Ducks Unlimited, in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been awarded funding of up to $5,972,167 by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) for project work to improve water delivery to Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. This grant from CNRA’s Proposition 1 Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Grant Program will improve delivery of existing water rights and ultimately provide the capacity and reliability to deliver full refuge water supply to Sutter NWR when available.
“This project is exemplary of the outstanding partnership that Ducks Unlimited has with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region Director of Operations, Mark Biddlecomb. “DU is very pleased to work with the service and Bureau of Reclamation to benefit waterfowl and waterfowl hunters alike here in the Sacramento Valley."
Sutter National Wildlife Refuge consists of about 2,591 acres and supports wintering populations of more than 200,000 ducks and 100,000 geese. This project will install a lift station and fish screens to provide improved delivery of water for the refuge. Existing flows at the refuge's diversion point are currently not sufficient to meet the needs of the refuge, nor consistently at an adequate surface water level for delivery through the existing conveyance system. This project will ensure that the refuge can maximize the use of its existing water rights in the short term, while eventually providing the capability to deliver full water supplies to the refuge as required by CVPIA at the rate and amount to meet wetland needs.
This project will create about 9,050 acre feet of new conveyance capacity and improve about 15,650 acre feet of existing water conveyance capacity.
“Sutter NWR has long had difficulty providing sufficient wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl due to deficiencies of the existing water conveyance infrastructure,” said Virginia Getz, Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region Manager of Conservation Programs. “This project will provide the system improvements needed to address those deficiencies. This work will result in increases in the quantity and quality of wetland habitat and additional public hunting opportunities.”