Department of Water Resources Home
Cliff Feldheim, Chief
Environmental Planning and Information Branch
Suisun Marsh Program
3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9693
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
Suisun Banner

Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Managed Wetland Research Program


The Suisun Marsh is a unique estuarine system providing important habitat for a variety of waterfowl and other waterbirds.  Gaining a better understanding of that importance and finding ways to maintain and increase the value of the Suisun Marsh for waterfowl and other waterbirds into the future is the focus of a long-term research program led by the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center.  Other key partners include the Suisun Resource Conservation District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Waterfowl Association, U.C. Davis, Ducks Unlimited, and the Central Valley Joint Venture.  This work will provide critical information for the management of managed wetlands which is of increasing importance as planned activities (e.g. the Suisun Marsh Plan and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan) propose to convert thousands of acres of managed wetlands to tidal wetland habitats, putting more pressure on the remaining managed wetlands to maintain the overall value of the Marsh for waterfowl and the many other waterbird species that depend on these habitats.

Established in 2014, the Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Managed Wetland Research Program will first focus on gathering baseline data to highlight the current value of managed wetlands for waterfowl and other waterbirds.  Upcoming research includes periodic surveys to document waterfowl abundance and waterfowl use of each Suisun Marsh habitat type, nesting waterfowl studies designed to better understand the factors affecting waterfowl production, and studies of winter habitat use by waterfowl in order to better understand how waterfowl respond to various habitat factors and wetland management techniques.  Understanding the amount and distribution of foods produced and used by different waterfowl species under differing wetland management regimes is a key component of this program.  All of these studies will be designed to help inform wetland management practices and track impacts that may result from changes in Suisun Marsh habitats, with the overall goal of maintaining the high value of the Suisun Marsh for waterfowl and other waterbirds. 
See  for project updates.

Click here for more information on the breeding waterfowl of the Suisun Marsh.

widgeon sitting on water

Photos by Dominique Martin jr.

Dominique Martin jr / Photography