The Watertown Daily Times inspired yet another blog post, this time about an organization called Ducks Unlimited that has big plans to improve and expand the wetlands around nearby Clayton, NY. Very exciting news, since wetlands are especially vital to our daily existence…and further investigation showed that the project is more underway then actually reported:
This project required the construction of three low berms, averaging 300 feet in length, resulting in three separate pools of emergent marsh. Each pool is different in shape, with significant edge habitats providing for a diversity of plant and animal communities. Islands were created within each impoundment, ranging from six inches above normal water level to 12 inches below normal water level. These islands will provide loafing areas and cover for broods as well as habitat for other wildlife. One pool is designed to provide habitat attractive to shorebirds during their migration in the spring and fall. In addition, four potholes were excavated in a back field too flat for berm building. The shallow water of the potholes will be the first to thaw in the spring, providing areas for early-migrating waterfowl and shorebirds to find microinvertebrates, an important source of protein for restoring depleted energy supplies and building reserves for nesting hens.
All told, approximately 25 acres of emergent marsh have been restored, providing staging habitat for spring- and fall-migrating waterfowl, as well as nesting hens and their broods. Funding for the work came from the St. Lawrence Valley Phase I NAWCA grant. The impoundments were slow to begin filling due to a dry summer, but they are near capacity now and are looking great.
Guess I’ll just have to see what sort of volunteer work I can do for them come next Spring (which up here, means May 31st).
Phinney earth moving photo from Ducks Unlimited.