Archive for Wetlands

Conservation Consultation Could Lead To Less Flooding In The Southeast

Aug. 28, Steinbach Online:

The District Manager of the Seine/Rat River Conservation District is expecting issues like localized flooding to get a lot more attention through a consultation process announced last week by the Manitoba Government. The province wants input on practices like water retention and wetland restoration that involve giving farmers incentives to make environmental improvements.

Jodi Goerzen says there has been a long history in our region of draining land to make it productive for agriculture. But she adds this has led to a lot of localized flooding year after year. Goerzen hopes the consultation will lead to a new way of doing things.

“Rather than drain, thinking about; How can I look at alternatives to drainage? How can I do something sustainable, maybe hold some of that water back? And, what are options? Maybe there’s a payment for this, maybe there’s a program for this, maybe there’s something in the conservation district that we can look through and look for some alternative options to show people that there are really great alternatives that benefit both the landowner and the community.” Read more.

This Manitoba researcher is turning cattails into lake-saving biofuel

June 26, CBC News:

Research scientist Richard Grosshans is counting on cattails to help clean up Lake Winnipeg and Manitoba’s wetlands, while also offering an organic, sustainable source of biofuel.

For about a decade, Grosshans and his colleagues have been collecting the tall wetland plants — also known as bulrushes — which can remove pollutants that get into the water through run-off.

“It is extremely efficient at absorbing things like nutrients, like phosphorus or nitrogen, or even contaminants. And so we use this plant, we harvested it, to remove those things from the environment,” he said.

“By harvesting and management, we’re rejuvenating and restoring the wetland habitat for other water birds.” Read more.

Man-made wetlands can solve flooding, drought problems

February 6, Saskatoon StarPhoenix:

Prairie municipalities preparing for a hotter future, with increasing spring floods and summer drought, need to invest in “green infrastructure” the head of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre says.

“Green infrastructure is the ability of the landscape, if well managed, to absorb the shocks of climate change, both flood and drought … Investment in green infrastructure is a critical form of climate adaptation,” said Hank Venema, an environmental system engineer who head the Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. Read more.

Wetlands Matter!

Canada has 25% of the planet’s wetlands which cover nearly 14% of its landmass. But, from coast to coast to coast, wetlands are disappearing at an astonishing and appalling rate. On the prairies, they have been reduced by as much as 70 – 90% in just the past 40 years to make way for more crops. Wetlands Matter plunges into this issue, revealing the dynamics that drive wetland drainage, the impacts and costs of this practice and possible solutions to the problem.

Celebrate World Wetland Day on February 2, and watch this 15 minute documentary to learn more about why “Wetlands Matter”.