During the period of the 1930s called the Dust Bowl, the country lost many wetlands and watched the number of waterfowl and other wildlife drop to dangerously low numbers. In order to preserve the waterfowl they loved, a small group of conservationists formed Ducks Unlimited in 1937.
The 1940s brought the following results to DU:
- 1942 -- The greatest waterfowl population to Canada's Big Grass Marsh in 14 years
- 1944 -- Duck populations on the rise and more ducks on prairies than in past 30 years
- 1945 -- During World War II, DU collects more than $400,000
- 1949 -- Group's best construction numbers with 40 new projects on that year, a record that still stands today
- 1952 -- More than 357 conservation projects underway and more than 2,903 miles of shoreline created
- 1967 -- Conservation projects grow to 850, and by 1969, cubic yards of Earth moved hits more than 1 million
- 1979 -- More than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) and 1,718 conservation projects, with chapters chartering in Mexico and New Zealand [source: Ducks].
Since then, Ducks Unlimited has grown to become the largest waterfowl and wetland conservation organization in the world, having more than one million members, and more than 12,283,871 acres (4,977,106 hectares) of conservation land in North America [source: Ducks].
Read on to discover the mission of a group that has had success for more than 60 years.