At Applied Resource Management, one of our areas of expertise is wetlands delineation. This is process during which we determine whether and where wetlands are located on a property and, if the answer is “yes,” make recommendations about how to continue with your project in a safe and environmentally responsible way. (Curious about what wetlands are and why they’re important? You’re in luck—we covered this in a previous blog post!)
If you have wetlands on your property, it’s important not to view them as a problem. In reality, your wetlands are an opportunity to help preserve the fragile ecosystems that support certain plants and animals. Below are five ways to help your wetlands survive and thrive, and to become a steward of the environment in the process.
1. Maintain a buffer strip of native plants along streams and wetlands.
A buffer will stabilize the streambank, prevent erosion, and improve the health of the wetlands. Native plants are also more resistant to disease, which means you don’t need to use pesticides or fertilizers to help them thrive—in general, they have everything they need!
2. Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
Speaking of lawn care aids, try to avoid them whenever possible. The chemicals these products contain can harm wildlife and aquatic life, and negatively impact water quality, especially downstream. If you have pest problem, opt for natural products such as soap or plant-based insecticides. You can also mulch using lawn clippings and leaves instead of fertilizer. Not only are they better for your wetlands, they’re also free!
3. Avoid non-native and invasive species of plants.
Non-native plants have had a devastating effect on wetlands worldwide. The can quickly become invasive, choking out the native species and altering the way the wetlands function. If you see non-native plants moving in, remove them immediately. And if you’re thinking about planting something exotic because it looks cool, don’t. There are plenty of beautiful native species to celebrate and embrace—nurture those instead, and enjoy a healthier environment as a bonus.
4. Avoid stormwater run-off and don’t pollute.
Wetlands need plenty of water to thrive, and much of that is supplied by stormwater—especially in urban areas. If you live near or on wetlands, your stormwater feeds into it. This is why it’s so important to keep stormwater clean, not just for the wetlands on your property, but for any wetlands that might be located downstream from where you live or work. Basically, if you wouldn’t want to swim in it, then don’t throw it down a storm drain!
5. Keep your pets under control.
We love animals and understand that dogs and cats are more than just pets—for many of us, they’re a part of our families. That said, animals can wreak havoc on wetlands and the wildlife populations that live there. The only way to keep all lives—animals and otherwise—safe is to make sure dogs and cats don’t have access to your wetlands. Keep dogs leashed or fenced in, and make sure your cats stay indoors as much as possible. Your wetlands will thank you!
We hope these tips help you keep your wetlands safe, happy, and healthy! If you’re not sure if you have wetlands on your property or don’t know how to best take care of them, contact Applied Resource Management today. Our experts will help you go green and stay that way!