Thursday, October 3, 2019

Wetland And Water Environment Essay Example for Free

Wetland And Water Environment Essay Introduction Ecological restoration has been proven to be a very difficult and yet an extremely valuable undertaking. It is one of the major problems faced by every country in the world for it is the key to Mother Earth’s struggle for survival. Restoration pertains to the reestablishment and replenishment of natural wetland systems to be once more suitable for wetland creatures as their habitat. But, what wetland ecosystems are we pertaining to? What type of wetland ecosystem do we plan to target and why? Is it enough to establish any type of wetland ecosystem and be called â€Å"restoration†? As stated by Lovette (et al. , 2002), Australias enthusiasm for restoring and rehabilitating rivers and streams is growing at a fair rate yet most of the time, such projects fail to produce the desired results of improvement. This is due to the fact that these projects lack planning resulting to poorly defined project objectives and rehabilitation strategies. In addition to this matter, many social and political factors rather than a lack of technical skills were often major factors influencing the success of river restoration projects. Ecologists and restorationists took these questions in account and had included them as definitions of restoration and restoration-type activities. A simple yet very nifty definition of ecological restoration included in the 1992 report Restoration of Aquatics Ecosystems by the National Research Council (NRC), defined restoration as the â€Å"return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance.† The NRC declares that the concept of restoration to be further clarified by defining many types of restoration-related activities. Creation, reallocation, and enhancement are such activities that are similar to restoration, but vary in some aspect from rehabilitation of the original ecosystem to areas they once existed. Reintroduction of animals is also a major factor of restoration that must be taken in account.   The mere recreation of form without the specific function is not the essence of restoration, nor is having the function in the artificial pattern without even a close similitude to the real thing. The goal of restoration is to produce a natural, self-regulating ecosystem that functions perfectly with the landscape and conditions in which it occurs. Body   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   To have a deeper understanding in the field of ecological restoration, let us first define terms that are used in the field of ecological restoration.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Creation is defined as the construction of a wetland in an area that was not a wetland in the recent past (within the last 100-200 years) and that is isolated from existing wetlands (i.e., not directly adjacent) (Gwin, et al., 1999). In other words, creation occurs when a wetland is placed on the landscape by some human activity on a non-wetland site (Lewis, 1989). Normally, creation of a wetland in plot of land starts by digging out upland soils to an appropriate elevation suitable for the growth of wetland species by a proper hydrological pattern. Enhancement, as defined by Gwin, et al. (1999) is â€Å"the modification of specific structural features of an existing wetland to increase one or more functions based on management objectives, typically done by modifying site elevations or the proportion of open water. Although this term implies gain or improvement, a positive change in one wetland function may negatively affect other wetland functions. Enhancement may also be the alteration of a site to produce conditions that did not previously exist in order to accentuate one or more values of a site. For example, increasing the area of deep water by excavating parts of an emergent wetland may provide more duck habitat (the desired wetland value), but may decrease foraging and cover habitat for young fish (Lewis 1989). The term reallocation replacement pertains to altering or converting existing wetlands to create a different type of wetland. For example, transforming a developing wetland, like a swamp, to a pond will convert the habitat from one wetland type to a different type. A term commonly used during discussions of restoration is mitigation, which â€Å"refers to the restoration, creation, or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for permitted wetland losses (Lewis, 1989). It is stated in under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act that â€Å"wetlands may legally be destroyed, but their loss must be compensated for by the restoration, creation, or enhancement of other wetlands. Hypothetically, the policy aims retain the wetland’s quality. The Watershed Ecology Team if Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds have devised a list of principles which played a critical role to the success of a wide range of aquatic resource restoration programs and projects. These principles are applicable through the different stages in the process of wetland restoration and focus on scientific and technical issues. Nevertheless, in all environmental and ecological management activities, it is crucial to examine community perspectives and values. There are a lot of guiding principles that ecologists follow in the field of wetland and river restoration. Given below are some doctrines that may help in the restoration of the rivers in Western Australia, namely the Hutt, Greenough, and Chapman River. The common dilemma faced by these rivers is erosion of soil along their banks. This is due to the lack of vegetation to hold the soil in place. Because of this catastrophe, a number of the wild life, like birds nesting on the trees or the fishes in the river, is threatened to loose obtain damage to their habitat. The Chapman River Estuary, though a popular place, due to the lack of management, has degraded. Several erosions has occurred, weeds are numerous among the vegetation, and wildlife have been frequently disturbed. Restoration of these rivers considers several, yet not too costly stages. The first stage of the Greenough River Restoration Project cost approximately $11,000 while the second stage of the Greenough River Restoration Project needed a total funding of about $68,000 through Trust Funding. The Chapman River Foreshore Restoration Project at the Nanson Hamlet in Chapman Valley adhered principles which is slowly revitalizing the landscape, cost around $18,000. The purpose of the Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan (HRFMP) is to update the Advisory Committee on their status, investigations and implementation (ATAPATTU, 2001). A clear concept of the projects goals, objectives, performance, and desired outcome is a critical part in the success of the restoration project for it gives a vivid look on how the scheme should run. One principle, â€Å"Preserve and protect aquatic resources†, explains that existing ecosystems are critical in the conservation of biodiversity, and supply the weakened system with the necessary materials. Restoration, together with protection and preservation, can improve wetland systems in an immense level. In this principle, the first step to secure the revitalization of a system is to prevent further depletion (USEPA, 2006). According to Palmer (2005), five relevant features should be brought to mind during river restoration. They are a guiding image – by creating a vision of you goals and ideas, you have a concrete image of your desired outcome; improvement of ecosystems – by adding functionality to the factors in the ecosystem, you will have positive results that the environment supplies; increase in resilience – by generating flexible products that can recover when damaged, or surpass other products; doing no lasting harm – actions done in restoration should not give an ill effect to the surrounding countryside, and have a long-lasting positive effect on the target location; and completion of an ecological assessment – provide a written clearly defined results on the project (McGee, 2005). Restoration of natural structure and function plays a major role in the restoration of natural wetlands. In the recreation of a natural habitat, its structure must be deeply studied for if a flaw in the system occurs, the whole project could further damage the area or the surrounding terrain. The function should, as much as possible, be close to the existing system’s function to instill balance (USEPA, 2006). Conclusion and Recommendation   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Though there are quite a number of principles and guidelines that ecologists use in there quest to restore and revitalize denuded wetlands in the globe, these principles come together and express common guides to the success of rejuvenating the wetland system.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The first step is to clearly plan the project focusing on critical points that will ensure the accomplishment of the activity. Next is to mobilize the design, in which requires funds, in a procedure that won’t disturb or harm the surrounding areas. It must be ensured that the outcome of the project will be, as much as possible, like the former wetland system, to avoid further damage to the environment rather than to revitalize the land. And lastly, there should be a constant maintenance and management in the area to preserve the beauty and functionality of the structured landscape.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   By following these few principles in the reconstruction of denuded wastelands, the future of the wetlands and rivers of Australia, and also the world, will be brighter. References USEPA.(2006). Definitions distinctions. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from River Corridor and Wetland Restoration Web site: ______. (2002) Greenough. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from Westernbelle Australian Adventures Web site: ______. (2002) Hutt river province. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from Principality of hutt river.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Web site: Blacklow et. al, (2001). River restoration and management in australia: a national framework for vocational education and training and graduate studies.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006 Web site: McGee, T. (2005). Guiding principles for river restoration and sustainable product design. Retrieved September 25, 2006, from Treehugger Web site: ______. (2005). Evaluation sourcebook. Retrieved September 25, 2006, from Ecosystem Management Initiative Website: Peck, D. (2003). Resolution VIII.16 on wetland restoration.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006, from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Web site: ______. 2002-2003 Australian government envirofund projects western australia.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006, from National Heritage Trust   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Web site: Atapattu, D. (2001). Hutt river floodplain management plan (hrfmp): project leader’s report.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006, from the Regional Council Web site: _____. 2001-2002 Coastcare projects: Western australia.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006, from National Heritage Trust   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Web site: ______. (2006). Fact sheet 9 planning for river restoration.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Retrieved September 25, 2006, from River Landscapes.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Web site:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.