Located 70 miles south of Kansas City along the border of Kansas and Missouri, much of the land at the Marais des Cygnes NWR was too degraded after decades of farming to support habitat for wildlife. As the forest is restored, it will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for migratory birds including the yellow-breasted chat and the indigo bunting, and will be open to the public for wildlife-dependent recreational uses.

Project Type:


Carbon Impact:

The Marais des Cygnes planting is a forest-based carbon sequestration project, which received gold validation in July 2009 and was certified by SCS Global Services under its SCS Greenhouse Gas Verification Program. As the forest matures, it is expected to trap an estimated 260,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking approximately 47,000 cars off the road.


Wildlife: Hundreds of bird species, fish, freshwater mussels, furbearers as well as game species.
Water: Roughly one-third of the Refuge lies within the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River
Tree planting job creation, decreased impacts of flooding.
Recreation: Wildlife oriented recreation including hunting, fishing, and birding


Standard: Gold level under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standard
Auditor: Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Conservation Partner: United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Project Design Documents: View the project design documents
Forest carbon: Cannot be owned or claimed by any party as the forest matures.
Gap Validation: View Project Design Document 

The Refuge is named after the Marais des Cygnes River which runs through the middle of the refuge and is the dominant natural feature of the region. The name, Marais des Cygnes, comes from the French language and means Marsh of the Swans. It is presumed that trumpeter swans, which were historically common in the Midwest, used the wetlands adjacent to the Marais des Cygnes River during spring and fall migration.- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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