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Wetlands

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What are wetlands?

Wetlands are places that are saturated with water, either salt or fresh. Wetlands include areas on the edges of larger water bodies including lakes, oceans, bayous, rivers and deltas. There are also wetlands that are independent from bodies of water, but remain saturated seasonally or year around. You can read more about wetland types from NOAA here and from the EPA here.

Benefits of Wetlands

Wetlands are beneficial for wildlife and human health for many reasons. They provide natural water filtration, storm protection, and flood control. They also support the breeding grounds for most aquatic life, and many bird species.

The Destruction of Wetlands

Wetlands are often destroyed in land development projects, harmed by pollution events from industry and susceptible to being destroyed with land subsidence and sea level rise. When wetlands are destroyed, the land is less able to absorb water. This causes communities to become more susceptible to flooding and storm surges. "Without wetlands, cities have to spend more money to treat water for their citizens, floods are more devastating to nearby communities, storm surges from hurricanes can penetrate farther inland, animals are displaced or die out, and food supplies are disrupted, along with livelihoods." Read more about the destruction of wetlands from World Wildlife Fund here.

How are wetlands protected?

In the US, many states have regulations that help to protect wetlands. The Clean Water Act is the primary federal protection legislation, through it five federal agencies are charged with protecting various aspects of the wetland health, "The [Army] Corps' duties are related to navigation and water supply. The EPA's authorities are related to protecting wetlands primarily for their contributions to the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The [Fish and Wildlife Services'] authorities are related to managing fish and wildlife-game species and threatened and endangered species. Wetland authority of NOAA lies in its charge to manage the Nation's coastal resources. The NRCS focuses on wetlands affected by agricultural activities." Read more on USGS's page on legislation here.

Federally and regionally there are many groups who work on wetland protections. You can read about how groups like Healthy Gulf work to protect wetlands in places they are threatened such as Louisiana.

Wetlands Monitoring Activities

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Updates

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Balloon map of south Bonfouca cel USFWS planting with PIES and TOES @eustatic 8 months ago 197
Landfill mapping with Oakville Community Action Group @a1ahna about 1 year ago 2
Sustain the Nine: Resilience in the Lower Ninth Ward @joyofsoy about 1 year ago 1
Cheap multispectral camera @maykef over 1 year ago 21
Check up on Bayou Bienvenue 22 August 2018 @eustatic over 1 year ago 7
Event: Mapping wetlands and algae blooms @stevie over 1 year ago 1
Request for kite/balloon mapping help at Tidmarsh Farms wetlands restoration in Plymouth MA @warren over 2 years ago 0
MAPPING WORKSHOP AT DOCVILLE FARM IN VIOLET, LA – ST. BERNARD PARISH @gilbert over 2 years ago 1
Video: The Meadowlands With Hackensack Riverkeeper @zengirl2 over 2 years ago 0
How to visually document a site @stevie almost 3 years ago 1
MapKnitter map of Bayou Uhlan PPigeon 12 jan 2017 @eustatic about 3 years ago 0
Mapping Rural Alberta's Wetlands @Rural almost 4 years ago 14
Wetland Watchers July 2015 @eustatic over 4 years ago 5
Tracking Plant Health Using Visible and Infrared Light -- Initial Experiences at an Arts High School @Travis over 4 years ago 1
Wetland Watchers map note, 12 dec 2014 @eustatic about 5 years ago 2
Having Fun while Exploring a Sinking World @eymund about 5 years ago 3
next attempts at dye tracing @liz over 5 years ago 5
[Reference] Bay Denesse and Plaquemines Bayou aerial photo history 2 @eustatic over 5 years ago 5
[Reference] west bay USGS aerial photography for land change analysis @eustatic over 5 years ago 4
Reference graphic, Barataria work @eustatic over 5 years ago 0
2011 Barataria Bay mapping fieldnotes, maps, mapping tracks, images @Shannon over 5 years ago 0
Preliminary Stitch of Dredge Island Planting Day in Jamaica Bay @gwirth over 5 years ago 3
Bayou St John, first sproutings and west protection berm @eustatic over 5 years ago 4
Barataria 2014: VI June 12th @eustatic over 5 years ago 3
June 1 Jamaica Bay wetland planting photography @liz over 5 years ago 0
Planning Jamaica Bay mapping sites @liz over 5 years ago 0
Delta St John: continued plantings @eustatic almost 6 years ago 6
Barataria 2014: April 19th Southwings 10 sites @eustatic almost 6 years ago 0
Barataria 2014: IV March 21st @eustatic almost 6 years ago 0
Barataria 2014: III February 27th @eustatic almost 6 years ago 0
Floating camera rig @eustatic almost 6 years ago 7
Coulee Baker: documenting a DIY bayou in the Bayou St John "delta" @eustatic almost 6 years ago 1
Barataria 2014: II February 16th @eustatic almost 6 years ago 0
Mapping with balloons in Castellón and building community (results) @pablo almost 6 years ago 13
Barataria 2014: I February 9th @eustatic almost 6 years ago 8
Kite Fisheye Photos of Bayou St John restoration @eustatic about 6 years ago 0
Barataria Unit Tarpaper Canal (NW) Monitoring [18 Dec 2013] @mseibert about 6 years ago 4
Rulers Bar Island Wetland mapping @gwirth about 6 years ago 0
Restore the Earth Foundation Planting South Pass Crevasse with Willow and Cypress @eustatic about 6 years ago 2
Cartography Primer - Pamet Marsh @wward1400 about 6 years ago 4
Balloon mapping of wetlands near Clayton, NY @nedhorning over 6 years ago 5
Results from Aug 25, 2013 Tidmarsh Farms mapping @warren over 6 years ago 0
Balloon Mapping Wetland Forest Restoration Efforts at New Orleans Nature Center @eustatic over 6 years ago 0
Jamaica Bay Mapping -- Rescheduled to Saturday June 1st! @gwirth over 6 years ago 1
Georectifying in the Wetlands @gonzoearth about 7 years ago 0
Yellow Bar Island Habitat Creation @gwirth over 7 years ago 4
Shannon Dosemagen Interviews Scott Eustis of Gulf Restoration Network @mathew over 7 years ago 0
Bayou Sauvage Draeger tubes after 4 days @Shannon over 7 years ago 9
Field test #2: H2S strip placement in Bayou Sauvage NWR, Orleans Parish, LA @Shannon over 7 years ago 1
Prep of canisters for photo strips @Shannon over 7 years ago 0
Bayou Sauvage Draeger tubes after 8 hours @Shannon over 7 years ago 0
Yellow Bar Island - Dredge Reuse and FAA permitting @gwirth over 7 years ago 8
photos of a (sub)urban forest recovery Post-Katrina @eustatic over 7 years ago 0
NOLA.com : Louisiana coastal erosion being assessed with drones @Shannon over 7 years ago 0
Western Carolina University students map on the SC Coast @adam-griffith almost 9 years ago 0
Quantify wetland from aerial UV photo @cesarharada almost 9 years ago 1
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Project Pages

Here are some Public Lab projects that have been dedicated to the monitoring and protecting of wetlands:

Wikis related to wetlands:

Title Updated Version Views Likes
Barataria Bay Mapping Project about 2 months ago by warren 43 651 2
Infragram over 1 year ago by warren 112 12,815 12
Madeira about 2 years ago by warren 14 232 1
Stitching Images into Maps almost 3 years ago by warren 14 714 5
Urban Waters Mapping, NOLA almost 3 years ago by stevie 84 443 4
Open Land almost 4 years ago by eustatic 3 149 1
Understanding your wetland site almost 4 years ago by liz 34 148 5
Wetlands Toolkit about 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 19 2,050 15
Wetlands project? Start here over 4 years ago by liz 5 107 0
wetlands-advocacy over 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 13 111 0
Lesson 1: Wetlands, Water, & Oil curricular standards over 4 years ago by Shannon 5 138 0
Public Lab Lesson 3: Photography in a New Light over 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 15 880 5
Public Lab Lesson 2: More Than Meets the Eye over 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 11 365 0
Public Lab Lesson 1: Wetlands, Water, & Oil over 4 years ago by gretchengehrke 12 725 2
Wetlands remote sensing and management lesson plans over 4 years ago by Shannon 8 215 0
Tracking recreated wetlands in Jamaica Bay: Gena Wirth and the Dredge Collaborative almost 5 years ago by mollydanielsson 2 135 0