Chesapeake Bay Partners Develop Decision-Support Tool For Black Duck Conservation

With a $45,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and support from the ACJV and Black Duck Joint Ventures (BDJV), partners are nearing completion of a black duck decision-support tool (DST) that will help conservation practitioners target the highest priority black duck habitats for restoration and protection in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The DST looks at current landscape conditions and expected change from predicted future urban growth and sea-level rise to determine the highest quality and resilient habitat for black ducks. The model that underpins this tool builds on years of research supported by the BDJV and many of our partners ranging from Ducks Unlimited (DU), states and several universities. Although the tool is not yet on the streets, DU, Fish and Wildlife Service (Chesapeake Bay Field Office) and the ACJV have already developed plans to begin using the tool to advance conservation on the ground. In partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Lower Shore Land Trust and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, partners submitted a request to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for implementation dollars. If awarded, funds will help private landowners protect or restore at least 300 acres of black duck habitat in areas identified as highest priority by the DST within Maryland and Virginia.