Wetland Program

Photo of Quivira National Wildlife Refuge


Increase the knowledge base about Kansas’ wetland systems through surveying, monitoring, research and assessment to establish wetland conditions, identify trends and the causes and sources affecting wetland change.


Wetlands have long been known to assist with water purification, not to mention the diversity in flora and fauna they provide. The current Wetland Program Plan (WPP) 2019-2023 for Kansas was developed by a diverse group of state agencies, interest groups and Kansas citizens with assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help evaluate this natural resource.

Current Updates

Characterizing Biological Structure and Ecological Function of Kansas Playas and Updating the existing Kansas Wetland Program Plan (WPP) grant is nearing competition as well with two years of mapping and data collected. The use of LiDAR to improve the known Playa catchments and collect field data to validate the images. Work will begin on the final report shortly. The EPA approved the 2019-2023 WPP in March 2019.

Evaluating Playas in Western Kansas: Recharge to the High Plains aquifer and Economics of Cropping grant is still in the beginning stages. This grant sets out to look at recharge rates in multiple Playa Lakes while at the same time determining the bottom line to farming or not farming a Playa. Work is set to begin this year. 

Impact of wind on sediment resuspension and vegetation growth in aging reservoirs Multipurpose grant is new to the KWO. This is a much smaller dollar value grant than typical and is being used to answer a few questions left unanswered from the 2015 EPA wetlands grant. This grant is looking at sediment resuspension in Clinton and Marion Reservoirs and work is under way in collaboration with Kansas Biological Survey (KBS).

The Kansas Biological Survey developed a map of Playa Lakes in Kansas, which was partially funded through the Wetland Program Grant.

Wetland Program Development Grant FY2011 Final Report

Wetland Program Development Grant FY2012 Final Report

Wetland Program Development Grant FY2013 Final Report 

Wetland Program Development Grant FY2014 Final Report

Playa Lake Recharge - EPA Wetland Grant FY2014-17 Final Report

Wetland Program Plan for Kansas - The current Wetland Program Plan was developed by a diverse group of wetland professionals. 


The projects are typically 24 month projects that are considered complete after a final report has been accepted. Characterizing Biological Structure and Ecological Function of Kansas Playas has begun and will be completed in the winter of 2020.  Updating the existing WPP has been completed. Evaluating recharge in western Kansas Playas will begin anytime. The final grant evaluating the effects on resuspension of sediment began this fall.


The Kansas Water Office received grant funding from the EPA for all three of these projects totaling nearly $620,000. These grants are monitored closely  with quarterly reports used to document the progress of the grants.

Additional Information

Classification of Wetland and Riparian Areas in Kansas

Kansas Riparian Area Management Brochure

Kansas Wetland and Riparian Resources_Conservation Goals and Strategies

Kansas Wetland Conservation Brochure

Local Planning Guide for Wetland and Riparian Areas in Kansas

Management Practices for Wetlands and Riparian Areas

Wetland and Riparian Areas in Kansas_Resources in Need of Conservation

Wetland and Riparian Areas_Program Directory Manual

Project Manager

Kirk Tjelmeland

KWO Office
900 SW Jackson Street
Suite 404
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Phone: 785-296-3185
Fax: 785-296-0878
Toll Free: 1-888-526-9283
Email the Office
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