In 2017, Mark Furr contacted Ducks Unlimited in hopes of restoring a wetland on his 397-acre tract of farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The wetland was low-yield from an agricultural standpoint, and Mark—a hunter and birdwatcher—wanted to improve the quality of the land for waterfowl, wild turkey, bald eagles and deer.
Mark’s first experience with Ducks Unlimited occurred during a seminar the nonprofit organization held to introduce Eastern Shore landowners to its Choptank Watershed Wetland Restoration Program. Five years later, Mark invited Ducks Unlimited to visit his property and determine if he was eligible to participate.
Ducks Unlimited wetland planners surveyed Mark’s site, worked with him to design his wetland and hired a local contractor to build the wetland. Ducks Unlimited covered all of the costs associated with the project and Mark committed to maintaining the wetland for 15 years.
Mark leases his property to a local farmer who grows corn, soybeans and wheat. Both Mark and the farmer are happy with his new wetland. Mark is happy because the wetland has brought new species of waterfowl to his land; the farmer is happy because it has raised the water table and made the land more resistant to drought.