Accelerated Shallow Lake and Wetland Enhancement and Restoration Program
This programmatic partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) will accelerate enhancement, restoration, and protection of shallow lakes and wetlands important to waterfowl. This partnership will assess, design, and implement shallow lake and wetland enhancement, restoration, and protection projects to address the most important wetland issues facing waterfowl and other wetland wildlife in Minnesota. Every statewide conservation plan recognizes the need for improving and protecting Minnesota’s shallow lakes and wetlands for wildlife habitat. The MN DNR Duck Recovery Plan calls for the enhancement and active management of 1,800 shallow lakes while adding 64,000 wetlands to Minnesota’s landscape. DU’s Living Lakes conservation initiative supports this plan with a goal of improving 300 shallow lakes in Minnesota.
DNR and DU will accelerate partnership efforts to enhance, restore, and protect shallow lakes and wetlands through increased assessment and engineering plus funding for water level control structure construction and land control. Enhancing and properly managing shallow lakes and wetlands will involve three components: assessment and feasibility analysis (Pre-design), engineering survey, design, review, easements and permits (Design), and ultimately water level control structure installation (Construction). DU will also work with private landowners to permanently protect lands adjacent to shallow lakes through purchase of lands in and adjacent to large drained basins in fee-title to allow for restoration and/or through permanent conservation easements (Protection). In total, DNR and DU will conduct 200 assessments, work on developing 50 new projects including engineering designs, restore 63 acres, structurally enhance 7,172 acres, and protect 750 acres in fee-title. In the process, DNR may purchase small easements for water flowage and/or water control structure placement, and DU may purchase permanent conservation easements on shallow lake shoreline if needed and grant funding is available.