Wetland Science News
By Lacey McCormick – National Wildlife Federation – January 15, 2015
After years of study, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a final science report entitled, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence. This report scientifically documents the connection between smaller wetlands and streams to larger waters, incorporating the recommendations of two dozen of the nation’s leading hydrologists and biologists. For full article and to download the report, click here.
Contact: Steve Emmett-Mattox – Restore America’s Estuaries – December 17, 2014
Today, the first global Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration Methodology is one step closer to full approval, having cleared the first of two independent assessments required by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). This methodology details the procedure that project developers must follow to generate carbon offsets and will allow carbon rich coastal wetlands to earn carbon credits. Coastal wetlands have only recently been included in the carbon market, and there has been a need for wetland and seagrass restoration methodologies to spur carbon project development. Carbon credits can then be sold to businesses, organizations, agencies, and individuals who want to offset their carbon emissions, adding an incentive to invest in coastal wetland restoration projects. For full story, click here.
By Cui Zheng – Caixin Online – December 19, 2014
Sprawling urban and industrial development along China's 18,000 kilometer east coast is a lifeline for the nation's economy but a threat to the region's dwindling wetlands. And as the wetlands disappear, so do migrating birds. A recent study by the environmental organization Wetlands International blamed industrial development for shrinking the flocks of migratory shorebirds that regularly fly over eastern China. The phenomenon has affected 22 of 25 types of birds studied. Separately, Chinese and American researchers who recently studied coastal development linked a dramatic decline in global biodiversity and ecosystems to wetland shrinkage in eastern China. For full story, click here.
Ramsar – December 11, 2014
Arctic peatlands, glacier forelands, rivers, lakes, wet tundras, seashores and shallow bays make up the largest part of the Arctic (at least 60% of the surface) and constitute a significant part of the world’s wetlands and freshwater resources. Arctic wetlands store enormous amounts of carbon in frozen peat and soil, as long as the insulation by an undisturbed peat layer is preventing the underlying permafrost from melting. Accelerated climate change in the Arctic provokes rapid environmental change, easier access to oil and gas, minerals and fisheries, This threatens ecosystems through the retreat of sea ice, permafrost thawing, atmospheric warming, habitat fragmentation, de-synchronisation of predator-prey life cycles, overharvesting of wildlife and of globally migratory bird and mammal populations, and ocean acidification (factors highlighted in UNEP’s “view from the top” in 2013). For full story, click here.
By Ben Goldfarb – High Country News – November 24, 2014
Kania has spent the last decade trying to correct that imbalance through biomimicry, the concept of imitating natural processes to address environmental problems. Kania believes there are few ailments that copying nature can’t heal. The dead zones that plague the world’s oceans? Kania has a solution. The disappearance of wetland habitat? There’s a fix. Insect-borne diseases? The common cure for all, he says, lies in Floating Island International’s signature technology: buoyant artificial wetlands, nearly 6,000 of which are now deployed worldwide, from New Zealand to South Africa to China. For full story, click here.
The University of Queensland News – November 17, 2014
Deforestation is both a boon and a bane for wetlands, according to new research by The University of Queensland. The study found that human impacts on the environment, such as deforestation, do not always have negative consequences, and can provide positive outcomes for biodiversity. Study author Dr Craig Woodward, from UQ’sSchool of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, said many wetlands of international importance were formed or expanded in response to human clearance of forests. “We found that deforestation can significantly increase the amount of water flowing into wetlands and can even create new wetlands,” he said. “In the past, wetland managers have focused mainly on how deforestation has increased catchment erosion and the transport of sediment and nutrients into wetlands. For full story, click here.
By Darryl Fears – The Washington Post – November 13, 2014
For years, scientists described a giant pool of sediment behind Maryland’s Conowingo Dam as a muddy boogeyman that threatened to turn the Chesapeake Bay’s blue waters into a creamy brown mess. But state and federal experts who steward the bay have abruptly changed course, saying that a two-year analysis released Thursday revealed that the sediment isn’t nearly as threatening to the bay’s water quality as first thought, and that spending up to $3 billion to remove it isn’t worth the cost. For full story, click here.