Waterfowl Festival & Ducks Unlimited to Restore Blackwater Wetland

The annual Waterfowl Festival, held in Easton, is less than a month away, and its conservation efforts are already taking flight.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine is a proud sponsor of the Festival Novermber 10–12.

Waterfowl Chesapeake has announced it will give $20,000 to support the restoration of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, matching a donation from Ducks Unlimited.

The funds will go toward restoring two parcels of land in Dorchester County, and creating 25 acres of “managed freshwater emergent wetland,” which is important habitat for migrating waterfowl.

The Blackwater land is so wet that agricultural crops that have been planted for waterfowl in the past just aren’t helping the birds. The restoration will turn the land into a wetland habitat that will work better on the wet grounds.

The wetlands will be right next to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, giving visitors a front-row seat to watch the winter ducks, geese, and swans.

“We are very excited to commit a portion of Waterfowl Festival’s proceeds toward restoration and conservation projects like this on the Shore. It’s very rewarding to be able to continue the Festival’s legacy of year-round support for our region’s unique waterfowl habitats and heritage,” says Margaret Enloe, Waterfowl Chesapeake’s executive director.

Work is expected to begin in early fall of 2018, once remaining funding is secured in the spring. 

Ducks Unlimited, the Refuge, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office are all playing a role in the project.