It is daybreak at the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the excitement of a new day is palpable through the animated sound of hundreds of waterfowl as they break the sleepy morning silence.
Sounds – that a few years ago – were disappearing due to the loss the emergent marshes and bottom-land hardwood habitat in this environmentally critical waterfowl habitat just 50 miles southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Thanks to a grant from Williams and its partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the Richland Creek WMA was able to purchase water control structures that allowed them to create and manage the water flow in the wetlands resulting in roughly 150 acres of new wintering waterfowl habitat.
“With Williams’ donation they were also able to obtain matching funds from other government agencies, which allowed them to make an even bigger impact,” said Bob Locke, director of development with Ducks Unlimited.
Jimmie Hammontree, a regulatory affairs specialist with Williams, said “Williams had been developing midstream infrastructure in the DFW area for several years and in an effort to offset that infrastructure development, we were looking for projects with direct benefits to critical species’ habitat and water quality in or near the operating area. This project was a perfect fit.”
While this project was not required by regulations or permits, it was a tangible means of demonstrating Williams’ ongoing commitment to the environment and its commitment to being good environmental stewards, Hammontree said.