Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant for a wetland conservation project on Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in north-central Missouri. With the help of this funding and a group of dedicated partners, DU will be able to protect and restore some of the region's most productive habitat for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Swan Lake NWR is the core component of a wetland complex within the Lower Grand River Watershed that includes over 22,000 acres of state and federal lands and 16,000 acres of privately owned Wetland Reserve Easements. Together, these wetlands and associated uplands represent some of the Midwest's best habitat for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and many other wetland-dependent species. Habitat restoration efforts in this region truly showcase the great strides that local, state, and federal governmental and nongovernmental partners can make when they work together.

This project will affect a total of 1,890 acres of habitat on Swan Lake NWR, including the restoration of 780 acres (487 acres of wetlands and 293 acres of native grasslands) and the enhancement of 1,110 acres of existing wetlands (918 acres in South Pool and 192 acres in M-15).

DU partnered with private donors, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to receive the $1 million NAWCA grant. Project partners committed approximately $2.14 million in matching funds. Work on the refuge is expected to begin in summer 2015, with a goal of completing construction in 2016.