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Migratory Waterfowl Rejoice at the Willapa Wetland Restoration Project

Highlights in Conservation icon

Migratory Waterfowl Rejoice at the Willapa Wetland Restoration Project

Excavation on the vast freshwater wetland project was monitored for cultural resources. To the right of the excavator are Julie Wilt and Christina Aucutt, with Applied Archaeological Research, Inc. Photo by Anitra Gorham.

Excavation on the vast freshwater wetland project was monitored for cultural resources. To the right of the excavator are Julie Wilt and Christina Aucutt, with Applied Archaeological Research, Inc. Photo by Anitra Gorham.

Location icon
Near South Bend in Pacific County

Project Summary icon
Enhance 109 acres of diked former pasture by constructing three 20 acre freshwater wetlands.

Conservation Partners icon
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Transportation, Ducks Unlimited (DU).

Resource Challenges icon
Originally acquired as a part of a larger estuary restoration project, this pasture was developed into freshwater wetland habitat in response to input from the local community which valued the existing freshwater wetland habitat enclosed within the Willapa River dike. Challenges which faced the project included designing a freshwater wetland habitat that would not also increase the mosquito population in the nearby town of South Bend which was already plagued by mosquitoes.

Conservation Program Used icon
The project was constructed through the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Freshwater ponds were designed so that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife could drain the ponds completely for mosquito control should monitoring indicate that this action was warranted. In the fall of 2005 tidegates were installed under Highway 101 by NRCS and the WSDOT. The freshwater wetlands are under construction this summer and should be completed by early September.

Innovations and Highlights icon
This project has been notable in its complexity due to the number of agencies involved. Greg Fisher worked tirelessly with multiple agencies to plan and permit this project, laying the foundation for its completion eight years later.

Results and Accomplishments icon
This project when completed will be a portion of the larger ‘Willapa Project’ which includes a cross dike constructed in 2006, another freshwater wetland project completed in 2007 and which will include an estuary restoration project to be completed in the future. The creation of these freshwater wetlands will increase the diversity of wetland habitats available in the easement area.

Contact icon
Anitra Gorham, Longview Field Office, (360) 425-1880

NRCS, Fall 2007

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