“When it Comes to Wetlands, It’s Hard to Improve on the Original”

To compensate for development in and around wetlands, developers are sometimes encouraged or required to create new ones. GOOD reports, however, that these restored wetlands are inferior:

…ecologists have found that restored wetlands are not as ecologically valuable as the originals—a new analysis of 621 wetland sites shows that, on average, restored wetlands regained only about three-quarters of their original biological performance. In restored wetlands, plants, insects, and animals do not reach their former abundance, density or diversity… [R]estored wetlands hold less carbon—on average, 23 percent less than untouched wetlands, according to the analysis…

“You must worry about the function that you’re losing,“ [UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow David] Moreno-Mateos says. “It’s going to take centuries to grow back.”

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See also:

“Degraded” Wetlands Can Get a Lot Worse

Photos Show: Man-Made Lakes and Stormwater Retention Systems Are No Substitute for Natural Wetlands
“A band of white pollutants and algae float at the top of a stormwater retention pond at Belle Hall Plantation. Though created to handle pollution and often full of mosquito larvae, this type of pond is considered a functioning wetland under definitions by the U.S. Department of the Interior.”

Carlon Drive: Compensatory Wetland Not Working