Ducks Unlimited is returning to the Lake Erie watershed in 2016 to restore and enhance more than 400 acres of coastal marsh at Presque Isle State Park, an important stopover for waterfowl and waterbirds in Erie, PA.
In summer 2015, Ducks Unlimited and several partners were awarded a $565,626 National Fish and Wildlife Federation Sustain Our Great Lakes grant. The grant will enable partners to remove invasive phragmites, replant the area with locally propagated native wetland plants and conduct research at the site before and after restoration.
This is the project's second phase, which was previously known as the Southern Lake Erie Wetland Restoration. The first phase was completed in April 2015. The project will run through winter 2019.
Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist Jim Feaga said the phragmites removal will help the state better manage the Feaga said the phragmites removal will help the state better manage the area, and the seed propagation program is an exciting new step on Presque Isle.
"We are going in in and pulling desireable native seeds from the banks of the wetlands, germinating them, re-acclimating them and then replanting on the marsh," he said.
The grant included an additional $571,788 in matching dollars from DU and project partners Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Regional Science Consortium, Audubon Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania and Environment Erie.