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Wetland Restoration and Mitigation. By Josie Lami and Cate Ankersen. Wetlands. Wetlands are locations for aquatic biodiversity. They provide vital ecological and economic services. Disappearing Wetlands. The U.S. has lost more than half of its wetlands since 1900. Italy  95% lost

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wetland restoration and mitigation
Wetland Restoration and Mitigation
  • By Josie Lami and Cate Ankersen
wetlands
Wetlands
  • Wetlands are locations for aquatic biodiversity.
  • They provide vital ecological and economic services.
disappearing wetlands
Disappearing Wetlands
  • The U.S. has lost more than half of its wetlands since 1900.
  • Italy95% lost
  • New Zealand92% lost
how are they disappearing
How are they disappearing?
  • People drain, fill in, or cover over wetlands to create rice fields or other cropland.
  • Wetlands have been destroyed in order to extract minerals, oil, and natural gas.
  • Eliminate breeding grounds for insects that spread diseases; rise of sea levels flood
  • wetlands
  • All of these things degrade aquatic
  • diversity supported by wetlands.
preserving and restoring wetlands
Preserving and Restoring Wetlands
  • Laws are being passed to protect them.
  • - U.S. zoning laws are made to steer development away from wetlands
what s the u s doing
What’s the U.S. doing?
  • They require federal permits to fill in wetlands that are more than 1.2 hectares.
  • Positive: U.S. Fish and Wild Life Services says that this law helped cut the average annual wetland loss by 80% since 1969.
  • Negative: still attempts by land developers to weaken wetland protection (only 6% of inland wetlands are federally protected)
    • State and local wetland protection is inconsistent and usually weak.
mitigation
Mitigation
  • Mitigation banking allows the destruction of existing wetlands as long as an equal area of wetland is created or restored.
  • Negative: 2001 study by National Academy of Sciences found half of the attempts to create new wetlands fail to replace lost ones
  • This has become a profitable business
    • Private investment bankers make money by buying wetlands and restoring them.
    • Must replace each hectare or destroyed wetland with 2 or more hectares of restored wetland.
case study everglades
Case Study: Everglades
  • Located in South Florida (previously 60-mile-wide)
    • Knee-deep sheet of water flowing south from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Baytrickled south creating a vast network of wetlands
    • 1947: est. Everglades National Park containing 1/5 of the remaining Everglades
    • Unfortunately this did not work
    • Turned into grazing land by farmers; drained, diverted, paved over, polluted, and invaded by a number of plant and animal species
everglades continued
Everglades continued
  • 90% of wading birds have disappeared from the park and other vertebrates are down 75-95%
everglades continued1
Everglades continued
  • Another result is the degradation of Florida Bay, a shallow estuary with many tiny islands, or keys, south of ENP.
    • Freshwater has been diverted for crops and cities causing the bay to become saltier and warmernutrient input increased which causes algal blooms
    • This has threatened coral reefs, diving, fishing, and tourism industries.
1990 cerp
1990 CERP
  • Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
  • Goals include:
    • Restore curving flow of more than half the Kissimmee River
    • Remove 250 mi of canals and levees blocking water flow south of Lake Okeechobee
    • Buy 93 square mi of farmlandflood itcreate artificial marshes that will filter runoff
    • Create 18 large reservoirs and underground water storage
    • Build new canals, reservoirs, pumping systems to capture 80% of water flowing out to sea and return to Everglades
    • It did unravel: sugarcane growers increased phosphorus dischargeoverruns and hurt funding for the project