Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

John J. Kupa

Abstract

In the past, wetlands were considered to be a nuisance. They were thought of as sources of mosquitoes and places of disease. The environmental awakening of the late 1960' s and early 1970' s changed the negative view of wetlands and brought about a host of wetland protection laws, programs, and agencies directed toward wetland protection.

Today, many of the wetland protection legislations (e.g., Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection, etc ... ), require a permit to alter a wetland. In efforts to stop any further net loss of wetlands, regulating agencies are allowing permit applicants to create or restore wetlands, as mitigation for wetland losses due to their projects, if there are no other practical alternatives.

These created and restored wetlands are the subject of this research project. The artificial wetlands are intended to compensate for wetland loss by replacing the natural wetlands. However, if the created and restored wetlands do not perform the same functions as the original wetland, then they are not sufficiently replacing the natural wetlands. If this 1s the case, then the wetland protection laws that allow this type of mitigation may not be fulfilling their purpose and natural wetlands may not be adequately protected.

This project will evaluate the potential wildlife habitat of created and restored wetland projects and compare it to that of natural, undisturbed wetlands to determine if artificial wetlands m New England are adequate replacements for natural wetlands.

Share

COinS