Chevron was recognized for their support of conservation at the Lafayette Ducks Unlimited banquet on Sept. 12. Chevron recently entered into a one-year community partnership with Ducks Unlimited in support of DU’s Rice Stewardship Program (RSP). The program aims to promote the long-term sustainability of rice agriculture in southwest Louisiana through the stewardship of land, water and wildlife resources.
“Rice fields are essentially managed wetlands,” said Alicia Wiseman, RSP coordinator for Ducks Unlimited. “Waterfowl and other migratory birds depend heavily on ricelands, especially in the face of coastal marsh loss.”
With this agreement, Chevron will support the addition of a rice specialist and cost-share on water-quality-improving infrastructure for local farmers.
“Chevron values its partnership with Ducks Unlimited,” said Warner Williams, vice president Chevron North America Exploration and Production. “This partnership not only aligns with Chevron’s vision to be world class in environmental stewardship, but also provides many small business owners with tools to make their businesses more successful.”
Research suggests that more than 25 million birds migrate through southwest Louisiana. Many of these birds utilize shallowly flooded rice fields during winter.
“Without these critical habitats, we could not meet the goals and objectives established by the various migratory bird plans, including the North American Waterfowl Management Plan,” Wiseman said.
In order to keep rice on the landscape for waterfowl, DU and partners such as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and LSU AgCenter are working with growers to make their farms more profitable.
“We do that through pump efficiency testing, facilitating their use of federal conservation programs such as NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program, and helping them with conservation management plans,” Wiseman said.
Image courtesy Ducks Unlimited