Ducks Unlimited (DU) partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Progress Energy to restore 20 acres of freshwater wetland on Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge in Anson County N.C. The project was completed in September 2005 and the restored wetland will help support populations of migrating waterfowl, raptors and wading birds.

The USFWS established Pee Dee NWR in 1963 to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl. The refuge contains a diversity of habitats including bottomland hardwood forests, upland pine forests, native grasslands, and hosts over 35,000 visitors annually.

DU engineers designed the Andrews Complex wetland and USFWS staff constructed a 2,000-foot levee and installed two water control structures to manage water levels. Progress Energy provided significant funding and the USFWS owns the property.

The USFWS will manage this wetland by including it in a cooperative farming program and planting corn, then shallowly flooding from November to March to make food available for migratory birds and other wildlife. Active management of this wetland will encourage growth of natural moist-soil vegetation, improve quality of runoff water and retain sediments typically lost because of farming activities. The public will benefit from the recreation opportunities, such as bird watching, created as a result of this restored wetland.

Refuge staff will use this project as an educational tool to teach visitors about the importance of wetland restoration, water quality, protecting wildlife, and the concept of how partners work together to accomplish important environmental tasks. The wetland complex is an excellent opportunity to showcase the synergy between wildlife and habitat management, as well as ecology and farming.

DU Contact:

Craig LeSchack
Director of Conservation Programs
South Atlantic Field Office
3896 Leeds Ave.
Charleston, SC 29405