Minnesota Wetland Restoration .”.. and from the swamp came the SWAMP THING! The ugliest, scariest and fowl smelling creature you could ever imagine.” This is how many wetlands are perceived: as dank, smell places and breeding grounds for diseases. But that is untrue. Wetlands are a vital and very important part of our environment. In the past 10 years over 10 million acres of wetlands have been destroyed, having a negative impact on lakes and rivers and other aspects of the ecosystem.
By restoring wetlands we can begin the process of patching the hole in the ecosystem made by the absence of wetlands. “Wetland” is a general term used to describe the major types of wetlands. Wetlands are areas of land that are covered by water for part of the day, or year. There are four types of wetlands; fens, bogs, swamps and marshes. Bogs are “old” wetlands where drainage and water circulation has become poor. Swamps are wetlands that have trees as predominate vegetation.
Fens are similar to bogs but are found mostly in Canada. Fens are wetlands with the predominate vegetation being grasses. (Types of Wetlands) Marshes by far are the most productive of all the types of wetlands. They have lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. Even though there are many different types of wetlands, not everyone agrees on what exactly defines a wetland.
In 1991 the government redefined and toughened the definition of a wetland. They said the following about what wetlands must be in order to be called a wetland. “Must have 21 days of consecutive saturation at the surface or 15 consecutive days of standing water, during agricultural growing season. Must have the presence of water or saturated soils and the presence of certain vegetation that adapts mostly t wet, lowland environments. Doesn’t allow leaf and tree trunk, reduces the importance of silt and surface marks, drift lines, pond sediment deposits that are prime indicators under current wetland conditions.” (Kana mine, 10 A) Wetlands are area’s of land covered by water that support a great diversity of life including plants and animals. They are usually found near lakes or rivers or other bodies of water.
Thesis Statement: Water is the most crucial part of life its self, and must never go unnoticed. I. People frequently overlook the importance of water in the body. In order to keep the body healthy, people must consume water. A healthy body is a well-hydrated body. Without the constant consumption of water the body becomes dehydrated. Perhaps people overlook waters importance, simply because its ...
Sometime the wetland is actually an area of the body of water but only around the perimeter of the body of water. For thousands of years wetlands were perceived as bad things. They were thought to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes and diseases. They were thought of as big bodies of mucky, dirty water that smelled bad. Because of these beliefs, back in the 1860’s many wetlands were filled in to make more land available for housing, roads and business areas. Plus, the people in 1890’s thought that they were reducing the spread of diseases that were thought to be born in the wetland areas.
By the 1890’s thousands of acres of Minnesota wetlands had been filled in, by using wells and clay tiles. The wells would be dug a few kilometers away from the wet area so that the water would be drained from the wetland. They also put tiles into the wetland to move the sitting water away from the depression in the land, and into wells, streams and lakes. (Rebuffoni, Restoring MN B 1) Slowly inch by inch the water receded and drained away, taking some of Minnesota’s 15 million acres of wetlands with it. That’s about 25% of Minnesota’s land area. ( Rebuffoni, Restoring MN B 1) Well it is now a century later and our idea’s about wetlands have changed.
We now are trying to reduce the destruction of wetlands and trying to restore them to our environment. We are restoring wetlands because they are such a vital part of our ecosystem. Wetlands are wild and beautiful things. They are home for thousands of organisms.
Wetlands are the “kidney’s of our planet.” (Williams, 42) The shift of thought from destroying wetlands to restoring them is due to a report written by Paul Adams that was published in 1983. In his report Mr. Adams “came up with a way of evaluation the function a wetland performs through the assessment of physical attributes.” (Hollis and Bedding 1) So exactly what good is a wetland and why do we want to restore them “Wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem.” (Rebuffoni, DNR Picks 3 B 3) Wetlands filter sediments that come through with the surge of rainwater down to lakes and rivers. Wetlands filter excess Phosphorus out of the water. This is extremely helpful to the lakes and rivers near the wetlands. Excess Phosphorus in the water causes excess growth of algae and weeds.
Mother Natures "Time Share" Lake Powell is a family resort for many. Every year at least two million people enjoy its splendor. But I would assume they do not know the trouble that lies beneath. Lake Powell was voted in by a small margin in March, 1956. It was part of the Colorado River Storage Project, also known as CRSP. Ever since it's beginning, some of the people who helped build the dam have ...
(Rebuffoni, Minneapolis marsh B 3) Excess amounts of plant life in a marine ecosystem can be extremely harmful because they use up most of the oxygen in the water area, causing the lake or river to become eutrophic. Wetlands don’t only do their work on the surface water. Wetlands also help to clean and filter the underground water. (1 million wetlands acres destroyed from 85-95) Cleaner underground water means less polluted soil and cleaner lakes and rivers, which are usually feed by underground sources. Another underground niche that wetlands fill, is they are erosion controllers. Erosion is caused by the water picking up sediments and carrying them away.
If a river or stream runs through a wetland, all the vegetation growing in the wetland slows down the flow of the water and thus slows picking up of sediments. Wetlands also help control flooding. Wetlands can act as temporary hold tanks for excess water, that would have otherwise entered the lake or river. While providing a holding area for rain they are also doing much more at the same time. When there is a drought a wetland slowly releases water into lakes and river to counter balance the effect of the lack of water. (WETLANDS) Wetlands reduce the amount of pollutants entering the lakes and rivers.
Grass and leaves settle out in the wetland instead of in the lake or river, making a nutrient rich area that is home to many animals. “Wetlands provide a habitat for many different varieties of birds, mammals. crustacea, fish, reptiles, insects, plants and amphibians.” (What purpose do Wetlands serve) Wetlands are the spawning grounds for many breeds of fish. Without wetlands the number of fish would greatly decrease because of the absence of their spawning area. Destroying wetlands, breaks the balance in the ecosystem.
Throughout history, the snake has been seen as a symbol of evil. From the very first story of creation, when the serpent, declared "the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD GOD had made (Genesis 3: 1) " causes the fall of mankind by tempting Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, the image of the snake is one that inflicts fear, hatred and unease. Ancient mythological stories of Medusa's head ...
Without the wetlands, lakes become so nutrient rich that there isn’t enough oxygen for organism to survive. Underground water sources become dirty and polluted as do the lakes and rivers around it. Lakes and rivers and even residential ares flood. Wetlands are a very important part of our environment and we need to stop destroying wetlands and start restoring them. Michal e Van Valkenburgh said ” Do you want these lakes to be dead, with no fish in them and not fit for swimming, or do you want to invest some of your resources and keep the property value high” In order for our lakes and river to be clean and healthy we need to start restoring wetlands. Restoring wetlands can be inexpensive, fast and easy.
Or it can be hard, expensive and slow. (Rebuffoni, Sierra Club 3 B) It costs the Wildlife Service three hundred and fifty to restore one acre of wetland. That is the average cost for restoring a wetland area, but it all depends on the size of the wetland, where the wetland is and the degree of destruction. (“Restoring MN wetlands.” ) Even though it would cost millions of dollars to restore thousands of acres of wetlands to Minnesota, it would cost a lot less than the cost of all the damage done in the floods of 1997.
(Rebuffoni, Sierra Club 3 B) Wetland restoration takes careful planning and a lot of hard work. To receive maximum benefit from each wetland area restored, the potential wetland region must be carefully surveyed. Workers then must determine the best place to restore the wetland to. The land can not be too high or too low. It can not be in an area that is too dry or nutrient poor. The restored wetlands must be placed strategically to receive maximum benefit of the wetland.
(Rebuffoni, Sierra Club 3 B) Wetland restoration is happening all over the United States, throughout Minnesota and right here in the Twin Cities. Last year restoring wetland “strips” (small areas of wetlands) around Minneapolis lakes was brought up by the Park Board of Minneapolis. They decided to start restoring wetlands to over seven thousand acres of Minneapolis and suburban land. The wetland “strips” will not be like the standard cattail marshes found across Minnesota, but of much lower vegetation. The “strips” will be planted with plants that can survive in both wet and dry habitats. (Brant, A 14) These strips would be along the shores of Calhoun, Cedar, Harriet and Isles lakes in Minneapolis and a few other lakes in the suburbs.
Every year our nations wetlands have an estimated loss of 117,000 acres. This means every five minutes an area the size of a football field is lost. What people do not understand is that we need wetlands for many beneficial reasons. Most people do not even know what wetlands consist of. There are four major types of wetlands which are: isolated wetlands, bogs of the Northeast, bottomland hardwood ...
These wetlands would act as filters to the Minneapolis chain of lakes. Keeping out pollutants, filtering sediments and collecting Phosphorus from storm runoff and snow melt off. (Rebuffoni, Minneapolis Marsh B 3) The “strips” will not be big enough to handle all the runoff from storms and melting snow, but they will filter the first gush of the dirtiest and most polluted water that comes through. The first lake to have the wetland “strips” put in will be Lake Harriet, located in Southwest Minneapolis. Right now the runoff from storms and melting snow go straight into the lake from pipes that bring dirty water directly to the lake from the sewer. Paths in the grass near the shoreline made by joggers and walkers have started to erode the shoreline, and the grassy area around the banks is used for multi purposes.
No matter what happens on this grassy area the runoff from it goes straight in to the lake. With the proposed wetland “strips” the scene around Lake Harriet will have a very different look. Instead of a multipurpose grassy area there will be a wetland “strip.” The pipe that use to go directly into the lake will be rerouted into the wetland “strip.” The paths for the walkers, joggers and bikers will be move far away from the shoreline. Low, green, wet and full of wildlife it will be a home to many types of animals and act as filter for the lake. “With the new wetland “strips” the phosphorus entering the lake may be reduced by up to 50%.” (Rebuffoni, Minneapolis Marsh B 3) Without all the excess Phosphorus entering the lake the amount of lakes weed and other plant life will decrease, making a less eutrophic environment. This is not the only positive effect of the proposed wetland “strips.”By combining wetland restoration and other water catching ideas we can reduce flood levels by 40%” (Rebuffoni, Sierra Club B 3) All around the United States individual states are working to restore their own lost wetlands.
Preservation of Wetlands Wetlands are in danger. We must try to help them because they are very important to us. They provide habitat and food for a variety of animals. They also provide the unique growing conditions needed to grow certain kinds of plants. The survival of many species depends on wetlands. A wetland is an ecosystem in which land meets water or a piece of land that is covered with a ...
In San Francisco the Audubon Society successfully restored a tidal marsh along the edge of the bay. In Greensboro, North Carolina there is a group that works to restore healthy habitats along the city’s drainage streams. But the United States are not the only country that are restoring wetlands. “Other countries are following suit. In 1992, Scandinavian countries were undertaking 37 projects and restoring more than 31, 000 acres of wetlands. That same year 13 other countries -Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, and Senegal-all had restoration schemes under way.” (Hollis and Bedding 1) Wetlands are important to the environment and they are a vital part of our ecosystem.
They help filter out sediments and purify our drinking water. Like many other natural resources, we have come to realize what importance they have after many millions of acres of wetlands have been destroyed; much too late. Restoring wetlands is just the beginning of the process of patching up the environment. “Natural resources cannot be managed as individual things, but as whole complete ecosystems whose plants and animal and human components are functionally intertwined. (Rebuffoni, DNR Picks 3 B 3).