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Wetland Restoration and Mitigation By Josie Lami and Cate Ankersen.

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Presentation on theme: "Wetland Restoration and Mitigation By Josie Lami and Cate Ankersen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wetland Restoration and Mitigation By Josie Lami and Cate Ankersen

2 ∗ Wetlands are locations for aquatic biodiversity. ∗ They provide vital ecological and economic services. Wetlands

3 ∗ The U.S. has lost more than half of its wetlands since 1900. ∗ Italy  95% lost ∗ New Zealand  92% lost Disappearing Wetlands

4 ∗ 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. How are they disappearing?

5 ∗ Laws are being passed to protect them. ∗ - U.S. zoning laws are made to steer development away from wetlands Preserving and Restoring Wetlands

6 ∗ 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. What’s the U.S. doing?

7 ∗ 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. Mitigation

8 ∗ 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 Case Study: Everglades

9 ∗ 90% of wading birds have disappeared from the park and other vertebrates are down 75-95% Everglades continued

10 ∗ 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. Everglades continued

11 ∗ 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 1990 CERP

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