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Oak Ridge project will mean new habitat, trails to explore at Refuge

The Wetlands Initiative will begin a new project at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge in 2014 that will restore rare oak savanna habitat and more than double the existing trail system, allowing visitors to access and explore the interior of the 3.5-square-mile site for the first time.

Coca-Cola funds help jumpstart new work at Midewin

A grant from Coca-Cola, together with match funding from the National Forest Foundation (NFF), is helping TWI expand its restoration work at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to a large new parcel known as the South Prairie Creek Outwash Plain.

Record waterfowl numbers and native fish thriving at Dixon Refuge

With no traces remaining of any invasive carp, numbers of migratory waterfowl visiting the Wetlands Initiative's Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes this fall are the highest ever recorded, and populations of reintroduced game and native fish are thriving.

Massive Gulf “dead zone” underscores need for more wetlands

In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the Gulf of Mexico's toxic "dead zone" measures 5,840 square miles this year—about the size of Connecticut. But many small wetlands placed far upstream can help solve this very large problem.

Getting technical: TWI staff at national restoration conference

Several members of TWI's technical staff got a chance to share their work with peers at the fifth National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER), held in Schaumburg, Illinois, from July 29 to August 2.

Listen to TWI's senior ecologist on NPR

On Thursday, June 27, TWI senior ecologist Gary Sullivan and board member Mark Maffei talked wetlands on NPR's Worldview with Jerome McDonnell.

Hemi-marsh restoration takes root at Dixon Refuge

The Wetlands Initiative is seeing very positive signs that the invasive common carp has finally been eradicated in Hennepin & Hopper Lakes, which provided a window of opportunity this spring to reestablish higher-quality native lake vegetation.

April flooding a close call for Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

Northeastern Illinois' record heavy rains in April caused the Illinois River to come very close to overtopping the levee that protects the Wetlands Initiative's Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes, which would have been a huge setback for the 12-year-old restoration site.

As the Illinois River Basin floods...

Jack Darin, Director of Sierra Club Illinois, writes that with the loss of 90 percent of Illinois' wetlands, we've also lost the tremendous flood protection they provided. "We're all missing them today." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

New Spring Brook restoration becomes a whole-watershed effort

The partnership between TWI and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to restore a degraded stream has expanded to include public and private "neighbors" of the two targeted forest preserves and individual homeowners throughout the Spring Brook watershed.

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TWI in the news

Newspaper and magazine articles

Bureau County farmers can get paid to create wetlands
LaSalle NewsTribune, 2/6/14

Illinois project to show Midwest farmers how to grow wetlands for cleaner water
Bureau County Republican, 2/5/14

Wetlands’ revival attracts record number of ducks
LaSalle NewsTribune, 11/6/13

Coca-Cola is new Midewin partner
The Daily Journal, 9/14/13

Opinion: Riverside wetlands: A smarter investment to moderate flooding
LaSalle NewsTribune, 5/4/13

Illinois wetlands get international designation
Illinois Issues magazine, July/August 2012

Dixon Waterfowl Refuge declared a Wetland of International Importance
Bureau County Republican, 1/9/12

Restoring prairies in the Prairie State
Chicago Tribune, 10/17/11

Midewin Prairie starts to matter
Chicago Sun-Times, 10/23/11

Harvesting the future
Peoria JournalStar, 10/24/10

Mission Statement

The Wetlands Initiative is dedicated to restoring the wetland resources of the Midwest to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and reduce flood damage.