The Alberta NAWMP Partnership aims to retain important wetland and upland habitats and facilitate wetland and upland restoration through securement programs that include land purchase, conservation easements and agreements, management agreements, and forage agreements. These programs are delivered by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

The Alberta NAWMP Partnership continually seeks out new opportunities to identify and create direct program opportunities among partners. Examples include integrated watershed management, biodiversity planning, wildlife and biodiversity enhancement best management practices (BMPs).

  • Wetland Restoration

    Wetland restoration programs seek to restore the historic hydrological and ecological function of previously drained wetlands. Ephemeral, temporary and seasonal wetlands have experienced the greatest losses due to historic and ongoing rural and urban development and are a priority however all wetland classes are targeted. Restoration typically involves the installation of earth-fill dams or “ditch plugs” in the outlet ditches of drained basins. Landowners are compensated financially for the restoration of the associated Ecosystem Services (ES) through voluntary agreements. DUC is currently the only partner that implements wetland restoration, with NCC actively facilitating wetland restoration opportunities through its securement efforts. Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) creates opportunities for wetland restoration through the Alberta Wetland Policy.

  • Upland Restoration

    Upland restoration activities include cropland-to-perennial cover conversion and planted nesting cover. Most cropland conversion is to pasture or hayland with regular agricultural use. Upland restoration programs, including the conservation of existing wetlands, are delivered by DUC and require minimum 10-year agreements. Management of forage stands becomes the responsibility of landowners. Planted nesting cover is set aside for waterfowl nesting on a small amount of the highest quality, permanently secured lands. Only periodic management occurs to maintain cover quality. DUC is the only Alberta NAWMP Partner offering this program.


The Alberta NAWMP places a high priority on achieving results through extension activities. Our partners direct their extension efforts to agricultural and water resource management communities, encouraging them to adopt wildlife and wetland-friendly land-use and water management practices.

Sharing Information

Partner-directed extension programs focus on sharing information about restoring and retaining wetland and upland habitats. These programs include forage conversion, winter cereals and species at risk. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) provides forage extension programs or winter cereals extension programs. Species-at-risk-based extension activities are implemented by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks (through the Alberta Conservation Association).

Extension programs are delivered throughout Alberta’s prairie/parkland. Similar to direct programs, partners continually seek to identify and align collaborative opportunities for extension programs, such as integrated watershed management, biodiversity planning, wildlife and biodiversity enhancement best management practices (BMPs) and environmental services.

Policy Support

The Alberta NAWMP policy support efforts are directed at federal, provincial and municipal levels of governments, with emphasis on the provincial jurisdiction over wetlands. The Alberta NAWMP Policy Committee monitors and guides all policy activities within the broader partnership.
Our current policy support efforts focus on:

  • Supporting the implementation of the Alberta Wetland Policy and the provincial Water for Life Strategy.
  • Encouraging the development of wetland conservation, protection and restoration objectives for all watersheds in Alberta under appropriate planning mechanisms (e.g., integrated watershed management plans under the Water for Life Strategy, the Alberta Land-Use Framework, Alberta Environment and Park’s cumulative effects management system).
  • Encouraging wetland-associated perennial upland conservation and protection objectives, which are set for all target landscapes in Alberta under appropriate planning mechanisms (e.g., Alberta’s Land Use Framework).
  • Incorporating enhanced incentives for the conservation, protection and restoration of wetlands and associated native habitats into appropriate government programs.
  • Supporting the implementation of beneficial management practices (BMPs)
  • Ensuring waterfowl crop damage prevention and compensation programs are maintained at appropriate levels. Alberta NAWMP will continue to support funding and implementation agencies to ensure program is maintained and adequately funded.

Additional Programming

  • Communications

    Strategic and directed communications efforts play a key role in bringing partner agencies together under the
    Alberta NAWMP umbrella.

  • Habitat

    Under the Alberta NAWMP Partnership, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manage approximately 1.8 million habitat acres of licensed wetland projects in Alberta. Ongoing management and maintenance of these lands includes periodic inspections to ensure habitat integrity and safety standards are retained.

Photo: Glenn Mack (DUC)