Ducks Unlimited is restoring a large portion of the Seneca Pool at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most important migratory stopovers for waterfowl in western New York.

Iroquois and the adjacent New York State Department of Environmental Conservation land serve as a staging area for more than 250,000 migrating waterfowl annually.

The $137,000 project calls for dike removal, replacement of two culverts and planting 10 acres of forested wetlands with native trees.

The project in Orleans County will increase natural water flow by removing barriers to water and wildlife movement. This will enhance the habitat for a diversity of wildlife species, including American black duck, American woodcock, Cerulean Warbler and several reptile and amphibian species.

"We have a rare opportunity to restore natural hydrology to 1,000 acres of forested wetlands by solely removing an artificial barrier," said Brandy Neveldine, DU's regional biologist for New York. "We are looking forward to seeing the response of the local mallards and wood ducks among the many other species that will benefit from this restoration."

Restoration of wetlands are imperative to meet the goals of current conservation plans, such as the Iroquois National Widlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan and North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

The project was funded by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant, Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cargill and Friends of Iroquois. The project is expected to be complete by spring.

March 2016