Many of the NRD's flood risk reduction projects lower flood risk while enjoying the benefits of enhancing habitat essential for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species.
Large-scale flood reduction projects require partnerships and funding from local, state and federal agencies. Funding from federal agencies have habitat requirements under the Watershed Protection & Flood Prevention Act. The Soil Conservation Service at the Department of Agriculture provides planning assistance and construction funding for projects constructed by local sponsors such as Natural Resources Districts.
Most wildlife habitat on projects are established through acquisition of perpetual wetland and floodplain easements for flood management and storage purposes, for water quality and quantity improvement, and for fish and wildlife.
Wetlands provide habitats for sport fish, migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that rely on wetlands for shelter, breeding and feeding. They also provide unique habitat for endangered plants and animals. In addition to habitat, wetlands have beneficial microorganisms (called biofilm) that live on wetland plants and process some forms of pollution. Roots of wetland vegetation hold soils in place, thus stabilizing the banks of rivers and streams.
Many people think of bees and butterflies when they hear about pollinators, however, Nebraska has many other important pollinating insects including flies, beetles, and moths. These insects fly from flower to flower, which transfers pollen grains from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant of the same species. This allows germination and fertilization.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 1 in 3 bites of food requires an insect or small mammal to pollinate plants for production. Some of these foods are grown in Nebraska such as apples, cherries, pumpkins, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, grapes, and melons. Even chocolate and coffee require pollination from flies and stingless bees.
You can take part by planting pollinator-friendly gardens and installing pollinator feeders. Adding native and flowering plants that bloom from spring through fall are most beneficial for pollinators. Native plants are important to include because they have pollen and nectar sources for native pollinators. Providing habitat for pollinators also ensures that our native ecosystems will remain healthy and productive. For a list of plants for Nebraska’s pollinators visit the Nebraska Extension website.
The Central Platte NRD is provides free pollinator feeder kits to the public. These kits include a feeder, nectar, pollinator information, and educational activities. The kits are available at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Ave in Grand Island, NE.
WILD Nebraska is an umbrella program of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that primarily delivers wildlife habitat management activities on private lands. This partnership with Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts is a key element in providing quality wildlife habitat across the state. Call your district office for more information on opportunities in your area. A list of district office locations and phone numbers is available at the link below. View district office locations
Corners for Wildlife