The two impoundments where the work was done, Campbell Creek and Pamlico Point, are way out east off of the mainland of N.C., said Craig LeSchack, DU director of conservation programs. In this area, brackish waters produce widgeon grass for wintering waterfowl and migratory shorebirds.
About one million dollars came from a grant form the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and just over two million dollars came from Ducks Unlimited, The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and private landowners. The habitat work continues ongoing conservation efforts to improve habitat in the Neuse-Pamlico region, including the 1000 acres of the Goose Creek game lands that were impacted with this latest project.
DU completed several projects in this same area from 1993 to 1997 to control fragmites. The habitat in this area can be crucial for black ducks that stay year round in order to nest, but other ducks that use these areas are blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, pintail, gadwall and widgeon. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission manages the impoundments in the Goose Creek game lands.
This is a unique project because it provides a solution to protecting the habitat values and management capabilities of a limited number of emergent estuarine marsh impoundments along the N.C. coast, said Tommy Hughes, supervising wildlife biologist with the NCWRC. This type of wetland habitat is decreasing and this project protects these impoundments for the long term and continues the landscape scale wetland conservation that will benefit waterfowl.