Ducks Unlimited has submitted a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act
grant proposal for wetland restoration and enhancement work at Oakwood Bottoms, a greentree management area in Shawnee National Forest near Murphysboro, Illinois
. This proposal is one of the first projects associated with DU's Big Rivers Initiative. All indications are that the NAWCA grant will be approved.
"This project is an example of how DU is strategically integrating our wetland conservation projects across the Big Rivers Initiative
area," said DU Manager of Conservation Programs Eric Schenck. "Oakwood Bottoms is already a DU showcase for the wetland restoration work we are doing along the Mississippi River. We will continue to collaborate with the U.S. Forest Service and others to improve waterfowl habitat in this region."
NAWCA funds will be used to restore wetland management capabilities on approximately 1,260 acres of greentree reservoir habitat at Oakwood Bottoms. These funds will also be used to enhance another 150 acres of wetland habitat at Brushy Bayou along the Big Muddy River and to plant 614 acres of bottomland hardwoods on the nearby Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Easements donated to DU in the Missouri River and Mississippi River confluence area near St. Louis, Missouri, provided the $2 million in matching contributions that were needed to secure this NAWCA grant.