MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 8, 2021 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Phillips 66 recently teamed up for a large wetland restoration project in southcentral Kansas at the Byron Walker Wildlife Area (WA), a popular destination for waterfowl and outdoor enthusiasts.
Work on the wetlands complex, owned by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), was completed in 2020. Phillips 66 and several local businesses, agencies and individual donors supported the effort, recognizing that it will be an even bigger draw for outdoors enthusiasts and bring critical tourism dollars to surrounding communities. The project was also included in a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant of $1 million.
“We could not have done the project without funds and grants from Phillips 66 and NAWCA,” said Angelina Wright, the DU biologist managing the project. “The local support has been tremendous, too. Byron Walker WA’s popularity with sportsmen and women is a testament to the number of migrating waterfowl that use the area every spring and fall.”
The wildlife area has an array of wetlands managed through a system of levees, canals and water-control structures. This restoration project included new and improved water-control structures and levees that increased wetland habitat and allows KDWPT to use their water resources more strategically to flood wetlands.
“In addition to improving existing habitat, we also increased flows into the wetlands and the reservoir,” Wright said. “This project required tree removal to restore additional flow from springs and runoff that was being used by the invading trees.”
New levees and water-control structures restored 50 acres of wetland habitat. The removal of the trees enhanced 115 acres of degraded wetland habitat and improved water quality in Kingman State Fishing Lake.
In addition to Phillips 66 and the NAWCA grant, partners for the Byron Walker WA project included KDWPT, the Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Wildlife Federation, Mark and Paulette Schlegel, the Lee Queal family, Delmer Schrag Memorial WildTrust, Kanza Bank, Arensdorf Construction and Kingman Lumber.
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About Phillips 66
Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, the company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally. Phillips 66 Partners, the company’s master limited partnership, is integral to the portfolio. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 14,200 employees committed to safety and operating excellence. Phillips 66 had $55 billion of assets as of March 31, 2021. For more information, visit www.phillips66.com
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About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org