wetland database project
The health of our wetlands is critical to maintain clean water and to support wildlife. Wetlands are one of the most productive and diverse ecosystems in the world, often compared to rain forests and coral reefs, and provide irreplaceable services. Without wetlands our coastlines would be unprotected from storm surges, major greenhouse gas sinks would be missing, and sedimentation of our fresh waters would be a major concern.
Coastal Action is building a wetland database and is particularly interested in finding wetlands in need of restoration and protection. All wetlands are unique in the services they provide, and Coastal Action is using the Wetland Ecosystem Service Protocol for Atlantic Canada (WESP-AC) to assess wetlands and their different functions.
This type of functional assessment provides a repeatable and science-based view of a wetlands’ various ecological services. Scores are generated for twenty-one different wetland benefits and their effectiveness such as flood prevention, water purifying, carbon storage and wildlife habitat. WESP-AC assessments are used as a decision tool for different forms of government and advocates for determining things such as compensation requirements, evaluating the success of restoration, or whether a wetland should be preserved due to high function scores in areas such as climate change resiliency.
Building Coastal Action’s wetland database is an on-going effort and their hope is to continue their study to have a comprehensive understanding of the wetlands within the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
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