Ducks Unlimited is partnering with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTEEP) to restore an important 25-acre freshwater emergent marsh that is part of Meshomasic State Forest.

Work is expected to begin in 2018 on restoring Del Reeves Marsh. The project is part of a larger conservation effort to restore and protect 2,175 acres of critical wetland habitat the coastal boundary area of Connecticut.

Ducks Unlimited and CTDEEP will install new infrastructure to provide healthy freshwater wetland habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds. The restoration will benefit nesting and migration habitat for American black ducks and mallards. Infrastructure will provide water level management, which will help manage invasives and allow native vegetation to be restored that will benefit waterbirds and other wetland species throughout the life cycle.

In addition to waterfowl, the site will be used by long-legged waders such as great blue heron. This inland impoundment provides essential habitat for numerous rare birds and other wildlife, and forms an extensive biological corridor of forested wetland, emergent marshes and upland habitat.

People will benefit, too. The project will allow for public access for a variety of wildlife related activities, such as bird watching, hiking, environmental education and hunting.

This project is part of a larger $1 million NAWCA grant project, with the goals of working in the most critical areas of Connecticut to protect, restore and enhance habitat for waterfowl and migratory land and shore birds.

The overall grant has multiple partners, including CTDEEP, Essex Land Trust, Town of Old Saybrook, Town of East Haddam, Trust for Public lands, The Nature Conservancy, Town of Guilford and Salem Land Trust.