2019 Communities in Conservation: Match your Dollars for Ducks

2019 Match Goal: $4,000

This year,  Waterfowl Chesapeake’s annual Conservation Match Campaign will support two terrific initiatives: one that helps create food sources for wintering waterfowl and a second that broadens horizons for upcoming young professionals.  

“We had another year of really fascinating applicants and projects this year, which makes for very interested and thoughtful discussions by our review panel,” says Margaret Enloe, Waterfowl Chesapeake executive director. “Our 2019 Conservation Match Campaign goal is to raise $4,000 by the end of the Festival in order to fully fund Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s oyster work and University of Delaware’s Field Experiences for Students. And we’d be thrilled to exceed that amount so we can support more worthy waterfowl projects next year!”

For many years, Waterfowl Chesapeake and Festival distributed a portion of the proceeds to projects that supported waterfowl populations throughout the mid-Atlantic flyway. While we continue to encourage large-scale restorations, community support like this better connects organizations, people and conservation needs here on Delmarva.

Businesses, individuals and Festival friends are encouraged to drop a few dollars for our ducks into our blue donation boxes at Festival ticket booths or online at

2019 Dollars will support:

“Creating Food Sources for Overwintering Waterfowl” WC Seed Monies Committed: $2,000
Phillips Wharf Environmental Center

Restoring oyster populations and oyster bars in the Bay helps create food sources for sea ducks who dive for their dinner. Phillips Wharf, located on Tilghman Island, will increase its capacity to produce “spat on shell” (baby oysters are “spat”) to help meet oyster restoration needs and reduce its dependence on state-supported hatcheries which have experienced increasing demand and, in 2019, could not provide enough baby oysters. PWEC can then continue its citizen oyster-growing program, which communicates the ecological benefits of oysters on local and regional scales, results in cleaner waters and improves oyster populations. Maintaining the volunteer oyster restoration program will continue to increase food sources for wintering waterfowl, while engaging and educating citizens about the important positive relationship between oyster restoration and waterfowl populations.

“Promoting Waterfowl Hunter Education for New Adult Students” WC Seed Monies Committed: $2,000
University of Delaware (UD)
Today, many Waterfowl Ecology graduate students — who will become tomorrow’s environmental leaders and environmental resource educators and managers — know little to nothing about the world of hunting. They’ve never had a hunting experience. How can they communicate and work successfully with hunters and landowners if they have never experienced the sport? Through UD’s field program, these budding professionals get the opportunity to gain their hunter education certification (via course material and gun safety training) as well as learn and discuss waterfowl identification, waterfowl policy, waterfowl habitat management, values structures associated with hunting, hunting dog training, and cooking wild game. The course ends with a voluntary opportunity to engage in a one-on-one mentored waterfowl hunting experience. Says Enloe, “This component of their studies is not designed to make them hunters; it provides them the opportunity to engage and learn about the sport firsthand, making them better able to understand all perspectives in the conservation world.”

If every Festival visitor dropped $1 in a donation box, we’d have more than $10,000 for conservation programs. So every dollar counts! Help us reach our goal by dropping a few “Dollars for Ducks” into the blue donation boxes around the Festival.