What is a Wetland?

Wetland projects are valuable nature-based solutions for farmers and ranchers looking for ways to mitigate environmental challenges on their land and in their community. 

New Pond Riparian Area Planting 2BT

Nearly 85% of all wetlands in North America have been diverted, drained or filled over the last century, due to land use changes. ALUS works with farmers and community partners across Canada to restore acres of wetland habitats on marginal, non-economic farmland.   

Wetlands are broadly defined as areas that continuously or occasionally flood with water. They include swamps, bogs, marshes, fens and even ponds. These ecosystems can be distinguished by the depth of the water, and more importantly the vegetation characteristics of each site. Wetlands are home to over 600 species of plants and animals in Canada and are some of the most productive ecosystems on earth.  

Wetlands and Ecosystem Services 

Wetlands can provide benefits to the farm and the surrounding community. They help clean and filter water, store nutrients, sequester carbon and mitigate drought and flooding. For farmers looking for ways to mitigate the effect of climate change on their land and in their community, wetlands projects are invaluable nature-based solutions. 

ALUS can support a farmer with the appropriate information to get started and upholds participants through the process with maintenance and management payments. ALUS works with researchers, community partners and experts to provide a diversity of project options for farmers. Each community project is uniquely designed to address specific local environmental challenges and work collaboratively towards implementing sustainable solutions. 

Along with support from ALUS, many farmers have decided to include wetland restoration projects on their farms. ALUS has been supporting farmers with wetland projects for roughly twenty years, since 2000. In total, as of 2022, ALUS farmers have restored over 31,137 acres of wetland habitat across Canada.  

Next steps   

ALUS works with farmers and ranchers to create and maintain projects that increase biodiversity and provide habitat for a variety of species. By working with ALUS, farmers and ranchers are empowered to make choices about the use of their land, supporting biodiversity and many other co-benefits that improve their agricultural work. 

If you are interested in restoring a wetland on your property, contact ALUS today.

Cover of ALUS Wetlands Guidebook

Wetlands Guidebook 

ALUS has created an informative Guidebook:
Success with ALUS Wetland Projects: How to establish and maintain wetland projects in ALUS’ Western Hub