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Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership

Eastern Saline Wetlands

Eastern Saline Wetlands were once estimated to be in excess of 20,000 acres. Now less than 4,000 acres remain and many of these are degraded. These wetlands form a regionally unique wetlands complex located in floodplain swales and depressions within the Salt Creek, Little Salt Creek, and Rock Creek drainages in Lancaster and southern Saunders counties in Nebraska.

In 2003, a group of state and local agencies joined forces to establish the Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership which has established an implementation plan to address the preservation of this special land and the needs of the community. There must be cooperation between landowners, conservation interest and governmental agencies in order to continue to sustain the saline wetlands in Nebraska.

Visit the Wetlands

The saline wetland areas are open to the public. Learn more about each wetland area by selecting the links to the right.

Come out and visit the saline wetlands. With the arrival of water from snow melt and spring rain insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals begin to populate the wetlands. The plants in the wetlands will begin to grow and bloom, providing an additional food source for the residents.

One of the best known functions of wetlands is to provide a habitat for birds. Wetlands are important bird habitats, and birds use them for breeding, nesting, and rearing young. Birds also use wetlands as a source of drinking water and for feeding, resting, shelter, and social interactions. A favorite activity this time of year is “Bird Watching.” Migrating birds and Shorebirds will stop at saline wetlands in Lancaster County during April and May to rest and eat before heading north to nest and raise their young. Learn more about important bird areas and view the Bird Survey Data.

As summer approaches, the saline wetlands will begin to dry out. The colors of spring will fade and small animals and birds will be more difficult to find as they venture deeper into vegetated areas.

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Nebraska‘s Eastern Saline Wetlands projects in progress

Recent Updates:

The Upper Little Salt Creek Saline Wetlands Plan
  • Recently completed, see the Executive Summary
  • Identifies land management, rehabilitation and conservation goals for planning area
  • Field level and spatial data were collected to evaluate existing conditions of saline wetlands
  • Prior saline wetland rehabilitation projects were evaluated to determine successful applications and potential improvements
  • The plan provides Partnership a basis for future planning and project development
Biogeochemical controls on saline wetland plant establishment in Nebraska’s Eastern Saline Wetlands
  • The draft Final Report was completed in March 2016. Download the Final Report.
  • This research will provide assistance addressing the comprehensive strategies of the Implementation Plan for the Conservation of Nebraska’s Eastern Saline Wetlands (2003)
Marsh Wren Saline Wetland Restoration Project
  • Conceptual Design and 95 percent Final Design completed.
  • Wetland restoration construction will begin the summer of 2016.
Updated reports

Funding provided in part by: