News, Sports and Entertainment for St. Martin Parish, La.

DU license plate funding water projects at Sherburne

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The conservation organization Ducks Unlimited is hosting a luncheon at the South Farm Unit of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area to dedicate enhancements to state and federally managed waterfowl habitat in the Atchafalaya Basin.

DU partnered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to create additional wetland habitat on the South Farm Unit of the WMA near Ramah. The project will open new areas for public waterfowl hunting.

“This project is the first one in the state supported in part by Louisiana DU license plate sales,” said Bob Dew, DU manager of conservation programs. “Now, DU members and supporters will have a terrific, tangible example of what supporting Ducks Unlimited means for them in Louisiana.”

Sherburne WMA, which lies between Baton Rouge and Lafayette in St. Martin, Pointe Coupee and Iberville parishes, gives city dwellers a place to enjoy hunting and other outdoor recreation. This project not only improves waterfowl habitat on areas already open to hunting, but also opens two new units for pursuing waterfowl.

“Sherburne is the highest-use WMA in Louisiana,” said Paul Link, North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator for LDWF. “Demand for lottery duck hunts exceeds available units. This project will enable dependable water delivery, thereby improving waterfowl habitat and increasing the number of units available to hunters.”

The enhancements include DU-designed water control structures with underground pipeline to keep the soil moist. South Farm Unit wetlands provide significant foraging habitat for waterfowl but the WMA staff had trouble managing water levels for optimum food-plant production.

Other partners on the project include Mosaic, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Pennington Foundation and Wetlands America Trust.

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