News from February 2010

Wetland Restoration Needs and Opportunities in Prairie Canada

February 24, 2010 | Posted by AB NAWMP

NAWMP partners have proposed ambitious wetland restoration targets as part of the 25-year Strategic Plan for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Challenges in realizing these targets are various and real, and yet essential to achieve North American Waterfowl Management Plan goals. This past November, 22 invited NAWMP participants working on wetland restoration in prairie Canada met in Winnipeg with the purpose of examining this challenge and recommending future options.

A common concern for all wetland conservation programming is the need for a supportive provincial wetland policy. Following six background presentations, a facilitator led a round table discussion in which each participant offered two ideas to advance programming and funding for wetland restoration. A total of 32 ideas were identified and then ranked in importance.

Results showed 80% of all points were assigned to 13 ideas. The top ranked eight ideas represented 66% of all points assigned. Top priority is the development of an over-riding strategy for wetland conservation at the federal, provincial and municipal level. It would include a business case and a strategic approach to removal of barriers for both wetland restoration and retention.

Supporting priorities include:

  1. A significantly increased marketing/communications campaign;
  2. Completion of the Canadian wetland inventory and the establishment of a Canadian wetland monitoring program;
  3. Implementation of a program with a user pay wetland mitigation license such that revenues fund restoration;
  4. Removal of incentives for drainage by modifying rural municipal property taxes;
  5. Increasing national leadership on wetland issues by supporting the creation of a wetlands secretariat independent of government;
  6. Assessing the economics of both wetland drainage and restoration; and
  7. Undertaking a strong research and monitoring program on the ecological goods & services for prairie wetlands.

For more information, email Michael Barr, Alberta NAWMP Coordinator, at m_barr@ducks.ca.