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Ducks Unlimited and partners gathered Friday at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the completion of a $4.48 million coastal restoration project in southwest Louisiana.

“This project represents a significant step in coastal restoration,” said DU First Vice President John Newman. “Even before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill turned much of the country’s attention toward the long-term plight of the Louisiana coastal marshes, Ducks Unlimited and partners were working to restore waterfowl habitat along the Gulf Coast.”

The Black Lake Terracing Project restored marsh on four separate sites, including areas west of Hackberry near Black Lake and areas on the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. With the support of multiple state, federal, corporate, nonprofit and other private partners, including $2 million from the state of Louisiana, Ducks Unlimited built more than 50 miles of marsh terraces to restore 2,500 acres of vital marsh habitat.

Marsh terraces slow wind and wave action, decreasing erosion and promoting marsh growth. They provide important habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species.

“The state of Louisiana invested $2 million in this endeavor, and working with Ducks Unlimited we accomplished $4.5 million worth of work. In addition, we saw a return on that investment in less than a year. That’s a true example of the power of partnerships. We can do far more together than we can alone,” state Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish said.

The project, led by Ducks Unlimited, is a cooperative effort among 16 partners including the Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, NOAA Community Based Restoration Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Miami Corporation, Wetlands America Trust, Shell Marine, Sempra Energy Foundation, BP, Jim Bel, Curt Marcantel, Black Lake Land and Oil LLC and the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.