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Despite systematic efforts to mitigate the possible impacts of undesirable ecological practices, environmental pollution has been a problem for quite some time. Human activities have greatly led to the systematic degradation of natural systems such as water catchment areas, while the erosion of green fields has resulted in dry, desert lands. However, there exist numerous efforts geared towards restoration to help limit the severe consequences environmental pollution (McNabb 96). Environmental restoration programs have also focused on areas delivering solutions through cleaning and management of contaminated lands. Even essential to conservation and restoration efforts is the use of modern technology to steer restoration activities.
The deployment of innovative techniques has led to the development and demonstration of creative technologies to control pollution scientifically. Soil contamination, underground and water surface restoration are some of the problems demanding quicker interventions (Biebighauser 44). Most importantly the growing demand for water in several parts of the nation has fuelled the search for better approaches to ensure sustainable water management including how best to store water. Since the society has often relied on dams and reservoirs, problems still exist. Due to the inability of the limited sources of water to adequately supply vast populations, it becomes necessary to consider dam construction.
Issues Causing Wetland Degradation
Agricultural activities remain the significant sources of pollution that affects lakes and wetlands. Agriculture, therefore, act as a form of nonpoint source pollution because agrarian pollutants do not come from a specific location but widely dispersed places. Erosion of agricultural fields leads to the deposit of chemicals in the wetlands thereby creating an imbalance in the wetlands' composition (McNabb 164). Consequently, the ecosystem gest subjected to the massive strain of pollutants such as pesticides and chemical inputs leading to its deterioration.
When industrial and household waste products get treated through the use of treatment chemicals, not all pollutants get removed from the water. In some instances when the water is not treated adequately, the levels of organic matter existing in the water remain relatively high. Some of the pollutants contained in the effluent are metallic substances and minerals such as lead nitrate and phosphate (McNabb 263). Imperatively when such effluent get discharged into rivers lakes and wetlands comma their concentration go beyond the natural levels leading to water intoxication.
When excessive sedimentation occurs as a result of erosion, topsoil gets swept by strong currents and deposited in the wetlands. Sedimentation impacts include increased haziness of water surface that reduces the depth of Wetlands, cover primary producers and a clog wetland vegetation. Consequently, aquatic life gets killed and their essential wetland functions to water quality improvement, nutrient cycling, and water holding capacity is damaged. Other than affecting wetland structure, sedimentation transforms wetlands and flat pieces of land with little vegetation and animal species (National Research Council 39).
Through human activities such as deforestation fishing and land tilling. Most of the naturally occurring materials within the watershed get displaced leading to the emergence and subsequent dominance of invasive species in the wetlands (Vila and Hulme77). The newly introduced species multiply rapidly and increase their spatial distribution which eliminates the native communities. The most damaging consequence that occurs becomes the loss of natural habitats.
Human actions contribute chiefly to the degradation and loss of wetland ecosystems. The creation of infrastructure causes direct disturbance to plant and animal species. Urbanization, on the other hand, promote pollution through poor waste management. The impact of human actions is therefore considered critical to the decline of wetlands (Biebighauser 76). Alternatively, overexploitation of natural resources Destroys ecosystems leading to the extinction of some species within the wetland.
Factors Contributing To Wetland Restoration Efforts
Preservation and Protection of Aquatic Resources
Imperatively, the existing ecosystems are protected from overexploitation, the possibility of the biodiversity conservancy becomes enhanced. Importantly, restoration does not necessarily need to protect aquatic resources but rather to act as a complementary activity to help achieve overall improvements and the higher percentage of national water supply. Though plans for water bodies restoration remains valid, it becomes necessary to initiate processes that prevent further degradation.
Restoring Ecological Integrity
Restoration efforts must focus on re-establishing the environmental capacity of various wetlands so that the polluted water bodies gain the integrity to prevent further degradation of the aquatic systems. Ecological integrity implies that the destroyed wetlands get reinvigorated in structure and composition to sustain both plant and animal species (Vila and Hulme 135).
Addressing Ongoing Degradation
Restoration efforts cannot achieve their mandates if the existing sources of pollution continue to thrive. Therefore, it becomes essential to recognize the need of identifying the likely causes of degradation and eliminate them or offer alternative measures of action where problems exist. However, issues are not defined the overall effect promptly soon become evident in the form of gradual deterioration in water bodies (Biebighauser 89).
Restoration of Native Species over Non-Native
The reintroduction of native species over non-native ones helps to sustain the existing native organisms while eliminating the possibilities of competition caused by exotic plants and animals in the ecosystem. The problem of allowing non-native species to thrive may lead to the game of limited resources. Which can potentially undermine the restoration efforts. The wild nonnative species must, therefore, be controlled during the restoration efforts.
Restoration of Natural Structures
Aquatic resources that have identified and documented problems need to determine risk factors that contributed to the decline (Biebighauser 116).
Once the risk factors get identified, restoration efforts must address the physical aspects of the wetland and if there exists a need to construct ditches, shoreline channel to facilitate efficient drainage and water circulation (Doak 33). Therefore, restoring original site including its physical attributes may need to high chances of success well-improving water quality but support natural habitat for native plants and animals species.
From the preceding, it becomes important to realize that conservancy effort is crucial to the preservation, restoration, and sustainability of wetlands. Rehabilitated wetlands contained in the high potential to facilitate production of clean and safe water, quality food and a self-sufficient ecosystem where are all organisms thrive (National Research Council 169). Reconstruction of damaged wetlands also plays a crucial role in improving restoration outcomes by giving water bodies an enhanced physical attributes that enable them to sustain life. Therefore environmental management becomes a collective responsibility which involve the local populations and relevant stakeholders to realize a successful restoration of polluted wetlands
Biebighauser, Thomas R. Wetland drainage, restoration, and repair. University Press of Kentucky, 2007.
Doak, Daniel F., et al. "What is the future of conservation?." Protecting the Wild. Island Press/Center for Resource Economics, 2015. 27-35.
McNabb, David E. Water Resource Management: Sustainability in an Era of Climate Change. Springer, 2017.
National Research Council. Prospects for managed underground storage of recoverable water. National Academies Press, 2008.
Vila, Montserrat, and Philip E. Hulme. Impact of Biological Invasions on Ecosystem Services. Springer International Pu, 2016.
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