wetland science practice published by the Society of Wetland Scientists
Vol. 37, No. 2 April 2020 ISSN: 1943-6254
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Vol. 37, No. 2 April 2020 ISSN: 1943-6254
After a rather mild winter here in Massachusetts, signs of spring are beginning to appear. This weekend I was on a bicycle ride with some friends through Wompatuck State Park in Hingham. We saw red maples budding out, a pair of mallards swimming in a forest stream, and even heard several choruses of wood frogs and the call of a spring peeper here and there along our route. The natural world is reawakening from its winter rest Ralph Tiner and its life as usual has WSP Editor resumed for plants and animals. On the human side, however, our world is quite different as our society is challenged to address another worldwide pandemic – the coronavirus called COVID-19. Our life is anything but normal. On Friday March 13, the U.S. government issued a national emergency declaration. Colleges have moved to finish the semester with online courses as students must evacuate campuses, professional and college sports are cancelled or postponed (e.g., the Boston Marathon has been rescheduled for September), churches have stopped in-person worship services and instead are conducting remote services or providing spiritual readings via email, in Massachusetts the governor has issued a state of emergency where public and private schools (K-12) are closed for 3 weeks, gatherings of 25 of more people are prohibited, and restaurants and bars are not allowed to serve food or drinks onsite. These actions plus others (e.g., cancelled travel, cruises, and vacation plans) are causing a major disruption to life as we have known it. While we expect these changes to be a short-term and hopefully positive response to “flattening the curve”, we really don’t know how long this will go on. In continued recognition of our 40th Anniversary, this issue includes more reflections from past presidents on the Society or on wetland conservation in general. We also have a tribute to Dr. Eville Gorham who recently passed, three articles From the Editor’s Desk, continued on page 81
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72 / From the Editor’s Desk 73 / President’s Message 74 / SWS Celebrates 40 years 80 / In Memorium: Dr. Eville Gorham (1925-2020) 82 / SWS News ARTICLES 96 / Clustered Constructed Wetland Systems in Metropolitan Taipei Wei-Ta Fang, Shang-Shu Shih, Bai-You Cheng, and Jui-Yu Chou 108 / The Navigable Waters “Protection” Rule Matt Schweisberg, PWS 112 / Notes from the Field WETLAND PRACTICE 116 / Australian Fires – Consequences and Challenges Ahead 117 / Youth Engaged in Wetlands (YEW) 2020 Declaration Published 118 / Wetlands in the News 119 / Wetland Bookshelf 122 / What’s New in the SWS Journal - Wetlands 123 / About WSP - Submission Guidelines 124 / From the Bog
COVER PHOTO: Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) male - note red marking extending beyond beak. (Ralph Tiner) SOCIETY OF WETLAND SCIENTISTS 1818 Parmenter St., Ste 300, Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 310-7855
Note to Readers: All State-of-the-Science reports are peer reviewed, with anonymity to reviewers.
PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS I was impressed to read in the last issue of WSP the comments provided by Past Presidents of SWS. Reading about the history and the people was by itself of interest to myself, but I was also intrigued by the issues that were being addressed in the past. As SWS has evolved over the time covered by the authors of these articles we would expect the issues to change, but nevertheless I was taken by how many were the same. After I had that realisation I then thought why shouldn’t they be? After all we need to manage our finances, think carefully about the dues, Prof Max Finlayson maintain a membership register, Charles Stuart share news about wetlands, pubUniversity lish our journals, and host an anSWS President nual meeting. But do we spend too much time going over old ground just to find out that the same ground has been well and truly tilled already? I don’t see this as problematic in itself, but I do wonder if there are any changes we could make to the way we do business to make things flow more easily and better deliver outcomes for our members? And would this require structural changes, and bring value to members? Some of the comments by our past luminary leaders and mentors have suggestions that I think are worth considering, or reconsidering, and perhaps enacting. Foremost amongst these are calls for SWS to have an executive director. This is a particularly interesting one, and I don’t have answer if anyone wanted to ask me if it would be a good thing, or was it affordable? I think it’s worth considering and having a look at the costs/benefits (or should I say benefits/costs?) and then the detail. I’d love to have someone who could advocate for our wetland science and practice (being aware of not straying from our mandate; we are not an environmental lobby group). I would imagine though that anyone in that role would need to ponder an array of opinions on topics and the way we did things, and contend with the revolving system of Presidents (just reading the comments from Past Presidents shows that and these were not controversial articles), and possibly even some members not liking what gets done, or does not get done, which reflects how SWS is perceived internally and externally.
wetland science practice PRESIDENT / Max Finlayson PRESIDENT-ELECT / Loretta Battaglia, Ph.D. IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT / Beth Middleton, Ph.D. SECRETARY GENERAL / Leandra Cleveland, PWS TREASURER / Lori Sutter, Ph.D. CONSULTING DIRECTOR / Michelle Czosek, CAE WETLAND SCIENCE & PRACTICE EDITOR / Ralph Tiner, PWS Emeritus CHAPTERS ALASKA / Emily Creely ASIA / Wei-Ta Fang, Ph.D. CANADA / Gordon Goldborough, Ph.D. CENTRAL / Katie Astroth CHINA / Xianguo Lyu EUROPE / Matthew Simpson, PWS INTERNATIONAL / Ian Bredlin, Msc; Pr.Sci.Nat and Tatiana Lobato de Magalhães MID-ATLANTIC / Jeffrey Thompson NEW ENGLAND / Dwight Dunk NORTH CENTRAL / Christina Hargiss, Ph.D. OCEANIA / Phil Papas PACIFIC NORTHWEST / Josh Wozniak ROCKY MOUNTAIN / Ryan Hammons, PWS SOUTH ATLANTIC / Brian Benscoter, Ph.D. SOUTH CENTRAL / Scott Jecker, PWS WESTERN / Richard Beck, PWS, CPESC, CEP SECTIONS BIOGEOCHEMISTRY / Lisa Chambers, Ph.D. EDUCATION / Derek Faust, Ph.D. GLOBAL CHANGE ECOLOGY / Wei Wu, Ph.D. PEATLANDS / Julie Talbot PUBLIC POLICY AND REGULATION / John Lowenthal, PWS RAMSAR / Nicholas Davidson WETLAND RESTORATION / Andy Herb WILDLIFE / Andy Nyman, Ph.D. WOMEN IN WETLANDS / Carrie Reinhardt Adams, Ph.D. STUDENT / David Riera COMMITTEES AWARDS / Siobhan Fennessy, Ph.D. HUMAN DIVERSITY / Alani Taylor MEETINGS / Yvonne Vallette, PWS PUBLICATIONS / Keith Edwards MEMBERSHIP / Leandra Cleveland, PWS WAYS & MEANS / Lori Sutter, Ph.D. SWS WETLANDS OF DISTINCTION / Roy Messaros, Ph.D. Bill Morgante and Jason Smith, PWS REPRESENTATIVES PCP / Scott Jecker, PWS STUDENT / David Riera WETLANDS / Marinus Otte, Ph.D. WETLAND SCIENCE & PRACTICE / Ralph Tiner, PWS Emeritus ASWM / Tom Harcarik RAMSAR / Nicholas Davidson, Ph.D. AIBS / Dennis Whigham, Ph.D. � SOCIETY SOCIETY WETLAND �
President’s Address continued on page 85
40 years SCIENTISTS
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 73
SWS CELEBRATES 40 YEARS
Reflections of Past Presidents on the Past and Future of the Society - Part Two
e started our celebration of our 40th Anniversary as a scientific society with reflections of past presidents and our current president in our January issue. We have received contributions from other past presidents and they are presented below in chronological order.
PAUL L. KNUTSON (1984-1985) It is hard to believe that it has been 41 years since twelve of us met in a motel room in Chincoteague, VA to plan the formation of the world’s first society of wetland scientists. A society for the new science of wetlands was the brainchild of Richard “Dick” Macomber. Dick and James Parnell (UNC Wilmington) held a twoweek total immersion wetlands course in Chincoteague from the late 1970s to the early 80s. The course trained 100s of federal employees in a fundamental knowledge of wetlands. Though the Federal Government was tasked with regulating wetlands, few federal employees had any experience or education in field. Dick’s answer was to get them wet. I knew Dick well. I attended his course 1978 and his office with the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors was one floor above mine at the Coastal Engineering Research Center in Fort Belvoir, VA. In the fall of 1979 Dick held a planning session in Chincoteague, VA with a group of 12 graduates of his wetland course. That session led to the Society’s first meeting in Tampa, FL in March 1980. SWS was chartered at that meeting. Thirty-five attendees elected officers and adopted Bylaws and Standing rules. The officers included President - James F. Parnell, Vice President - Richard Macomber, Secretary - William F. Adams, and Treasurer - Frank Yelverton. I was named editor of the Society Bulletin and Robert F. Soots was appointed Journal Editor. Janie Harris became co-editor of the Bulletin and she and I also formed the Editorial Board of the Journal. There was unanimous agreement at the Society’s first meeting that Dick Macomber should be the first President, however, Dick refused the honor. He felt that the first president should come from the academic community, not the government. His goal was a Society that disseminated 74 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
wetland science and certified wetland scientists, divorced from the ever-changing world of policy and politics. Dick certainly had no prejudice against government scientists, he indeed was one. In fact, in 1980 the majority of all wetlanders in the US worked for or received funding from one of the Nation’s regulatory or research agencies. However, Dick felt that the new society needed to avoid the appearance of any affiliation with either public or private entities. He wanted the study of wetlands to become a distinct field of science and the practitioners of that science to be a distinct group of professionals. Dick is no longer with us, but I think he would be more than satisfied with the contribution the Society has made to that end. Initially, the majority of the Society’s members were either survivors of Dick’s wetland course, graduates of my Wetland Restoration Course in Duck, NC, or alumni of UNC Wilmington. However, the membership rolls soon reached the intended goal of a broad diversity of disciplines and affiliations. I remained active in SWS through the 80s becoming the third President of SWS. My major accomplishment as President was the establishment of official Regional Chapters and Chapter representatives for all the continental US and Alaska. I also had the privilege of welcoming Douglas Wilcox as our first permanent Journal Editor. This appointment cemented the long-term success, stability, and stature of the Journal. During my term we also purchased the Society’s first desktop microcomputer for $2000 (Radio Shack, TRS80, 4 KB DRAM). The Board was split on this decision considering that the expenditure represented half of our annual budget. However, we took pity on Secretary David Dumond and his wife. They were maintaining all the Society’s correspondence, books, and membership lists on a Smith-Corona typewriter. I prepared all my Presidential correspondence on my first computer system - a Commodore 64, tape cassette drive, and a 5-7 dot matrix printer. Board members commented that my correspondence was very similar to reading braille. After my tenure as President, the Board appointed
me as Archivist and I remained on the Board for the remainder of the decade. Having served on the Board since the Society’s founding, the Board considered me the Society’s institutional memory. For the next 30 years Charlie Newling (co-founder of the Duck, NC course and a Board member since early days) would bear the mantle as the Society’s conscience, memory, and spirit guide (Quack!). After the Society’s 10th annual meeting, I left my career in wetlands and active participation in SWS. My wife Janiece and I chose to pursue new careers in what had been a lifetime avocation of ours, 18-19th Century Japanese woodblock prints (Google it!). My wetland colleagues puzzled over my decision at the time. In retrospect, I think of it as having the opportunity to have both a 20-year career in science and a 20-year career in art. I consider myself fortunate indeed. Janiece and I now live in one of the driest places on the planet - Las Vegas, NV. The Society has flourished and I will always consider my small part in its genesis as one of the most important accomplishments of my life. I wrote the following statement in the SWS Bulletin, Volume 1, Number 1, 1980) “Due to state wetland laws, the Federal Section 404 Program, the Executive Order on Wetlands, and increased interest by the academic community; it is estimated that there are as many as 5000 professionals involved in wetlands programs and wetland research in this country...we intend to reach every one of them.” I think that we can safely say after 40 years “goal accomplished.” DUNCAN T. PATTEN (1996-1997) The first meeting of SWS I attended was in 1987 in Seattle. At that time, riparian ecologists, of which I’m one, were considering establishing their own national association or society. Some of us had started the Arizona Riparian Society earlier. At the Seattle meeting, we were convinced to throw our hat in with SWS, as many considered riparian areas as wetlands or an extension of wetlands. I’m not sure whether, over time, riparian systems have really gotten their due in SWS or its journals, but that is only my thinking. At that time, I was Business Manager of the Ecological Society of America, taking that position in 1980 and eventually retiring from it in 1995. When I was asked to run for the SWS presidency in 1995, to be in the position during the years as President Elect, President (1996-97), and Past
President, I considered my history with ESA and thought that might be helpful to SWS. I didn’t think SWS had the national visibility that it could have and thus was willing to accept the presidency if elected. I suspect many longer-term members saw the Society as serving their needs, as the membership was heavily weighted to applied science not basic, research-oriented science, which ESA was. Thus, as President, could I help increase the visibility of SWS within the basic sciences community. Also, I could help improve the management of the Society using my experiences from ESA. Having discussed this with some long-term members, it appears that I, with the help of many other members, was successful, in part, in bringing the Society and its management into the world of larger more long-term societies. Attending one meeting of society presidents in Washington, DC convinced me that SWS could, or would, eventually “play with the big boys” (probably not a good analogy). Looking back on my time with SWS, it was a very rewarding experience, one that helped me grow as a person and scientist. I hope my contribution to SWS (although a small one) helped it grow and improve. It certainly introduced me to a wider world of science beyond the riparian and desert world I was studying at the time. I thank the Society and it members for that opportunity. JOHN M. TEAL (1998-1999) Twenty years ago, after decades of honing our skills at wetlands protection, we were really focusing on restoration projects in both fresh and salt water systems. The fresh water restorations can last a long time, but many of those salt water projects have no place to go as sea level rises. Even the most pessimistic among us didn’t really appreciate the rate of sea level rise, the sluggishness of the political process needed to address it, or the aggressive ignorance of so many public servants and corporations. Our challenge is to restore public trust and understanding of science. BARRY G. WARNER (2001-2002) I remember being quite surprised, and indeed, honoured when I learned I was elected President of SWS. I was surprised even more at the time to learn I would be President of the SWSPCP too. The good thing was I had President Virginia Carter as my predecessor, a very helpful Board, and Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 75
a year as in the Vice-President position to learn both jobs before formally taking over as President. Unlike today, a Board Leadership Manual or Governance Guidelines did not exist. These are tools Iâ€™m sure Presidents after me found helpful. While there were Bylaws and Standing Rules, which I studied up on immediately, they applied mostly to the SWS and specifics about the SWSPCP did not exist. My time on the Executive Board was a period of major transition for the Board and both Societies. Our profession was growing in notoriety and scope and memberships in both societies were growing. A very successful joint international meeting with the International Peat Society, International Mire Conservation Group, and the INTECOL Wetlands Conference in Quebec City held the year before helped boost membership numbers. The SWS and SWSPCP had reached points where we needed to transition from being a small informal society operated by part-time volunteers to a larger society that needed a headquarters and professional society management staff. It was a big step. The SWS and SWSPCP had evolved from being small with membership records kept on index cards in a shoebox to where modern registry methods were required to keep and track memberships. We needed the ability to coordinate better with the chapters and to organize bigger and more complex annual meetings. Budgeting and financial assets needed up-to-date tracking, planning and investment advice. Thus, as President on behalf of the SWS, I signed the contract with Burk and Associates Inc. to hire our first professional management company. Brett and Dick Burk and their associates proved to be welcomed assets for the Society and quickly affirmed our wise decision to go with external management. They made my presidency easier and for Presidents and Executive Boards for many years thereafter. One of the first things they brought to the Boardâ€™s attention was that we needed two separate Executive and Board of Directors for each of the SWS and the SWSPCP. They discovered that when initially formed, different sections of the Internal Revenue Code for non-profit organizations governed each of the SWS and SWSPCP. This meant that each society had to be governed and operated independently. Thus, we proceeded to decouple the two societies and elected a new Board and setup separate operations for the SWSPCP the following year. I was the last President to serve as President of both societies. Our mid-year meeting was one of the most enjoyable and memorable events of my Presidency, at least for me. Past Board members at the time, still mention to me how much they enjoyed this meeting. It was the custom for the President to host the mid-year meeting at their home. Un76 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
fortunately, I could not accommodate the large number of Board members in my cozy but not spacious home. As did the President before me, I hosted the mid-year meeting at a local hotel with meeting rooms near my home. I hosted the meeting at the nearby historical Langdon Hall estate in Cambridge, Ontario. It was the mid-19th Century former summer home of John Jacob Astor, decendents of the famous New York Astor family. It was the right backdrop for our winter meeting: isolated in the middle of Carolinian forests and wetlands, comfortable rooms with wood-burning fireplaces, and fine food with ample coffee. There were no external distractions and ensured everyone remained in one place for our many formal and informal discussions. Further, the venue was very economical because we paid in US dollars (one advantage of having a Canadian president) and I managed to negotiate exceptional rates in the middle of winter low season. Another important accomplishment during my Presidency was a partnership with the Springer Publishing Company who published the journal Wetlands Ecology and Management. I met several times with Springer personnel to discuss cooperation and develop the terms of a contract. This partnership gave their journal a home and SWS and SWSPCP members exclusive reduced subscription rates. E-journals were not common at the time and this arrangement provided access to a journal for many more wetland researchers and practitioners than previously. The partnership founded at this time with Springer led to a long-lasting relationship and their eventual publishing of our Wetlands journal too. Strategic planning proved to be another major event initiated during my presidency. I was familiar with the value of strategic planning at my university. It seemed to me that it would be beneficial for the society to take some time to ponder, think, wish and set some goals for the future, which the society never did in any serious way. At the same time with the advice of Burk and Associates, we changed our method of budget planning to an annual accrual system, as was the custom for professional societies of our size. It made sense that strategic planning and budget planning go hand in hand and we needed a strategic plan that might align with future budgets. My successor, President Day was largely responsible for moving forward discussions that ultimately led to production of our first strategic plan under his leadership. My time as President and, indeed, all the many years I served on the Board have been some of the most enjoyable in my professional career. I will be forever grateful for the many friendships; many not possible were I not President and Board member. I feel the SWS and the SWSPCP are like family and our annual meetings are family reunions.
Let us hope this feeling about our annual meetings never changes. I was the first non-US resident to serve as President. I am delighted to see how “international” the Society has become over the years and wish the Society every success as it grows and continues to promote the attributes and values of this special global resource we all care so deeply about and our professional societies that bring us together. FRANK P. DAY (2002-2003) I had the privilege of serving as President of SWS in 2002-2003. That was a pivotal year for the Society in terms of management, PCP independence, and diversity. I was pleasantly surprised when notified of my election and quickly realized there were major actions afoot awaiting me. At my first mid-year executive board meeting we discussed the proposed move to hire a company to serve as our business office to manage the Society, we began consideration of an independent PCP (Professional Certification Program), and I was introduced to Harry Potter. During my presidency, we experienced the first full year of professional management, elected the first independent president of SWSPCP, began serious steps toward our first strategic plan, began developing a procedures handbook, and initiated our now well established human diversity program. The Society had grown too large for a volunteer board to manage the business aspects of SWS. There were a few bumps in the road during first full year of our association with Burke and Associates but all things considered this was a major step forward for SWS. The business office handled membership, budgets, annual meetings, and other time consuming affairs, thus freeing the board to deal with professional initiatives. The business office was instrumental in helping us understand the liability issues associated with PCP being part of SWS. Up until my presidency, the president of SWS also served as President of PCP, which made a much heavier workload for the president and in some cases the SWS president was not involved in PCP activities. So SWS and PCP were legally separated and the first SWSPCP President, Harold Jones, was elected. We wanted to make sure that the organizations stayed close, so at the New Orleans business luncheon, Harold (a former Masters student of mine) and I signed an MOU binding SWS and SWSPCP to continue a close working relationship. When I first began my term as President Elect and President, I was amazed that few guidelines for society business were written down (other than what appeared in
our by-laws). Most procedures were passed on by word of mouth, which may have been OK as long as we had elders with that knowledge. During my presidency, but carrying into my term as immediate past president, I helped construct a leadership manual to guide how we do things. The discussions of the need for a strategic plan began under Barry Warner, continued through my presidency, and ultimately came to fruition during my term as immediate past president. I served on the committee that developed the first SWS strategic plan. I am most proud of the human diversity program I helped establish and would like that to be my most enduring SWS legacy. When I was put on the ballot for President I realized there were no formal human diversity initiatives in the Society. I made attention to diversity a major promise if elected. Once elected, I established the human diversity committee, which continues to be exceptionally active. Kel Weider successfully acquired an NSF grant to initiate a mentoring program for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups. I and more recently Vanessa Lougheed have obtained additional NSF grants for SWS that have resulted in continuous funding from 2003 to present for the mentoring program (now called SWaMMP). This program has received national recognition for SWS and includes a collaborative effort with the Ecological Society of America’s acclaimed SEEDS program. The program has mentored 148 undergraduates from 86 different colleges and universities in 36 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. The future of SWS looks bright and challenging. The Society is becoming more international in its scope, continues to be the go-to organization for wetlands expertise, publishes outstanding journals, is guided by a well thought out strategic plan (the 2020-2025 plan is currently being revised), continues to be a leader in human diversity efforts (continued NSF funding looks promising), and provides sound scientific guidance to policy makers. SWS should continue to be active in informing policy makers. There have always been some who suggest such activism is not proper for a professional organization. Most of us disagree with that view. Especially during the current administration’s assaults on environmental regulation and protection, SWS must speak with a strong voice. So what about Harry Potter? At dinner with the executive board as President Elect at my first mid-year meeting, the discussion did not center on the business office options or any other SWS business, it concerned the latest Harry Potter book, the characters and plot lines. All of the other officers were obviously immersed in these children’s books and I was having doubts about my role in SWS. I decided to read the first book and subsequently became as big a fan as the rest of the executive board. Among the traits of SWS Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 77
that make it a great Society are the members themselves, devoted to professional study and management of wetlands but cool enough to unabashedly discuss Harry Potter.
pable of. I am grateful to all of the officers, board members, and the SWS membership for their support and friendship during that most memorable time of my life.
ANDY BALDWIN (2009-2010) I’ll have an oil with lyme, please. I served as SWS President during the year before the 2010 SWS Meeting in Salt Lake City. You may recall that the Deepwater Horizon blowout occurred in April 2010 and wasn’t sealed until September, so I was deep in it, so to speak, before and during the meeting. In response to this catastrophe, I was involved in helping SWS develop a rapid response statement, creating a new page on the SWS website about oil and wetlands, and interacting with media and the membership. I also made up a song about the oil spill (to the tune of Louisiana 1927) and sang it at the student mixer at the Salt Lake City meeting. Also during the meeting, I started experiencing chills, sweats, and dizziness. After a couple of days of mounting concern, I went to the Emergency Room, where they did many tests and subsequently discharged me, confident that I did not have meningitis. However, when I returned home to Maryland, I went to my doctor and he knew right away I had Lyme disease, which testing then confirmed. A month of antibiotics and I was back to normal. I still remember lying on a couch in the “green room” at the conference center between Presidential duties. My year as President before the meeting was much less exciting, but nonetheless filled with activities and initiatives. Two of the important things I did were appointing Frank Day to lead a committee to develop a five-year strategic plan for SWS and appointing Ralph Garono to lead a committee to explore the adoption of an executive director for SWS. I also traveled to Taiwan on behalf of SWS to meet with and sign a MoU with the Taiwan Construction and Planning Agency, and developed a good friendship with Wei-Ta Fang who graciously showed me around the beautiful island. I also signed a MoU together with ASLO, NABS, and CERF to form the Consortium of Aquatic Scientific Societies (CASS). That was the year Wetlands began its publication by Springer. Also at that time Burk and Associates was still the SWS Business Office, and although it was a turbulent time near the end of our association with them, I personally enjoyed working with them and was grateful for the help they gave me and the society. In conclusion, my time as President was exciting and pushed me to go beyond what I knew and thought I was ca-
ARNOLD VAN DER VALK (2017-2018) When you become SWS president, you have only one year to impact SWS’ future. Much of my year was spent reacting to events over which I had no control, i.e., the ramifications of the election of Donald Trump. One major policy change that new Trump administration sought almost immediately was to scale back what constitutes waters of the United State (WOTUS), i.e., those aquatic systems protected in some way by federal law. SWS, mostly in partnership with a number of other scientific organizations whose members work on aquatic systems, submitted amicus briefs in relevant court cases, filed comments in opposition to Trump’s proposed WOTUS policy, and had members testify at public hearings in opposition to Trump’s proposed changes. Although important and necessary, unfortunately, SWS’ efforts eventually proved inadequate. Fortunately, there was some time to work on issues that, I believed, would strengthen SWS as an organization. In my case, I wanted to make SWS a more international organization. SWS had begun as a regional organization in the American Southeast. It then expanded all over the US and into Canada by adding new regional chapters with each new chapter being given a vote on the board of directors. This regional chapter model of organization was continued as SWS expanded to other continents (Europe, Asia, and Australia). SWS members outside North America, however, continued to view SWS as primarily an American organization. This was not surprising. Most of the Society’s members were American. When I became president, most of the members of the Board of Directors represented American chapters. Although SWS had for a while called itself an international society, at best, this was only partly true. I had always been struck by the difference between INTECOL wetland conferences, which are truly international, and SWS annual meetings which are not, even the few times when they have been held outside North America (Europe, Australia). As president, the question that I asked myself was what could be done to make SWS more attractive to wetland researchers and managers outside North America? After consulting with SWS members outside North America, one recurring recommended way was to em-
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phasize various subdisciplines of wetland ecology more within the organization. SWS already had some disciplinary sections, e.g., Wetland Restoration, but not many of them. Sections organize many of the symposia at annual meetings, but they did not have the resources to make these symposia international in scope. The two main reasons for attending meetings and joining a society are to learn more about the latest developments in your area of interest and to network with other researchers. It was my belief that having major symposia at annual SWS meetings and other events that feature leading researchers from all over the world would be the best way to attract more international members. Unlike chapters, sections were not represented on the Board of Directors. Unlike chapters, sections did not receive a portion of the dues paid by each member to SWS. My goal as president was to raise the status of sections and to make them equal to chapters. This required two steps: 1) changing our bylaws and 2) changing the way sections are funded. The first was accomplished by changing our bylaws, so that each section was given a seat on the board of directors. (Several new sections - Education, Public Policy and Regulation, and Student - were also established while I was president.) What did not happen was the second step. Because of opposition from some chapter leaders and a few other members of the Board of Directors, funding of sections from member dues as is done with chapters was not implemented. I consider this to be the major failure of my SWS presidency. Hopefully, SWS will with time become a truly international organization by attracting more members from outside North America. This will make it possible for SWS to have a significant impact on the conservation and management of wetlands around the world.
Our annual budget surplus in 2019 was due to that fact that SWS cut expenditures and received a rather large donation. While our finances in 2019 were good news, we need to continue to maintain balanced budgets from year to year. The golden business practice is to bring in the same amount that we spend every year. That means not spending the capital in the endowment, and instead relying on its endowment earnings, as has been SWS practice, to avoid spending the capital to cover any losses in an annual budget. In this way, the endowment capital can continue to grow steadily over time. We have a large endowment because of the generations of SWS members who have not overspent the budget, and stashed away the money so that future SWS members would have interest income. It is much like inheriting money from a rich ancestor. The stories of people squandering such wealth have always left me scratching my head. My father loved to tell the story of the dairy farmer who decided that he deserved to spend his money on himself rather than investing in the farm. This foolish farmer bought himself a theater-sized TV screen, new furniture for the house, a new car, and all the best clothes for his family. Meanwhile the dairy cows languished in a falling-down barn, and were not fed the best food. The cows got sick, and died. The farmer lost the farm because he spent all of his money on himself, and didn’t reinvest in the farm that he inherited from his family. SWS needs to continue to be very smart in how it uses its endowment, using only conservative disbursements of endowment earnings to fund new initiatives after good market years. n
BETH MIDDLETON (2018-2019) The reflection that won’t leave my mind is one having to do with the financial security of SWS in the last several years. We’ve had a run of good stock market years recently, which has allowed us to use our annual endowment earnings to balance our annual budget via our new disbursement initiative. In 2019, our proceeds exceeded expenditures, and we came out in the black rather than in the red for the first time in several years. While it is tempting for presidents to not worry about in-the-red budgets because of our large endowment, I can’t look at it that way. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 79
Dr. Eville Gorham (1925-2020) Contributed by Dr. Susan Galatowitsch, University of Minnesota
Dr. Eville Gorham 1984 (By ModalPeak - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40484494)
The world lost of one of the finest wetland and aquatic scientists, Dr. Eville Gorham, on January 14, 2020 at the age of 94. Dr. Gorham’s early curiosity about the Nova Scotia landscapes he grew up in led to a lifetime of important discoveries about wetlands ecosystems and environmental science, more generally. Eville pursued his interest in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax University, earning BSc and MSc degrees. After completing his graduate work zoology at Dalhousie, Eville was awarded a fellowship for doctoral studies in botany at University of College London in 1947. His dissertation, supervised by William Pearsall, yielded important discoveries about the acidification of wetland and woodland soils. As a postdoc with the Freshwater Biological Association in the Lake District, Eville began collecting bog water and rainfall samples to explore the hypothesis that raised bogs depended solely on precipitation. His studies there also revealed unexpected findings that he linked to acidification caused by industrial pollution. Eville had detected “acid rain”, a phenomenon first discovered and named a century earlier but not yet understood to be an environmental problem. While studying water chemistry in England, 80 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
Eville also pursued a “side project” on radiation levels in water bodies and vegetation. This work eventually led him to show how radioactive fallout could enter food chains and bioaccumulate, key scientific evidence used to establish the global atmospheric nuclear ban treaty (1963). Eville joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1962 and was a founding member of the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior department there. For the next 36 years, until his retirement, Eville continued his work on the water chemistry and biogeochemical processes of peatlands, along with many fruitful “side projects”. He taught courses in environmental science, limnology, and wetland ecology, some based at the Itasca Biological Station, situated at the southern edge of expanses of peatlands and coniferous forest. In 1977, a New York Times reporter trekked along with Eville’s wetland ecology class on a field trip to Big Bog, a place he frequently used for teaching. What led the reporter to Eville, specifically, was that he had become a globally recognized authority and advocate on environmental issues. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Eville recognized the responsibility scientists have to share their knowledge and insights in public debates about the environment, calling it his “conversion to environmentalism”. He frequently spoke to civic groups, provided testimony to the state legislature and to Congress, and joined organizations lobbying for policy changes to improve air and water quality. Eville effectively translated his pioneering research results from the 1950s and 60s into the public debates on acid rain in the 1970s and 1980, showing how and why that knowledge should influence policy. Eville efforts led to new public policies worldwide, such as the sweeping US Clean Air Act amendment of 1990 and also to the redesign of power plants to scrub sulfur. In the 1980s and 1990s, Eville and his students studied many detailed aspects of peatland biogeochemistry, elucidating fine-scale processes and large-scale fluxes, both in the US and across Canada. Eville’s team published a series of classic papers that were the first to show that northern peatlands contain vast reservoirs of carbon, of importance to planetary metabolism, with estimates still considered to be authoritative. Through collaborations with paleo-
ecologists, geologists, and bryologists, Eville explored landscape-evolution of northern peatlands. These studies elucidated how peatlands developed and spread as ice sheets retreated. Dr. Gorham’s works have been recognized with numerous awards including the Hutchinson Award (1986, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography), Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the US National Academy of Sciences (1994), and Lifetime Achievement Award-Society of Wetland Scientists (2005). In the twenty years since his retirement as a full-time faculty member, Eville continued to collaborate and publish, including valuable works on the importance of curiosity and serendipity in science and on environmental data that should inform public policy, especially to address climate change. n
Dr. Eville Gorham circa 2000 (Photo courtesy of the College of Biological Science-University of Minnesota)
From the Editor’s Desk, continued from page 72 – one on the Rights of Wetlands, another on how constructed wetlands are helping to improve water quality in Taiwan, and a third on redefining “waters of the U.S.” and its impact on federal wetland regulations in the United States. Also included in this issue are abstracts summarizing 12 student projects that have been awarded funding from SWS through our student research grant program, a comment on the Australian fires, spring images and observations from the eastern U.S. in Notes from the Field, and Doug Wilcox’s latest cartoon in his From the Bog series. Thanks to all our contributors.
If you were planning to give a presentation at a meeting that has been canceled or postponed and want to reach the SWS community, you should consider converting your would-be talk into an article for WSP. If you have any questions, let me know. Also if you are photographer and would like to share some of your photos with us, consider sharing them for inclusion in Notes from the Field. If you do so, please provide a caption. Meanwhile, take care of yourself, and do what’s best for you and others! Stay Safe Wetlanders! n
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Upcoming Symposium: A Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands – Shifting the Paradigm to Restore the Human-wetland Relationship in Support of Wetland Restoration, Conservation and Wise Use Matthew Simpson1,3, Nick Davidson2,3, Gillian Davies4,5, Max Finlayson3,6, William R Moomaw5, Dave Pritchard7, M Siobhan Fennessy8, and James Whitacre9 ABSTRACT urrent approaches to wetland conservation, restoration and protection have failed to stop global loss and deterioration of wetlands. This is leading to the consideration of complementary approaches to augment existing international and national approaches, and could possibly lead to their replacement. Recognition of the inherent rights of wetlands may be part of a transformational paradigm shift that is needed to reverse current trends of wetland loss and degradation. The issues raised when considering the rights of wetlands are being discussed through an informal working group within the Society of Wetland Scientists.
INTRODUCTION As current approaches to wetland conservation, restoration and protection have failed to stop global loss and deterioration of wetlands (Ramsar Convention 2018; Davidson et al. 2020) we are using the opportunity of the Quebec RE3 Conference: Reclaim Restore Rewild (June 2020), with participation from the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA), Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), to consider alternative approaches. In doing this we are aware that these alternative approaches will likely require further discussion and modification before they could be seen as having wide acceptance. The SWS Ramsar Section (https://www.sws. org/Membership/section-membership.html) symposium at the RE3 conference will build on ideas first presented and developed at the SWS Annual Meeting held in Baltimore in May 2019. The 2020 Ramsar Section symposium is titled: A Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands – Shifting our paradigm restores the human-wetland relationship in support of wetland restoration, conservation and wise use. 35% Consulting, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK Nick Davidson Environmental, Wigmore, Herefordshire, UK 3 Institute for Land, Water, and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia 4 BSC Group, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts, USA 5 Global Development Institute, Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA 6 IHE Delft, Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands 7 Ramsar Culture Network, Hexham, Northumberland, UK 8 Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA 9 University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 1 2
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At one level the envisioned considerations could raise approaches to augment those currently in place through international conventions and treaties, such as the multilateral Ramsar Convention on Wetlands or bilateral and multilateral migratory bird agreements. At another level they could potentially raise issues that could eventually show that existing approaches such as multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are redundant and no longer ‘fit-for-purpose’, and replace them. Further, these approaches are being implemented at all levels of governance around the world, from local to international and stimulating some interesting responses, in favor or against. Given the global and national investment in existing approaches shifting paradigms could be particularly challenging as many existing approaches have been developed over many decades with many dedicated supporters and practitioners. However, the effectiveness of these approaches is being increasingly called into question by recent global analyses which indicate that, despite local successes, the condition of wetlands globally continues to decline (Ramsar Convention 2018) and further steps are needed if this decline is to be stopped and reversed. This includes asking questions about the efforts of the 171 countries that have signed onto the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and specifically committed to actions for maintaining the ecological character of all wetlands (Davidson et al. 2020). With this backdrop in place we have followed the lead of indigenous cultures by proposing that society as a whole recognizes the inherent rights of nature, including wetlands, as part of the transformational paradigm shift that is needed to reverse current trends. Hence, through the Ramsar Section symposium we are proposing a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands, thereby providing a wetlandsfocused response to the Rights of Nature movement as well as to the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice (Ripple et al. 2017) and will address how an ethical and legal paradigm shift could accelerate prioritization of wetland restoration and wise use. Rights of nature recognize the inherent right of natural systems and their biodiversity to exist and to avoid degradation of the resources that support them, as well as the ethical and legal responsibility that humans have to safeguard
the interests and well-being of ecosystems. Rights of nature recognize the dependence of human health and well-being on maintaining healthy and holistic relationships with the natural world. The symposium will address why a Declaration on wetland rights is needed now, what the Declaration entails, how it differs from existing declarations, and how the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, wetland scientists and scientific societies can utilize the Declaration to further the restoration, conservation and wise use of wetlands globally. We are particularly interested in how scientific societies such as SWS can contribute knowledge and improve practices to support governments and others responsible for wetland management. SWS’s members are well placed to play a major role in future efforts given their individual and combined expertise in advocacy and policy, research and knowledge generation, education and training, and communication and information sharing (Finlayson et al. 2017). AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SYMPOSIUM The abstracts of the speakers in the symposium have been paraphrased below to provide an introduction to the topic and a think-piece for those who cannot attend as well as for those who choose to engage with the many issues that are being raised. The above-listed authors are presenting these talks and would like the opportunity to engage widely with readers and the wider community to further develop these ideas. 1. Why could a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands support wetland wise use? We face a global biodiversity crisis and wetlands are not exempt. In 1971 the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was established by governments because of increasing concerns over wetland loss and degradation and its impacts on wetlanddependent species. But since then the areal extent of wetlands has continued to decline, through deliberate drainage and conversion, in all parts of the world. Since 1970, populations of freshwater species have declined more than populations of species depending on other biomes. It is clear that governments will not meet their 2020 Aichi Targets https://www.cbd. int/sp/targets/ for wetland biodiversity. Nor are they on track to deliver the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300; https:// www.cbd.int/conferences/post2020 for wetlands. Yet they are continuing with “business as usual”, and during 2020 are negotiating another set of similar targets for 2030 and 2050. Despite all such agreed targets, nature conservation actions and protected area approaches for wetlands have failed to deliver, and will continue to fail to deliver, while the drive for economic growth rather than truly sustainable development continues to dominate the use of wetlands. We need to change our mindsets and develop new paradigms for truly wise use of wetlands globally
2. Changing our paradigm to improve wetland conservation, restoration and wise use outcomes. As noted above, the current paradigm for conservation of wetlands is failing to meet stated goals. In the context of climate destabilization, the need to reverse these trends is increasingly urgent. Often led by local and indigenous peoples, a global Rights of Nature movement is shifting the ethical and legal paradigm for the Human-Nature relationship. In response a group of wetland and climate scientists have proposed a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands with the goal of shifting our relationship with wetland ecosystems. Acknowledging the inherent rights of wetlands and their legal personhood returns to values and modes of thinking that modernity has typically pushed to the margins. In reconsidering our place in the community of beings making up the Earth community, we can restructure our relationships with wetlands. By embracing relational values with Nature, such as reciprocity, gratitude, responsibility, and acknowledgement of the personhood of Nature we shift decision-making away from exploitation, depletion, degradation and loss, and towards real conservation, restoration, re-wilding and remembering our integrated and relational presence as a part of Nature. 3. When the Biological Becomes Political: The US implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. How has the United States implemented, or put into action, the Ramsar Convention since ratifying it in 1986? Which implementation challenges have been most persistent, and why? Can big data, such as that from the Environmental Conventions Index help ameliorate persistent challenges? Have environmental values changed across administrations? The United States has unique attributes as a constitutional federal government, is an understudied case, and is the largest contributor to Ramsar’s international budget. This is assessed using the Environmental Conventions Index which scores worldwide implementation of environmental agreements. Secondary materials from the US Ramsar’s online portal, including news stories, press releases, and videos, also informs the broader narrative, contextualizing activities across time. Tentative results indicate that activity has changed, including how international compliance has been framed. The biological realm has also become increasingly politicized compared to the past. This has led to several persistent challenges, including how community outreach activities have been supported.
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4. The rights of wetlands in the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: biodiversity loss and threats to human well-being. The Americas Regional Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) details the critical relationship between biodiversity, ecosystems, and the ability of Nature to provide benefits, while recognizing a diversity of world views and multiple values of Nature. The Americas are diverse, hosting 40% of the world’s most biodiverse countries with three times more “biocapacity” per capita than the global average. However, the increasing demand for food, water, and other material goods has increased consumption and intensified land use, continuing a pattern of widespread degradation and destruction of wetlands with regional wetland losses ranging from 20-60% of total wetland area since 1970. The result is the loss of the benefits wetlands provide to food and water supplies, climate regulation, and adaptation to hazardous and extreme events, with a 50% decline in the freshwater supply per person. Overall, there has been a substantial decline in Nature’s contribution to people. The intrinsic value of Nature is at the heart of the IPBES framework, recognizing the links between biodiversity, Nature’s contributions to people, and quality of life, with efforts to incorporate local and indigenous knowledge. The Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands reflects this, acknowledging the importance of wetlands as a universal heritage. 5. Cultural, local community and indigenous peoples’ issues for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands. Much of the recent growth in contemporary formal recognition of the rights of Nature draws on improved understandings about the belief systems and traditional practices of indigenous peoples and local communities. The cultural and linguistic heritage of these systems and beliefs contributes to the world’s diversity. Their knowledge and practices have enhanced respect for the environment and natural resources, often offering models of sustainable approaches to water security, food security, health and well-being. Rights of wetlands can be an important component of enlightened and holistic approaches of this kind, which see humans as part of the ecosystem rather than apart from it. Increasing evidence suggests that land demarcated as Indigenous Lands protects the natural environment through reduced rates of wetland degradation and deforestation, less habitat conversion and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to surrounding areas. Traditional knowledge and management practices often play a significant role in protecting crucial habitats and the socio-ecological systems they support. The United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples addresses the 84 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
most significant issues affecting indigenous peoples - their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. A Declaration of wetland rights needs to fit with this philosophy, and to support the wisdom and rights of indigenous peoples with respect. 6. The rights of wetlands in support of a safe climate and effective wetland restoration – the charter model. Wetlands are an integral component of the global ecosystem that connects through gas exchange with the atmosphere. Wetlands sequester carbon dioxide and respire both carbon dioxide and methane. They support large amounts of biological diversity including migratory birds that connect local wetlands to global biodiversity. Current attempts to declare that wetlands have a fundamental right to exist can learn from previous declarations on the rights of Nature that have utilized the charter model. Two examples are examined: the World Charter for Nature (WCN) (1982) and the World Charter – 1999, to determine if either or both provide a suitable model for a Universal Declaration on Rights of Nature. WCN contains strong statements on the value of Nature, and defines five principles for conserving it. The Charter was engraved in bronze tablets that were placed outside the common meeting room of the UN General Assembly that endorsed it. The Earth Charter is a civil society initiative that has been endorsed by UNESCO and many societal groups including indigenous people and some representatives from government including mayors and other officials. The Earth Charter was proposed by Maurice Strong and Michael Gorbachev as the World Commission on Environment and Development was drafting Our Common Future in 1987 - the report that defined sustainable development. In many ways it provides a template for more recent proposals for the Green New Deal in the United States and the Green Deal in Europe. Like those efforts, it creates a global order that links environmental conservation with socio-economic issues. We need to determine whether either of these two charters provide a useful structure or precedent for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands. CONCLUDING STATEMENTS The upcoming RE3 symposium will conclude with a panel discussion on how to make progress towards a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands. This starts with the recognition that the continuing global decline of wetlands in the context of biodiversity loss and climate destabilization is leading to the consideration of complementary approaches to augment existing international and national approaches, and a sense of urgency in finding effective responses to these challenges. Our intention is not to propose that existing approaches be replaced – we are specifically
asking a wider audience to consider ways to augment them so their better features can be maintained while those features that have not been successful or sustainable are improved or replaced, in the hope that we can find a path to a truly sustainable existence. We do though recognize that unless substantial progress is made, and made quickly, that support for existing approaches may wane and even lead to their abandonment. Can you imagine moving ahead with your efforts to manage or restore wetlands without a Ramsar Convention on Wetlands? Or instead of working with governmental approaches for the wise use of wetlands that you embrace those individuals, communities or organizations that are actively advocating for a new way forward? If this symposium and associated efforts lead to a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands then so be it. If it leads to a transformational change in the effectiveness of existing instruments then so be it. If it does not, then we will need to identify other approaches – our preference, though, is for one based on the rights of wetlands. We see that a specific Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands is a pathway for shifting the paradigm to restore the
human-wetland relationship in support of wetland restoration, conservation and wise use and to respond effectively in the sphere of wetlands to the dual challenges of climate destabilization and biodiversity loss. n REFERENCES
Davidson, N.C., L. Dinesen, S. Fennessy, C.M. Finlayson, P. Grillas, A. Grobicki, R.J. McInnes and D.A. Stroud. 2020. Trends in the ecological character status of wetlands reported to the Ramsar Convention. Marine and Freshwater Research 71: 127–138. https://doi.org/10.1071/ MF18329 Finlayson, C.M., G.T. Davies, W.R. Moomaw, G.L. Chmura, S.M. Natali, J.E. Perry, N. Roulet and A.E. Sutton-Grier. 2018. The Second Warning to Humanity – providing a context for wetland management and policy. Wetlands 39: 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-0181064-z Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 2018. Global wetland outlook; state of the world’s wetlands and their ecosystem services. Ramsar Convention, Gland, Switzerland. https://www.global-wetland-outlook.ramsar. org/ Ripple, W.J., C. Wolf, T.M. Newsome, M. Galetti, M. Alamgir, E. Crist, M.I. Mahmoud, and W.F. Laurance. 2017. World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice. BioScience 67(12): 1026-1028. (Includes15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries) https://doi. org/10.1093/biosci/bix125
President’s Address, continued from page 73 While much from the past may resemble the present we have not though been the scenario that we now confront with COVID-19. In amongst the pandemic that we are now experiencing many organisations, including our own, are facing calls to cancel or postpone meetings and activities that they have previously planned.We did face the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2017 and whether the San Juan annual meeting should go ahead. It was a different scenario, and the conference went ahead and was successful. We have an article in this issue of WSP on the Rights of Wetlands. This stems from recent efforts to extend our commentary and dialogue on climate change, and also on the future of wetlands, and how people inter-relate to wetlands. The Rights of Wetlands has in some places extended to wetlands being given the rights of people – I do wonder how our membership as a whole regards that idea? Does it seem sensible to you, or how much further explanation do you need to make your mind up? And what does it mean
for wetland research and practice? This is intended as an effort to raise these questions, and to help develop individual opinions, and identify gaps in knowledge or understanding and practicalities. In cogitating over such issues some members have asked if existing methods of conserving or managing wetlands are adequate. To my mind they are not – the evidence on wetland loss and degradation tells me that. A few colleagues and myself did a few years ago ask in a journal article if wetland conservation mechanisms overall had been successful – our answer was that we thought it would have been worse if we did not have these mechanisms. Not a great answer in my view. Getting a better answer is possible and I believe that SWS contains the type of people and expertise that can help answer it. In any event I do look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible at the next opportunity, and wish you all good health as we address the COVID-19 situation and our normal daily activities. Best wishes, and good health. n
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SWS-supported Student Research Grant Projects 2019
very year, the Society awards grants through a competitive process to partially support student research in wetlands. For information on the program, visit: http://www.sws.org/Awards-and-Grants/student-research-grants.html. Recipients prepared the following summaries of their projects. For more information on these projects, contact the student investigator. It is hoped that in the future these students will prepare a short article updating the findings of their research for publication in Wetland Science and Practice. Thanks to Dave Bailey, SWS Student Research Grants Subcommittee Chair, for coordinating this effort. WATER LEVEL VARIABILITY CONTROL OF INVASIVE PLANT COVER AND WATERBIRD POPULATIONS IN PALO VERDE, COSTA RICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR WETLAND RESTORATION Stefano Barchiesi, University of Florida firstname.lastname@example.org The Palo Verde National Park and Ramsar Site in Costa Rica is a wetland under threat. It is also an informative model system for investigating how changes in ecological integrity influence delivery of ecosystem services to different sectors of society and how these sectors can in turn help accelerate wetland restoration. Restoration objectives in Palo Verde are linked to the number of waterbirds harbored. Habitat suitability for these priority species is suggested to depend on water levels and vegetation density in the seasonal lagoons. However, the effectiveness of current efforts in controlling invasive plants has not been studied relative to the inter-annual variability of these concurrent habitat needs. Also, their combined analysis at the landscape scale can be used as a new predictor of abundance in waterbird species distribution models. Our objectives are to quantify the spatio-temporal interaction of hydroperiod and invasive vegetation cover and assess the effects of this interaction on priority waterbird species at Palo Verde National Park. We anticipate a feedback between the change in seasonal variability of invasive vegetation cover and of the hydroperiod; and that waterbird abundance is driven by spatio-temporal patterns of habitat suitability generated by these two covariates. We will test these hypotheses by using wetland stage measured at hydrological stations and invasive vegetation cover classified from drone-sensed imagery to adapt
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spectral identification rules for satellite data of the wetland area connected to the Park. Waterbird species abundances will be extracted from citizen-science reports. The results of the waterbird habitat model will be used to perform a functional assessment of ecosystem services as the basis to test alternate restoration options.
EFFECTS OF ELEVATED TEMPERATURE AND EUTROPHICATION ON PLANT-HERBIVORE INTERACTIONS AND IMPACTS ON A SALT MARSH FOUNDATION SPECIES David S. DeLaMater III, Duke University email@example.com Salt marshes are important coastal habitats which provide valuable ecosystem services, yet globally, about half of all salt marshes have been destroyed. Increasing air temperatures, eutrophication, and runaway grazing are among the many threats facing salt marshes. In order to efficiently conserve and restore these imperiled systems, we must understand how these biotic and abiotic forces interact to influence the structure and function of salt marshes. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) forms the foundation of salt marsh ecosystems in the Eastern US, and is often controlled from the top-down via grazing by the marsh periwinkle snail (Littoraria irrorata). Snail grazing in salt marshes is impacted by nutrient availability and if left unchecked (via predator exclusion / overfishing), snails can decimate a salt marsh, turning it into an unproductive mudflat in a relatively short amount of time. What is not clear is how eutrophication, rising temperatures, and herbivory may interact to impact salt marsh structure and function. We will perform a factorial manipulative field experiment to answer the question “How do elevated temperatures and eutrophication interact to affect herbivory and traits of cordgrass in salt marshes?” We will use treatments of warming and nutrient addition while measuring responses in herbivory and plant traits. Nutrient addition will be used to simulate eutrophication and will be achieved by adding slow-release fertilizer to experimental plots using methods and amounts comparable to previous studies. Warming will be achieved with open-topped warming chambers (OTCs). Experiments will be conducted in coastal North Carolina. This research has the potential to elucidate the mechanisms by which major threats impact salt marshes. If we know more about how these threats take hold and induce changes to ecosystem structure and function, we will be better equipped to design effective, evidencebased interventions. If this project is successful, future plans involve conducting similar experiments at multiple latitudes in order to further test the broad applicability of these findings.
LANDSCAPE EFFECT ON FRESHWATER TURTLE HEAVY METAL BIOACCUMULATION IN WEST VIRGINIA WETLANDS Darien Lozon, West Virginia University firstname.lastname@example.org West Virginia historically has experienced heavy metal contamination due to acid mine drainage from coal extraction (e.g. iron sulfide, selenium, manganese) and coalfired power generation (mercury). Agricultural runoff can also cause zinc, cadmium, chromium, and lead accumulation in wetland systems over time. Heavy metals can pose a threat to the health and safety of humans who interact with contaminated water or consume animals with accumulated levels higher than the EPA regulation. To ensure safe levels in the environment, freshwater turtles can be used as a biological indicator for quantifying environmental health because of their long life and high trophic status. It is important to monitor heavy metals in turtles as high levels can cause lethal defects in embryos and decrease longevity in juveniles. Thirty wetlands in north-central West Virginia will be assessed for heavy metal contamination (cadmium, chromium, lead, total mercury, selenium, and zinc) through monitoring snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). Non-destructive tissue (blood and toenail) sampling methods will be implemented to minimize unnecessary mortality. Heavy metal levels will be compared between species, age-sex classes, and sampling methods. Levels will be compared to environmental heavy metals found in soil collected along each wetland as well. Wetlands vary in size (0.04—8.41 ha), so landscape types will be converted to percentages for comparability to determine how they affect heavy metal bioaccumulation. Our data can identify adequate locations for wetlands within a watershed to benefit turtles. Blood and tissue sampling can identify heavy metal bioaccumulation in turtles that are commonly harvested for human consumption (e.g. snapping turtles) and determine if advisories are necessary for turtles harvested from wetlands surrounded by certain landscape types. Comparing snapping and painted turtle bioaccumulation can inform managers if multi-species monitoring is necessary to appropriately assess wetland condition. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 87
DOES INVASIVE PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE EXPERIENCE GENE FLOW FROM A RECENTLY INTRODUCED ORNAMENTAL? Kali Mattingly, Ohio State University email@example.com Hybridization has been associated with increased biological invasiveness and may be contributing to genetic admixture in one of the worst invaders of North American wetlands, Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife). This species was intentionally introduced as an ornamental, but negative impacts of L. salicaria invasion caused many states to prohibit its sale in the 1970s-80s. As a response to prohibition, nurseries replaced their stock with the closely related L. virgatum (European wand loosestrife). Unfortunately, L. virgatum produces seeds when hybridized with L. salicaria, making it likely that L. virgatum contributes genetically to established invasions. I aim to test the hypothesis that naturalized loosestrife populations include evidence of this genetic admixture. I sampled 72 naturalized loosestrife populations across three geographic regions: the upper Ohio River, the southern shore of Lake Erie, and the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan area. First, I screened for hybrids by measuring floral traits. I found morphological variability consistent with hybrids. Next, I developed genetic markers for differentiating the two species. Finally, I will apply these genetic markers to screen for hybridization in the wild. This work will have implications for scientistsâ€™ and practitionersâ€™ understanding of this major wetland invader.
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CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN CONNECTICUT SALT MARSHES Anna Puchkoff, University of Connecticut firstname.lastname@example.org Coastal wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as carbon (C) storage, flood control, and critical habitat, but these services are increasingly threatened as sea levels rise. If coastal wetlands cannot maintain their surface elevation above rising seas via sediment capture and organic matter accumulation, they will convert to open water. Such a conversion will eliminate these unique habitats, along with their critical ecosystem services. Increasingly, the method of thin layer placement (TLP) of sediment is being utilized to maintain existing wetlands, restore threatened wetlands, and promote coastal marsh resilience. As there has been extensive study of this approach in the Gulf Coast, however, little is known about how various levels of sediment application affects coastal wetland maintenance and restoration, particularly how plant biomass allocation and system C dynamics might be affected. This research will show how sediment levels affect the mechanisms of carbon sequestration in salt marshes in Connecticut. To do this, I will examine responses of plant biomass allocation (roots vs. shoots, and leaf area index), soil redox, carbon mineralization and decomposition rates, and soil chemistry (electrical conductivity, ammonium) by testing different levels of sediment application in a natural coastal wetland. These results will provide data for use in more effectively managing and restoring coastal marshes and promoting coastal marsh resilience in the face of inexorable sea level rise.
DEVELOPMENT OF A SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND BASIS FOR INCREASING ECONOMIC VALUE OF CARBON CREDITS IN COASTAL RESTORATION Yadav Sapkota, Louisiana State University Ysapko1@lsu.edu Coastal wetlands have been valued for a variety of ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, which can be monetarily valued as carbon credits. Restoration efforts are essential to prevent wetland loss and the loss of the associated services. Restoration projects can help sequester carbon and may also prevent the release of previously stored carbon as CO2 in case of coastal wetlands. Reduction of wetland loss has not been explicitly included in current carbon credit methodologies despite over 48 Km2/year land loss in coastal Louisiana mainly due to the lack of science-based information on the spatial variability of the marsh edge erosion, depth of the erosion, age of the eroded carbon, and the fate of the eroded carbon. Thus the goal of this study is to determine marsh edge erosion rates and the depth and age of the eroded organic matter to determine the potential for loss to the atmosphere by mineralization. I have been monitoring marsh edge erosion in Barataria Basin, Louisiana at 11 different sites since 2017 and recently estimated the depth of the erosion using side scan sonar and bathymetric profiles. The carbon in the soil has been analyzed down to 1.5 meters. I will be using SWS grant to constrain the age of the peat material that is being eroded by 14C dating of the organic matter at a depth of 1.5 m. This age estimation, along with the erosion rate, could help facilitate economic valuation of the preserved carbon for carbon credit purposes as well as providing valuable information to the public on the need to reduce wetland loss. This study may also help to advocate the explicit inclusion of prevented wetland loss component in wetland carbon credit methodologies.
CARBON STORAGE IN CONSTRUCTED AND NATURAL BRACKISH MARSHES Erin Smyth, University of Alabama email@example.com Coastal vegetated areas provide a myriad of ecosystem services, yet are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activities and environmental changes, including land use change. Their loss or degradation corresponds to a disproportionately large loss of ecosystem services, but wetland restoration and construction are promising tools for recovering lost ecosystem functions and services. One of the most notable ecosystem services that coastal ecosystems provide is the efficient sequestration of carbon (C), which helps to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change. The capacity of constructed marshes to sequester C may differ from that of natural marshes, with significant temporal lags in the recovery of ecosystem services possible for many restored or constructed wetlands. In this study, C stocks in a natural reference marsh and two constructed salt marshes will be quantified in above- and belowground plant biomass and the soil/sediment pool. In addition, factors that may regulate C production and storage, including bioturbation, organic matter decomposition, and porewater nutrient availability, will be measured. Through this analysis, the following questions will be addressed: 1) Do constructed marshes and naturally occurring brackish marshes differ in their carbon content?, 2) How does carbon storage change over time in a constructed/created marsh?, and 3) How does carbon storage differ within and between the natural marsh and constructed marshes along an elevation gradient?
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THE ROLE OF FLOATING GARDENS TO ALTER THE QUALITY OF THE CHICAGO RIVER: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Emmett Spooner, Illinois State University firstname.lastname@example.org The pollution of heavy metals within surface water is a rising global concern. As heavy metals are transported through rivers, they can bioaccumulate through the food web, leading to harmful concentrations within waterways. In urban areas such as the city of Chicago, Illinois, the use of road salts is a concern as elevated concentrations of chloride (Cl-) can reduce surface water quality. Physical and chemical changes in Cl- altered sediment can cause the mobilization of heavy metals and subsequent uptake by plants. Since surface waters can carry heavy metals and Cl- salts over a large distance, methods of in-situ phytoremediation are of growing importance. Floating gardens are one promising solution to reduce the heavy metal concentrations on streams and rivers and have been reported to cause decreases in the nutrient concentrations of stagnant surface waters. However, they are a relatively new concept with little information available on the effectiveness of heavy metal reduction on flowing waters. Through a pilot project, a floating garden system has been installed along a portion of the Chicago River. This work aims to answer the following question: Do floating gardens alter the heavy metal concentrations of surface water? To address this question, two hypotheses are proposed: 1) Heavy metal (Al, As, Be, Cd, Cu, Cr, Mn, Pb, Se, Zn) and Cl- concentrations of surface waters upstream from the floating gardens will be higher than the concentrations downstream. 2) The floating gardens will alter metal concentrations more during the growing season (summer) than the dormant season (winter). To test these hypotheses, surface water samples were collected and analyzed for heavy metals and Cl- upstream and downstream of the floating gardens during the growing season. These samples revealed the presence of Al, Be, Cd, Cl-, Cr, Mn, and Zn with concentrations greater upstream than downstream for Be and Mn. For Cl- and the other detected metals, there was little to no variation in upstream vs. downstream concentrations. Sampling will be also repeated during the dormant season to form a compari90 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
son between the non-altered waters of the dormant season to the altered waters of the growing season. Successful completion of this work will provide an understanding of a rising method of phytoremediation that has potential for application across the globe. DISENTANGLING THE DRIVERS OF FOOD CHAIN LENGTH IN INTERDUNAL WETLANDS; THE PRODUCTIVITY, ECOSYSTEM SIZE, AND PRODUCTIVE SPACE HYPOTHESES Nicole Stewart, Western Michigan University email@example.com Interactions between basal resources and consumers are important to the structure and function of ecological communities, and such interactions can be influenced by environmental variation across the landscape. Food webs represent these interactions and are key to understanding community structure, yet the influence of environmental variation on food webs is poorly understood. The goal of my research is to characterize food web structure in freshwater interdunal wetlands by assessing how food chain length (FCL) varies across the landscape. Interdunal wetlands are a type of Great Lakes coastal wetland found within the low-lying areas between the dunes of the Great Lakes sand dune system along Lake Michiganâ€™s eastern coastline. My study focuses specifically on the interdunal wetlands located at Ludington State Park in Ludington, Michigan, USAâ€”a location that has the most interdunal wetlands globally! Interestingly, these wetlands track a gradient of canopy cover with no canopy cover for wetlands near the coast to high canopy cover for more inland interdunal wetlands. This gradient in canopy is a source of varying levels of resource subsidy through leaf fall and a source of varying levels of wetland productivity across the landscape. There are a handful of hypotheses proposed to explain variation in FCL, however, no single hypothesis is widely applicable to various ecological systems. Using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes I assess variation in FCL and test hypotheses related to ecosystem size and productivity while considering the effects of a resource subsidy on FCL in a unique wetland system. I have collected an array of basal resources and aquatic consumers from 12 interdunal wetlands
during the peak growing season (June-August 2019). Basal resource collections included emergent and submergent macrophytes, filamentous algae, periphyton, seston, and detritus. Consumer collections included aquatic macroinvertebrates, tadpoles, and larval salamanders. I measured and recorded water physiochemistry, canopy cover, tree density, wetland depth, and wetland area for each sampling event. Currently, I am cleaning, drying, and grinding samples in preparation for stable isotope analysis. Testing FCL hypotheses in a single region where the system under study demonstrates gradients in environmental factors is a practical way to address questions regarding the relationship between macroecological patterns and food web structure. Results of this work will elucidate the drivers of FCL and shed light on patterns of food web structure at broad geographical scales. ELEVATION CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS SALT MARSHES IN RESPONSE TO STORM EVENTS Andrea Stumpf, Villanova University firstname.lastname@example.org Climate change is threatening New England salt marshes, which are experiencing accelerating sea level rise and reduction in sediment supply. Another factor impacting coastal wetlands in New England is the effect of storms on marshes. Storms result in high energy waves that can cause erosion, wind damage, and flooding, and may also result in storm-surge sediment deposition. As such, storms may either hasten the loss of marshes through erosion or act to sustain marshes by providing sediment that builds the marsh vertically. The timing and type of storm alters the type and quantity of sediment delivered to the marsh surface. Past studies that have utilized thin layer deposition of sediment on marsh surfaces have shown the potential benefits to primary productivity and elevation that sediment deposition can achieve. I am investigating how the type of sediment, thickness of sediment, timing of sediment and marsh elevation interact to determine marsh response to storm sediment deposition events. I am measuring elevation change using elevation pins on three different
thicknesses of sediment deposition (2, 6 and 10 cm) and two different types of sediment (coarse and fine) applied to high and low marshes at three different seasons (fall, spring and summer) in Plum Island Sound, MA. Sediment bulk density, sediment nutrient concentrations, and plant biomass will be measured over time. This experiment will yield information on how the type and timing of the storm deposit and the marsh community and elevation interact to determine marsh response to storm events. BIOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO ELEVATION CHANGE IN NATURAL AND CONSTRUCTED GULF COAST MARSHES Griffin Wood, University of Alabama email@example.com Many tidal wetlands are subjected to degradation or loss due to sea-level rise, subsidence, and land use changes. Constructed marshes not only reclaim wetland area, but also restore vital ecosystem services, including the capacity to mitigate nutrient enrichment and adapt to sea-level rise through elevation gains. However, it is unclear the extent to which constructed marshes regain these functions relative to natural marshes. This study contrasts biological contributions to elevation change in natural and constructed Gulf Coast marshes under different nutrient enrichment scenarios. By measuring decomposition dynamics, above- and below-ground biomass production, productivity via CO2
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flux, and surface elevation changes, this study is documenting the mechanisms regulating marsh resilience to sea-level rise and testing how those processes vary under different nutrient enrichment scenarios. Clarifying the impact of nutrient additions on elevation dynamics in natural and constructed marshes will enhance our understanding of salt marsh responses to eutrophication and sea-level rise, as well as the ability of constructed marshes to recover other important ecosystem services. ASSESSING CONSERVATISM AMONG WETLAND PLANTS: MEASURING PLANT TRAITS, RESPONSE TO MYCORRHIZAL INOCULATION, AND NUTRIENT PULSES Jack Zinnen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign firstname.lastname@example.org Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) is a method of assessing the quality of a natural area based on its plant community. FQA uses coefficients of conservatism (C-values) to characterize a species’ tolerance to anthropogenic disturbance and its degree of fidelity to historic ecological conditions. C-values are assigned by expert judgement and range from 0-10, with a higher number indicating a conservative species that is intolerant to anthropogenic disturbance. C-values are commonly used to generate two widely used metrics in wetland management: mean C-value and the Floristic Quality Index. These metrics are robust, reliable methods to characterize wetland condition. Despite the utility of C-values, the ecological information underlying them is relatively uninvestigated. Some authors have suggested C-values are linked to functional trait characteristics. Others have discussed C-values in the context of life history strategies, specifically through Grime’s competitorruderal-stress tolerator (CSR) framework. To advance our understanding of the ecology of C-values, I will conduct
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a greenhouse experiment measuring functional traits and relative CSR strategies of 60 Illinois wetland species. Because recent evidence suggests late-successional and more conservative species benefit from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation, I will measure the species’ growth responses to AMF addition. A nutrient pulse treatment will also be added due to the importance of fertility to structuring wetland plant communities, as well as the role of eutrophication in wetland degradation. This project will reveal latent ecological information synthesized by FQA metrics, and thereby advance the understanding of wetland management and monitoring. n
View recent video installments of the Wetland Interviews Initiative
The SWS Wetland Interviews playlist offers videos on YouTube that highlight international connections in wetland science and increases knowledge exchange by interviewing wetland researchers and practitioners from around the world. Through this effort, the ‘Wetland Interviews Initiative’ also incorporates a Wetland Legends Series, by holding interviews with distinguished and prominent wetland scientists. At this time, we have rolled out our first two interviews – one in English of Dr. Doug Wilcox and one in Spanish of Dr. Carolina Rojas Quezada, Dr. Juanita Aldana-Domíngue, and Dr. Paola Moschella. Please check them out at: http://sws.org/ Sample-Content/wetland-interviews-initiative.html. You can also view them directly on YouTube: https://www. youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8NOIq5cy6-cKa5fld2EjMrXWdz9usTxA. SWS is soliciting further suggestions for interviewees that can speak about intercultural, international, and/or interdisciplinary experiences. The interviewee does not have to be a member of SWS. The Wetland Interviews Initiative is also seeking SWS members interested in conducting these interviews (in English and other languages). If you are interested in nominating an interviewee or conducting an interview yourself, please email email@example.com. The Wetland Interviews Initiative is hosted by the International Chapter and the SWS Webinar Series in collaboration with New Media Initiative. n
New Media Initiative receives an entertaining new submission
Check it out (www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfYOn 5xUpDI&list=PL8NOIq5cy6-f71smAnMB2EHi_ v5wZLeCF&index=4)! n
Public Policy and Regulation Section forming a Groundwater Ad Hoc Committee
SWS established the Public Policy and Regulation Section (sws.org/Membership/section-membership.html) in 2018 to assist the Society and the Executive Board in monitoring and addressing public policy issues that affect wetlands and wetland science. The Section has an Ad Hoc WOTUS committee that took the lead role in monitoring proposed changes to the US Federal Clean Water Act and preparing proposed responses for the Society based on science-based information. The Section will continue to monitor these law changes and others that develop. The Section is trying to establish a Groundwater Ad Hoc Committee to monitor groundwater issues and policy as they relate to wetlands and wetland science, and are looking for volunteers to serve on the committee or recommendations for someone we should reach out to serve. We are looking for academics, practitioners and government members to populate the committee. Please reach out to any of the board members. The Section President is John Lowenthal, PWS, PWD (firstname.lastname@example.org); the Treasurer is Richard Chinn, PWS (email@example.com); and the Secretary is Robert Parker, (firstname.lastname@example.org). n
SWS Chapter News The Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting, originally scheduled for April 15, has been cancelled. http://sws.org/rocky-mountainchapter
The Europe Chapter cancelled their annual meeting, originally scheduled for May 25-27 in the Netherlands. http://sws.org/europe-chapter
The Pacific Northwest Chapter meeting in Leavenworth, WA, has been postponed to September 24. http://www.sws.org/Pacific-Northwest-Chapter/pacific-northwestchapter-events.html
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 93
Take Full Advantage of Your Membership Through SWS’ Monthly Webinar Series Participate in outstanding educational opportunities without leaving your desk! SWS is pleased to provide its monthly webinar series that addresses a variety of wetland topics. The convenience and flexibility of SWS webinars enables you to educate one or a large number of employees at once, reduce travel expenses, and maintain consistent levels of productivity by eliminating time out of the office. SWS webinars are free for members. Additionally, every quarter, one of our monthly webinars is open to the public. These free quarterly webinars are offered in March, July, September and December. WEBINAR ARCHIVES If you’re unable to participate in the live webinar, all webinars are recorded and archived for complimentary viewing by SWS members. The SWS Webinar Committee is excited to announce that our past webinars are available on YouTube. Non-members may access webinars that are three months or older on the SWS YouTube channel. SUBTITLED WEBINARS Webinars are also viewable with subtitles on YouTube.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE: April 16, 2020 | 1:00 PM ET Convergence of Wetland Science and Technology Presenter: Jeremy Schewe, PWS May 21, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. ET Before the Ghosts Appear: Identifying the Effects of Chronic Saltwater Intrusion on Coastal Floodplain Swamps Using Remote Sensing Presenter: Elliot White
SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEBINAR SERIES The SWS International Chapter also offers a series of webinars in Spanish (http://www.sws.org/About-SWS/proximos-seminarios-webde-sws-en-espanol-nonmembers-2.html). n
July 16, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. ET SWS Wetland Ambassador Presenters: Priyanka Sakar, Elizabeth Watson
THANK YOU TO WEBINAR SERIES SPONSORS:
9/17/2020 | 1:00 p.m. ET Urban Wetlands and Water Management Presenter: Bill Dooley SPANISH:
June 24, 2020 | 1 PM ET Zoobenthophily: a new type of pollination for marine plants Presenters: Brigitta I. van Tussenbroek, Ricardo Wong
9/24/2020 | 1:00 pm ET Mexican mangroves https://www.whitentongroup.com/
94 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
Presenter: Marivel Domínguez Domínguez
Webinar Sponsorships Available
About the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and our Webinar Series
SWS is an organization dedicated to promoting wetland education, conservation and restoration, globally. We are a growing international organization with 3,000+ members from 62 countries. Our diverse membership ranges from students and professors engaging in groundbreaking wetland research, government and NGO’s involved in wetland management and policy, and industry consultants practicing wetland restoration and mitigation, as well as wetland enthusiasts from the public and a multitude of related natural resource disciplines. Webinars are offered complimentary to all SWS members, and are offered FREE to the public on a quarterly basis, providing maximum exposure for your organization. We are excited to announce sponsorship opportunities for our webinar series, as a means of partnering with other organizations in the wetland field, like you!
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sponsors per year to maximize your impact!
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During Webinar • Recognition of sponsor during the webinar’s introductory slides, which will include sponsor logo • Slide at the end of the webinar with sponsor contact information
Webinar Statistics: Average 100 registrants Average 60 particpants
Post-Webinar • Your Logo and Link to Your Website on SWS Past Webinars webpage for the term of the sponsorship. • Additional exposure from on-demand recordings of the webinars, on the SWS YouTube channel.
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 95
Clustered Constructed Wetland Systems in Metropolitan Taipei Wei-Ta Fang1, Shang-Shu Shih2, Bai-You Cheng3, and Jui-Yu Chou4
ABSTRACT ince 2004, fourteen clustered constructed wetland systems have been built along the Danshui River and its tributaries. This “big-dig” project was designed to: 1) achieve water-quality standards according to the regulations of the Taipei municipal governments for connecting households to public sewage systems from clustered constructed wetland systems, 2) improve wastewater purification, and 3) use all corridor wetlands to promote sustainable development while supporting urban recreation, environmental education, and habitat restoration for biodiversity. Total construction cost was $33,706,600 ($US) for the systems. For 10 years, we studied and examined their functional capabilities associated with treating non-point source pollution. To date, monitoring water indicators, such as dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, ammonia, and Escherichia coli, at 13 sampling sites have demonstrated that water quality in Taipei metropolitan rivers has improved. Constructed wetlands in Metropolitan Taipei thereby play a crucial role in preventing extreme deteriorations in water quality. Our work has also shown that these constructed wetlands also control the flow of rivers in drought/flood seasons and increase biodiversity in this river corridor.
BACKGROUND The metropolitan area of Taipei (25°03’N, 121°30’E), with a population of 6.5 million people representing 28% of the total population of Taiwan (23 million), is one of the most condensed megacities in Asia (Figure 1). As a small island nation with an overall population density of 644 people/ km2, the areas of Taipei City (9,808 people/km2) and New Taipei City (1,919 people/km2) carry the burden of both a large population and high population density. The Danshui River, with a length of 158.7 km and a drainage basin of 2,726 km2, is the only natural corridor remaining within Corresponding author contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan 2 Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan 3 Graduate Institute of Environmental Resources Management, TransWorld University, Douliu, Yunlin 640, Taiwan 4 Department of Biology, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua 500, Taiwan 1
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this metropolitan area. Located within the Taipei basin and surrounded by mountainous areas, the Danshui River receives a relatively high loading of sand (5-14.5 g/L) mainly from natural erosion in the steep slope, and 9.28 million cubic meters per year of sediment. This produces siltation and the formation of sand bars in the river corridors during Typhoon seasons. The presence of sand bars at river’s edge makes it possible to create constructed wetlands in floodplain areas. Such wetlands could help reduce sediment loads from the river. The Taipei municipal government has built a series of constructed wetlands to remediate and mitigate heavy sediment loadings that could also help address water pollution and flooding issues in the watershed, among other benefits. Historically, the Danshui River was notorious for the odor in her waters. Prior to building constructed wetlands, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), suspended solids (SS), and ammonia (NH3-N) were detected at levels in excess of a local statutory level: DO>6.5 mg/L; BOD 5 <3.0 mg/L; SS<20.0 mg/L; NH 3 -N <0.50 mg/L in the water (Cheng et al. 2011). For example, the lowest recorded value for DO from data obtained from 13 monitoring stations was 2 mg/L between 2002 and 2003. The median of SS ranged from a minimum of 25 mg/L to a maximum of 125 mg/L between 2004 and 2007. Following a drought period between 2002 and 2003, a flood during 2004 containing hilly debris led to a dramatic increase in the level of SS. The ammonia (NH3-N) level, which strongly affects the health of citizens in metropolitan areas, peaked at 5 mg/L during 2003. The Dashui River and its tributaries meander through the most densely populated areas of the island of Taiwan. Since 2004, 14 clustered wetlands have been built to help improve water quality, reduce siltation, and provide flood control in the Danshui River (Cheng et al. 2011). OBJECTIVES OF CONSTRUCTED WETLAND SYSTEMS The quality of Danshui River has declined due to anthropogenic influences, such as residential wastewater, landfills, and swine wastewater. The 14 clustered constructed wetland systems (CCWS) were to develop a mechanism to deal with high sediment loads, reduce water pollution, as well as take advantage of the environmental benefits of constructed
wetlands for municipal wastewater treatment for public health priorities. The water they receive at a point source are waters polluted with non-point source contaminants, especially runoff from agricultural fields. The objectives of these constructed wetlands are sand-loading reduction, water-quality improvement, biodiversity conservation, and environmental education. • To reduce sand loading, siltation, and the formation of sand bars in the river corridors during typhoon seasons. • To meet water-quality standards as Table 1 for “not (slightly) contaminated” in the entire river corridors according to the regulations of the Taipei municipal governments concerning the connection of households to public sewage systems from CCWS; • To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands that are important for the conservation of global biological diversity, including water bird flyways and fish populations in ecological corridors as well as sustaining human life; and • To contribute to the concept of environmental education from ecotourism and outdoor activities, increase aesthetic and “sense of place” values, and maintain or enhance other natural values of wetland ecosystem services (Lo et al. 2019).
Figure 1. The main Danshui River corridor associated with uplands with a peak elevation of 1,120 m (Yanmingshan National Park) in the Taipei Metropolitan Area.
Since 2004, the Taiwan EPA has provided support to municipal governments for wetland construction. In the metropolitan area, Taipei County Hall was reconstituted as a new entity - New Taipei City - in 2010. This new entity has attempted to mitigate the effects of water pollution. A number of remediation programs were proposed including: 1) increasing the percentage of public sanitary sewage systems through takeovers and the implementation of Table 1. River water-quality standards in Danshui River. a deep tunnel operation to collect and treat domesParameters Not (slightly) Lightly Moderately Seriously tic wastewater in the different sub-basins of the contaminated contaminated contaminated contaminated Danshui River, 2) removing illegal sand and gravel Dissolved oxygen (DO) >6.5 4.6~6.5 2.0~4.5 2.0< excavations and factories from riparian zones, and 3) mg/L building wetlands within levees on riverine floodBiochemical plains. The initiative was promoted by the previous oxygen deMayor Hsi-Wei Chou and the former Deputy Mayor <3.0 3.0~4.9 5.0~15.0 >15.0 mand (BOD) Hong-Yuan Lee through establishing policies that mg/L supported the building of wetlands in Taipei County Suspended during 2004. (Note: Lee also became the Minister of solids (SS) <20.0 20.0~49.9 50.0~100 >100 the Interior from 2012 to 2014.) mg/L Ninety-three constructed wetlands were built Ammonia (NH3-N) <0.50 0.50~0.99 1.00~3.00 >3.00 in Taiwan between 2000 and 2010. These wetlands mg/L occupy 517 ha and have a capacity of 542 megaliSource: Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (2008). ters/day of wastewater (Cheng et al. 2011). Between 2004 and 2010, approximately 15% of these wetDESCRIPTION OF THE CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS lands (14 wetlands; 140.76 ha) were located in the riparian Following rapid industrialization, urbanization, and the zone within the levee borders of the Danshui River and its expansion of the population over the last decades of the tributaries, such as at Xindian Creek (right upstream) and 20th century, the discharge of source pollutants into rivers Dahan Creek (left upstream) (Figure 2). The constructed in the metropolitan Taipei area has increased significantly, wetlands, sponsored by the Taiwan Environmental Protecthreatening the riverine ecosystem along Danshui River tion Administration (Taiwan EPA), use both free water and the health of humans alike. It has become increasingly surface systems (FWS) and subsurface flow systems (SFS) necessary to examine the role played by this drainage basin (Kao et al. 2001; Cheng et al. 2011). Free water surface on the metropolitan area. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 97
systems (FWS) are wetland systems where the water surface is designed to be exposed to the atmosphere allowing for colonization by aquatic grasses and emergent macrophytes. Subsurface flow systems (SFS) involve directing horizontal subsurface flows through large gravel beds to filter out particles and microorganisms, and include planting of wetland vegetation in sand-filled basins. SFSs are also called gravel-contact oxidation treatment systems. The wetlands were designed as a supplement to the existing public sewage system in this metropolitan area. They would work in combination with existing public sanitary sewage systems piped out from houses; this represented about 43% for all households in New Taipei City during 2012. The rest of household wastewaters (57%) discharged directly to the Bali sewage treatment station without treatment by these metropolitan wetlands. The wetlands were designed as a part of a water clarification plan for urban rivers to support an area without sanitary sewage systems to treat wastewaters. Since there were questions whether these wetlands (i.e., free water surface water systems) alone could effectively handle sewage treatment because of limited spaces along river sides, both the free water surface systems (FWS) and subsurface flow systems (SFS or gravel-contact treatment system) were chosen as the standard procedures of multi-functional clarification in the river systems of the metFigure 2. Constructed wetlands in the metropolitan areas of Taipei. Abbreviations for A Zone: S-ZC (Subsurface flow- Zhong Cao) and S-GE (Subsurface flow- Gui Eng); B Zone: S-GS (Subsurface flow- Gang Suei), S-GH (Subsurface flow- Guang Ho), and S-SL (Subsurface flowSiou Lang); C Zone: F-SH1 (Free water surface- Shin Hai Section 1), F-HG (Free water surface- Hua Gang), F-SH2 (Free water surface- Shin Hai Section 2), F-SH3 (Free water surface- Shin Hai Section 3), F-FZ1 (Free water surface- Fu Zhou), F-FZ2 (Free water surface- Fu Zhou Bridge), F-DN (Free water surface- Da Niao Pi), F-SL (Free water surface- Shia Lin), and F-L (Free water surface- Lo Ga Kei).
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ropolitan Taipei area. For the metropolitan Taipei area, discharge rates and loading rates for these constructed wetlands were obtained from historical records from 2006 to 2012. In 2006, only three wetlands were in operation treating a water volume of 21 megaliters/day, or 21,000 cubic meters per day (m3/day) (CMD). Since 2007, 14 wetlands with a total area of 140.76 ha are now treating 188 megaliters/day, or 188,000 CMD in the metropolitan area. Type of System These clustered wetlands were designed to collect all regional drainage (RD) waters including urban surface runoff, agricultural wastewater (i.e., F-LG) in the upper stream, industrial wastewater (i.e., S-GS, F-HG in Figure 2) in the middle streams, municipal wastewater (i.e., S-GS, F-HG, F-FZ2, and F-LG), and domestic wastewater (i.e., S-GS, F-HG, F-FZ2, and F-LG) in the upper & middle streams. Two types of constructed wetlands treat the water: subsurface flow (gravel-contact oxidation treatment) system and free water surface system (Kao et al. 2001; Cheng et al. 2011). Area, Volumes, Discharge Rates, and Loadings Between 2004 and 2010, the 14 constructed wetland areas (140.76 ha) in the Taipei metropolitan area were limited to an inflow discharge of 188 megaliters/day. Unfortunately, records of initial operation for the pollution reduction rate (PRR) in each area are lacking. Table 2 shows the characteristics of the 14 wetlands from Taipei City and New Taipei City in 2010. The removal rate of BOD5 was 81% to 98% in the six gravel-contact oxidation treatment systems (subsurface flow systems), whereas 63% to 81% of BOD5 was removed by the eight free water surface systems. Design Approaches Hydrological engineers used universally accepted equations to design the systems. The equations utilized in these approaches are shown in Table 3, while the rationale behind using each equation is provided below. • Aquatic vegetation was employed to increase the pollutant removal ratio from waterbodies (equation 1). • The use of both a free water surface system and a gravel-contact oxidation treatment system (subsurface flow system) would increase the mixing, diffusion, and retention time and therefore, increase the effective volume of the wetlands (equations 2-5). • The creation of a number of wetlands-in-series would improve hydraulic efficiency using the concept of clustered constructed wetlands and their functions (equation 6). • The creation of ecological habitats would benefit wetland wildlife in order to increase species biodiversity (no referenced equation).
Table 2: Information for the constructed wetlands along the riparian zones of the Danshui River 2010. Location of river reach
Main type Design Design treatment types treatment flows of the water (m3/day)(CMD) sources1
Initial operation records Construction (pollution reduction cost (US rate, PRR) Dollars)3
MDW & IW
98% BOD5 94% SS 94% NH3-N
81.7% BOD5 93.1% SS 91.2% NH3-N
81% BOD5 6.97% SS 96.4% NH3-N
MDW & IW
74% BOD5 74% SS 67% NH3-N
71% BOD5 71% SS 65% NH3-N
71% BOD5 71% SS 65% NH3-N
73% BOD5 72% SS 67% NH3-N
63.2% BOD5 58.3% SS 74.4% NH3-N
AW & MDW
74% BOD5 76% SS 73% NH3-N
G: Gravel-contact oxidation treatment method (subsurface flow); F: Free water surface; RD: Regional drainage2; USR: Urban surface runoff, AW: Agricultural wastewater; IW: Industrial wastewater; MDW: Municipal wastewater and domestic wastewater. 2 Regional drainage (RD) includes: urban surface runoff, agricultural wastewater, industrial wastewater, municipal wastewater, and domestic wastewater. 3 Construction cost was $33,706,600 in US Dollars (USD) (based on the January 2010 exchange rate from New Taiwan Dollars - NTD). 1
Limitations and Constraints of the CCWSs in Metropolitan Taipei The constructed wetlands, with a central government sponsored budget of USD $33,706,600 from the Taiwan EPA, were designed using free water surface systems (FWS) and subsurface flow systems (SFS). Since the central government sponsored the total construction cost, the main limitations and constraints for the operation of CCWS in Metropolitan Taipei are a lack of public awareness and citizen
participation in the wetland planning and design phrase and funding from local agencies to maintain the systems. Public Awareness. In metropolitan areas in Taiwan, constructed wetlands are commonly located beyond city limits and are historically separated from urban populations by concrete levees constructed to reduce the risk from flooding. Consequently, citizens living in metropolitan areas have lost the visual connectivity with the rivers. Experiences of outdoor activities and wetland cultural Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 99
Table 3. The following equations were used in the design of clustered constructed wetlands (CCWs) derived from their hydrologic functions calculated by hydrological engineers in Taiwan.
experiences were beyond the regular lives of urban residents. In this case, strategies for raising the awareness and perceptions of citizens to link to one of the objectives as â€œsense of placeâ€? have been discussed and organized by the former Deputy Mayor Hong-Yuan Lee. Being a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University (with a Ph.D. in hydrological engineering from the University of Iowa, USA), he was happy to engage in a constructive dialogue in the public forum when he served as the Deputy Mayor from 2005 to 2009. Management Regime. The Taiwan EPA provided the entire construction budget for 93 constructed wetlands in Taiwan, including the fourteen in Metropolitan Taipei. Due to a budget reduction in 2010, the Taiwan EPA requested that the local government support the maintenance of their wetlands under a policy of financial self-sufficiency. Since then local government is responsible for managing these wetlands, yet they have insufficient funds for proper maintenance. The annual maintenance cost for a few of the wetlands has been recorded: F-FZ2: USD $53,083, F-SL: USD $42,274, F-HG: USD $38,412, and F-SH3: USD $37,087. SCHEME APPRAISAL This section describes the major strengths and weaknesses of the design and implementation of the CCWSs in Metropolitan Taipei including consideration of their design, construction, management, costs, and ecosystem service values. Water Quantity The CCWSs in Metropolitan Taipei have been considered a successful design case to control the flow of rivers in drought/flood seasons. During floods, floodgates were adjusted to control water flow in flood barrier and levee systems (Cheng et al. 2011). Constructed wetlands serve as natural sponges in regional drainage. During flood seasons, they trap and slowly release surface water to maintain hydrological balance in the baseflow. Constructed wetlands improve water quantity in dry seasons to a greater degree than during flood seasons. Low river flow might lead to short-term deficits in river discharge, providing insufficient baseflow to meet the needs of a healthy ecosystem. Therefore, baseflow from the system during drought conditions could provide sufficient flow to support ecosystem service for fish spawning in Tahan Creek. Water Quality The CCWS in Metropolitan Taipei is considered a successful design case, for they consistently produce an outflow high in DO and low in BOD5, SS, NH3-N, and E. coli (Cheng et al. 2011). Water quality of the output from all 14 wetlands has much improved since the series of wetlands
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was constructed in 2004 (Figure 3) but Figure 3. Variations in water quality (a: DO; b: BOD5; c: SS; d: NH3-N; e: E. coli) in the metare still below local targets. An upward ropolitan Taipei basin of the output from all 14 wetlands surveyed in Danshui River between 1993 and 2010. (Source: Cheng et al. 2011). According to each figure, for example, please see trend in DO was observed in 84.6 % of the top left corner of a. DO. The first number of top left corner (3.8) represents an average (a the sampling stations, while the trend mean) between 1993 and 2009, and the second number (2.9) represents a standard deviation in nine sampling stations was statisti(SD). Two periods could be compared, such as you can compare the number (3.8±2.9) for the cally significant (p < 0.05). Dahan first period before wetland construction between 1993 and 2003, and the following number Creek, Xindian Creek, and Danshui (4.8±3.2) for the second period after wetland construction between 2004 and 2010. Local tarRiver downstream showed an upward gets for water quality are: DO > 6.5 mg/L; BOD5 < 3.0 mg/L; SS < 20.0 mg/L; NH3-N < 0.50 mg/L in the water (Cheng et al. 2011) trend in DO, indicating an increase in oxygen, beneficial to fish and other aquatic life. In BOD5, 84.6 % of the stations detected a downward trend and this trend was statistically significant (p < 0.05) for 10 monitoring stations. However, an upward trend of SS was detected in 53.8 % of the monitoring stations, with the trend in 10 stations being statistically significant (p <0.05). A downward trend in NH3-N was detected in 53.8 % of the monitoring stations; statistically significant for seven stations (p < 0.05). During 2002-2003, the Central Weather Bureau reported that these two years had “less rain” in North Taiwan, with an average annual rainfall of 1,839 millimeters (mm) in 2002 compared to a long-term average annual rainfall of 2,918 mm from 1949 to 2001. So “less rain” (about 37% less rainfall) created weather-related poor water qualities during 20022003. Between 1993 and 2010, the lowest levels of DO (2 mg/L) were recorded during 2002–2003 whereas the highest levels of DO (6 mg/L) were recorded during 2008. The lowest level of BOD5 was detected in 2008. We, therefore, attributed this low level of BOD5 in 2008 and decrease in ammonia due to very high annual rainfall of 3,252 millimeters (mm) recorded by Central Weather Bureau in 2008. Ammonia (NH3-N), which strongly The mainstream of Danshui River and its tributary affects the health of citizens in metropolitan areas, peaked Dahan Creek both indicated an upward trend in SS. Sediat 5 mg/L during 2003, but also showed a decrease in con- ment loading in both Danshui River and Dahan Creek was centration during 2008. The levels of E. coli detected in extremely high during wet periods. Following an increase in samples ranged between 0 and 2x106 CFU/100 mL in the sediment loading in Dahan Creek, the downstream segment period between 1997 to 2003, and this level has declined of the main river (Danshui River) carried more SS as deto be between 0 and 0.5x106 CFU/100 mL since 2004 tected at the confluence of the rivers. The dynamics involved (Cheng et al. 2011). in SS loading at the confluence of the tributaries influences Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 101
Table 4. The species populations present before and after wetland construction in the Shin Hai Wetland (in the F-SH1, F-SH2, & F-SH3) and the Fu Zhou Bridge Wetland (FFZ2), see Figure 4. Species
Before wetland con- Examples of species recorded after structed as a riparian wetland constructed in 2013 areas in 2003
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis).
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis).
Gunther's Frog (Rana guentheri).
Gunther's Frog (Rana guentheri), Brown Tree Frog (Buergeria robusta), and Asian Yellow Pond Turtle (Mauremys mutica).
Water mantis (Ranatra chinensis), etc.
Water Mantis (Ranatra chinensis) and Back-striped Firefly (Luciola substriata).
Aquatic plants Shin Hai
Yellow Water Lily (Nuphar shimadai) and Da-Ann Hygrophila (Hygrophila pogonocalyx).
Yellow Water Lily (Nuphar shimadai) and Da-Ann Hygrophila (Hygrophila pogonocalyx).
Amphibians and reptiles
Figure 4. The recommendation for Paddy Galingale (Cyperus haspan), Ginger Lily (Hedychium coronarium), Taro (Colocasia esculenta), and Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) to support diverse insect, fish, and amphibian populations. In this figure, Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) should be controlled for its competitive nature. (Designed by Wei-Ta Fang, all rights reserved.)
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the hydrological links between the slower movement of sand and clogged sedimentation. It should be noted that the meandering upstream section of Dahan Creek may have contributed sediment to the river following the extreme rainfall events during 2005. In addition, debris flows increased after 1999 due to soil erosions from unstable hilly highlands in Taipei areas associated with collateral damage due to anthropogenic influences (i.e., houses, tea plantations, and recreation uses) since the September 21, 1999 earthquake (7.6-7.7 Mw) occurred. Biodiversity All the wetlands were designed to improve both water quality and wildlife habitat. The wetlands are dominated by three species: reed (Phragmites australis), Oriental cattail (or narrowleaf cat-tail) (Typha angustifolia), and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). All of which have benefitted from the high nutrient-loading conditions. The planting of wetland aquatic vegetation was designed to control the flow rate through the wetland, to reduce the sediment yields from upland sand loadings, and to remove waterborne pollutants. While these three species can facilitate the control of flow rates, contaminant removal, and sediment reduction in some cases, they become the dominant species due to their competitive and aggressive nature. Therefore, it is recommended that the constructed wetlands be planted with endemic species or functional species for structurally diversity reasons, such as paddy galingale (Cyperus haspan), ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium), taro (Colocasia esculenta), and hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum). Such a plant community would support diverse insect, fish, and amphibian populations (Figure 4). Table 4 shows the number of species present before wetland construction compared with those after wetland construction for the Shin Hai Wetland and the Fu Zhou Bridge Wetland. The baseline year for this comparison 2003 for the pre-construction and 2013 for post-construction. Before 2003, Shin Hai Wetland and the Fu Zhou Wetland were represented by reed-
dominant riparian zones and upland areas. The post-construction survey was done in 2013. The populations present in the Shin Hai Wetland (in the F-SH1, F-SH2, & F-SH3) have increased by 60 species of birds, 18 species of amphibians and reptiles, 32 species of aquatic insects, and 49 species of aquatic plants. For the Fu Zhou Bridge Wetland (F-FZ2), populations have increased by two species of birds, 13 species of amphibians and reptiles, 12 species of aquatic insects, and 54 species of aquatic plants. Both cases used a planting scheme aimed to restore endangered species, including yellow water lily (Nuphar shimadai) and Da-Ann hygrophila (Hygrophila pogonocalyx).
Figure 5. Stable terraces and relatively gentle slope gradients of less than 30 degrees utilized to mitigate the impacts of typhoons on aquatic plants. (Designed by Wei-Ta Fang, all rights reserved.)
Figure 6. View of constructed riparian wetlands to support urbanized municipal wastewater treatment.
Construction and Management Since Taiwan is subject to typhoons, understanding the risk to the constructed wetlands (built in the riparian zones within the levee borders of the Danshui River) from flooding is vitally important. During 2007, Typhoon Aere destroyed the Shin Hai Section 1 Wetland (F-SH1 site). This site has since been reconstructed and remodeled utilizing vegetation planting on relatively gentle slopes with gradients of less than 30 degrees and using stable terraces to help restore the common rush (Juncus effusus), Oriental cat-tail, taro, sheathed monochoria (Monochoria vaginalis), and paddy galingale (Figure 5). While typhoons may produce shortterm impacts on water quality due to high rainfall and associated energy, no long-term abnormal malfunction of an individual wetland has been detected. Consequently these systems appear functionally resilience as aided through replanting, vegetation retreatment, and natural dispersal from natural disturbance. Costs and Benefits Construction costs of the CCWSs were relatively low when compared to other water treatment systems (Table 5). Both types of constructed wetland systems (gravel-contact
oxidation treatment system and free water surface system) have helped improve urban water quality. Other systems that achieve the same level of water-quality improvement from domestic sewage water piped out from households are much more expensive than the CCWS alternatives. The difference in costs between the two types of constructed wetlands are that a free water surface system is cheaper than that of a gravel-contact oxidation treatment system, but the former system requires more open space. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 103
Table 5. Cost and benefit analysis from capital, design and maintenance between different systems. Types
Domestic sewage water piped out from households to a centralized treatment plant
Urban sewage waters collected from upstream, middle stream, and downstream to several small treatment plants and finally piped out to a centralized treatment plant
CWs (Gravel -contact oxidation treatment system)
CWs (Free water surface system)
Construction cost (unit: US Dollars/ m3/day)
Maintenance cost (unit: US Dollars/ m3/day)
Water quality for Biochemical oxygen demand after treatment (BOD5)(unit: mg/L)
River base flow is reduced.
River base flow is reduced.
River base flow is maintained.
River base flow is maintained.
2 years and more
8 months to 1 year
8 months to 1 year
Requested to build wastewater treatment plants
Requested to build wastewater treatment plants, and water simply sprayed on a large piece of land
Requested to build gravel aeration systems
Requested to build free water surface systems
High cost; Large spaces
Few cost; Large spaces
Medium cost; Small spaces
Medium cost; Large spaces
Water quality was tested for BOD5 and levels were found to be relatively low when compared to that from urban sewage systems post-treatment. Dr. Chia-Ji Teng, the former Commissioner (2006 to 2012) of Environmental Protection Department in New Taipei City, analyzed economic benefits to apply constructed riparian wetlands to support urbanized municipal wastewater treatment. (Note: Teng also became the Deputy Mayor for Taipei City from 2014 to 2019.) Teng et al. (2012) reported that the total costs to remove BOD5 from the CWs were between 0.425 USD and 3.621 USD per kg. The highest cost was attributed to the construction cost of subsurface systems on a large piece of land for pretreatment of wastewaters prior to reaching FuZhou (F-FZ2) wetland (Figure 6). By comparison, the costs to remove BOD5 from the centralized wastewater treatment plant was approximately 1.186 USD per kg. Maintenance costs for CWs are relatively low, ranging from 0.02 to 0.04 US Dollars/m3/day for maintaining biodiversity. This work involves mowing, and removal of terrestrial and aquatic dominant grasses and other aquatic plants. Maintenance of the centralized wastewater treatment plant which received only domestic wastewater was much higher, approximately from 0.15 to 0.3 US Dollars/m3/day (Table 5). Description of Planned and Other Ecosystem Services (ES) The clustered constructed wetland systems in Metropolitan Taipei are unique. All wetlands produce “value creation” (Mazzucato 2018) - providing public goods and services in the real nature economy. Mazzucato, an economist, created a new framework that presented a clear definition and ap104 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
proach to assess “value creation” regarding public interest in “managerism”. The latter term implies that management can optimize the impact decisions to create value by expanding benefits from ecosystem services. It is possible to generate one set of scores for all 14 wetlands to evaluate both planned and actual ecosystem services in a rationale regional system. The following table derived from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005; De Groot et al. 2006; Ghermandi et al. 2010; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 2018) was used to evaluate ecosystem services for the CCWS in Metropolitan Taipei (Table 6). The means of scores in two columns are represented from the interval between 0 and 3, such as: 0 = ES not relevant; 1 = ES of low importance/significance; 2 = ES medium importance/significance, 3 = ES of high importance/significance. Scores were assigned by ten experts that analyzed by calibration from our team. This process consists of wetland system that were designed and construction by engineers and scored by wetland scientists/experts in the evaluation of all wetland ecosystem service (ES). We specified the criteria used to evaluate the planned phase (i.e., wetland technical proposals) versus the actual phase (i.e., wetland technical reports) and the points given to each. As one can see, there were more ES benefits than originally planned because some were not initially considered. The criteria proposed by the MEA include: 1) adequacy of the planned phase in responding to the MEA, 2) actual wetland qualifications, and 3) stakeholder competence (i.e., key professional staff, local school kids, visitors, and community citizens) for the MEA evaluated in New Taipei City.
Table 6. Study case to be detected by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [MEA] 2005; De Groot et al. 2006; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 2018).
RECOMMENDATIONS The key lesson learned from this case study is that welldesigned constructed wetlands (CWs) can satisfy the requirements of wastewater purification and provide habitat for native flora and fauna and thereby support species diversity. These wetland systems can also act as aesthetic leisure spots - attractive destinations for tourists and urban residents alike. Results from this study indicate that levels of water quality indicators, such as DO, BOD5, SS, NH3-N, and E. coli, have gradually improved during recent years. Furthermore, constructed wetlands control the flow of rivers in drought/flood seasons, and play a crucial role in preventing extreme deteriorations in water quality. Therefore, our final recommendations are based on application of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 1. Provision of advanced operation and maintenance budgets. In order to successfully maintain this artificial ecosystem, the municipalities should focus on supporting the budgetary requirements necessary to aid the sustainability for wetland ecosystems. 2. Soil, sediment, and nutrient retention. Since typhoons are stochastic and occasional events, design modelling suggests that to mitigate debris flows and vegetation damage an eco-engineering approach coupled with replanting of vegetation covers is necessary. 3. Native, ornamental, and educational plant species restoration (Figure 7). An endangered species list is suggested to encourage schemes that focus on restoring these species, such as Taoyuanâ€™ marsh weed (Limnophila taoyuanensis), Lungtan floatingheart (Nymphoides lungtanensis), sheathed monochoria, and paddy galingale around the Tahan Creek basins in the Taoyuan Tableland of the northern regions of Taiwan. Yellow water lily is another species used in the design (Figure 8). Figure 7. Native, ornamental, and educational plant species restoration design. (Designed by Wei-Ta Fang, all rights reserved.)
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Figure 8. Yellow water lily (Nuphar shimadai), a Taiwanese endemic species, typically grows in a number of limited ponds in Longtan, Taoyuan, northern region of Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of Te-Hong Chen)
4. Scientific and educational opportunities to create the wildness for bird watching. Constructed Wetland Systems in Metropolitan Taipei were also built to increase contemporary cultural significance for bird watching, flood control, and natural preservation (Figures 9 and 10). 5. Creating opportunities for additional constructed wetlands. Constructed wetlands in Metropolitan Taipei play a crucial role in preventing extreme deteriorations in water quality as well as water quantity. We therefore recommend that local governments consider building more constructed wetlands to improve water quality. These constructed wetlands, a simulated wild land, will also provide various opportunities of biophilic participation by metropolitan citizens. n REFERENCES
Figure 9. Poster highlighting Constructed Wetland Systems in Metropolitan Taipei. Designed by Wei-Ta Fang, all rights reserved.
Cheng, B.-Y., T.-C. Liu, G.-S. Shyu, T.-K. Chang, and W.-T. Fang. 2011. Analysis of trends in wa ter quality: constructed wetlands in metropolitan Taipei. Water Science and Technology 64(11): 2143-2150. De Groot, R., M. Stuip, M. Finlayson, and N. Davidson. 2006. Valuing wetlands: guidance for valuing the benefits derived from wetland ecosystem services. Ramsar Technical Report No. 3, CBD Technical Series No. 27. Gland, Switzerland: Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention. Ghermandi, A., J.C.J.M. van den Bergh, L.M. Brander, H.L.F. de Groot, and P.A.L.D. Nunes. 2010. Values of natural and human‐made wetlands: A meta‐ analysis. Water Resources Research 46, W12516, doi:10.1029/2010WR009071 Kadlec, R. H. 1994. Detention and mixing in free-water wetlands. Ecological Engineering 3(4): 345-380. Kao, C.-M., J.-Y. Wang, H.-Y. Lee, and C.-K. Wen. 2001. Application of a constructed wetland for non-point source pollution control. Water Science and Technology 44(1112): 585–590. Levenspiel, O. 1999. Chemical Reaction Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA. Lo, J.-C., W.-L. Kang, C.-H. Hsu, Y.-T. Chiang, J.-Y. Chou, and W.-T. Fang. 2019. Evaluation of place attachment, satisfaction, and responsible environmental behaviors of visitors to a constructed wetland on campus. Journal of Environmental Education Research 15(1): 141-165. Mazzucato, M. 2018. The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy. Public Affairs. Allen Lane, Penguin Press, United Kingdom. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC. Persson, J., N.L.G. Somes, and T.H.F. Wong. 1999. Hydraulics efficiency of constructed wetlands and ponds. Water Science and Technology 40(3): 291-300.
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Figure 10. Wildlife found in Taipei wetlands: a. Eurasian green-winged teal (Anas crecca; wintering male).
c. Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus).
b. Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago).
d. Little egret (Egretta garzetta). (All photos by Wei-Ta Fang.)
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 2018. Global Wetland Outlook: State of the Worldâ€™s Wetlands and their Services to People. Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Gland, Switzerland.
Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Manual: Engineering of Constructed Wetlands. Taiwan EPA, Taipei, Taiwan. (in Chinese)
Shih, S.-S., P.-H. Kuo, W.-T. Fang, and B. A. LePage. 2013. A correction coefficient for pollutant removal in free water surface wetlands using first-order modeling. Ecological Engineering 61, Part A: 200-206.
Teng, C.-J., S.-Y. Leu, C.-H. Ko, C. Fan, Y.-S. Sheu, and H.-Y. Hu. 2012. Economic and environmental analysis of using constructed riparian wetlands to support urbanized municipal wastewater treatment. Ecological Engineering 44(2012): 249-258.
Shih, S.-S., Y.-Q. Zeng, H.-Y. Lee, M. Otte, and W.-T. Fang. 2017. Tracer experiments and hydraulic performance improvements in a treatment pond. Water 9 (2): 137. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020137.
Thackston, E.L., F.D. Shields, and P.R. Schroeder. 1987. Residence time distributions of shallow basins. Journal of Environmental EngineeringASCE 113: 1319-1332.
Su, T.-M., S.-C. Yang, S.-S. Shih, and H.-Y. Lee. 2009. Optimal-design for hydraulic efficiency performance of free-water constructed wetlands. Ecological Engineering 35(8): 1200-1207.
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The Navigable Waters “Protection” Rule Matt Schweisberg, PWS1, Principal, Wetland Strategies and Solutions, LLC
ake things as simple as possible, but no simpler … ~Albert Einstein
In a tip of the hat to George Orwell, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army for Civil Works (Army) on January 23, 2020, released what they call the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” (the rule, new rule, or final rule). The rule re-defines the term “waters of the United States,” and decidedly not in a manner that protects our nation’s waters. THE NEW RULE The new rule re-interprets the term “waters of the United States” to encompass the following four categories of waters that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA): 1. Territorial seas and traditional navigable waters; 2. Perennial and intermittent tributaries to territorial seas and navigable waters; 3. Certain lakes, ponds and impoundments of jurisdictional waters; and, 4. Wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters. The new rule identifies 12 categories of waters that will no longer or continue not to be “waters of the United States” and therefore, not federally regulated under the CWA. They include ephemeral features that flow only in response to rainfall, groundwater, many farm and roadside ditches, artificial lakes and ponds, and waste treatment systems. The rule also provides “clarifying” definitions of terms including “typical year,” “perennial,” “intermittent,” “ephemeral,” and “adjacent wetlands.” The new rule becomes effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, pending several likely legal challenges. Notably, until the rule takes effect, the term “waters of the United States” remains unchanged: 1. All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide; 1
Author contact: email@example.com
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2. All interstate waters including interstate wetlands; 3. All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters: • Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; or • From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or • Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce; 4. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition; 5. Tributaries of waters identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (4) of this section; 6. The territorial sea; 7. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (6) of this section. Waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR 423.11(m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States. Waters of the United States do not include prior converted cropland. Notwithstanding the determination of an area’s status as prior converted cropland by any other federal agency, for the purposes of the Clean Water Act, the final authority regarding CWA jurisdiction remains with EPA. HOW DID WE GET HERE? … LITIGATION, OF COURSE Going back to what might be called the beginning, here is a greatly abridged history of the most relevant litigation. (Note: For a thorough explanation of the history, see Evolution of the Meaning of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. Congressional Research Service, March 5, 2019.)
NRDC v. Callaway (1975): The Supreme Court ruled that by defining “navigable waters” in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 to mean “waters of the United States,” Congress intended to assert federal jurisdiction over the nation’s waters to the maximum extent possible under the commerce clause. The Army Corps of Engineers’ definition of navigable waters which limits the Corps’ dredge and fill permit jurisdiction under § 404 of the FWPCA to waters which meet the traditional test of navigability is therefore invalid. The court orders the Corps to publish regulations clearly recognizing the statute’s full regulatory mandate. Riverside Bayview Homes v. United States (1985): The Court found that the language, policies, and history of the CWA compel a finding that the Corps has acted reasonably in interpreting the Act to require permits for the discharge of material into wetlands adjacent to other waters of the United States. United States v. Wilson (1997): The Fourth Circuit found that part of the definition of waters of the U.S. — “the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce”— exceeded the Corps’ statutory authority in the Clean Water Act and Congress’s constitutional authority in the Commerce Clause. The Court ruled that regulated conduct must “substantially affect” interstate commerce in order to invoke Commerce Clause power. Subsequent Corps guidance in March 2000 on the effect of the decision on its CWA jurisdiction explained that, within the Fourth Circuit only, isolated waters must be shown to have an actual connection to interstate or foreign commerce. The 2000 guidance also provided clarification on certain nontraditional waters that the Corps considered part of the “waters of the United States.” Jurisdictional waters, the Corps explained, included both intermittent streams, which have flowing water supplied by groundwater during certain times of the year, and ephemeral streams, which have flowing water only during and for a short period after precipitation events. Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2001): The Supreme Court held that the Corps’ assertion of jurisdiction over isolated waters based purely on their use by migratory birds exceeded its statutory authority, that Congress did not intend to invoke the outer limits of the Commerce Clause in the CWA, and that the Corps could not rely on the Migratory Bird Rule as a basis for jurisdiction. Rapanos v. United States, Carabell v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2004): Writing for a four-Justice plurality, Justice Scalia adopted the bright-line rule that the word “waters” in “waters of the United States” means only “rela-
tively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water”—that is, streams, rivers, and lakes. Wetlands could also be included, but only when they have a “continuous surface connection” to other waters of the United States. Justice Kennedy concluded that the Clean Water Act requires a more flexible approach: the Corps should determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether the water in question possesses a “significant nexus” to waters that are navigable-in-fact. For wetlands, a significant nexus exists when the wetland, either alone or in connection with similarly situated properties, significantly impacts the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of a traditionally navigable waterbody. The agencies issued guidance in 2008 that adopted the view that jurisdiction exists over a waterbody that satisfies either the Scalia test or the Kennedy test. CONFUSION REIGNS … A few lawsuits were filed at first, then proliferated in the lower courts. In 2011, the agencies sought comments on proposed changes to the 2008 guidance, which the agencies acknowledged would increase the number of waters regulated under the Clean Water Act in comparison to its earlier post-Rapanos guidance. The perceived expansion of jurisdiction spawned Congressional attention, including a letter signed by 41 Senators requesting that the agencies abandon the effort. In response, the agencies abandoned the 2011 draft guidance in favor of developing a new rule defining the scope of waters of the United States, aka, the Clean Water Rule. THE CLEAN WATER RULE The Corps and EPA issued the Clean Water Rule (CWR) in May 2015 in an effort to clarify the bounds of jurisdictional waters in the wake of SWANCC and Rapanos. The agencies relied on a synthesis of more than 1,200 published and peer-reviewed scientific reports and over 1 million comments on the proposed version of the rule (“Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence” January 2015) (aka the Connectivity Report). The CWR contains the same three-tier structure from the agencies’ 2008 joint guidance, identifying waters that are (1) categorically jurisdictional, (2) may be deemed jurisdictional on a case-by-case basis if they have a significant nexus with other jurisdictional waters, and (3) categorically excluded from the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction. In an effort to reduce uncertainty about the scope of federal jurisdiction, the agencies sought to increase categorical jurisdictional determinations and reduce the number of waterbodies subject to the case-specific significant nexus test. That effort failed. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 109
Unsurprisingly, the CWR was the subject of significant debate among observers, stakeholders, and members of Congress, and a 2015 Government Accountability Office report found that EPA violated publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions in prior appropriations acts through its promotion of the CWR on social media. To no one’s surprise, a multitude of legal challenges to the CWR were filed (Note: Sorting through and explaining these challenges is beyond the scope of this article). THE NEW RULE The background section for the new rule states that, [t]o develop this revised definition of “waters of the United States,” the agencies looked to the text and structure of the CWA, as informed by its legislative history and Supreme Court guidance, and took into account the agencies’ expertise, policy choices, and scientific principles. … The final rule also provides clarity and predictability for Federal agencies, States, Tribes, the regulated community, and the public. (Emphasis added) For decades, some members of Congress, many environmental organizations, and some industry groups have urged the EPA and Army Corps to clarify the definition of waters of the U.S. based upon the best science, the long history of rulings from the courts, and the Congressional history for the CWA. Leaving aside that the agencies’ authors of the new rule cherry-picked the legislative history of the CWA and many decisions and associated narrative explanations of several courts, the well-documented science, as well as ignored the expertise of their own staff, the new rule does little to clarify and improve predictability for federal agencies, states, tribes, the regulated community, and the public when dealing with jurisdictional issues revolving around the definition of waters of the United States. Is the rule simple? Sure, but by not heeding Einstein’s aphorism, the agencies made the definition far too simple. Consequently, it does a disservice rather than a service to the intended audience (federal agencies, states, tribes, the regulated community, and the public) and will likely continue the chronicle of legal challenges. Already, lawsuits are being prepared for filing. Comparing the new definition to the existing definition, there will be several critical gaps in the types of waters that are covered by the CWA. For instance, the new rule defines the term intermittent as, … surface water flowing continuously during certain times of the year and more than in direct response to precipitation (e.g., seasonally when the groundwater table is elevated or when snowpack melts). In the East, when the groundwater table is elevated and 110 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
causes an intermittent channel to flow during certain times of the year (e.g., spring), and that elevated water table inundates a wetland (maybe a seasonal pool where amphibians breed in most years) that is close to but does not abut the intermittent channel and there is no surface water connection between the channel and wetland, I read this definition to mean that the wetland would not likely be jurisdictional. Maybe I’m reading the new rule inaccurately? If a pond with fluctuating water levels through the year has nearby wetlands that have no surface connection to the pond but whose water levels fluctuate in sync with the pond (i.e., there is a clear groundwater connection), I read this definition to mean that the wetland would not likely be jurisdictional. Maybe I’m reading the new rule inaccurately? In the West, are all playas no longer jurisdictional? Most playas fill with water only after spring rainstorms when freshwater collects in the round depressions of the otherwise flat landscape of West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. … Playas are important because they store water in a part of the country that receives as little as twenty inches of rain a year and where there are no permanent rivers or streams. Consequently, playas support an astounding array of wildlife. … Playas are important because they store water in a part of the country that receives as little as twenty inches of rain a year and where there are no permanent rivers or streams. Consequently, playas support an astounding array of wildlife. Two million waterfowl commonly winter in the playa lakes of the Southern High Plains. Mayflies, dragonflies, salamanders, Bald Eagles, endangered Whooping Cranes, jackrabbits and raccoons also can be found at playa lakes. Amphibians would not be present in this arid region if it were not for playas. Because playa lakes support such a wide variety of animals, they contribute significantly to the biodiversity of the High Plains. (See https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/playa-lakes, Learn About Wetlands, U.S. EPA) What about closed depression stream and wetland systems (which can be extensive in the West) that do not flow to a 1(i)-(iii) water? As one delves into the new rule, the lack of sound science and its illogic become readily apparent. WHAT’S NEXT? Simple—Jurisdictional disputes and appeals, tortured explanations and justifications by EPA and Army, and lots of legal challenges. In its April 12, 2019, comments on the proposed rule (the final rule is nearly identical), the SWS listed several key conclusions about the effects of the proposed rule; all apply to the final rule. Among others,
• The rule is not based in sound science. • The rule poses a significant threat to the integrity and security of our drinking water (quality and quantity), public health, and to fisheries, shellfish habitat and wildlife habitat. It increases the threat of damage to communities and infrastructure from flooding, severe storm events, and sea level rise, all of which have negative economic impacts on citizens, communities and businesses. • The CWA’s primary goal of restoring and maintaining the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters can only be achieved if the definition of WOTUS is grounded in sound science and recognizes all five parameters of connectivity (hydrologic, chemical, physical, biological, and ecological), as documented in the 2015 Connectivity Report. The
rule only recognizes a limited subset of connectivity, and thereby will fail to properly implement the CWA. • Many of the definitions and terms in the rule lack clarity and/or are not based in science, and many of the criteria for jurisdiction are not based in science and fail to meet the stated goal of clarity, predictability and consistency; instead, they will require lengthy and difficult field evaluations. Perhaps what’s next is best summed up by the following quotes. Headline from the January 23, 2020, edition of the Western Livestock Journal: “WOTUS’ replacement has arrived! Though many celebrate, the new water rule will usher in new wave of litigation that may last years.” n
Lotic fringe wetland, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. (Ralph Tiner)
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 111
NOTES FROM THE FIELD Contributed by Ralph Tiner, Editor
ince spring has arrived in much of North America, I thought it would be fitting to report on some of my backyard observations in recent years (Table 1) and see some images of the rebirth of “life” that I’ve taken over the years from the eastern United States. I would encourage others to contribute their observations of spring or other seasons for this section of the journal. n Table 1. Some records of signs of spring over the years in my backyard at Leverett, Massachusetts.
Year Date 2002
March 29 First chorus of wood frogs in vernal pool
Many wood frogs calling and a few peepers
American toads first trilling
First call of wood frogs
Spring peepers begin chorusing
First chorus of wood frogs
Spring peepers now calling
False Hellebore along stream now 6-8 inches tall; Spicebush in flower; Leatherleaf flower buds are white but not opened yet.
First call of American toads in pool behind barn
Pair of wood ducks checking out the pond; phoebes return (saw what was likely the male phoebe flying repeatedly into the window by the porch presumably in territorial defense, when I turned the lights off inside the house, his attacks stopped as his reflection apparently disappeared)
Spring peepers chorusing in full force
American toads begin calling while spring peepers are still going strong
Heard a single gray treefrog calling
Turkeys gobbling in the woods
Observed apparent courtship of woodpeckers as they chattered and ran about around trunk of tree where they nested last year
First noticed fireflies in the evening
Spring peepers and wood frogs actively calling (missed first chorus of wood frogs and peepers); pair of mallards checked out pond
March 15 First call of wood frogs (after a few very warm days then as cold weather returned were quite until 3/30) March 30 First chorus of spring peepers
First call of wood frogs
Return of phoebes
First call of spring peepers (temperature in the 80s)
First call of gray treefrog
Peepers calling (was out of town from late March to this day so missed first calls)
First trill of American toad
American toads and spring peepers calling; heard barred owls as well (also heard them and turkeys earlier in the month)
Lots of black flies observed, later saw two bats flying over pond
Observed wood frog egg masses in pond
Pair of wood ducks visit pond
Heard the faint call of a gray treefrog (more later in the month); found egg masses of American toad in water garden
Spring peepers chorusing in mass
Wood frogs still calling
A few gray treefrogs heard calling in late afternoon
First call of wood frogs
Five wood ducks visit pond
First call of spring peepers (just a few) while many wood frogs still chorusing
Many spring peepers calling (warm day in the 60s)
March 30 Wood frogs chorusing April 14
Spring peepers in full chorus
Female wood duck visits pond
American toad trilling along with many spring peepers while heard calls from only a few wood frogs
Turkeys gobbling in the woods
Gray treefrog calling in mid-afternoon; American toads and peepers chorusing at night
Black flies out in force
Three mallards (two males, 1 female) visit pond (one male quacked continuously for a hour until flushed)
Gray treefrogs calling in force on rainy night along with many peepers and toads
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March 21 First call of wood frogs; phoebes return April 6
First call of spring peepers
SOUTH CAROLINA Leaves of Climbing Hydrangea (Decumaria barbara), a native vine of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain from Virginia south.
Royal Terns (Sterna maxima) on beach at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Note all are in early breeding plumage, except one that is still in winter plumage.
Spring is a time of when the annual floodplain is inundated. This image shows flooding of boardwalks at Congaree National Park, South Carolina in April 2018.
Great Egret (Ardea alba) breeding adult on nest in rookery at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina.
Notes from the field continues on next page.
Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata) in bloom in a South Carolina swamp.
Little Blue Herons (Egretta caerulaea) building nests at Pinckney Island NWR.
Coastal Doghobble (Leucothoe axillaris), an evergreen shrub of swamps and pocosins. Note it is toxic if eaten.
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 113
Yellow Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens), a sweet-smelling woody vine from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont from Virginia south. Note: It is the state flower of South Carolina.
Mist rising above Jekyll Island salt marsh, Georgia, at sunrise.
NEW JERSEY Red Maple (Acer rubrum) has flowered and produced seeds (samaras) by mid-March in coastal Georgia.
Pink Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides) and Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) in bloom at High Point State Park in northern New Jersey.
NEW YORK Serviceberry or Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis) is a shrub or short tree with young leaves that are somewhat bronze-colored. Its smooth gray bark often has dark-colored vertical stripes.
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Eastern Swamp Saxifrage (Saxifraga pensylvanica) was observed in Nelson Swamp, a northern white cedar swamp in western New York; it is among 400 species found in the swamp.
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), a member of the Buttercup Family, is another plant that should not be eaten raw. Its young leaves can be eaten after boiling and its flower buds cooked and pickled (in vinegar).
MASSACHUSETTS False Hellebore (Veratrum viride) is a sign of spring along hillside streams; this is from my backyard in Leverett, Massachusetts.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) breeds in vernal pools after most wood frogs have laid their egg masses. The â€œXâ€? on its back clearly identifies this frog from all others.
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is an early flowering tree with pussy willow-like catkins. Its young bark resembles that of Gray Birch (Betula populifolia).
Wood Frog (Rana sylvestris) is an early breeder in Massachusetts vernal pools. Its muted quacklike call is the first frog chorus to hear in vernal pools. The black mask helps identify this species.
Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) is often collected in spring as a decoration for homes.
Spring is a time for amphibian breeding in vernal pools. Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is among the first amphibians to migrate to the pools for breeding. It can grow to nearly 10 inches long.
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is a common herb of red maple swamps where it often is the dominant groundcover from spring to early summer. From a distance it may be confused with False Hellebore which also has large leaves, but they are alternately arranged and creased with many folds while Skunk Cabbage has basal leaves (not arranged along a stem)
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 115
Australian Fires – Consequences and Challenges Ahead Contributed by Roy Messaros
s of January 14, 2020, the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season has consumed an estimated 18.6 million hectares. Areas affected by the bushfires include parts of South Australia (Kangaroos Island was severely affected), eastern and north-eastern Victoria to South-East Queensland which comprise the watersheds for various major rivers. There has been loss of human life and an estimated 1.25 billion animal deaths. A state of emergency has been declared for New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory and air quality was poor throughout many regions. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology recently reported that 2019 was the driest and hottest in the 120 years of record-keeping. Bushfires in Australia are widespread and occur regularly but this season’s bushfires have been especially deleterious to the environment as a result of timing and intensity. Given Australia’s propensity to bushfires many specialized adaptations among flora and fauna have evolved yet there is an immediate concern for destabilized soil conditions as a result of lost vegetation. Although current conditions have been impacted by widespread drought, recent rains have now fallen over areas that are much more vulnerable to soil erosion as a result of the lost vegetation and ground cover. Heavy rain produces runoff that will carry large quantities of sediment, ash, soot, and nutrients from areas impacted by bushfire. On February 9, 2020, a four-day weather event brought significant rain across Australia’s east coast and with it widespread storm damage. While the heavy rain helped to extinguish bushfires along the east coast it has caused flash flooding in parts of this region posing new problems - immediate danger to tributaries, rivers, and water supply. It is imperative that strategies be implemented to mitigate the impact to waterways, wetlands, and estuaries from excessive soil erosion and nutrient loading that will result from runoff in affected drought-stricken watersheds. Bushfires have impacted various regions including coastal flowing rivers between Melbourne and Brisbane and the headwaters of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers and their tributaries that together supply the hydrology to critical wetlands, lakes, and estuaries. Eroded soil carries elevated nutrient levels that may potentially lead to eutrophication with algal blooms that will be deleterious to water quality.
116 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
Large quantities of ash, soot, and sediment will enter rivers and eventually the sea polluting water supplies and harming aquatic life. The nutrient load can also lead to “blackwater” events caused by blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Cyanobacteria can produce chemicals that degrade the taste and odor of the water supply if not treated. Algal blooms may ultimately lead to anoxic conditions (depleted oxygen) and fish die-off. Such blooms in water supply can impact major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. Since there are significant risks to water quality, adequate mitigation of soil erosion and nutrient loading will be imperative to the protection of aquatic ecosystems. While the bushfires in New South Wales have been declared contained on February 13, 2020, the issue of soil erosion will persist for the foreseeable future. A variety of approaches are available to help mitigate the impact of soil erosion and nutrient loading in areas affected by bushfires. Basic measures include the placement of sediment traps consisting of geotextiles (filter cloths, reinforcing fabric, etc.), core logs, and straw bales (which are more affordable perhaps than other structural measures). When sited strategically, these structures can help diminish sediment transport into storm water catch basins and culverts that discharge into nearby tributaries and waterways. These approaches selected will largely be based on available funding since costs escalate with the size of the impacted areas. It is imperative that the local authorities respond decisively to the soil erosion issues and mitigate the impacts of bushfires to protect water quality. Recovery will likely take several years especially as it relates to the water quality in tributaries, rivers, and wetlands. This season’s bushfires have challenged the authorities to determine appropriate response given its unprecedented size. For a more in-depth perspective on Australian bushfires, see Alexandra and Finlayson’s paper titled “Floods after bushfires: rapid responses for reducing impacts of sediment, ash, and nutrient slugs” https://www.tandfonline. com/doi/full/10.1080/13241583.2020.1717694. Additional references are available on-line such as Woodward (2020): “Australia’s fires are 46% bigger than last year’s Brazilian Amazon blazes. There are at least 2 months of fire season to go” https://www.insider.com/australia-fires-burnedtwice-land-area-as-2019-amazon-fires-2020-1. n
Youth Engaged in Wetlands (YEW) 2020 Declaration Published
n the January 2020, we published an article on YEW activities. We should be encouraged by the activities of this group which contains members from our society. Thanks to all who participated in this important initiative. Their declaration on wetlands and biodiversity is presented below. n
Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 117
WETLANDS IN THE NEWS
isted below are some links to some random news articles that may be of interest. Links from past issues can be accessed on the SWS website: http://sws.org/Sample-Content/wetlands-in-the-news.html. Members are encouraged to send links to articles about wetlands in their local area. Please send the links to WSP Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and reference “Wetlands in the News” in the subject box. Thanks for your cooperation. n Great Barrier Reef hit by third major bleaching event in five years https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/great-barrier-reef-hitthird-major-bleaching-event-five-years-n1166676
Sisters of St. Joseph turned their New Orleans convent into a wetland https://www.fastcompany.com/90458827/how-these-new-orleans-nunshelped-turn-their-convent-into-a-beautiful-flood-preventing-urban-wetland
$1M awarded to wetlands restoration project on Chicago’s Southeast Side https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/3/17/21173673/1m-awarded-towetlands-restoration-project-on-chicagos-southeast-side
A moose in Vermont was found with 90,000 ticks on its body https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/25/us/ticks-moose-vermont-trnd/index.html
Meet the ‘Wonderchicken,’ the oldest-ever bird fossil discovery https://www.inverse.com/science/oldest-ever-bird-fossil-discoveryexplains-how-they-outlived-dinosaurs
A Mini-Mississippi River May Help Save Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/climate/louisiana-mississippiriver-model.html
FAO leads the way to clearer peatland mapping and monitoring http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1265487/ icode/?platform=hootsuite
CMS COP13 concludes in India with major new actions for migratory species https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/cmscop13-concludes-india-major-new-actions-migratory-species
Blueprint launched to manage Earth’s fragile peatland carbon sinks https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059632
How Burmese Pythons Took Over the Florida Everglades https://www.history.com/news/burmese-python-invasion-florida-everglades
How to Make These Next Few Weeks a Little Easier, Courtesy of Birds https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/how-to-make-these-next-fewweeks-a-little-easier-courtesy-of-birds/
Invasive turtles are wreaking havoc in New York City https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2020/02/red-eared-sliders-new-york-invasive
Wildlife conservation needs to change – and the game of Jenga can help us see why https://theconversation.com/wildlife-conservation-needs-to-change-andthe-game-of-jenga-can-help-us-see-why-131534
The Colorado River is drying up because of climate change, putting millions at risk of ‘severe water shortages’ https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/21/weather/colorado-river-flow-dwindling-warming-temperatures-climate-change/index.html
Restoring Wetlands https://www.nps.gov/subjects/wetlands/restoring-wetlands.htm
Turf cutter vows to return to protected bogs after trial collapses https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/courts/turf-cuttervows-to-return-to-protected-bogs-after-trial-collapses-38971012.html
Plant lineage points to different evolutionary playbook for temperate species https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/fmon-plp060319.php Essays on Wildlife Conservation https://marinebio.org/creatures/essays-on-wildlife-conservation/7/ The dawn of American plant science was lost in a botanist’s prolific notes https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-dawn-of-americanplant-science-was-lost-in-a-botanists-prolific-notes New LIFE for Welsh Raised Bogs https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/our-projects/nature-projects/newlife-for-welsh-raised-bogs/?lang=en Wise use and wetlands: Why we need to nurture nature https://news.mongabay.com/2020/01/wise-use-and-wetlands-why-weneed-to-nurture-nature-commentary/ 1.5 billion-year-old Earth had water everywhere, but not one continent https://www.livescience.com/waterworld-earth.html Putting a price on the protective power of wetlands https://phys.org/news/2020-03-price-power-wetlands.html Maximum protection across borders for the emblematic jaguar https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/maximum-protection-across-borders-emblematic-jaguar Maumee River wetlands plan draws criticism from Point Place residents https://www.toledoblade.com/local/environment/2020/02/28/maumeeriver-wetlands-plan-draws-criticism-from-point-place-residents/stories/20200227143 Video shows dramatic impact of of dry month on iconic waterfalls https://www.kcra.com/article/video-tour-shows-dramatic-impact-drymonth-yosemite-waterfalls/31077609# Plan to drain Congo peat bog for oil could release vast amount of carbon https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/28/ridiculous-planto-drain-congo-peat-bog-could-release-vast-amount-of-carbon-aoe 118 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
Florida moving ahead to take over federal wetlands permitting https://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/2020/02/19/florida-moving-ahead-to-take-over-federal-wetlands-permitting/ Trump signs order diverting water to California farmers against state wishes https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/483754-trump-orderredirects-california-water-supply-after-reversal-from Federal policy change may threaten freshwater wetlands https://www.capegazette.com/article/federal-policy-change-may-threaten-freshwater-wetlands/197627 Lawmaker wants to deregulate wetlands. Her family once was cited for bulldozing them. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/17/indiana-senvictoria-spartz-bill-deregulate-wetlands-raises-eyebrows/4564178002/ Call of the wild: eco adventures in Argentina’s Iberá wetlands https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/feb/13/rewilding-eco-adventures-argentina-ibera-wetlands-conservation For peat’s sake: how to protect bogs https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/feb/08/for-peats-sakehow-to-protect-bogs Zimbabwe’s Wetlands Key for Right to Clean Water https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/02/03/zimbabwes-wetlands-key-rightclean-water The EPA just rolled back protections for wetlands. What does it mean for Cape Fear region? https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/2020/02/02/the-epa-just-rolledback-protections-for-wetlands-what-does-it-mean-for-cape-fear-region/ The world’s wetlands are a haven for wildlife, but we need to learn to love them https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/31/world/wetland-protection-c2e-intl/ index.html
lease help us add new books and reports to this listing. If your agency, organization, or institution has published new publications on wetlands, please send the information to Editor of Wetland Science & Practice at ralphtiner83@gmail. com. Your cooperation is appreciated.
• An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America (5th Edition) https://he.kendallhunt.com/product/introduction-aquatic-insects-north-america • Wading Right In: Discovering the Nature of Wetlands https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/W/ bo28183520.html • Sedges of Maine https://umaine.edu/umpress/books-in-print/ • Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota https://www.upress.umn. edu/book-division/books/sedges-and-rushes-of-minnesota • Wetland & Stream Rapid Assessments: Development, Validation, and Application https://www.elsevier.com/ books/wetland-and-stream-rapid-assessments/dorney/978-0-12-805091-0 • Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/eager/ • Wetland Indicators – A Guide to Wetland Formation, Identification, Delineation, Classification, and Mapping https://www.crcpress.com/Wetland-Indicators-A-Guide-toWetland-Identification-Delineation-Classification/Tiner/p/ book/9781439853696 • Wetland Soils: Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and Classification https://www.crcpress.com/Wetland-Soils-Genesis-Hydrology-Landscapes-and-Classification/VepraskasRichardson-Vepraskas-Craft/9781566704847 • Creating and Restoring Wetlands: From Theory to Practice http://store.elsevier.com/Creating-and-Restoring-Wetlands/ Christopher-Craft/isbn-9780124072329/ • Salt Marsh Secrets. Who uncovered them and how? http://trnerr.org/SaltMarshSecrets/ • Remote Sensing of Wetlands: Applications and Advances. https://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781482237351 • Wetlands (5th Edition). http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/ WileyTitle/productCd-1118676823.html
• Black Swan Lake – Life of a Wetland http://press.uchicago. edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/B/bo15564698.html • Coastal Wetlands of the World: Geology, Ecology, Distribution and Applications http://www.cambridge.org/ us/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/ environmental-science/coastal-wetlands-world-geologyecology-distribution-and-applications • Florida’s Wetlands https://www.amazon.com/FloridasWetlands-Natural-Ecosystems-Species/dp/1561646873/ ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1518650552&sr=84&keywords=wetland+books • Mid-Atlantic Freshwater Wetlands: Science, Management, Policy, and Practice http://www.springer.com/environment/ aquatic+sciences/book/978-1-4614-5595-0 • The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland http://www.tamupress.com/product/ Atchafalaya-River-Basin,7733.aspx • Tidal Wetlands Primer: An Introduction to their Ecology, Natural History, Status and Conservation https://www. umass.edu/umpress/title/tidal-wetlands-primer • Wetland Landscape Characterization: Practical Tools, Methods, and Approaches for Landscape Ecology http:// www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466503762 • Wetland Techniques (3 volumes) http://www.springer.com/ life+sciences/ecology/book/978-94-007-6859-8 • Wildflowers and Other Plants of Iowa Wetlands https://www.uipress.uiowa.edu/books/2015-spring/wildflowers-and-other-plants-iowa-wetlands.htm • Wetland Restoration: A Handbook for New Zealand Freshwater Systems https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/books/wetlands-handbook • Wetland Ecosystems https://www.wiley.com/en-us/ Wetland+Ecosystems-p-9780470286302 • Constructed Wetlands and Sustainable Development https://www.routledge.com/Constructed-Wetlands-and-Sustainable-Development/Austin-Yu/p/book/9781138908994
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U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS • Regional Guidebook for the Functional Assessment of Organic Flats, Slopes, and Depressional Wetlands in the Northcentral and Northeast Region http://acwc.sdp.sirsi. net/client/en_US/search/asset/1047786 • Wetland-related publications: -http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/en_US/default/search/ results?te=&lm=WRP -http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/en_US/default/search/ results?te=&lm=WRP • National Wetland Plant List publications: http://rsgisias. crrel.usace.army.mil/NWPL/ • National Technical Committee for Wetland Vegetation: http://rsgisias.crrel.usace.army.mil/nwpl_static/ntcwv.html • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wetland reports and searches: http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/wetpubs.cfm • A Regional Guidebook for Applying the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing Wetland Functions of Forested Wetlands in Alluvial Valleys of the Coastal Plain of the Southeastern United States ERDC/EL TR-13-1 • Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Approach to Assessing Wetland Functions: Guidelines for Developing Guidebooks (Version 2) ERDC/EL TR-13-11 • Regional Guidebook for Applying the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing the Functions of Flat and Seasonally Inundated Depression Wetlands on the Highland Rim ERDC/EL TR-13-12 • Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin (online publication) http://www.mvp.usace. army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/?Page=12
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, NATIONAL WETLANDS INVENTORY • Wetland Characterization and Landscape-level Functional Assessment for Long Island, New York http://www.fws.gov/ northeast/ecologicalservices/pdf/wetlands/Characterization_Report_February_2015.pdf or http://www.aswm.org/wetlandsonestop/wetland_characterization_long_island_ny_021715.pdf • Also wetland characterization/landscape-level functional assessment reports for over 12 small watersheds in New York at: http://www.aswm.org/wetland-science/134-wetlandsone-stop/5044-nwi-reports • Preliminary Inventory of Potential Wetland Restoration Sites for Long Island, New York http://www.aswm.org/ wetlandsonestop/restoration_inventory_long_island_ ny_021715.pdf
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• Dichotomous Keys and Mapping Codes for Wetland Landscape Position, Landform, Water Flow Path, and Waterbody Type Descriptors. Version 3.0. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northeast Region, Hadley, MA. https://www.fws. gov/northeast/EcologicalServices/pdf/wetlands/Dichotomous_Keys_and_Mapping_Codes_for_Wetland_Landscape_Position_Landform_Water_Flow_Path_and_Waterbody_Type_Version_3.pdf • Connecticut Wetlands Reports: • Changes in Connecticut Wetlands: 1990 to 2010 • Potential Wetland Restoration Sites for Connecticut: Results of a Preliminary Statewide Survey • Wetlands and Waters of Connecticut: Status 2010 • Connecticut Wetlands: Characterization and Landscape-level Functional Assessment • Rhode Island Wetlands: Status, Characterization, and Landscape-level Functional Assessment http://www.aswm. org/wetlandsonestop/rhode_island_wetlands_llww.pdf • Status and Trends of Prairie Wetlands in the United States: 1997 to 2009 http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/Documents/ Status-and-Trends-of-Prairie-Wetlands-in-the-UnitedStates-1997-to-2009.pdf • Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009. http://www. fws.gov/wetlands/Documents/Status-and-Trends-of-Wetlands-In-the-Coastal-Watersheds-of-the-Conterminous-US2004-to-2009.pdf • The NWI+ Web Mapper – Expanded Data for Wetland Conservation http://www.aswm.org/wetlandsonestop/nwiplus_web_mapper_nwn_2013.pdf • Wetlands One-Stop Mapping: Providing Easy Online Access to Geospatial Data on Wetlands and Soils and Related Information http://www.aswm.org/wetlandsonestop/wetlands_ one_stop_mapping_in_wetland_science_and_practice.pdf • Wetlands of Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Watershed: Status, Characterization, Landscape-level Functional Assessment, and Potential Wetland Restoration Sites http://www.aswm. org/wetlandsonestop/lake_erie_watershed_report_0514.pdf
U.S. FOREST SERVICE • Historical Range of Variation Assessment for Wetland and Riparian Ecosystems, U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr286.pdf • Inventory of Fens in a Large Landscape of West-Central Colorado http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5363703.pdf
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, NATIONAL WETLANDS RESEARCH CENTER • Link to publications: http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/pblctns. htm (recent publications are noted) • A Regional Classification of the Effectiveness of Depressional Wetlands at Mitigating Nitrogen Transport to Surface Waters in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain http:// pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5266/pdf/sir2012-5266.pdf • Tidal Wetlands of the Yaquina and Alsea River Estuaries, Oregon: Geographic Information Systems Layer Development and Recommendations for National Wetlands Inventory Revisions http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1038/ pdf/ofr2012-1038.pdf
U.S.D.A. NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE • Link to information on hydric soils:http://www.nrcs.usda. gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/use/hydric/ • Field Indicators of Hydric Soils of the United States, Version 8.1 (online publication) https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053171.pdf
PUBLICATIONS BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS • The Nature Conservancy has posted several reports on wetland and riparian restoration for the Gunnison Basin, Colorado at: http://www.conservationgateway.org/ConservationByGeography/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/Colorado/science/climate/ gunnison/Pages/Reports.aspx (Note: Other TNC reports are also available via this website by looking under different regions.) • Book: Ecology and Conservation of Waterfowl in the Northern Hemisphere, Proceedings of the 6th North American Duck Symposium and Workshop (Memphis, TN; January 27-31, 2013). Wildfowl Special Issue No. 4. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, UK. • Report on State Definitions, Jurisdiction and Mitigation Requirements in State Programs for Ephemeral, Intermittent and Perennial Streams in the United States (Association of State Wetland Managers) http://aswm.org/stream_ mitigation/streams_in_the_us.pdf • Wetlands and People (International Water Management Institute) http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/Publications/Books/ PDF/wetlands-and-people.pdf • Waubesa Wetlands: New Look at an Old Gem (online publication) http://www.town.dunn.wi.us/land-use/historic-documents/
ARTICLES OF INTEREST FROM VARIED SOURCES • Comparative phylogeography of the wild-rice genus Zizania (Poaceae) in eastern Asia and North America; American Journal of Botany 102:239-247. http://www.amjbot.org/content/102/2/239.abstract
LINKS TO WETLAND-RELATED JOURNALS AND NEWSLETTERS JOURNALS • Aquatic Botany http://www.journals.elsevier.com/aquaticbotany/ • Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28IS SN%291099-0755 • Aquatic Sciences http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/ ecology/journal/27 • Ecological Engineering http://www.journals.elsevier.com/ ecological-engineering/ • Estuaries and Coasts http://www.springer.com/environment/journal/12237 • Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science http://www.journals. elsevier.com/estuarine-coastal-and-shelf-science/ • Hydrobiologia http://link.springer.com/journal/10750 • Hydrological Sciences Journal http://www.tandfonline. com/toc/thsj20/current • Journal of Hydrology http://www.journals.elsevier.com/ journal-of-hydrology/ • Wetlands http://link.springer.com/journal/13157 • Wetlands Ecology and Management https://link.springer. com/journal/11273
NEWSLETTERS Two of the following newsletters have been terminated yet maintain archives of past issues. The only active newsletter is “Wetland News Digest” from the Association of State Wetland Managers. • Biological Conservation Newsletter contained some articles that addressed wetland issues; the final newsletter was the January 2017 issue; all issues now accessed through the “Archives”) http://botany.si.edu/pubs/bcn/issue/latest.htm#biblio • For news about conservation research from the Smithsonian Institution, please visit these websites: -Smithsonian Newsdesk http://newsdesk.si.edu/ -Smithsonian Insider http://insider.si.edu/ -The Plant Press http://nmnh.typepad.com/the_plant_press/ -SCBI Conservation News http://nationalzoo.si.edu/conservation -STRI News http://www.stri.si.edu/english/about_stri/headline_news/news • Wetland News Digest (Association of State Wetland Managers) http://aswm.org/news/wetland-breaking-news • National Wetlands Newsletter (Environmental Law Institute) – access to archived issues as the newsletter was suspended in mid-2016 due to the changing climate for printed publications. https://www.wetlandsnewsletter.org/
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What’s New in the SWS Journal - Wetlands? The following articles appear in Volume 39, Issue 6 of Wetlands, Journal of the Society of Wetland Scientists. • Tidal Wetlands in a Changing Climate: Introduction to a Special Feature • Climate Change Impacts on the Coastal Wetlands of Australia • Moving from Generalisations to Specificity about Mangrove –Saltmarsh Dynamics • Predicting Shifts in the Geographical Distribution of Two Estuarine Plant Species from the Subtropical and Temperate Regions of South Africa • Spatial and Temporal Changes in Emergent Marsh and Associated Marsh Birds of the Lower Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in Alabama, USA • Rising Tides: Assessing Habitat Vulnerability for an Endangered Salt Marsh-Dependent Species with Sea-Level Rise • Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts on an Urbanized Pacific Coast Estuary • Modeled Sediment Availability, Deposition, and Decadal Land Change in Coastal Louisiana Marshes under Future Relative Sea Level Rise Scenario • Wetland Conservation Requires Transition toward Landscape-Scale Interdisciplinary Approaches • Toward a Resilience-Based Conservation Strategy for Wetlands in Puerto Rico: Meeting Challenges Posed by Environmental Change • Does Proximity to Wetlands Matter? A Landscape-Level Analysis of the Influence of Local Wetlands on the Public’s Concern for Ecosystem Services and Conservation Involvement • Linking Wetland Ecosystem Services to Vector-borne Disease: Dengue Fever in the San Juan Bay Estuary, Puerto Rico • Conservation of Wetlands and Other Coastal Ecosystems: a Commentary on their Value to Protect Biodiversity, Reduce Disaster Impacts, and Promote Human Health and Well-Being • Water Quality and Socio-Economic Indicators are Linked in a Tropical Watershed: Emerging Implications for the Sustainable Management of Waterscapes • Blue Carbon: an Additional Driver for Restoring and Preserving Ecological Services of Coastal Wetlands in Tampa Bay (Florida, USA) • Perspective: Developing Flow Policies to Balance the Water Needs of Humans and Wetlands Requires a Landscape Scale Approach Inclusive of Future Scenarios and Multiple Timescales • Landscape-Level Consequences of Rising Sea-Level on Coastal Wetlands: Saltwater Intrusion Drives Displacement and Mortality in the Twenty-First Century • Leveraging a Landscape-Level Monitoring and Assessment Program for Developing Resilient Shorelines throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes
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WSP SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
About Wetland Science & Practice (WSP)
etland Science and Practice (WSP) is the SWS quarterly publication aimed at providing information on select SWS activities (technical committee summaries, chapter workshop overview/ abstracts, and SWS-funded student activities), brief summary articles on ongoing or recently completed wetland research, restoration, or management projects or on the general ecology and natural history of wetlands, and highlights of current events. WSP also includes sections listing new publications and research at various institutions, and links to major wetland research facilities, federal agencies, wetland restoration/monitoring sites and wetland mapping sites. The publication also serves as an outlet for commentaries, perspectives and opinions on important developments in wetland science, theory, management and policy. Both invited and unsolicited manuscripts are reviewed by the WSP editor for suitability for publication. Student papers are welcomed. Please see publication guidelines at the end of this issue. Electronic access to Wetland Science and Practice is included in your SWS membership. All issues published, except the the current issue, are available via the internet to the general public. At the San Juan meeting, the SWS Board of Directors voted to approve release of past issues of WSP when a new issue is available to SWS members only. This means that a WSP issue will be available to the public four months after it has been read by SWS members (e.g., the June 2017 issue will be an open access issue in September 2017). Such availability will hopefully stimulate more interest in contributing to the journal. And, we are excited about this opportunity to promote the good work done by our members. HOW YOU CAN HELP If you read something you like in WSP, or that you think someone else would find interesting, be sure to share. Share links to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts. Make sure that all your SWS colleagues are checking out our recent issues, and help spread the word about SWS to non-members! Questions? Contact editor Ralph Tiner, PWS Emeritus (email@example.com). n
WSP Manuscript – General Guidelines LENGTH: Approximately 5,000 words; can be longer if necessary. STYLE: See existing articles from 2014 to more recent years available online at: http://www.sws.org/Publications/wsp-contents.html TEXT: Word document, 12 font, Times New Roman, single-spaced; keep tables and figures separate, although captions can be included in text. For reference citations in text use this format: (Smith 2016; Jones and Whithead 2014; Peterson et al. 2010). FIGURES: Please include color images and photos of subject wetland(s) as WSP is a full-color e-publication. Image size should be less than 1MB – 500KB may work best for this e-publication. REFERENCE CITATION EXAMPLES: • Claus, S., S. Imgraben, K. Brennan, A. Carthey, B. Daly, R. Blakey, E. Turak, and N. Saintilan. 2011. Assessing the extent and condition of wetlands in NSW: Supporting report A – Conceptual framework, Monitoring, evaluation and reporting program, Technical report series, Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney, Australia. OEH 2011/0727. • Clements, F.E. 1916. Plant Succession: An Analysis of the Development of Vegetation. Carnegie Institution of Washington. Washington D.C. Publication 242. • Clewell, A.F., C. Raymond, C.L. Coultas, W.M. Dennis, and J.P. Kelly. 2009. Spatially narrow wet prairies. Castanea 74: 146-159. • Colburn, E.A. 2004. Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation. McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, VA. • Cole, C.A. and R.P. Brooks. 2000. Patterns of wetland hydrology in the Ridge and Valley Province, Pennsylvania, USA. Wetlands 20: 438-447. • Cook, E.R., R. Seager, M.A. Cane, and D.W. Stahle. 2007. North American drought: reconstructions, causes, and consequences. Earth-Science Reviews 81: 93-134. • Cooper, D.J. and D.M. Merritt. 2012. Assessing the water needs of riparian and wetland vegetation in the western United States. U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins, CO. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-282. Wetland Science & Practice April 2020 123
Resources at your fingertips! For your convenience, SWS has compiled a hefty list of wetland science websites, books, newsletters, government agencies, research centers and more, and saved them to sws.org. Find them on the Related Links page sws.org.
From the Bog
Brasenia schreberi - water shield by Doug Wilcox ÂŠ
wetland science practice
WSP is the formal voice of the Society of Wetland Scientists. It is a quarterly publication focusing on the news of the SWS and providing important announcements for members and opportunities for wetland scientists, managers, and graduate students to publish brief summaries of their works and conservation initiatives. Topics for articles may include descriptions of threatened wetlands around the globe or the establishment of wetland conservation areas, and summary findings from research or restoration projects. All manuscripts should follow guidelines for authors listed above. All papers published in WSP will be reviewed by the editor for suitability and may be subject to peer review as necessary. Most articles will be published within 3 months of receipt. Letters to the editor are also encouraged, but must be relevant to broad wetland-related topics. All material should be sent electronically to the current editor of WSP. Complaints about SWS policy or personnel should be sent directly to the elected officers of SWS and will not be considered for publication in WSP. n 124 Wetland Science & Practice April 2020
Wetland Science and Practice (WSP) is the quarterly publication of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) aimed at providing information on...
Published on Apr 16, 2020
Wetland Science and Practice (WSP) is the quarterly publication of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) aimed at providing information on...