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Wetlands are places that filter water from nearby streams, river or hills. Their purpose is important for helping the nearby wildlife grow and mature. They filter water, provide homes for birds and animals while being a wonderful place to see and visit. Many groups of people have restored and created some of the biggest wetlands in the world. Some examples are; The Glacier Ridge Restoration, Snake River Gravel Mine Restoration and many more. Our school has taken inspiration from all these wetlands and have decided to work on making our own wetland, starting from the fall of 2016. In three years, we have made huge amount of progress on restoring the wetland and its terrain. Now, we look back on all our progress and evaluate what we have accomplished. We have conducted many questions with oncoming answers as well as the question ‘Do you think we have met our water and habitat goals?’ which we will answer today. We asked many people and have gotten many answers, which we will share today.
In order to starts, we have taken observations from our own wetland then compared it to other wetlands when they were still in their early stages. Their first step of their project was funding. Funding is a way to get money by public fundraisers, websites, adds and more. Getting money helps buy and use tools, materials and workers. After funding, the people then dug out their area, making sure to dig up any dry or toxic parts that was in the dirt. In the early stage of our wetland, we also decided to dig up the soil because of the garbage and toxins in the soil. Plus, that could have interfered with growth and expansion of the plants. That would set a massive setback for growing and cleaning the water that will flow through the wetland. After funding, the Glacier Ridge Restoration team mapped and started to make way for the water to run on. They needed a way for the water to go because their area was flat, not having any way for a stream to run through.
However, our wetland already came with a path for a small stream could run through because of a sewage pipe providing water to the area, shaping the ground for the water to flow. This is an example of one thing that does not connect with each wetland. The last observation is the placement and growth of the plants. In the Glacier Ridge project, the team mapped out the different parts of the are then planted plants that would help restore the small area that it was planted at. With the help of students, our wetland mapped the area and water lines and by the end of June of 2017, was able to plant. Looking back at the progress, we had concluded that our goals were met and accomplished but we were unsure. We decided to interview and check with the other classes, including a few people from the 3rd grade. Our first interview was with the 3rd graders.
We first started with “Do you like helping/working at the wetland?” as heard in the interview. Then, we asked “What’s your favorite thing to do at the wetland?” The last question is “Do you think you're making an impact by helping out with the wetland?” This question was the question that was the most important question. One of responses was, “Yes. Because before there was a lot of trash and things so by helping, we get to clean everything out.” The second answer was, “Yes. We help and improve the wetland by cleaning it.” Their answers show that they think the wetland is getting cleaner, especially from the beginning of them working on the wetland which was earlier in the year of 2018. The second interview that we did was with 5th graders, one girl and one boy. This time however, the questions were more different due to the 5th graders having spent the longest working on the wetland and because of that, the 5th graders having the most experience.
The list of questions we asked the 5th graders were “Do you enjoy helping/working at the wetland? What's your favorite thing to do at the wetland? Do you know the difference between a park and wetland? If someone who has no experience on a wetland wanting to work on a wetland asked you for advice, what would you tell them?” as heard in the voice recording. The last question of the list was to help other younger generations that were going to be working on the wetland and possibly others who are starting to help give a chance for them to get advice from other with more experience on the topic. One of them stated that there was a lake type of area in the wetland, indicating that the wetland has gotten additional water from the filtering and collecting of polluting water nearby.
We later asked the 5th graders their opinions on the wetland and if they think the wetland is improving. One of them said “Yes, because of the decreasing amount of pollution.” Then, we decided to test the water pollutants, sampling from the inlet and outlet of the wetland. The main pollutants we measured was copper, nitrate and phosphate. Copper is a pollution from car breaks when people slam on the breaks, shredding the break and its metal. Copper can kill fish if consumed and kill whales due to their food eating the copper bits. Nitrate is deadly due to it being about to make rotten food, fish waste, and decomposing plant matter. Nitrate can pollute waters and kill off fish, just like Copper. Phosphate is a phosphatic acid, able to kill off plants and other animals. This is a graph of our levels of copper, phosphate and nitrate, the safety levels being, 1.3 for copper, 5-8 for nitrate and 10 for phosphate.
Finally, since we have made and have been working on a wetland to help clear pollutions, we wanted to share advice in case if you wanted to help and work on a wetland with your community. If you want to help out, its best to start small then slowly work your way through. Do research and make sue to have some knowledge about what you are doing. We have had a conclusion that we have reached our current habitat goal and water goals.
Wetlands Marshes, National Park Service.https://www.nps.gov/piro/learn/nature/wetlands.htm
Principles of Wetland Restoration Source
Wetlands Types and Classifications