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Conservation Leader Signs on to Support Outdoor/Environmental Education

Conservation Leader Signs on to Support Outdoor/Environmental Education

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 8:47 pm

WASHINGTON – September 8, 2008 – In keeping to the commitment that Ducks Unlimited has for skies full of waterfowl now and forever, DU has joined a coalition supporting the “No Child Left Inside” bill to improve outdoor and environmental education for school children of all ages. “Kids today spend half as much time outside as kids 20 years ago,” said Rab Cummings, Ducks Unlimited’s Youth and Education Coordinator. “It is imperative that steps be taken to introduce and re-introduce the next generation to the joys of hunting, angling and enjoying nature.” Sportsmen were the first conservationists and contribute more than $76 billion to the economy every year. However, with fewer young people taking up hunting and angling, the sale of licenses and hunting stamps has also plummeted across the country, Cummings said. In 2001, the figure was $81 billion. This has created a crisis for state natural resources budgets and for federal programs dependant on this revenue. For example, the federal duck stamp program provides the funding needed to protect habitat in our National Wildlife Refuge System, but sales have declined overall since 2000. The No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 creates new funding for training teachers in outdoor education, expand environmental education programs and help states to create programs to ensure that U.S. graduates are environmentally literate. “DU has a history of supporting youth and education, such as through Greenwing events across the nation that teach the next generation of waterfowl hunters to shoot and call ducks and geese,” said Cummings. With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature’s most productive ecosystem – and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres important to waterfowl each year. Posted 9.9.08

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