SUNY Environmental Science students learning at Seneca Meadows

Approximately fifty SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF), SUNY Cobleskill and New York State Ducks Unlimited delegates recently visited the Seneca Meadows Education Center and Wetlands Preserve to learn about wetland habitat in the region that have been restored through various efforts including the efforts of the Seneca Meadows landfill in Seneca Falls, Montezuma and other wetland habitat in New York State and neighboring Canada.  This gathering was the annual conservation program as part of the New York Ducks Unlimited state convention that is held each year in Geneva, NY to celebrate Ducks Unlimited accomplishments.

The landfill and Ducks Unlimited hosted the group as they first gathered at the Seneca Meadows Education Center to participate in several educational lectures and demonstrations by Ducks Unlimited, SUNY ESF and a NYS DEC wildlife biologist.  SUNY ESF students then gave a short demonstration of wetland sampling techniques that are being used right now for a Master’s research project at Montezuma.  The M.S. student is Ed Farley and the project is being funded in part by Ducks Unlimited.

Data collection for the research project began in the summer of 2016, and will finish up with the spring waterfowl surveys in 2019.  Research is being conducted in both Northern Montezuma WMA and Montezuma NWR and will cover 30 wetlands total.

“Throughout New York State, thousands of acres of wetland habitat have been restored through the efforts of various organizations and government agencies. Success of these restorations is often only measured in acres conserved, whereas there is an information deficit on the ecological returns of these restored wetlands in relation to varied management techniques. It is important for wetland managers to understand how post-construction management techniques influence vegetative and animal communities in order to improve wetland restorations.  By monitoring vegetative, invertebrate, and wildlife response to different wetland management techniques on restored wetlands in New York State, I aim to help wetland managers optimize wildlife response to wetland restoration.” M.S. candidate Ed Farley stated.

The group then made their way to the Seneca Meadows Wetlands Preserve to see firsthand wetland habitat that have been restored and that are actively managed to better understand how the management techniques being implemented at Seneca Meadows have influenced the vegetative and animal communities.  In 2014 Seneca Meadows Wetlands Preserve, which features over seven miles of year round trails for bird watching, was designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon.

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