Yesterday's Swamp

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 8, Pg. 36-39

Document Type: Feature article


Since the mid-80s there has been an explosion of engineering firms entering the wetlands design and restoration market. As yesterday's bogs and swamps, once drained and filled for development or agricultural use, continue to become today's protected, restored or constructed wetlands, this wetland engineering explosion will continue. Agencies with wetland jurisdiction are reaching a consensus on wetland definitions, values and mitigation efforts, furthering wetland protection and, consequently, wetland business. The agreement signed earlier this year between the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is an example—and a major step forward for wetland protection. The Corp, which has filled its share of wetland in the course of past projects has now earmarked $20 million for wetlands research and is involved in several ongoing projects. One such project is taking place on Illinois' Des Plaines River. It is run by Wetlands Research Inc. Some of the most innovative work in wetlands evaluation and mitigation comes from those agencies having to perform a high amount of mitigation—Federal Highway Administration and the various state transportation departments. The FHWA is teaching state DOTs and contractors how to determine the value of a wetland with the Wetland Evaluation Technique. The FHWA also funded a recently completed wetland mitigation effectiveness study.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (fresh water) | Explosions | Ecological restoration | Federal government | Drainage | Agriculture | Jurisdiction | Terminology and definition

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