Wetland Science News
By Allison Mills – Michigan Tech – March 11, 2015
Fluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles of shoreline. The Great Lakes is an important focus of Michigan Technological University research. The coastal wetlands map is an extension of that focus, expanding on previous maps created through the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, MTRI research scientist and the project leader for the wetlands map, says establishing standard methods was crucial. “This is the first map to span the entire basin, and it’s important to have a consistent map over the entire area,” she says, explaining that inconsistencies impact data analysis and implementation of management strategies “if you don’t know the accuracy of the map or how it’s changing from one place to another.” For full story, click here.
By Joachim Pestinger – The Seattle Times Opinion – February 19, 2015
When the rain-swollen waters of the Puyallup River rose rapidly this winter, the town of Orting braced itself for flooding. In 2006, and again in 2009, the river topped its levees and sent people fleeing from homes, businesses and schools in cities all the way to the Port of Tacoma. But this time, something different happened. The river found new man-made channels created when the old levees were torn out and replaced with new earthen berms set farther back. The river had room to spread out, slow down, and it stayed within the levees, leaving Orting safe and dry. Taming Western Washington rivers such as the Puyallup is not easy nor cheap, but new management strategies can save millions of dollars in property losses and damage, create critical salmon habitat and add valuable public open space. For full opinion, click here.
By Bob Weber – Guelph Mercury.com – February 18, 2015
A U.S. study has found that emissions from ships that cause both climate change and acid rain could increase in the Western Arctic by almost 600 per cent over the next decade. "All of those pollutants have climate and health implications," said co-author Alyson Azzara. "The fact that it's growing that much, that rapidly, is the focus." For full story, click here.
PHYS.org – February 16, 2015
The role rainforests play through storing carbon in the battle against climate change is well understood, but Deakin University scientists now believe the humble swamp, or freshwater wetland, could be up to 50 times more effective. A team of Deakin researchers from Deakin's Centre for Integrative Ecology within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences are now undertaking an Australian-first study to investigate how wetland areas could help us to win the battle against climate change. For full story, click here.
Contact: Robert Daguillard – U.S. EPA – January 27, 2015
EPA is awarding $1 million in grants to strengthen the capacity of states and tribes to protect and restore wetlands. Our Nation's wetlands provide a variety of ecosystem services including climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation by protecting shorelines from extreme weather events and sea level rise. The National Wetland Program Development Grants provide interstate agencies, intertribal consortia, and non-profit organizations with funding to develop and refine comprehensive state, tribal, and local wetland programs. All six proposed projects are linked to environmental results and include wetland restoration and training such as the "Living Shoreline Academy." For full news release, click here.
By Mark Schleifstein – NOAL.com The Times-Picayune – February 3, 2015
Major voluntary strategies used on Midwest farmland to curb fertilizers that feed the annual low oxygen "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico don't remove enough nutrients to succeed, according to a new, peer reviewed scientific study. But combining those strategies with new techniques, including strategically restoring wetlands in some Midwest locations, could reduce nitrogen runoff from farmlands by 45 percent, said the study published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. For full story, click here.
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.