DU and Partners Enhance Wetlands at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Quivara National Wildlife Refuge is a combination of rare inland salt marshes and sand prairie.

Quivara National Wildlife Refuge is a combination of rare inland salt marshes and sand prairie.

DU and partners have completed most of the work on a 3,692-acre wetland restoration and enhancement project in south-central Kansas on the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The project focuses on the historic Big Salt Marsh and Little Salt Marsh.

The projects will restore the wetlands’ natural hydrology and natural water levels, as well as enable staff to manage water levels to improve wildlife habitats.

The more than 22,000-acre refuge is a combination of rare inland salt marshes and sand prairie. The marshes attract thousands of waterfowl during the spring and fall migration. The NWR is also one of the continent’s most important whooping crane stop-overs.

This project was funded by North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants and matching funds from DU and partners.

The Little Salt Marsh delivers water to the rest of the refuge and has a non-operational water-control structure that has been there since the 1950’s. DU replaced the structure, enhancing thousands of acres of shallow water marsh.

The Big Salt Marsh was connected to its natural watershed, reducing erosion and restoring natural water levels. The project will remove old oil roads that are cutting off natural drainage and spring-fed water coming from the northwest. DU installed a new water-control structure to help better manage water levels.

Quivira NWR is open to the public year-round for activities, including hunting, fishing and hiking. The refuge offers excellent birdwatching during certain times of the year. Hunting is open from September 1 to February 28 (see regulations for details).