Partners Use ConocoPhillips Funding to Help Restore Wetland Habitat
In 2011, Ducks Unlimited received a ConocoPhillips grant to help restore over 196 acres of wetland habitat in Weld County, Colorado, and protect it through a 30-year conservation agreement with the landowner. The property has been owned by the family since 1979 and managed as a wildlife refuge and family duck hunting property for the past 30 years.
“The site is one of the most important waterfowl roosting sites in the central South Platte River watershed,” says Matt Reddy, the regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited who is overseeing the restoration project.
When finished, this project will enhance 189 acres of wetland habitat, providing roosting, foraging and staging areas for wintering and migrating waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Approximately six acres of warm-water slough channel will also be restored, along with 57 acres of associated floodplain marsh habitat, through the removal of sediment and invasive vegetation, mainly cattails, which can take over a wetland area and use more water. Another 126 acres of wet meadow habitat will be enhanced through the installation of low terraces and water-control structures to better manage the timing, depth and duration of seasonal flooding, thereby optimizing vegetation and habitat conditions for waterfowl.
The ConocoPhillips grant completed the funding needed for Ducks Unlimited to proceed with the project. Other funds were provided by the landowner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and a Standard NAWCA grant.
“This is a perfect example of the type of project that leverages partner funding through match,” says PLJV Conservation Delivery Leader Christopher Rustay. “Although, this time, the NAWCA funding came first, in other cases a ConocoPhillips grant can be used as non-federal match when applying for a NAWCA grant.”