DU improving 200 acres of Rhode Island wetlands

Enhancing two important coastal wetland areas with public recreational access

© Michael Furtman

A Ducks Unlimited enhancment project of two important coastal wetland areas with public recreational access is expected to be completed by spring.

The nearly 200-acre project is at Great Swamp Management Area and Woody Hill Management Area in Washington County.

Ducks Unlimited is partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) - Division of Fish & Wildlife to replace two water control structures in these management areas. The project is being funded with federal and state funding, and Ducks Unlimited matching funds.

The water control structures are hampered by beaver dams and are blocked with mud and debris. Installing new structures will allow state land managers to raise and lower water levels to mimic natural water cycles, restoring healthy wetland habitat with diverse aquatic vegetation. These areas will become valuable waterfowl staging sites especially for black ducks and mallards within six miles of the coast.

The project sites are at state-owned wildlife management areas managed by the RIDEM’s 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.