Clemson University will use a $3.3 million gift to establish a waterfowl and wetlands research center in coastal South Carolina.
The university announced Monday that media and automotive services conglomerate executive James C. Kennedy donated the money. The center would be the first endowed waterfowl conservation site of its kind in the Atlantic Flyway of the eastern United States, the university said in a news release.
The endowment will help pay for teaching, research and landowner outreach in the flyway, an area used by ducks that move seasonally between Canada and the South. South Carolina has historically been a destination for ducks because of its extensive rice field wetlands, which provide winter habitat.
The center is to be headquartered at the Baruch Institute near Georgetown and the Nemours Wildlife Foundation in Beaufort.
Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises, has served on the board of Ducks Unlimited and is a former president of Wetlands America Trust Inc.
“My first duck hunting experience was in the South Carolina Lowcountry and it was life-changing,” Kennedy said in the release. “With this gift, I hope to ensure that future generations have waterfowl and wetlands to enjoy, and that we continue to produce young people with a passion to study and steward these important natural resources for years to come.”