Posted by: Vicki Burns | July 27, 2010

Wetlands, Floods and The Manitoba Water Council – How Are They Connected?

A few weeks ago members of the Manitoba Water Council set off on a cross country tour of Manitoba, holding public meetings in various locations. Their goal was to solicit feedback from the public on how our province should handle the important issues of wetlands – restoration and protection. 

image of wetland with grassy shore and blue sky

Wetland scene

 

In a year when we have experienced torrential downpours and flash floods, the issue of getting water off the land is top of mind in many rural areas. It sometimes seems contradictory to be talking about wetland restoration at the same time as we’re hearing about the need for better drainage. However wetlands are nature’s way of slowing water down in times of heavy rains and holding onto it so that it more slowly drains away while refreshing underground aquifers. And considering that we have lost almost 70% of wetlands( sometimes called Nature’s Kidneys)  across the Prairies, this is a very serious issue. 

Personally, I think its time for our governments, both provincial and federal , to subsidize landowners for both protecting and restoring wetlands. We now understand so much more about their value in maintaining healthy watersheds. Let’s put some of our tax dollars to work in concrete ways to restore some of nature’s own watershed protection. 

You can access the Water Council’s Wetlands Workbook and Questionnaire online. They really want to hear from as many of us as possible so please add your voice to this important issue . 

Ducks Unlimited is a terrific source of information about the role and functioning of wetlands. Bob Grant,Manitoba’s Ducks Unlimited Manager, has explained the role of wetlands in decreasing flooding in a very easy to understand piece in the Winnipeg Free Press today. Just one more confirmation that we need to reverse the direction we’ve been going in for the last few decades in relation to drainage and wetland loss.

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Responses

  1. Nice post. In the U.S. Ducks Unlimited is working with real estate companies to educate realtors and their clients about wetland conservation. There’s also tax incentives for private land owners too.

    I’m a committee member with the Chittenango Creek Chapter of DU and am proud to be associated with the organization.


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