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Ecological and engineering guidelines for wetlands restoration in relation to the development, operation and maintenance of navigation infrastructures
EnviCom Working Group 07 (2003). Ecological and engineering guidelines for wetlands restoration in relation to the development, operation and maintenance of navigation infrastructures. PIANC Report. PIANC = AIPCN: Brussel. ISBN 2-87223-143-9. 58 pp.
Part of: PIANC Report. PIANC = AIPCN: Brussels, more

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Keywords
    Ecology; Engineering; Guide lines; Inlets (waterways); Nature conservation; Restoration; Wetlands

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  • EnviCom Working Group 07

Abstract
    Wetlands are being lost throughout the world at an alarming rate. For example, the rate of loss of wetlands in the United States alone is estimated to be 80,000 to 160,000 hectares per year. Other nations are experiencing similar losses due to reclamation, drainage, water pollution, and water resources and infrastructure development projects. Many estimates suggest that about 50 percent of the world's wetlands have disappeared in the last few decades.

    Human-induced impacts on wetlands have included both wetland alteration and wetland destruction. Significant wetland alteration still continues, due to regulated and non-regulated activities, pushed by the need for dry land for industry, housing, and infrastructure. Impacts are caused particularly by hydrologic and morphologic modification, sedimentation and hydrodynamic process alteration, peat mining, mineral extraction, water pollution, global climate change, and by shipping and waterways policies that are not in balance with ecosystem considerations.

    One way to address the detrimental trend of wetland loss is through the restoration of wetlands using sound ecological engineering that incorporates the restoration and protection concept as an element of local and national planning.

    This report outlines the ecological engineering aspects of restoring wetlands functions within the ecosystem, including: evaluation, goals, communication, design, environment, social use, public use, economy, regulations, engineering, implementation, monitoring, and landscape consideration.

    The EnviCom 7 report consists of nine main text chapters, a glossary, several appendixes, and a wide collection of case studies. Chapter 2 provides introduction and background information on wetlands. Chapter 3 provides the conceptual framework and outlines the elements necessary for a strategic restoration planning approach. Chapters 4 and 5 offer general information on wetland types and the functions that can be restored, with a brief review of a physical and ecological modeling approach. Chapters 6 and 7 concern actual restoration work including design and planning, and construction of the new close-to-natural ecosystem. Chapter 8 provides the major principles necessary to assure the correct functioning and maintenance of newly created (or restored) aquatic ecosystems and how to evaluate the success of interventions. Chapter 9 presents some final remarks by means of conclusions and recommendations from different perspectives. Chapter 10 is a list of references cited in the text and Chapter 11 is a bibliography. A glossary of terms, several appendixes, and case studies are available on the PIANC website. The appendixes include some indications on principles and guidelines for an environmental impact assessment and for the application of the ISO14000 International standards.

    Case studies are presented in terms of wetland type, problem identification, solutions and measures, and lessons learned. Some of the case studies deal specifically with modeling related to wetland restoration, with indications of models used and their advantages / disadvantages.

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