Ducks Unlimited's mission to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever includes restoring and enhancing existing wetland habitat. The Colorado DU team's project at Elliot State Wildlife Area (SWA) is a great example.

Elliot SWA in northeast Colorado has numerous shallow wetlands spread over hundreds of acres. These wetlands routinely flood in the spring and fall, but many of the basins had deep sections that pooled water for extended periods of time, limiting water flow and hampering bird and hunter use.

"Elliot SWA is one of the Colorado's premier managed wetland complexes in the South Platte basin," said DU Water Specialist Jason Roudebush. "There are 15 independent wetland basins that Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers can now efficiently manage to give migratory birds better access to shallow water food sources during spring and fall migrations. Outdoor public recreation opportunities like hunting, hiking and bird watching have also improved."

In partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited engineered and regraded about 200 wetland acres. Repairing the basins increased habitat acres, created quality recreation opportunities, allowed for efficient water use and improved management capacity. Funding from a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant helped complete the project.