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  • The Wetlands Initiative The Wetlands Initiative

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Mission Statement

The Wetlands Initative is dedicated to restoring the wetland resources of the Midwest to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and reduce flood damage. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Description

TWI operates primarily in northeastern Illinois, targeting the Illinois River Basin, but seeks to influence restoration practice throughout the Upper Midwest. The organization conducts and supports high-quality restoration projects through direct, on-the-ground work and by forming larger partnerships to demonstrate innovative ways to finance large-scale wetland restoration, such as water quality trading markets. With a focus on science-based, economically sustainable projects and collaborative work with public agencies, TWI’s goal is to develop restoration methods and models that others may copy.

In 2012, TWI’s flagship restoration project, the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes, was named a
Wetland of International Importance--one of only 36 in the entire United States--under the international Ramsar
Convention on Wetlands. To date, 570 native plant species and 271 bird species have been found there, including 22
of the 30 state-listed threatened or endangered birds. Meanwhile, we continue to implement our award-winning public-private partnership model. TWI has restored more than 1,500 acres of rare prairie-wetland landscapes with the U.S. Forest Service at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and, in 2014, we are beginning a communitywide stream restoration effort with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

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