Wetland Enhancement

Installing practices such as dikes in existing wetlands to manage water levels and improve habitat.                     

How it works

Most wetland enhancement work includes small structures built to add water or regulate water levels in an existing wetland. Subsurface and surface drains and tiles are plugged. Concrete and earthen structures—usually dikes or embankments—are built to trap water. These practices maintain a predetermined water level in an existing wetland. Adjustable outlets allow the landowner to fluctuate the water level during different seasons. Enhancement also includes planting native wetland vegetation if plant populations need to be supplemented.

How it helps

Wetlands filter nutrients, chemicals and sediment before water infiltrates into ground water supplies.
Wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl and many other species of wildlife.
Wetlands add beauty and value to a farm.
 

Planning ahead

Will soil hold water?
Is there an adequate water supply?
Is there adequate upland wildlife habitat available?
What wildlife do you want to attract?
Will plugging drains or breaking tile lines to enhance the wetland have
adverse effects on other parts of your farm, or a neighboring farm?

Tech notes

Remove trees and brush from embankments and the vegetative spillway area.
Protective vegetative cover should be established on exposed surfaces of
embankments and spillways.
Obtain any necessary permits.
Keep livestock from the area, unless it is included in a planned grazing
management plan.
Dikes and levees should meet NRCS or US Army Corps of Engineers
standards.

Maintenance

You may need to replant some wetland vegetation until a good stand is
established.
Keep burrowing animals out of earthen structures. Control beavers and
muskrats.
Keep intakes clean and outlet free of debris.
Inspect pipe structures and repair any damages.