Wetlands are a vital part of Alberta’s ecological landscape and necessary for a sustainable economy and healthy communities. In December 2020, Smoky Lake County signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to partner for the Wetland Replacement Program.
The County intends to undertake Wetland Replacement Projects in order to achieve specific environmental outcomes, including but not limited to flood attenuation, drought resiliency, groundwater recharge, water quality improvement, habitat for wildlife and biodiversity, and for social, recreational and educational value to the public.
Over the next few months and years, we will be cooperatively working with AEP and area landowners to identify said projects and move them forward. Stay tuned to this space for updates!!
Why wetlands are important
They support our wellbeing - Rural and urban wetlands give us places to exercise, reflect, relax and connect with nature which all have proven health benefits.
They support biodiversity - In Alberta, wetlands and riparian habitats are home to 80% of our wildlife.
Filter water - Wetlands remove sediment, excess nutrients and pollutants from our water.
Moderate climate change - Plants and soil in wetlands capture and store carbon from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen.
Recharge groundwater – Some water from the wetlands soaks into the ground and helps recharge our aquifers.
Reduce the effects of drought – Wetlands hold water during snowmelt and rain events then slowly release moisture to parched land during drier weather.
Control Flooding – During periods of high rainfall, wetlands store excess water and slowly release it downstream.
Support the Economy - Wetlands provide opportunities for tourism, bird watching, nature photography, hunting, fishing and other activities.