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Loss of Wetlands & Estuary Degradation
Transcript of Loss of Wetlands & Estuary Degradation
Use of Wetlands & Estuaries
Causes of Degradation
Estuaries provide resources, benefits, and services
Provide places for recreational activities, scientific study, and aesthetic enjoyment
Birds, mammals, fish, and other wildlife depend on estuaries as places to live, feed, and reproduce
Degradation is the process of degrading or taking away
Activities resulting in Wetland Loss and Degradation include:
Agriculture, Commercial and Residential Development, Road Construction, Impoundment, Resource Extraction, Industrial Siting/Processes/Waste, Dredge Disposal, Silviculture (Control of Forests), and Mosquito Control
Activities resulting in Estuary Loss and Degradation include:
Forestry, Industrial Development, Alterations to Water Flow and Shorelines, Agriculture (Livestock and Crops), Shipping, Urban Development, Residential Development, Dredging, Fishing, and Invasive Species
The easiest thing you can do is to spread awareness to people who don't realize whats happening to the Earth's wetlands and the effects it has on us.
You can protest the building on animal inhabited wetlands and argue that they benefit the world more than urbanization.
Finally you can protect these areas by not polluting them
Wetlands are important features in Earth's landscape
Provide beneficial services for people, fish, and wildlife
Protect and Improve water quality
Provide habitats for Fish and Amphibians
Maintain surface water flow during small periods
What They Are
Wetlands are part of the foundation of our nation's water resources and are important in attaining healthy waterways
Wetlands includes swamps, marshes, and bogs. Widely vary because of different soils, climate, and other factors
Often found alongside waterways and in flood plains
An Estuary is a partially enclosed body of water along the coast where fresh water from streams mixes with salt water from Oceans
Transitions of land to sea and fresh water to salt water
Include shallow open waters, freshwater and salt marshes, swamps, and sandy beaches
Effects of Wetland Loss and Estuary Degradation
Results in many things such as:
Loss or degradation of habitat and plant and animal diversity
Deterioration of water quality
Reduced water supply and storage
Loss of land and protection
Reduced recreational opportunities
Loss of species
Birds thrive in Wetlands and Estuaries, but they are declining
When wetlands are destroyed, it takes away the home and breeding ground of birds
Humans are building on and around wetlands and estuaries. These human influences cause chemical contamination, scarcity of resources, and sediments in the air and water
Birds living in Wetlands and Estuaries are:
Ducks, Geese, Swans, Herons, Storks, Cranes, Pelicans, and Snipes
The Mississippi River Delta Must Be Restored
"The Mississippi River Delta loses the equivalent of a football field of marshland every hour as it melts into the Gulf of Mexico. Over the last 75 years, we have lost the equivalent of the state of Delaware to erosion."
This is just a mere foretaste of the loss and degradation we've seen because of Industrialization and Urbanization. The Army Corps of Engineers are creating levees that are preventing the necessary silt from reaching the marshes.
Chemical companies are going into Wetland and Estuary areas, digging canals, and allowing salt water to travel into the marshes. This is done so that they can obtain their needed minerals.
Not All Wetlands Are Created Equal
"People are coming to realize that these seemingly wasted plots where land meets water provide a valuable ecological service. In addition to nurturing biodiversity, wetlands purify water, produce fish, store carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming, and protect shorelines from floods, storm surges and erosion."
The natural wetlands haven't been able to be replicated. Man made water restoration just isn't as efficient or can compensate for wetlands buried beneath parking lots and subdivisions. Researchers describe current restoration practices as “slow and incomplete.”
Year after Gulf oil spill, group gives mixed report card for wildlife
"Nearly a year after the start of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, some wildlife is recovering, while other species could need significant help, according to a National Wildlife Federation."
The spill caused 3,000 miles of beaches and wetlands to be contaminated by varying amounts of oil. Even the efforts to clean it up can cause damage. Sea turtles took the largest blow of the oil spill. 481 Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles died, they were already the most endangered sea turtle in the world. Even before the spill, the tuna population was in decline due to overfishing. The animals only breed twice a year, and the spill took place in one of their breeding seasons. Scientists believe the effects of the oil spill will effect the ecosystems in the gulf coast for a long time to come.
Wetlands and estuaries are important to our ecosystems. They purify water, hold flood water, and make habitats for many species. Without out them, we lose many species and natural environments that are key to the ecosystem of Earth.
Save the wetlands!!!
1.Year after Gulf oil spill, group gives mixed report card for wildlife - CNN.com
2.Not All Wetlands Are Created Equal - NYTimes.com
3.The Mississippi River Delta Must Be Restored - NYTimes.com
4.Birds in wetlands | NSW Environment & Heritage
5.Office of Environment and Heritage - NSW
6.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin
7.Wetland Loss | Wetlands Alberta
8.Wetlands Protection | Wetlands | US EPA
9.News & Broadcast - Degraded Coastal Wetlands Contribute To Climate Change: Report Finds
10.Wetlands | Wetlands | US EPA
12.Challenges Facing Our Estuaries - Text Version | Habitat Protection | US EPA
14.Basic Information about Estuaries | Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds | US EPA