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Swamps and Wetlands

I often find that people hold something that is designated a “wetland” higher than a “swamp”. Well to those folks who believe that a wetland is a special ecosystem and a swamp is something that monsters live in, I’m sorry to inform you that you are wrong.
Of course, one only has to go to Wikipedia to see that the definition of a wetland actually includes a swamp…

Wetland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A wetland is an area of land consisting of soil that is saturated with moisture, such as a swamp, marsh, or bog. As defined in terms of physical geography, a wetland is an environment “at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic systems making them inherently different from each other yet highly dependent on both”[1]. In essence, wetlands are ecotones. Wetlands often host considerable biodiversity and endemism. In many locations such as the United Kingdom and USA they are the subject of conservation efforts and Biodiversity Action Plans.

So for those who thought that their local swamp wasn’t special, think again, wetlands in BC are protected under:

  • the Fisheries Act
  • the Water Act,
  • the Wildlife Act,
  • the Land Act,
  • the Waste Management Act, and
  • the Environmental Assessment Act.

And there are decent fines applicable under all of these.
In recent times, “wetland” has become the gentrified name for many of these natural bodies of water, but whatever we call them, these are valuable parts of a healthy ecosystem that should be protected by the communities that surround them.
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Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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