Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Wetland Restoration & Protection

Wetlands are unique and productive ecosystems that provide many important ecological services to the environment. They reduce the rate and volume of stormwater runoff, provide protection from flooding, remove pollutants, provide important wildlife habitat, and can improve the overall health of a watershed.

Over half of the wetlands in Dane County have been lost over the last century. Many of those that remain have been degraded. Wetland restoration is the process by which the physical, chemical, and/or biological properties of a former or degraded wetland are improved to restore its natural function.

Department Initiatives

Restoration on County-owned Lands
We follow Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan recommendations which includes the following priorities:

  • Preserve lands adjacent to urban areas that improve water and wetland quality and quantity
  • Continue to increase restoration efforts on wetland ecosystems
  • Acquire lands to buffer water and wetland areas to reduce flooding and enhance water quality

Current Projects
View our Current Projects webpage to find information on current projects happening within the Dane County Park System. To find projects on wetland restoration, click the arrow under Search, then select "Ecological Restoration" from the dropdown, then click the blue Search button to see the results.

Restoration on Privately-owned Lands
Landowners can make a positive impact in the overall health of our watershed by improving degraded wetlands or restoring wetlands that existed historically. Dane County staff can help connect landowners and operators to cost-share funding to support wetland restoration projects on their property. Visit our Wetland Restoration Program webpage to learn more.