Executive Director David Wieliki founded the South Carolina Waterfowl Association in 1986 using his own funds and modeling it after the successful California Waterfowl Association.
In less than a decade, the association had grown and was reaching out to other conservation programs and interested individuals to help increase wetland and waterfowl populations. Through a variety of programs and projects, the South Carolina Waterfowl Association has become one of the largest in the nation [source: Wieliki].
In 1993, the SCWA started its own Mallard Restoration and Research program, and, by collaborating with private landowners, began releasing Frost Waterfowl Trust mallards from distribution sites across the state. Releasing more than 20,000 mallards a year, the Association has released more than 219,435 since it started [source: SCWA].
The South Carolina Wood Duck Production Project is the largest in the nation. In an effort to increase wood duck populations, the SCWA builds and installs thousands of nest boxes annually. Total production is close to 600,000 wood ducks hatched and more than 30,000 songbirds hatched since the project began in 1987 [source: SCWA].
More than 60,000 ducks and geese have been added to South Carolina's population due to various SCWA waterfowl enhancement projects, and more than 500 acres of Japanese millet and rice have been planted on Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie in South Carolina. [source: SCWA].
Youth programs reach more than 3,000 children each year, introducing them to waterfowl conservation and wetland rehabilitation [source: SCWA].
The vision of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association is as rich as its history. Read on to learn more about conservation, waterfowl and the mission of the SCWA.