Posted by: Vicki Burns | July 25, 2011

Recognition Growing that Wetland Drainage Adds to Flooding

Over the last 4 months we have seen unprecedented flooding in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and south along the Mississippi River. In Manitoba the river levels have stabilized and the flooding occurring along the rivers has now diminished but there is still significant concern in our Interlake region and along the south basin shores of Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. The community of Lake St. Martin First Nation have been out of their homes for several months now and there are serious talks underway about the community relocating permanently.  The costs associated with flood damage restitution have still not been fully added up but it is in the hundreds of millions for this year alone.

image of marsh surrounded by trees and plant growth

Healthy marsh

I’m glad to see more recognition that this year’s flood was exacerbated by man- made actions, specifically the drainage of 70% of our wetlands across the Prairies. Ducks Unlimited has produced a very simple , short video that explains in laymen’s terms what damage comes from draining so many of our wetlands. Its worth the few minutes it takes to watch it, to give yourself a clear understanding of why we need to rectify this situation as soon as we can.
This op-ed piece appeared in one of Manitoba’s prime rural papers and its is also encouraging in terms of the writer’s understanding and explanation of what has caused such significant flooding this year.
The bottom line is that we all need to understand and pay attention to these wetland issues because even if you’re not in a flooded area, you’re still going to be paying for the damages caused by the flooding not to mention suffering the effects of the increased greenhouse gas emissions that accompany wetland loss.

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