Migrating waterfowl on the East Coast have two newly improved wetland areas in Rhode Island to feed and rest.

Nearly 200 acres at Great Swamp Management Area and Woody Hill Management Area in Washington County have been enhanced and both coastal boundary wetlands offer public recreational access. The project provides freshwater emergent wetland habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds, and improved recreational opportunities for years to come.

“These sites provide valuable waterfowl staging and foraging areas for American black duck, American wigeon, wood ducks and Canada geese,” said Sarah Fleming, Ducks Unlimited manager of conservation services for DU's Completing the Cycle Initiative.

New water-control structures will give the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) the ability to control water levels, providing a diversity of aquatic vegetation.

The project was funded with federal Pittman and Roberts funding allocated to the state, and Ducks Unlimited matching funds. The sites are at state-owned wildlife management areas managed by the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife. These properties are open to the public year-round for passive recreation and are open to all forms of legal hunting when regulations permit.

“Ducks Unlimited was very pleased with the successful partnership with RIDEM and we look forward to continuing to advance this cooperative partnership to restore critical wetland habitat, and provide increased recreational opportunities,” Fleming said.