Ducks Unlimited has partnered with the Kent County government, Chester River Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service Kent County Soil and Water Conservation District, University of Maryland, Maryland Department of Agriculture and Washington College to form the Middle Chester River Partnership. The goal of this partnership is to restore the Middle Chester River Watershed in Kent County, Maryland
, by implementing a long-term plan to address various factors contributing to the degradation of the watershed. The Middle Chester River Watershed drains directly into Chesapeake Bay and provides vital habitat
and water resources for migratory waterfowl, other wetland-dependent wildlife and people. The watershed is located in DU's Upper Chesapeake Priority Area.
This patnership has three major objectives: to upgrade and replace failing septic systems, to promote sustainable agricultural practices such as the planting of buffer strips along watercourses and the use of ecologically-sound agricultural equipment, and to implement wetland restoration projects
. All of these efforts will help reduce excess nutrient runoff, increase wildlife habitat and improve water quality in the Chester River and Chesapeake Bay. DU is responsible for wetland restoration work, including survey, design and construction management.
Through this partnership, DU hopes to complete a minimum of two projects a year for three years. DU recently finished its first wetland restoration project outside Worton, and construction on a second project is now under way. Two additional project sites have already been identified and may also be completed within the first year.