The East Bear Creek restoration project was a collaboration between the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Ducks Unlimited to restore more than 2,500 acres of waterfowl habitat. This project was one phase of a larger North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant-backed project. This grant also funded the wetlands restoration and enhancement subproject on the East Bear Creek Unit of San Luis NWR, as well as wetlands restoration on other subproject sites in the surrounding area.

A typical water control structure used at the
East Bear Creek project.

Workers accomplished the restoration of 1,833 acres of emergent and riparian wetlands by recontouring existing leveled agricultural lands to create smaller managed wetlands and installing numerous water control structures throughout the restored area. They also enhanced riparian waterfowl habitat by planting native trees and shrubs, as well as by placing wood duck boxes throughout the project site. An additional 1,773 acres of wetlands-associated uplands were restored by leveling old berms and levees, removing fences and disking up and planting native grasses on formerly irrigated pasture. The project was completed in 2001.