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Create, Restore, and Conserve Habitat

For more than 50 years, the Waterfowl Festival, Inc. has staged an annual event that has raised $5.7 million for wildlife and habitat conservation, education and research.

You support the Waterfowl Festival’s Conservation Mission when you attend the Festival or make a contribution to the Waterfowl Annual Fund. While we may not be able to turn back time to when all waterfowl were legendary in abundance, we are committed to creating an environment to restore and conserve the presence of vibrant, stable and diverse populations, flourishing in clean and productive aquatic and wetland habitats. With your support, this is an achievable goal.

Supported Projects:

Wellington WMA

The 400-acre Wellington Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is part of the largest forested tracts found on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Wellington’s forests provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, including Woodcock, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, and Warblers as well as critical nesting areas for songbirds that migrate from Central and South America.


As the area also has numerous adjoining agricultural lands that attract Bobwhite quail, deer, and wild turkeys, the Wellington WMA has now grown by some 254-acres from the recent acquisition of the “Kim Tract” by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.


The Kim Tract includes some 130 acres of fields, many of which were originally wetlands but became suitable for farming due to the area’s past practices of extensive ditching to reduce flooding and support agricultural activities. To ensure that the property aligns with the goals of the WMA, approximately 40 acres of the agricultural fields are to be restored to managed moist soils wetlands.


The restored area will promote native plant communities which benefit migratory waterfowl and other wildlife. Maryland DNR has partnered with Ducks Unlimited to perform the requisite surveying and design for the wetland restoration project. The project’s principal “sources of funds” to complete the project in late summer 2023 include funding from Maryland DNR’s Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act, and $25,000 from Waterfowl Festival, Inc.


Consistent with Waterfowl Festival, Inc.’s dedicated mission to the promotion and enhancement of Chesapeake waterfowl and wildlife conservation, this Waterfowl Festival project grant is made possible through the continued support of annual Waterfowl Festival visitors, exhibitors, donors, sponsors, and volunteers.


By early fall 2023, it is anticipated that DNR, the Waterfowl Festival and DU will host several field trips to the Wellington WMA to observe the completed restoration project and the important habitat enhancements made for waterfowl and wildlife.


Read the interim report here.

TCPS Education Fund

Funds from the Waterfowl Festival are being used to support the sixth grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) at Pickering Creek with Curriculum Supervisor Bill Keswick. During these exciting field trips, students work with Pickering Creek to plan and implement a planting project to reclaim wetlands on their property. “Hands-on environmental field experiences provide students with the unique opportunity to combine lessons learned in the classroom and the ability to take action to create positive change in their local environment, said Keswick. “This, plus the level of engagement provided by the change in location assist in making this a memorable aspect of their educational experience.”


MWEE projects provide student learning within the context of life-relevant, real-world problems or phenomena. They typically culminate in student action projects, which can take many forms, including environmental restoration or protection, everyday choices, community engagement, and civic action.


The Eastern Shore is such a unique environment right in our back yard. The Board of Director’s is committed to continue to support and promote conservation at every age.


Every year, the Waterfowl Festival chooses to support the TCPS Education Foundation with funds that promote their mission to create communities in which present and future generations cherish the beauty and abundant waterfowl thriving in their habitat throughout the Chesapeake and Coastal Bay regions.

Community in Conservation Grant:

Every year, our Community in Conservation Grant Program accepts funding requests from non-profits and community organizations across the region that are looking to make a difference. The program supports projects that are at the intersection of waterfowl conservation and community, whether they are focused on education and outreach, science and research, or restoration. Ideally, projects include aspects of each focus areas and benefit our waterfowl and the people of our community.

Past Recipients:



  • University of MD Center for Environmental Science – Project: Enhancing the Horn Point Nature Trail Experience
  • ShoreRivers – Project: Underwater Grasses Restoration



  • University of Delaware – Project: “Duck Camp” Promoting waterfowl hunter education to new adult students



  • Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art – Project: Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE’s) for Talbot County Kindergarteners
  • University of Delaware – Project: “Duck Camp”: Promoting waterfowl hunter education to new adult students



  • MidShore Riverkeeper Conservancy (now ShoreRivers) – Project: Students for Streams
  • Delaware Wildlands – Project: “Adopt An Acre” Community Engagement, Habitat Improvement & Wood Duck Conservation Initiative
  • University of MD Center for Environmental Science – Project: Biological Mosquito Control by Native Zooplankton
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