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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Gift cements collaborative alliance in wetland, waterfowl, and wildlife ecology

March 4, 2024
A colorful wood duck surveys an Ohio marsh habitat. (Photo provided by Ohio Division of Wildlife)

By Molly Bean and Sherrie R. Whaley

MARCH 4, 2024

A colorful wood duck surveys an Ohio marsh habitat. (Photo provided by Ohio Division of Wildlife)

A longstanding partnership and shared vision of protecting, restoring, and enhancing wetland habitat and wildlife is the impetus behind a new gift of $1 million to The Ohio State University.

The donation from Winous Point Marsh Conservancy of Port Clinton, Ohio, and investment from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife to Ohio State cements a longstanding relationship to support and advance partnership-driven collaborative research and educational opportunities in wetland, waterfowl, and wildlife ecology.

The gift establishes the Winous Point Wetlands and Waterfowl Endowed Faculty Support Fund and will fuel innovative solutions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation and management challenges.

The fund supports faculty leadership in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences to deepen and elevate knowledge creation through applied scientific research, education, and training of future professionals, community outreach, and the development and expansion of collaborative partnerships for wetland and wetland wildlife conservation.

“We have a long history of training wetlands and waterfowl professionals through research and education programs, and both Ohio State and the ODNR have been key partners in that history,” said John Simpson, director of Winous Point Marsh Conservancy.

“There is a growing societal need for functioning wetland habitats to support sustainable waterfowl populations and to provide valuable ecosystem functions associated with wetland habitats," he said. "This need requires applied research conducted by qualified professionals, so the timing is ideal for our partnership to permanently secure and expand our programs to that end."

Winous Point’s mission is to protect, restore, enhance, and wisely manage coastal wetlands and watersheds in southwest Lake Erie.

“This transformative gift from Winous Point Marsh Conservancy, in partnership with the ODNR Division of Wildlife, solidifies our commitment to collaborative research and education in wetland and wildlife ecology,” said Tim Haab, interim director of Ohio State’s SENR.

“This investment will position us to make a lasting impact on the conservation of our natural environment,” he said. “The establishment of the Winous Point Wetlands and Waterfowl Endowed Faculty Support Fund will empower faculty leadership, fuel innovative solutions to conservation challenges, and align seamlessly with our vision in SENR of a productive society in harmony with a sustainable and healthy environment.”

For more than 50 years the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy, and the SENR have partnered to play a vital role in conserving wetlands, duck, and waterfowl habitats and educating the public on their value and importance to society.

“Science-based, adaptive wildlife management grounded in research is vital to the Division of Wildlife’s work,” said Kendra Wecker, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Partnerships have been key to the agency’s wildlife and habitat research, and The Ohio State University and Winous Point Marsh Conservancy are two of our longest-standing partners. The Division of Wildlife is proud to continue those partnerships by investing in research for wetlands, ducks, and other waterfowl, while at the same time growing the next generation of outdoor stewards.”


CFAES News Team



John Simpson
Winous Point Conservancy