Red River Valley wetland restoration to help control floods, create new habitat

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Federal, state and local officials are celebrating the start of a big wetland restoration project in the Red River Valley.

The $6 million project will restore more than 1,300 acres of wetlands, and several thousand acres will be set aside to hold water during spring floods, said Bruce Albright, administrator for the Buffalo Red River Watershed.

Albright said there's growing interest in restoring wetlands to reduce flooding in the Red River Valley.

"We've got another probably 10 to 15 sites identified of this size and scope or larger," he said. "So we'll get this one underway, under construction, and within the next month or two I'm sure we'll start looking for that next site."

In addition to flood control, the wetland area will create waterfowl habitat, reduce pollution from farm runoff and help recharge an underground aquifer, Albright said.

The state is paying 75 percent of the project cost.

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