Skip Navigation

Wetland Restoration

Wetland Restoration








Installation or removal of practices in drained or degraded wetlands to restore water levels, hydric soil conditions, and wetland plants and to improve habitat.

How it works

Most wetland restoration work strives to rehabilitate degraded wetlands. This includes managing the hydrology or plant community to promote wetland functions and values, such as wildlife habitat and water quality and quantity. This includes vegetation plantings and structures for water control. This may also include removal of other items, such as dikes and tile drains.

How it helps

  • Filters nutrients and sediment before water enters streams or infiltrates into ground water
  • Reduces soil erosion and downstream flooding by slowing overland water flows and storing excess water
  • Provides habitat for waterfowl and many other plant, animal and insect species
  • Adds beauty and value to a farm

Planning ahead

  • Will the soil hold water?
  • Is the water supply adequate?
  • Is there adequate upland wildlife habitat available?
  • What wildlife do you want?
  • Will plugging drains or breaking tile lines disrupt other areas?

Technical notes

  • Remove trees and brush from embankments and the vegetative spillway area.
  • Protective vegetative cover should be established on exposed surfaces.
  • Obtain any necessary permits.
  • Keep livestock from the area, unless it is included in a grazing management plan.
  • Provide fish passage into and out of the wetland.


  • You may need to plant some wetland vegetation until a good stand is established.
  • Wetlands need to be managed to retain or develop desired conditions. This may include soil management, native plantings, and/or micro-topography modifications.
  • Keep burrowing animals out of earthen structures.
  • Keep intakes clean and outlets free of debris.
  • You may need to install and/or remove boards controlling the water levels each year.
  • Inspect pipe structures and repair any damages.