Ducks Unlimited got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited. Its mission: habitat conservation.
Thanks to decades of abiding by that single mission, Ducks Unlimited is now the world’s largest and most effective private, nonprofit, waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. DU is able to deliver its work through a series of partnerships with private individuals, landowners, agencies, scientific communities and other entities.
Waterfowl are not the only beneficiaries of DU’s habitat work. Wetlands improve the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods and reducing soil erosion. Wetlands are North America’s most productive ecosystems, providing critical habitat to more than 900 wildlife species and invaluable recreation opportunities for people to enjoy. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands, and tens of thousands of wetland acres continue to be lost—at an accelerating rate—each year.
Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization. Its members are conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts who live primarily throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, DU volunteers hosted more than 4,500 grassroots fundraising events such as member and sponsor banquets, shooting and fishing tournaments and golf outings. Event dollars represent some of DU’s most important sources of revenue. Since event dollars are typically unrestricted, DU is able to spend these funds in our highest priority areas and use them to leverage additional funds from other sources.
The McGee Group has not only provided a collection of eyewear with features every man who appreciates the outdoors can enjoy but actively supports the conservation initiative by having a portion of each purchase go directly to Rescue Our Wetlands. So far, the McGee Group has contributed more than $875,000 to secure a future for wetlands and waterfowl across the continent.