The California Wetlands

Good Essays
The California Wetlands

Smelly, insect infested, and disease ridden are many words that people have used to describe the attributes of wetlands in our country. Until recently it was thought that wetlands served very little use as a part of our ecosystem. However, as the developers began to drain and destroy these wetlands in order to build housing developments and commercial buildings environmental scientists emerged from the woodwork. These environmental scientists found the value and absolute necessity for wetlands and brought it to the attention of politicians. The politicians are the only ones who could slow the destruction of wetlands with their policies.

Before the politicians could begin to construct policies to protect the wetlands they needed the scientists to give them a good working definition that they could use to classify wetlands. This is a very difficult process since many wetlands are transitional meaning that they may appear wet or dry according to the season. However in 1987 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published guidelines to classifying wetlands. The criterion included that wetlands must contain hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology. M. Dennison et. al. 1993 With this new information politicians were able to legally define wetlands with the Clean Water Act, which states:

"The term ‘wetlands’ means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas."

Through the study, classification and legal defining of we...

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...o be able produce a synthetic ecosystem the scientists must be able to observe what an ideal naturally occurring wetland looks like. With the mass desecration of California wetland it is near impossible to find an intact wetland. Most wetland scientists construct these synthetic wetlands be a theory of how things "should be" if they were not previously contaminated by influences (i.e. abusive farming, golf courses, housing developments, and recreational vehicles (i.e. Gas guzzling boat, waverunners, etc.)

In conclusion it is simple to see why the destroyed wetlands should be repaired. Not only would the function of the wetland resume, but all of the surrounding humans would benefit from cleaner water and a flood overflow container. However, it is slow process informing the public of why they should leave a swamp intact instead of building more bay front property.
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