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Banding Together for Waterfowl

DU to deliver upgrade to Sacramento wildlife refuge thanks to NAWCA grant

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Earlier this month, DU and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated construction of the Pool 7A, Pool 7 and Pool 10 Cell 2 Wetland Enhancement Project at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. The project, which is being funded primarily by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant secured by DU, will enhance 950 acres of wetland habitat within the Sacramento Valley, the single-most important wintering area for waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway, according to Virginia Getz, manager of conservation programs at DU's Western Regional Office in Sacramento, Calif.

"DU has been involved with this project in California since 2006 and we are very excited to finally be initiating construction," said Getz. "This project is an excellent example of how DU brings engineering and biology together to solve a complex infrastructure problem. At the same time, it will improve habitat conditions for many special-status species and numerous waterfowl, shorebirds and other waterbirds; reduce management time required by refuge staff; and improve public opportunities for wildlife-oriented recreation."

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Protected by NAWCA Wildlife enjoy lush habitat in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge thanks to a NAWCA grant secured by Ducks Unlimited.

From 2006 to 2008, DU, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and USFWS partnered to prepare a plan that identified the work needed to increase the efficiency of water conveyance and improve habitat conditions in Pool 7A Cells 1-4, Pool 7 and Pool 10 Cell 2 and to protect Dam 2 from flood damage. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation provided DU with funding for this preliminary work, and the current project will implement the work that was identified in that plan. Planned work includes improving/re-grading existing levees, constructing new levees, improving the flowline of ditches, constructing new inter-connected swales and potholes, re-contouring the land, constructing a water distribution basin and spillways and removing degraded water control structures and installing new ones.

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