Study Of Northwoods Flooding Shows Need For Healthy Wetlands

Jul 5, 2018

Woodland wetlands
Credit pxhere.com

The importance of wetlands in controlling flooding is shown in a new study released by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.

A spokesperson for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Kyle Magyera says after the July, 2016 storm and flooding that affected northwestern Wisconsin a study was done to look at how wetlands, or the lack of them, led to damage in the region. More than a dozen inches of rain fell in some spots. He says part of the study looked at how upstream wetlands affected the flooding and where wetlands might have been lost from the landscape...

"...one of the main findings is wetland loss is certainly a factor, but what we were seeing in many cases is what we refer to as erosion-induced drainage. What that means is the way our roads have been built and the way our culverts have been positioned or being undersized, is creating "V"-shaped channels, or very eroded channels that are working their way into wetland complexes and accelerating their natural drainage...."

He says the change led to a change in the wetlands that kept them from absorbing water as well as they could have. He says public information about wetlands is critical in the future.

He says they would like to work with emergency managers about wetlands...

"...to start putting into practice and to see how wetlands may be a solution in helping our communities better handle and recover after these storms..."

Magyera says the study shows how wetlands are becoming 'unzipped' by the erosion caused by roads and other sources. More information is available at wisconsinwetlands. org by clicking on an updates tab or go to their Facebook page.