Illinois wetland project gets federal grant

A northern Illinois environmental group is getting a $50,000 grant to help restore habitat for waterfowl and marsh birds.

The funding for the Putnam County project comes from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The grant was approved March 26 and announced on Friday.

The Wetlands Initiative applied for the grant for the Oak Ridge Wetland Restoration at Hennepin and Hopper lakes. Its project involves restoring 70 acres of wetlands and surrounding savanna and prairie within the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge.

Crews will re-establish native wetlands plants to increase nesting and foraging habitat.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell chairs the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. She says wetlands are important for clean water, act as storm buffers and support fishing and recreational industries.