Tag Archives: Marshes and Wetlands

Iraq’s Famed Marshes Are Disappearing—Again

Photo source: NASA
At the northern end of the Persian Gulf is the vast deltaic plain of the Euphrates, Tigris and Karun rivers. A complex of shallow freshwater lakes, swamps, marshes, and seasonally inundated plains between the Tigris and Euphrates make up the largest river delta in the Middle East, the Mesopotamian Delta and Marshes ecoregion, located in southern Iraq and partially in southwestern Iran. Captions source: ©© WWF


A decade after the restoration of their once fruitful wetlands, the Marsh Arabs are struggling to cope with the country’s water shortage…

Read Full Article, National Geographic

Marshes of Mesopotamia: Conservation knows no boundaries, Guardian UK (10-24-2012)

Northern Coastal Marshes More Vulnerable to Nutrient Pollution

Salt marsh, Cape Cod. Photo source: ©© Putneypic


Salt marshes at higher latitudes, such as those in densely populated coastal regions of New England and northern Europe, are more vulnerable to the effects of nutrient pollution, a new Duke University study finds…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Why Are U.S. Eastern Seaboard Salt Marshes Falling Apart? Science Daily (10-18-2012)

Saltwater Intrusion: The Parts You Can’t See

Wetland, North Carolina. Photo source: ©© Gerry Dincher


As saltwater moves increasingly farther into coastal plain, there will be changes to the landscape that we can see, like dead-standing trees, and many that we cannot. The quality of the water, the nutrients in the soil and the exchange of greenhouse gasses will all be affected…

Read Full Article, Coastal Review Online

Safeguarding Africa’s Wetlands a Daunting Task

Wetland and desert, El Aaiún, Laayoune, Western Sahara – Morocco. Photo source: ©© Andrez-1


African wetlands are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the continent, covering more than 131 million hectares, according to the Senegalese-based Wetlands International Africa (WIA).

Yet, despite their importance and value, wetland areas are experiencing immense pressure across the continent…

Read Full Article, IPS News

The Future of Wetlands, the Future of Waterbirds – an Intercontinental Connection

Camargue’s wetlands and flamingos, France. Photo source: ©© René Vanhaeften


To mark the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental agreement seeking to protect wetlands of international importance – the 2nd of February each year is celebrated as “World Wetlands Day” which is a significant event in the calendar of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) too.

The first global treaty dealing with biodiversity was the Ramsar Convention – predating the Rio processes by 20 years.

Ramsar aims to conserve wetlands, the usefulness of which has been undervalued and which have suffered large losses in recent decades…

Read Full Article, IPS News

Salt Marsh Plants Key to Reducing Coastal Erosion and Flooding

Hatches Harbor salt marsh, Cape Cod. The Hatches Harbor salt marsh is a remnant of a larger salt marsh complex that existed at the time of the first European settlement. USGS. Photo source: ©© Lydia Mann


The effectiveness of salt marshes – wetlands which are flooded and drained by tides – in protecting coastal areas in times of severe weather has been quantified in a study by researchers from the University of Cambridge.

In the largest laboratory experiment ever constructed to investigate this phenomenon, the researchers have shown that over a distance of 40 metres, the salt marsh reduced the height of large waves in deep water by 18%, making them an effective tool for reducing the risk of coastal erosion and flooding. Sixty percent of this reduction is due to the presence of marsh plants alone. The results are published in the journal Nature Geoscience

Read Full Article, Phys.Org

Salt marshes protect shorelines by reducing waves and erosion, Europa
Conserving salt marshes helps protect our coasts, according to research which shows that they stabilise shorelines and protect them from damage by incoming waves. Their benefits are particularly significant in light of the destruction caused by storms and flooding, which are likely to increase under climate change.

Lost Louisiana: The Race to Reclaim Vanished Land Back From The Sea

Northwest Turtle Bay Marsh Creation, Louisiana. Photo source: ©© United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS)


World’s fastest submerging state is looking to nature in an ambitious plan to turn back the tide, and to BP to fund it – but will it work?

Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 square miles of land over the past 80 years – a disappearing act that claims on average a football field an hour.

The land began vanishing from southern Louisiana about 80 years ago when the authorities began penning in the Mississippi after catastrophic floods. The system of levees cut off the river from the delta, choking off the sediment needed to shore up the coast…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

“Just Right” Plant Growth May Make River Deltas Resilient

Marsh, vegetation. Photo source: ©© JMike Mahaffie


Geologists suggest that an intermediate amount of vegetation, not too little and not too much, is most effective at stabilizing freshwater river deltas.

Vegetation on marsh surfaces in river deltas can slow the flow of water and cause more sediment to be deposited, helping prevent sea-level rise from drowning sensitive marshlands. But the study finds that, if the vegetation is too tall or dense, it diverts water into the river channel, resulting in less sediment being deposited on the marsh.

Read Full Article, Science Daily