U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) is heralding the decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to hold the 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition at Maumee Bay State Park in September.
“It’s a great opportunity for our region to showcase its commitment, not only to conservation, but also to the arts,” Kaptur said. “Our Lake Erie region forms the perfect backdrop for this iconic competition. Fish and Wildlife made an excellent choice.”
FWS Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said, “The Midwest has large conservation and art communities. I am thrilled that the Midwest Region has again been selected to host the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.”
“The quality marshes and wetlands along the shores of Lake Erie make the committee’s choice of Northwest Ohio a great venue for the Federal Duck Stamp Contest,” said Scott Zody, Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. “In addition to great natural resources, the region boasts some of the most dedicated and passionate waterfowl conservationists in the Midwest.”
The duck stamp has been recognized as one of the world’s most successful conservation programs. Hunters, birdwatchers, conservationists and art and stamp collectors invest in conservation by purchasing the stamp, which is required for waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar invested in the stamp is dedicated to conservation programs, including purchase of wetlands and upland habitat for the national wildlife refuge system.
Almost 2.2 million federal duck stamps have been purchased in Ohio and more than $671 million has been raised for habitat conservation by the stamp program nationally.
Maumee Bay State Park, located in Oregon, features a boardwalk and nature center in addition to a conference center that will be the official site of the competition on Sept. 27-28.
Approximately 15 miles away is the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, located in a region that has been recognized as one of the top 10 birdwatching sites in North America. The Wildlife Refuge includes a visitors’ center that Congresswoman Kaptur helped secure that was opened in 2007.
The art gallery at the visitors center is named after Bob Hines, an Ohio native who designed the 1947 Federal Duck Stamp. FWS officials said the decision to hold the 2013 contest in Ohio was made in part to honor Mr. Hines’ contributions to the cause of conservation.
The Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest is the only legislatively-mandated federal art competition in the country. Thousands of artists have entered since the first open competition in 1949. A panel of art, waterfowl and philatelic experts judge the art and selects the work for the next stamp. Judging will take place over the two-day period and is free and open to the public.