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​Wetlands Restoration Workshop:
 BCWF September 2021
  • report invasives to BC Invasives and polluters to RAPP
  • help map remaining BC wetlands 
  • identify species in local wetlands with inaturalist + merlin
  • subscribe to BCWF Bog Blog
  • identify the type of bog in GCL with guide to wetlands 
  • check out plant list for bogs in section 5.2.2
  • contact Tom (bog restoration expert)
  • create impoundment dam to protect wetland from ditches*
  • dig core trench at bottom edge of wetland to stop drainage
  • core trench: 70cm thick, compacted every 15cm (clay)
  • Coarse Woody Debris habitat critically important
  • remove organic topsoil to farming areas (not bog-friendly)
  • David Polster Rough-Loose Technique: make pits+mounds
  • collect seeds from nearby wetlands, then straw mulch
  • ask local First Nations about their local relevant knowledge
  • Dusty's Technique for monitoring 5x5m sq GPS id species
    • incl health status, density etc
  • BC political culture is fish-centric (need to realize some fish must have wetlands to reproduce)
  • if you build it (wetlands), they WILL come!  sometimes as soon as the next day
  • wetlands are the kidneys of the Earth (slowing + purifying streams to collect sediment nutrients)
  • estimated value of wetlands ecological services in Lower Mainland:  18 billions CAD in 2010
  • removing ditches can refill wetlands in hours!
  • removing invasives is a form of decolonization
  • show respect to the farmers who ingeniously drained wetlands to feed populations
    • best to restore wetlands on marginal lands, not prime farmland
    • cows do not eat hydric plants
  • Tom Biebighauser has designed over 6,000 wetland restoration projects 
    • A Guide to Creating Vernal Ponds, USDA Forest Service, 33 pages, 2003.
    • Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair, University Press of Kentucky, 2007.
    • Wetland Restoration and Construction – A Technical Guide.  186 pages, 2011
    • Restoration of Wetlands Damaged by Off-Highway Vehicles. 238 pages. USDA 2015
  • wetland loss is 3x rate of forest loss (1970-2015)
  • 85% lost in BC, especially Lower Mainland + OK valley
  • causes: 
    • dams, drainage, peat harvesting, clearcuts, loss of beavers, 
    • invasives, climate change, increased water use, ranching, 
    • recreation and resource-extraction tire tracks, pollution runoff
  • Invasives: 
    • reed canary grass, thistles, giant hogweed, American Bulfrog, 
    • English holly, green frog, Japanese knotweed, Himalayan blackberry
  • DFO thought (till now) beavers were harmful to Salmon 
    • Beavers are the natural solution to restoring wetlands
  • headcuts on ditches are horrible long term fast eroders
  • 1/10 deg slope ditch suffices to drain a wetland
  • only 3 days to empty out after heavy rains with ditch
  • *most impoundment dams leak; require maintenance
  • must find ALL hidden ditches (LIDAR helps)
  • Canada geese are a native annoyance w/o predators
  • humans behave like they dont want to stay on this planet
  • Alyssa Purse, Molly (IT), Alana (Q&A), BCWF, WHC
  • there are 198 First Nations in BC
  • City of Richmond people attended last year
  • BCWF (est. 1966) is the largest non-profit in BC  (includes hunters and fishers)
  • BCWF launched WEP (Wetlands Education Program) in 2009;  uses: QGIS, eDNA
  • 600 wetland species in BC, 1/3 of which MUST have wetlands for part of lifecycle
  • 360 deg tour of a bog; +   video of second day of Cortes Island workshop
  • slide presentations: loses+values ,  wetlands classification
  • BC govt guide to wetlands classification - see below
  • 20 sphagnum species in BC - impossible to distinguish with naked eye
  • ditches incredibly effective at lowering water table to bottom of ditch 2km radius
  • Mr. French's rocky, ceramic or cedar debris drains + cover ditch also super effective

F=Fens, B=Bogs, S=Swamps, M=Marshes,  50's=estuaries, 
Bogs: low lying, surface water table, no seasonal water flow, rainwater only, high acidic, nutrient poor, sphagnum dominated, labrador tea,boglaurel, stunted trees
Fens: high altitude, peatland, slightly acidic, multiple sources of water, cottongrass dominated, organic soil, think: flooded soccer field, dragonflies
Marshes: thick layer of organics on top of sediment; periodical flooding, nutrient rich mineral soil, can be alkaline, cattails, bullrushes, amphibians
Swamps: edgesof riparian areas, humic layer, faster moving water, shrubs/trees, cedar swamps, mangroves, skunk cabbage, willow, hardhack, pit/mound topography
Open Shallow Water: depth <2m midsummer, common near marshes, edges of fully open water, floating vegetation,pond lilies, easy to get stuck in (dangerous)


Peatland Restoration Guide:  New Brunswick  2003Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) 
  • First remove inappropriate species + make sure donor site has the right species
  • Solve the hydration issue: blocking ditches, pumping, solid berms, pools, yearly flooding, etc
  • Scrape top 10cm from donor site, shred it, spread it 1:10 ratio (donor area: restore area)
  • Cover with loose fluffy straw
  • Yearly Monitoring in 2nd, 3rd and 5th year after restauration
Restoration Success if all 3:
  1. Rewetting of Restoration site
  2. Reintroduction of Diaspores 
  3. Straw Mulch
  • bogs make up 11% of Canada’ s territory 
  • accumulation of peat is only about 0.5 to 1 mm per year​
  • restoration takes 5 years 
  • needs a donor site only 1/10 of the size of the to-be-restored site
  • much greater biodiversity in peatlands with pools
  • research on peatland restoration only started in 1993

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