Merced County Seasonal Wetland Habitat
Merced County is located in the northern San Joaquin Valley section of the Central Valley in California. The Merced County Seasonal Wetland Habitat project will expand a successful pilot program led by Audubon California to create a shorebird habitat in the Grasslands Ecological Area of Merced County through the flooding and gradual drawdown of seasonal wetlands during spring shorebird migration.
The project will provide 2,000 acres of crucial habitat annually for three years, achieving 1/6 of the Central Valley Joint Venture’s goal for spring wetland habitat. Project partners will contract with multiple private duck-hunting clubs to achieve this outcome. Seasonal wetlands that have been managed exclusively for waterfowl and left dry during the spring will be flooded for 4 weeks to create shallow water habitat during the peak shorebird migration.
The long-term goal is to run the program annually and secure water each year to provide habitat for shorebirds that would not be available otherwise.
* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit