Alberta-Wide Wetland Policy
Alberta needs 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!
Alberta needs a comprehensive wetland policy that:
- halts further loss of its wetland resources and
- achieves a level of restoration where losses have been high.
DUC believes that these outcomes are attainable and necessary for Alberta to achieve a sustainable environment for future generations.
We are beginning to make progress but we can’t become complacent!
Alberta has an interim wetland policy that addresses wetland conservation on private land in the settled areas of the province but it has not been able to stem the ongoing loss of Alberta’s wetland resources.
Wetlands in our province’s boreal forest are equally important for waterfowl, wildlife and people, but the current interim policy does not address them. All wetlands should be treated equally regardless of where they are located. Losing wetlands in any part of our province impacts its overall landscape.
Alberta needs a new wetland policy that addresses the conservation of ALL wetlands throughout Alberta.
We need your support of the Government of Alberta’s leadership and commitment to developing a world class provincial wetland policy that we can all be proud of.
Alberta’s wetland policy should:
- Maintain all existing wetland areas and their benefits and functions throughout Alberta by:
- ensuring no further wetland loss takes place in settled areas of the province
- restoring wetlands in high loss areas
- maintaining valuable functions of wetlands in the boreal forest region
- Apply high value to all wetland types and classes in Alberta including peat lands (i.e., bogs and fens), marshes, swamps and shallow open water.
- Include a plan that contains clear and concise language on implementation and enforcement. Many Albertans, including non-governmental organizations and industry groups, have publicly supported a need for an accompanying implementation plan.
- Ensure the wetland mitigation process, which is being successfully implemented via the Provincial Wetland Restoration Compensation Guide, applies consistently to all proposed wetland impacts.
- Provide clear and concise direction, ensuring implementation and enforcement is consistent and complementary to watershed and land-use planning actions and priorities.
For more information, please contact your Alberta provincial office.