TNC Pop-Up Wetlands

The Sacramento Valley once included some 4 million acres of wetland habitat. Over the past century, the landscape has been retooled for farming and development. Today just 250,000 acres of wetlands remain and these play a crucial role as pit stops for the birds migrating through the Pacific Flyway. It would be impossible for The Nature Conservancy to save the flyway by buying farms one at a time, so instead the Conservancy is testing a new program that pays rice farmers to leave water in their fields during critical times during the season. I was asked to photograph these "pop-up wetlands as well as the birds and the rice farmers involved in the program.