wetlands helps with so many things such as flooding.”
Most ducks in North America breed in Saskatchewan every spring, according to the DUC website. It added Saskatchewan loses 28 acres of wetlands per day and more than 90 per cent have been “lost or severely degraded.”
DUC has done almost 3,000 habitat projects in Saskatchewan and has protected 1.8 million acres of wetlands through retention and restoration.
Across Canada, DUC has completed 8,880 habitat projects and conserved 6.2 million acres of wetlands and habitat across Canada.
For more information, visit ducks.ca.
Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy