When full funding is achieved, Ducks Unlimited will reconstruct a breached dam and restoring four wetland basins along South Dakota's Firesteel Creek in Aurora County. As well as providing critical breeding habitat to waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species, the restored wetlands will provide water for livestock and improve flood control and water quality in the watershed.
DU received a $45,000 grant from the James River Water Development District to do the work and will pursue additional funding to complete the project.
The dam was breached about six years ago and cannot be repaired. The new dam will include a water-control structure for a primary spillway and an emergency spillway. The new dam will hold up to six acres of water and be capable of handling a 100-year flood event.
Ducks Unlimited will restore six acres of drained wetlands in a Conservation Reserve Program field next to the dam reconstruction site. DU will plug ditches draining the wetlands to restore their original hydrology.