AUSTIN – Corporate and conservation partners are coming together to enhance wetlands on Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to improve wildlife habitat and water resources in the Trinity River Basin.
Ducks Unlimited, working in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), will construct approximately 206 acres of new wetlands within the WMA. Water from the Trinity River will flood the wetland complex during the winter to provide habitat for a variety of bird species and the associated recreational benefits. After the winter, water from the wetland units would be released back to the Trinity River. The wetlands are designed to reduce sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous levels in the water, providing valuable treatment and improved water quality for the Trinity River. The project is also anticipated to have more than 200 million gallons of water replenishment benefits annually.
Texan by Nature, through the Texas Water Action Collaborative, is taking the lead to protect and enhance water resources in the Trinity Basin and connecting us with corporate sponsors that want to support water and wetland conservation.
The project is being supported by Texas Water Action Collaborative (TxWAC) partners PepsiCo, Facebook, and Bonneville Environmental Fund along with the Litman Foundation. Led by Texan by Nature, TxWAC is a coalition of industry, nonprofit and governmental organizations established in 2021 to invest in efforts along the Upper Trinity River that yield positive return for water quality and quantity. The collaborative chose to start with the Upper Trinity Basin as the Trinity River impacts Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, the two largest human and corporate populations in the state of Texas.
“The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is excited to be working alongside Ducks Unlimited and the Texas Water Action Collaborative on this important project,” said John Silovsky, Wildlife Division Director at TPWD. “Ducks Unlimited is a long-standing partner that has provided direct assistance to TPWD to construct approximately 1,350 acres of wetland habitat on Richland Creek WMA since 1987. Texan by Nature through the Texas Water Action Collaborative has taken the lead to protect and enhance water resources in the Trinity River Basin and connect TPWD with corporate sponsors that recognize the importance of supporting water and wetland conservation.”
Richland Creek WMA is managed by the TPWD and is adjacent to Richland Chambers Reservoir, which was built by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) in the 1980s to help meet the growing water supply needs of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The WMA was created to mitigate wildlife habitat loss resulting from the construction of the reservoir. Since its creation, TPWD has worked closely with TRWD to develop an extensive wetland treatment system on the WMA that currently covers over 2,000 acres and helps treat raw Trinity River Water before it enters the reservoir and gets delivered to municipal and industrial water users. This highly successful collaboration is the model for the new project that will provide similar benefits to fish and wildlife and water quality in the Trinity River.
Texas’ population of 29 million people is expected to double by 2050, putting pressure on the state’s land, water, wildlife, and infrastructure. As the 10th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.9 trillion, new water opportunities and conservation actions are needed to maintain economic leadership.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.