Once regarded as wastelands, wetlands are now considered a valuable ecosystem. By the 1980s as much as 50% of the original wetlands resources in the United States had been lost and were disappearing at a rate of approximately 300,000 to 400,000 acres per year. Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals are part of wetland ecosystems. Physical and chemical features such as climate, topology, geology, and the movement and abundance of water help determine the plants and animals varieties that inhabit each wetland.
Mitigation (Restoration) wetlands are built to offset wetlands losses due to development or degradation. They are designed to return wetlands from a disturbed or altered condition to the previously existing condition or create new wetlands to compensate for the loss. Recent reports have highlighted the high failure rate of mitigation wetlands, with only 30%-50% of all projects considered successful. To improve the success of wetland mitigation projects, this training presents comprehensive guidance for regulators, environmental professionals, or owners to use to understand, characterize, design, construct, and monitor mitigation wetlands. The course is based on the ITRC Characterization, Design, Construction, and Monitoring of Mitigation Wetlands (WTLND-2, 2005) provided by the ITRC Mitigation Wetlands Team.