Roanoke River NAWCA Project

Purpose: To protect and enhance wetlands, associated uplands, forest and riverine features throughout the Roanoke and Chowan River basins. Five projects comprise this conservation effort, which was made possible by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant. Projects include restoration of natural hydrology to 1,127 acres of Roanoke River Back Swamp on the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, acquisition of 115 acres of diverse forested wetlands and restoration of 77 acres of marginal farmland to its former wetland conditions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will enhance 500 acres of mature tupelo-gum forest, and partners will permanently protect 340 acres of forested wetlands and associated buffers through a conservation easement. The results of these conservation efforts will be improved water quality, restored natural hydrology and enhanced overall conditions for the fish, wildlife and people who depend on the region's natural resources. This region is important to wintering waterfowl on the Atlantic coast, including American black ducks, mallards, northern pintails, Canada geese and scaup.

Location: Roanoke and Chowan River basins in Bertie and Halifax counties, North Carolina and Southampton and Sussex counties, Virginia

Acres Impacted: 2,159 acres

Habitat Type: Riparian wetlands, upland buffers, two intact forest patches, prior converted wetlands, forested wetlands, shoreline, tupelo-gum forest

Partners: North Carolina Department of Corrections, North Carolina National Heritage Trust Fund, North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, The Nature Conservancy, Bill Owens Estate and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Timeline: NAWCA grant awarded in March, 2006. This project is the second phase of a three phase plan spanning five years.

See also: DU and Partners Receive NAWCA Grant for Roanoke River Wetland Conservation