Alberta-Wide Wetland Policy
Alberta adopts a province-wide wetland policy!
Facts about wetland loss in Alberta:
Wetland loss continues to be a serious and ongoing issue in our province, with historic wetland loss estimated to be as high as 70 per cent in many parts of the settled area. This rate of loss continues provincially at a rate of approximately 0.3% per year.
This represents a significant cumulative impact on Alberta’s biodiversity, water quality and quantity and aquatic ecosystem health. Our province cannot sustain the ongoing loss of such a vital resource.
That’s where a comprehensive wetland policy comes in!
The goal of Alberta’s Wetland Policy is “to conserve, restore, protect, and manage Alberta’s wetlands to sustain the benefits they provide to the environment, society, and economy.”
DUC believes that this goal is attainable if the right tools and knowledge systems are developed during the ongoing policy’s implementation phase. We need your support of the Government of Alberta’s leadership and commitment to implementing a world class provincial wetland policy that we can all be proud of.
DUC has been consulted on several fronts of the Implementation Phase including the Wetland Offset Restoration Protocol and the Alberta Wetland Classification System. DUC commends the GoA’s commitment to channel 90 per cent of the wetland mitigation funding towards tangible wetland restoration and the remainder into non-restorative options such as wetland research and education.
Last fall, DUC was also involved in the deliberations of the North Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council (RAC) under the provincial Land-Use Framework. RAC’s recommendations have been submitted to the Alberta government and will be used to support drafts of the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan (NSRP) in 2015. DUC hopes that wetland restoration and conservation objectives are incorporated into the NSRP’s strategies to achieve specific regional outcomes.
Reaching out to Alberta’s municipal governments
Alberta’s municipalities play an important role in wetland conservation. With that in mind, DUC is developing a municipal extension program that will facilitate collaborative relationships between the organization and local governments. The program will seek to build awareness around wetland loss and the numerous benefits that wetlands offer to Albertan communities; help local governments protect more wetlands through municipal policy and land-use planning; and offer conservation programs, knowledge and expertise in wetland restoration. More details about the program will be available in the spring of 2015.