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Restoration Work Continues on California's Salton Sea Wetlands

Ducks Unlimited and a coalition of partners have completed wetland restoration and enhancement efforts on vital wetland habitat associated with the Salton Sea in Southern California. This project area is located in one of the most arid parts of North America, yet contains some of the continent's most important and threatened wetland habitats.

Working Landscapes Program Benefits California Farmers

Ducks Unlimited recently completed a Delta Working Landscapes program in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. As part of this program, 16 projects were completed, restoring 312 acres of seasonal and semipermanent wetlands.

DU and Partners Seek Solutions to Save California's Salton Sea

Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist Chris Hildebrandt recently took part in a roundtable discussion focused on the plight of the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile body of water about 40 miles south of Palm Springs, California.

Central Valley Joint Venture Partners Receive Conservation Awards

Two longtime members of California's Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV) were recently honored for their contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). CVJV Coordinator Bob Shaffer received this year's National Blue-winged Teal Award and Eldridge "Red" Hunt was honored with the International Canvasback Award.

DU and Partners to Restore Habitat on Tule Lake Marsh

Ducks Unlimited has been invited by Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) management to partner in a multiphase, multi-million-dollar project to revitalize a portion of the 9,500-acre Tule Lake Marsh.

U.S. Representatives Garamendi and Peterson Meet Constituents

U.S. Representatives John Garamendi (CA) and Collin Peterson (MN) met with Sacramento Valley waterfowl hunters, rice growers, ranchers, and conservation groups last December at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

Ducks Unlimited receives $1 million grant for conservation work in northeastern California

Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DU) was recently awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve 6,460 acres of habitat in northeastern California.

New Hunter Check Station Opens in California Grasslands

This fall, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) formally dedicated its new Salt Slough-San Luis Hunter Check Station in Los Banos, California.

California's Honey Lake Wildlife Area Projects Completed

Ducks Unlimited recently completed another series of habitat enhancement projects on the California Department of Fish and Game's Honey Lake Wildlife Area (WA), located in the Great Basin region of California near Susanville.

DU Acquires First Conservation Easement in Northeast California

DU recently partnered with the Wood family to acquire its first conservation easement in northeast California, a 1,781-acre perpetual easement on the Leavitt Lake Ranch and the Wood Ranch.

NAWCA Project Will Restore California Waterfowl Habitat

Ducks Unlimited will soon begin work on a project that will restore or enhance more than 5,200 acres of vital waterfowl habitat in the northern Tulare and San Joaquin basins of California.

Habitat Improved on California's Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Ducks Unlimited recently partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to enhance 135 acres of wetlands and restore eight acres of upland nesting habitat in Field 18 at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (WA) in California's Sacramento Valley.

DU Levee Benefits California Commuters and Wildlife

Construction of a setback levee has already caught the attention of daily commuters on California State Route 37 north of San Francisco. But most drivers probably don't realize that the project, spearheaded by Ducks Unlimited, is keeping their tires out of the tides.

California: Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Water Distribution System Improvements

A major California wetland, the 9,200-acre Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is extremely important to Pacific Flyway waterfowl and hunters alike.

Massive Coastal Restoration Project Completed in California

For the first time in more than 100 years, tidal waters returned in August to the former Napa Plant Site salt-production facility adjacent to the Napa River on the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay.

DU Continues to Restore California's Largest Wetland

Ducks Unlimited has played an active role in wetland conservation activities in the Grasslands since 1986, when DU began making critical water conveyance enhancements in partnership with the Grassland Water District. To date, DU has helped to restore, enhance, or protect more than 132,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitat on 240 projects in this region.

Transcripts from the Napa Sonoma Marshes dedication and media event


DU makes conservation history in California

Some of California's top conservation and political officials will be in American Canyon, Calif., Aug. 25 to join DU and partners in celebrating the final phase of one of the largest tidal restoration projects in our nation's history.

California Bay Area Projects

Ducks Unlimited conservation projects in California's San Francisco Bay Area

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is in the heart of California’s Central Valley just south of Sacramento in the northern reaches of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Since the inception of the Refuge in 1994, staff and partners have been working to restore historic wetland communities and enhance existing habitats in the 6,000 acre complex of wetland, riparian and grassland habitats that comprises the Stone Lakes NWR.

North Grasslands Wildlife Area

Ducks Unlmited recently completed water delivery enhancement work on the North Grasslands Wildlife Area’s (WA) Salt Slough Unit. This effort was part of DU's Grasslands Ecological Area – Phase 3 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant activities, which improved habitat at the Salt Slough Unit of North Grasslands WA, Mendota WA, Los Banos WA and Volta WA, as well as at several ducks clubs in the Grasslands Water District.

Mendota Wildlife Area

Ducks Unlimited recently completed water delivery enhancement work on Mendota Wildlife Area’s (WA) Field 51. This effort was part of DU's Grasslands Ecological Area – Phase 3 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant activities, which improved habitat at the Salt Slough Unit of North Grasslands WA, Mendota WA, Los Banos WA and Volta WA, as well as at several ducks clubs in the Grasslands Water District.

Volta Wildlife Area Westside Canal

Ducks Unlimited recently completed water delivery enhancement work on Volta Wildlife Area’s (WA) Westside Canal. This effort was part of DU's Grasslands Ecological Area – Phase 3 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant activities, which improved habitat at the Salt Slough Unit of North Grasslands WA, Mendota WA, Los Banos WA and Volta WA, as well as at several ducks clubs in the Grasslands Water District.

Los Banos Wildlife Area

Ducks Unlimited has a long history of partnering with the Los Banos Wildlife Area, California’s first wildlife area, on waterfowl habitat conservation projects. As part of its Grasslands Ecological Area – Phase 3 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant activities, DU recently completed work on Fields 63, 65, 66 and 69a at Los Banos.

Honey Lake Wildlife Area

The Honey Lake Wildlife Area Upper Pond restoration project was achieved through a combination of funding from Ducks Unlimited and the California Department of Fish and Game’s Duck Stamp Program. The project began with a Ducks Unlimited overall topographic survey and engineering design scheme for the area. From this initial planning information, the Wildlife Area and Ducks Unlimited staff initiated site recontouring in favor of a diverse topography suitable for waterfowl habitat.

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

The East Bear Creek restoration project was a collaboration between the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Ducks Unlimited to restore more than 2,500 acres of waterfowl habitat. This project was one phase of a larger North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant-backed project.

Volta Wildlife Area

The Volta Wildlife Area plays an important role in supporting waterfowl in the San Joaquin Valley. Ducks Unlimited has recognized this and has completed seven habitat conservation projects at Volta, totaling more than 8,000 acres.

Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

This project is part of a wetland/cropland rotation program being implemented on Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to alleviate declines in both wildlife habitat values and agricultural productivity. The purpose of this program is to re-establish the ecological processes that historically created Tule Lake NWR’s productive wetlands, while maintaining and enhancing economically viable and sustainable agriculture.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge

Wetland water management at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge is complicated and difficult. Hot, dry summers, a limited water supply, deteriorating infrastructure and other factors all limit wetland water management.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge: Poso Creek-Goose Lake Canal

The Poso Creek-Goose Lake Canal is the main water supply for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The El Nino floods of 1998 severely damaged roads, levees and water control structures along this canal.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge: NWR Unit 2 Pump

Wetland water management at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge is complicated and difficult. Hot, dry summers, a limited water supply, deteriorating infrastructure and other factors all limit wetlands water management at the refuge.

Hollow Tree Land and Cattle Co., Phase 3

The Hollowtree Wetland Enhancement Project, Phase III is the third phase of a four-phase project to restore and enhance seasonal and semipermanent wetland habitat in the Grasslands Ecological Area of Merced County, Calif. This project enhanced water use efficiency and moist soil management, and it expanded wetland habitat diversity on this property.

Northeast California Region

The northeastern corner of California contains one of the most important spring waterfowl staging areas in North America. The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge alone has recorded more than 5 million waterfowl staging during the spring. In addition, nearly the entire Pacific Flyway pintail population stages in this region before heading to northern breeding grounds.

The Grasslands Region

The San Joaquin Valley contains the largest remaining block of wetlands in California. The Grasslands Ecological Area, once famous for its waterfowl market hunting, encompasses more than 160,000 acres of private and public waterfowl areas.

Northern Coast, Central Coast and Eastern Sierra Regions

Ducks Unlimited's conservation projects in California are prioritized based on waterfowl use, wetland acreage and the role of a potential project in relation to the Pacific Flyway. The majority of projects in California are located where these variables are highest: the Central Valley, San Francisco Bay and northeastern California.

Southern California Region

The Sonoran Desert includes some of the most altered and imperiled, but nonetheless important, wetlands in the Pacific Flyway. The Colorado River delta was once a vast oasis for millions of wintering waterfowl.

Tulare Basin Region

The Tulare Basin is the driest portion of the Central Valley, but with an estimated wetland acreage of more than 560,000, it once was the single largest block of wetland habitat in California. The basin used to be flooded by numerous streams and rivers and was thus able to support several expansive, shallow lakes, such as Tulare, Goose, Kern and Buena Vista Lakes.

San Francisco Bay and Delta Region

The San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have always been vital areas for waterfowl. Historically, the delta was one of the most important waterfowl areas in California. This once expansive, permanently flooded wetland provided year-round waterfowl habitat. Now, agricultural ands have mostly reclaimed the delta.

Sacramento Valley Region

The northern Central Valley, defined by the Sacramento River watershed, contains some of the most important waterfowl habitat in the Pacific Flyway. Historically, much of the Sacramento River floodplain was a mixture of seasonally flooded basins surrounded by riparian areas and grasslands.

Orr Lake Restoration Project

The Klamath Basin is one of the most important waterfowl habitat areas in North America. However, it is also an area where over 75% of the historical wetlands have been lost.

Delta Rice Research Project

California’s growing population continues to stress water supplies, resulting in water quality and supply conflicts amongst end-users. More than 22 million people drink water that originates in the lower Sacramento River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where agricultural activities are thought to be decreasing water quality.

Huichica Creek Native Grassland Restoration Project

Native grassland restoration is difficult. After several years of intensive management, the Huichica Creek Native Grassland Restoration Project had finally transformed a majority of the project area into native grass species.

Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area (CDFG): Ringstrom Bay Unit

The Ringstrom Bay Unit subproject of the San Pablo Bay NAWCA Project enhanced 313 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands through grading and improved water control. This wetland enhancement project provides critical habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and other wildlife in the San Pablo Bay area.

Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area: Camp 2 Unit

This subproject of the San Pablo Bay NAWCA Project enhanced 608 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands and associated uplands at the Camp 2 Unit. This area is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as part of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area.

San Pablo Bay Tidal Wetlands Habitat Restoration Project (overview)

Ducks Unlimited implemented and completed the San Pablo Bay Tidal Wetlands Habitat Restoration Project (San Pablo Bay NAWCA Project) in 2004. This Project was multi-faceted and conserved 14,225 acres throughout the San Pablo Bay area.

Suisun Marsh Waterfowl Production Program

Ducks Unlimited’s Suisun Marsh Waterfowl Production Program (completed in 2004) utilized public-private partnerships to enhance wetlands and associated uplands in the Suisun Marsh, located in Solano County. The Suisun Marsh is one of the most important production areas for mallards.

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge: Tract 2 Restoration

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Wild Goose Enhancement

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Butte Sink NWR Enhancement

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Berry Patch I Enhancement

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Winchester Gun Club

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Live Oak Restoration

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Butte Basin NAWCA II: Rancho Esquon Restoration Project

This project is one of 10 individual project sites included in the Butte Basin and Colusa Trough Wetland Habitat Project. New work conducted by the overall project improved 2,573 acres of habitat in this region.

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge (Grandma's Field)

Grandma's Field is located along the northern border of Modoc National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), immediately adjacent to the Pit River and just southeast of Alturas. Modoc NWR, is managed primarily to provide habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

M & T - Llano Seco Fish Screen Project

Archives of several documents relating to the M & T - Llano Seco Fish Screen Project are located on this page.

Mud Slough Project

The Grasslands Ecological Area, or just the Grasslands, is the largest single block of wetlands remaining in California. Here, the many state, federal, and private land managers support over 1 million wintering waterfowl.

Shasta Valley Wildlife Area Project: A Klamath Basin NAWCA sub-project

In 2003, Ducks Unlimited completed delivery of the Klamath Basin Wetlands NAWCA Project. This project included work at eight sites, including the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area (WA). The

Kern NWR, Unit 1: Wetland Enhancements

Kern National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most heavily hunted federal refuges in California. In 2005, Ducks Unlimited improved not only habitat conditions in Kern’s Unit 1, but hunter access as well. Management of Unit 1 is complicated and is mandated to provide nesting habitat for tri-colored blackbirds (e.g., dense cattail marsh).

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Project

In mid-August 2005, Ducks Unlimited completed the California Department of Fish and Game (Department) Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area’s largest habitat improvement project to date, and the Department has it ready for the birds. Ducks Unlimited has provided funding to assist with restoring many of the acquired fallow farmlands located within the bypass.

Imperial Wildlife Area (Wister Unit ) Wetland Enhancements.

Planning efforts for an another Ducks Unlimited project at the Imperial Wildlife Area began in 2005 . Ducks Unlimited conservation staff performed a detailed topographic survey of several management units that will help in the development of a habitat improvement plan for those areas.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Phase V


Moss Landing Widlife Area Project

After three years of planning, Ducks Unlimited (DU) completed the 153 acre Moss Landing Salt Marsh Enhancement Project. This state Wildlife Area is situated on former commercial salt ponds that are intensely utilized by wintering waterfowl and nesting shorebirds.

California Conservation Projects

Ducks Unlimited habitat conservation projects in California. These projects benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and people. View sample projects, project map and more.
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