Ducks Unlimited will break ground this year on a large conservation project at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Missouri.

This project will improve 1,890 acres of habitat, including the restoration of 487 acres of wetlands, 293 acres of native grasslands and the enhancement of 1,110 acres of existing wetlands.

Swan Lake is the core component of a wetland complex in the Lower Grand River Watershed that includes more than 22,000 acres of state and federal lands and 16,000 acres of privately owned wetland reserve easements.

These wetlands and associated uplands represent some of the Midwest's best habitat for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent species. Habitat restoration efforts in this region showcase the strides that local, state and federal governmental and nongovernmental partners can make when they work together.

Enhanced and restored wetlands lead to greater habitat diversity, more desired wetland management capabilities, enhanced water quality and more public recreational opportunities including hunting, fishing, bird watching and wildlife photography.

DU partnered with private donors, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to receive the $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Project partners committed approximately $2.14 million in matching funds.