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Brevard County’s two DU chapters are expected to offer 75th-anniversary merchandise when they have their respective fund-raisers later this year.
As part of the anniversary, DU will recognize 50 state wetlands projects being labeled DU’s Best of the Best. Staff conservationists selected one project from each state.
The T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area in southern Brevard County is the Florida project receiving the distinction. Goodwin and its adjoining Broadmoor Marsh Unit total 6,300 acres in the Upper St. Johns River Basin, of which 3,870 acres is the original wetland restoration project which opened in the early 1990s.
In addition to DU, funding was provided by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) which manages the area. The land is owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District.
Goodwin is not solely a waterfowling marsh for hunters. It’s a multi-use area also for horseback riding, hiking, biking, birding, and fishing. A series of dikes offer access into the southern section. Limited waterfowl hunting, which is managed by the FWC through a quota program, occurs during the fall and winter months. A special hunt was held at Goodwin this weekend as part of the two-day statewide Youth Waterfowl Hunt sponsored by the FWC.
DU’s 75th anniversary book, “The Ducks Unlimited Story,” was released in December. The 208-page coffee-table book by Michael Furtman features historic photos and documents from the DU archives. The book is available online and a special edition will be offered at DU fundraising events throughout 2012.
DU’s website has a new section in conjunction with the anniversary. It includes important points in the legacy of conservation such as the Lacey Act of 1900, the formation of the National Wildlife Refuge System in 1913 and the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. The website is www.ducks.org/75