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WETLAND. By : Lee Chi Leung Law Chung Yin Kan Lai Man Ngai Chung Mang. What are wetlands?.
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WETLAND By : Lee Chi Leung Law Chung Yin Kan Lai Man Ngai Chung Mang
What are wetlands? Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
Content • Role and importance of wetland • The threat on wetland from human activities • Work done on the wetland conservation • The importance of legislation and education in wetland conservation
Maintenance of biodiversity • Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. • Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed.
Wetland Function - Migration • Wetlands provide valuable stop-over sites for migratory birds. Wetlands are also necessary habitats for all waterfowl.
Ecotourism • Many wetlands are prime locations for tourism; some of the finest are protected as National Parks, World Heritage Sites, Ramsar sites, or Biosphere Reserves. Many wetland sites generate considerable income locally and nationally.
Environmental Education • Wetlands offer ideal locations for involving the general public and schoolchildren in hands-on learning experiences, in an essentially recreational atmosphere, to raise awareness of environmental issues.
Others • Flood Protection • Shoreline Erosion • Water Quality and Hydrology • Wetland Function • Natural Products for Our Economy • Recreation and Aesthetics
Flood Control Wetlands act as protective natural Sponges by capturing, storing and slowly releasing water over a long period of time, thereby reducing the impact of floods.
Shoreline Erosion • The ability of wetlands to control erosion is so valuable that some states are restoring wetlands in coastal areas to buffer the storm surges from hurricanes and tropical storms.
Water Quality and Hydrology • Wetlands have important filtering capabilities for intercepting surface- water runoff from higher dry land before the runoff reaches open water.
Wetland Function - Habitat • Wetlands provide habitat for upland mammals such as deer and raccoons.
Wetland Function -Habitat • Wetlands provide habitat for wetland dependent species such as the salamander.
Natural Products for Our Economy ----Food • Wetlands produce food that is beneficial to humans. Examples are rice and cranberries
Natural Products for Our Economy ----Commercial Animal Populations • Wetlands provide humans with commercial animal populations.
Natural Products for Our Economy ----Fuel • Peatlands are still used as production areas.
Natural Products for Our Economy ----Timber/Fiber Production • Wetlands are used as timber/fiber production areas.
Recreation and Aesthetics • Wetlands are used as recreation sites all over the world. Back to content
Economic development • Urbanization • Urbanization is a major cause of impairment of wetlands. Urbanization has resulted in direct loss of wetland acreage as well as degradation of wetlands. • Construction activities are a major source of suspended sediments that enter wetlands through urban runoff.
Public facilities--Roads and bridges • Roads and bridges • Roads and bridges are frequently constructed across wetlands since wetlands have low land value. • Roads can disrupt habitat continuity, driving out more sensitive, interior species and providing habitat for hardier opportunistic edge and non-native species.
Effluent from factory in Pearl Delta • Reduction of wetland acreage • Alteration of wetland hydrology due to industrial water intake and discharge • Water temperature increases • Point and no point source pollutant inputs • pH changes as a result of charges • Atmospheric deposition.
Water pollution from factories • Most petroleum hydrocarbon inputs into coastal wetlands are from coastal oil industry activities • Oil can alter reproduction, growth, and behavior of wetland organisms • Oil can result in mortality • Plants suffocate when oil blocks their stomata
Atmospheric Deposition due to factories • Chemical wastes and other organics and in organics are released into the atmosphere by industrial • These compounds enter wetlands by winds from inland regions upstream of the Pearl Delta • The compounds adversely affect aquatic organisms and the terrestrial organisms that feed on them.
Disturbance of tourists • The tourists would make noisy during their visiting of wetland. This would fright away the birds in wetland. Back to content
WWF (World Wide Fund) For Mai Po • What Have they Done? • wetland: Ramsar Sites in Mai Po are protected by article 3 of convection. • wetland conservation considerations within government’s national land-use planning. They are required to formulate and implement this planning so as to promote
WWF (World Wide Fund) for Mai Po • governments are urged to develop National Wetland Policies in consultation with the local people. • Governments should also set up a National Wetland Committee to coordinate decisions on wetland use. Under the 'wise use' concept, human activity can be allowed in a Ramsar site, e.g. for fish farming, low intensity recreation etc., as long as the use is sustainable.
WWF (World Wide Fund) for Long Valley • WWF Hong Kong raised the objection against the KCRC's Spur Line Scheme in December 1999. WWF Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society have jointly submitted a rezoning request to the Town Planning Board for rezoning Long Valley to "Conservation Area" in June 2000.
WWF (World Wide Fund) for Long Valley • They also raised our strong objections to the Director of Environmental Protection against the Spur Line EIA report in July 2000. To ensure our biodiversity would not be compromised by development, WWF Hong Kong will remain vigilant in the protection of Long Valley in its entirety Back to content
The importance of legislation • Clean Water Act– Wetlands are defined as “waters of the United States” All dredging and filling of wetlands requires a Section 404 permit. • Swampbuster– Provision within the Farm Bill denying subsidies to farmers who drain and fill wetlands for agriculture. • Endangered Species Act– All agencies and citizens are entitled to enforce protection of wetlands that offer unique habitat for endangered species. • No Net Loss– Presidential Mandate calling for no net loss of wetlands. • Clean Water Action Plan– Calls for a net gain of 1,000,000 acres of wetlands per year beginning in 2000
The importance of education • Education can help enhancing students' understanding and awareness of our natural environment, emphasizing the importance of conservation for both wildlife and mankind.