A Study of Natural and Restored Wetland Hydrology
Wetlands recently have received political and scientific attention because of their known benefit to the environment. For example, wetlands decrease the effects of flooding by storing large quantities of water in porous streambank sediments and low-lying areas. Extensive flooding in some areas of the United States has been attributed in part of the loss of wetlands (Fretwell and others, 1996). Wetlands also have been shown to improve waters quality by filtering out fertilizers and pesticides. The organic-rich sediments of wetlands, produced by decaying plant mass, attract and bind other contaminants as well; many communities nationwide are constricting wetlands to enhance sewage-treatment systems.
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ecosystem Restoration Initiative grant, a joint U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) study is looking at the hydrology of a natural wetland (the LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area) and a restored wetland (the Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park). Project investigators are examining and comparing the relations between hydrology and vegetation in the natural and restored wetlands while testing innovative methods to identify the analytical tools best suited for evaluating the success of wetland restoration.
U.S. Geological Survey, "A Study of Natural and Restored Wetland Hydrology" (1999). J.R. Black Kankakee River Materials. 72.
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