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Wetland Threats & Wetland Education Joan Chadde, Education Program Coordinator Center for Science and Environmental Outreach & & Western U.P. Center for.

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Presentation on theme: "Wetland Threats & Wetland Education Joan Chadde, Education Program Coordinator Center for Science and Environmental Outreach & & Western U.P. Center for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wetland Threats & Wetland Education Joan Chadde, Education Program Coordinator Center for Science and Environmental Outreach & & Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering Michigan Technological University

2 Lecture Objectives: 1) Describe amount of wetland loss in U.S. 2) Describe human actions that threaten wetlands. 3) Identify causes of wetland alteration. 4) Provide overview of educational programs and materials. 5) Identify organizations and agencies with wetland education mission.

3 How Much Wetland Area Has Been Lost?? (since pre-settlement ~ 1600’s)? n Nationwide – 53% (in lower 48)  Great Lakes Basin – 70%  Michigan  50% of total wetlands lost  70% of coastal wetlands  75% of Michigan wetlands in private ownership. ( from Living With Michigan Wetlands: A Landowner’s Guide)


5 Major Effects of Wetland Losses n 50% loss of spawning grounds for fish n 50% loss of waterfowl habitat n 50% loss of flood control capability n 50% loss of erosion control and sediment-trapping capability

6 Why So Much Wetland Loss? n Perception of wetlands as “wastelands” and “swamps” (= ignorance) n Economic incentives for development and urban sprawl

7 Major Causes of Wetland Loss & Degradation A) Biological Alterations B) Chemical Alterations C) Physical Destruction or Degradation

8 A) Biological Alterations 1. Removal of wetland or riparian vegetation 2. Introduction of non-native/exotic species

9 Removal of riparian vegetation next to stream due to residential development.

10 Farming up to edge of stream.

11 Livestock corral adjacent to stream

12 Introduced weeds and non-native plants, i.e. purple loosestrife need to be controlled through biological, chemical and/or mechanical means or prevented by proper land management, i.e. minimize disturbance.

13 Chemical Alterations 1. Release of pollutants & toxic chemicals 2. Change in nutrient levels



16 Site Name: Portage Township Landfill Site Address: SOUTH OF M-26 & SHARON RD City: HOUGHTON Zip Code: 49931 County: Houghton Source: Landfill Pollutant(s): Manganese Cadmium, Nickel Toluene, Bs(ethylhexyl)phthal Score: 40 out of 48 Score Date: 1991-05-09 Township: 54N Range: 34W Section: 25 Quarter: NW Quarter/Quarter: SW Status: Active

17 Site Name: Florida Gas Site Address: M-26 & Franklin St. City: Laurium Zip Code: 49913 County: Houghton Source: Petroleum & Coal Products Pollutant(s): Heavy Metals, Volatile HCs PNAs, Semi-Volatile HCs Score: 44 out of 48 Score Date: 1992-08-31 Township: 56N Range: 33W Section: 25 Quarter: NW Quarter/Quarter: Status: Active

18 Environmental Response Division Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality Website: Click on "Contaminated Sites in Michigan" where you can search by county or city. Mission To effectively determine, evaluate, and control risks to the environment and the health, safety, and welfare of Michigan's citizens by carrying out cleanup or other response activities at sites of environmental contamination.

19 Agricultural runoff carries pesticides, fertilizers and manure.

20 Livestock corral on streams allows manure (nutrients) to enter stream unfiltered by vegetation.

21 Sediment plume discharging into river and then entering lake.

22 Physical Destruction or Degradation_____ 1. Filling 2. Draining 3. Dredging & Stream Channelization 4. Peat Mining 5. Flooding & Changes in Sediment Deposition Patterns due to Dam Construction. 6. ATV/Recreational Uses

23 Boom Times In Northwest Michigan by Dr. Joe VanderMuelen, Land Information Access Association Recently, a local contractor told me how very well his company is doing. "We're totally booked through next spring. It's so busy, I'm turning work away every week. And I can't find anyone to recommend. Everybody's booked. It's really great… But it can't go on like this. There's gotta be an end to it.” (Does there?)

24 Stream channelization = straightening of rivers & streams for railroad and highways.

25 Peat Mining n Michigan is largest peat producer. n Other large peat producers are: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota n Peatland crop production (sod, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, lettuce, cranberries, mint, radishes. n Horticultural use; containerized seedlings used in forest industry.

26 Flooding (and flood damage) is much greater when streams are straightened and riparian vegetation has been removed.


28 WETLANDS DAMAGE FORCES ATV BAN ATVs have been banned in three lake areas of the Chequamegon Nat’l Forest after the destruction of delicate wetlands by ATVs in summer 2000. The Valhalla Sunbowl near Washburn, WI has been permanently closed to ATVs after a small wetland once home to frogs, deer and rabbits was turned into gray muck and pools filled with stagnant water by ATV riders. It is estimated to take 10-15 years to repair…..

29 II. Education Efforts to Protect and Enhance Wetlands____ A. Public Education Brochures & booklets Landowner’s Guide handbooks Landowner workshops Videos Logger certification programs Teacher workshops Curriculum development – K-12 and university Children’s literature n What is biggest threat to Michigan water quality? n ….ignorance and apathy. (Ellie Bunzendahl, CEE, MTU

30 Educational materials for landowners and public…

31 Workshops for ranchers, farmers and landowners.

32 Forest Stewardship Programs educate forest landowners & loggers.

33 Teacher workshops wetlands soils stream monitoring wildife Lake Superior WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands: An Educator’s Guide A Thousand Friends of Frogs Educator Activity Guide

34 Wetlands Ecology Course @ university level

35 Trap Rock River Adopt-a-Stream Project 1995-2001 Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School students cleaning the Trap Rock River, near Lake Linden. Trap Rock River Newsletter sent to all residents of school district. 65 tires removed……and lots of several pick-up trucks of trash.

36 B. Organizations & Agencies with Wetland Education & Protection Mission___ State and Federal Agencies Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources & Dept. of Environmental Quality U.S. EPA ( U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service U.S. Bureau of Reclamation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

37 Professional Organizations Society of Wetland Scientists ( Soil & Water Conservation Society Advocacy & Stewardship Organizations: Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council ( Michigan Land Use Institute ( Protection/Conservation Organizations The Nature Conservancy Michigan Nature Association Keweenaw Land Trust, etc.

38 Summary  3 categories of wetland alteration  Major causes of wetland loss & degradation  Education is essential

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