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. DU's partners in this project include the California Department of Fish and Game, the Wildlife Conservation Board, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and several private landowners. These partners have contributed approximately $2.2 million in nonfederal funds to match a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant. These funds will support conservation work on six state wildlife areas and one privately owned duck club, and improve water delivery on 1,763 acres of wetlands on private lands in the Grassland Water District.

A major objective of this project is to restore and enhance seasonal and semipermanent wetlands in a manner that conserves the region's limited water supplies. Project activities will include the construction and removal of levees, excavation of water-delivery swales, installation of new water-control structures, and construction of new lift-pump facilities to increase water-delivery efficiency. In addition, a six-mile-long canal will be restored by excavating accumulated sediment and rebuilding eroded canal embankments. Native vegetation such as sedges, rushes, and other grasses will be seeded on embankments to prevent erosion. These efforts will restore 144 acres and enhance more than 5,000 acres of wetlands and associated waterfowl habitat.

This project will provide valuable new habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, as well as opportunities for the public to pursue outdoor recreation such as waterfowl hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and photography. Ducks Unlimited is fortunate to have such a diverse and dedicated group of partners to conserve vital water resources and wetland habitat in the Central Valley.