Improving Wetland Restoration Success Project

Recent news articles from 2013, such as Architects of the Swamp published in Scientific American, have sounded the alarm about the success, or lack thereof, of wetland restoration. ASWM responded by completing two publications in 2013. The first publication titled, Permits for Voluntary Wetland Restoration: A Handbook was completed in November of 2013. However, during discussions among the stakeholder workgroup, it became apparent that some positions or concerns advanced by participants could not be readily resolved through the publication of a handbook. So a white paper titled, Voluntary Restoration of Wetlands: Complex Issues in the Regulation of Restoration Projects was developed in order to document those unresolved concerns – including suggested program modifications that would require regulatory and or statutory changes beyond the purview of most wetland program managers. In July of 2014, ASWM published a report titled, Ecosystem Service Valuation for Wetland Restoration: What It Is, How To Do It, and Best Practice Recommendations, as a way to improve wetland restoration planning, prioritization and garner more public and policy support.

However, in March of 2014, ASWM held its annual Federal/State/Tribal Coordination Meeting at the NCTC in West Virginia. During that 4 day meeting, an expert panel session was held on Why Do Wetland Restoration and Mitigation Projects Fail? Robin Lewis, Joe Shisler, Joy Zedler and Rob Brooks participated on the panel. During that panel and in a later evening restoration workshop, ASWM was able to glean some insight in to some of the barriers to successful restoration and suggestions for potential solutions. In April of 2014, ASWM continued this effort by developing a Wetland Restoration Work Group consisting of twenty-five experts including practitioners, regulators, policy makers, scientists and academics. The work group was tasked with developing a series of webinars to delve into the issue more deeply as well as contribute to a white paper and a restoration bibliography. This webinar series is the result of this collective effort.