What is the difference between restoration and protection?
The alteration of a former or degraded wetland’s physical, chemical, or biological features to restore its natural functions (wetland restoration). The following are examples of restoration techniques:
- Re-establishment entails the reconstruction of a former wetland.
- The process of restoring the functions of a degraded wetland is known as rehabilitation.
Wetland protection is described as removing a threat to wetland conditions or avoiding their decline. Voluntary conservation of naturally occurring wetlands, with rehabilitating compromised wetlands, is an important aspect of voluntary wetland restoration and protection.
Benefits and Objectives
How Can Wetlands Help Me?
Wetlands can help to reduce flood frequency and intensity by functioning as natural buffers, soaking up and storing a large amount of floodwater. A wetland can normally store three-acre feet of water or one million gallons of water, or three acres covered in water three feet deep. When hurricanes or tropical storms hit the coast, coastal wetlands act as storm surge barriers. Barrier islands, shoals, marshes, wooded wetlands, and other coastal landscape features can provide a major and potentially long-term buffer from the wind and storm surge generated by tropical storms and hurricanes along the Gulf coast.
What Role Do Wetlands Play in Protecting Wildlife Habitat and Economic Well-Being?
Wetland restoration and protection are crucial for maintaining critical wildlife habitats, assisting in the achievement of state and tribal watershed goals, and contributing to economic prosperity. Moreover, many states have funded initiatives that help create, support, or coordinate local restoration efforts to attain these aims.
Furthermore, the diverse tasks that natural wetland systems perform provide numerous benefits to states and tribes in terms of restoration and protection. Wetlands are an important aspect of our natural infrastructure because of their unique natural properties.
- Shellfish, fish, birds, amphibians, and other organisms rely on wetlands for habitat, nesting grounds, and food.
- Many state and tribal fishing industries rely heavily on wetlands.
- Wetlands also provide migrating birds with feeding and resting areas, and habitat corridors for wildlife populations.
- These services also provide commercial, recreational, and aesthetic benefits to the state and tribal governments.
- Wetlands also preserve drinking water sources, manage erosion, limit flooding, modulate groundwater levels and base flow, digest nutrients, and cushion coastal areas from storm surges.
- In degraded rivers and watersheds, states may seek wetland restoration to improve water quality and comply with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution allocations.
As they build volunteer restoration and protection efforts, states and tribes can aim for any/all of the following goals:
- Define restoration and protection goals that are clear and consistent across the state or tribal area.
- Prevent wetlands from degradation or destruction.
- Restore the size, condition, and usefulness of wetlands.
- Keep track of your progress over time, document your findings, and adjust your procedures as needed.
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