Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Dakota Project

Quantifying restorable wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of Eastern South Dakota

July 2021 - June 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
  • NRCS

Wetland loss in South Dakota has been substantial where an estimated 35% of historic wetlands have been lost primarily to agricultural conversion which continues today. These land-use changes have resulted in reduced wetland habitat for wildlife and loss of other ecosystem services. Wetland conservation and restoration contribute to improved watershed functions through providing both water quantity benefits in terms of flood attenuation and water quality benefits such as retention of sediment and nutrients. Potentially restorable wetland basins remain unmapped today limiting voluntary conservation opportunities. Our goal is to identify the location and type of wetlands in South Dakota with altered hydrology to inform voluntary and incentive-based wetland restoration opportunities.