Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve 3,635 acres of wetland and wetland-associated upland habitat in the Sacramento Valley. DU will collaborate with a diverse group of federal, state, local, and private partners to deliver the project known as the Butte and Colusa Basins Wetlands V Project.
“The Sacramento Valley provides critically important wintering and migration habitat for numerous waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway,” said DU Regional Biologist Craig Garner. “The wetland and wetland-associated upland habitat improvements provided by this project will benefit numerous species of wintering, migrating, and breeding waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds.”
The Sacramento Valley supports 44 percent of the Pacific Flyway’s wintering waterfowl and is the single most important wintering area for waterfowl in the flyway. Up to 6-7 million ducks and 750,000 geese winter in the Valley, including up to 1.2 million Northern Pintail. The Valley is also important for wintering and migrating shorebirds and waterbirds.
Approximately $3.8 million in partner funds and $1 million in NAWCA grant funds will be combined to deliver wetland restoration and enhancement work on nine project sites in the Sacramento Valley. NAWCA grant funds will focus on wetland conservation work on six of the nine project sites including work on the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area – Howard Slough Unit, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, and Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. This project will benefit numerous waterfowl, as well as provide improved outdoor recreation opportunities including waterfowl hunting, bird watching, wildlife photography, and outdoor education.