Santee National Wildlife Refuge improvement projects

ARRA funding supports wetlands conservation

May 25, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited will be working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff to improve areas on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge for Santee National Wildlife Refugewaterfowl. Several important habitat management and restoration projects will begin this spring and continue through the summer months. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) has provided additional support to Santee NWR to rehabilitate and enhance migratory bird habitat on the Cuddo and the Bluff Unit’s impoundments. With ARRA funding, the refuge will contract Ducks Unlimited to perform most of the on-the-ground construction.

"This joint venture with Ducks Unlimited brings a second element of wetland management expertise and engineering to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge," said Refuge Manager Marc Epstein.

On the Cuddo Unit, improvements include redesigning the interior dikes, constructing 7,419 feet of new dikes, and rehabilitating 6,469 feet of existing perimeter dike. New water control structures will also be installed to enhance water delivery and management to the restored wetland complex. This project will allow impoundments and adjacent greentree reservoirs to be managed more effectively for migratory bird populations. Additionally, a pumping system and engine will be replaced to allow proper drainage of the impoundment complex.

The Bluff Unit is the most heavily used waterfowl area on the refuge. This unit consists of three primary wetland impoundments. The ARRA project will create a fourth impoundment and purchase a much-needed mobile pump to help service this system. In concert with the DU/ARRA projects, the refuge staff will be improving water delivery and drainage to these systems to include installing about several new water control structures.

When these two rehabilitation projects are completed, the refuge will be able to provide improved habitat for numerous species of waterfowl and migratory birds that utilize the refuge as a wintering area, a stop-over point, or as summer nesting grounds. In turn, visitors will have increased opportunities to view these migratory bird species, undisturbed, in their native landscape.

For more information on these projects, please contact:
Craig LeSchack
cleschack@ducks.org