If Restoring wetlands can reduce the damage of flooding, then what will destroying wetlands, disconnecting more streams form wetlands, adding massive impervious areas and roads for turbines do?
Wisconsin Public Radio Listen
A recent study says erosion and runoff are hurting wetland systems in the Lake Superior Basin, and its authors believe that it’s making northern Wisconsin more vulnerable to flood damage.
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association studied the relationship between wetlands, land use and storms after flooding caused around $35 million in damage to northern Wisconsin two years ago.
Historic logging and agriculture practices combined with the region’s clay soils are causing water to move more quickly off the land and carving deeper stream beds, according to Kyle Magyera, study co-author and local government outreach specialist for the association.
“When you further couple some of that historical land use change with how our roads have been built and where there may be, say, undersized culverts or not enough culverts, those road systems are creating or accelerating the creation of those gullies or eroded features,” said Magyera.
He said that erosion is disconnecting streams from wetlands, which means the land is less able to hold or slow the flow of water rushing downstream. The study noted one such example at Coria Road in the Town of Ashland.