Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Alabama Waterfowl Association Works

Mallard duck landing in pond.
Mallard duck landing in pond.
Geoff du Feu/Riser/Getty Images

The Alabama Waterfowl Asso­ciation (AWA) -- one of several waterfowl associations found across the United States -- is dedicated to increasing waterfowl populations, natural wetland and upland waterways.

Since its founding, the AWA has instituted many different programs dedicated to waterfowl, including the following:

  • Conservation Habitat Seed Program: The AWA subsidizes individuals, farmers and wildlife conservation managers through a surplus seed program. Seeds for food plots can be purchased at deeply discounted prices.
  • Mallard restoration project: Each year, the AWA releases banded mallards into the wild. Hunters are asked that when they harvest a mallard, they report the bird's band information back to the AWA for tracking and information-gathering purposes.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) watershed restoration and conservation: These EPA programs increase waterfowl habitats and restore vital wetlands and uplands to pre-polluted states. This benefits not only waterfowl but all habitats along the Tennessee River Valley in Alabama.

­As part of its Kids in Waterfowling and Conservation program, the AWA promotes the building and placement of wood duck nesting boxes. The plans can be downloaded from the Web site, along with instructions and a materials list [source: AWA]. The AWA works with youth groups around Alabama to place and maintain the boxes.

The AWA has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of land to the Alabama public land use program and waterfowl managers. What else has the AWA done since its founding?