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Mike Walter's Wetlands Page

The Old Muskrat's
Annotated Links to Useful Wetlands Sites

forested wetland photo by Mike Walter
Click on the picture for a closer look.

The forested wetland pictured above no longer exists. It was bulldozed in 1991 to dig a stormwater retention basin for a Wal-Mart in Auburn, Indiana. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave permission under the "Nationwide 26" wetlands destruction program. The engineer who designed the project said it would "enhance" the wetlands. So, what was once a highly complex red-maple swamp became a four-acre hole. The deep, black humic layer built up through centuries of leaf-litter that was home to myriad tiny creatures was churned up and scraped off. The little creatures themselves were crushed and scattered. Yes, there's still water there...and a few cattails and an occasional blue heron.

But somehow it just isn't the same.

Moral: Beware anyone who says, "I can build a better wetland."

Remember, the Old Muskrat warned you.

muskrat picture, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

About This Page

This page is dedicated to all the lost places that were destroyed by little men with big machines and to anyone who ever loved one of those places and felt part of themselves die with it.

This is just one of my Earth Pages. For more annotated links to useful environmental sites on the web, please visit Mike Walter's Earth Page,
Mike Walter's Earth Page Attic
, and Mike Walter's Indiana Earth Page.

In Memoriam:
Julie LaFollette
One of those who loved the lost places.

View one of Julie's best nature photos, The Notre Dame Squirrel. Click here!

This page was last updated on May 21, 2007

Save Hoosier Wetlands!

Rules that protect Indiana's wetlands are constantly under attack in the General Assembly and in state agencies. Click on the link to tell Governor Mitch Daniels to protect wetlands because they're vital to the quality of our lakes, streams and drinking water. Tell him you support full regulatory protection of Indiana's remaining wetlands!

...And Save Indiana's Endangered Wildlife, Too!

Look for the eagle on your Indiana tax form!

Buy an Environmental License Plate and save habitat for wildlife!

Join the Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program!

A healthy wetland prevents mosquitos!
Purdue University tells you why!
Click Here!

To contact me, Click Here!

Plant Trees. Save Wetlands.

America's Wetlands ... What are wetlands? Why are they important? How can we protect them? Here are some answers from the EPA.
American Wetlands Month ... Make May a celebration of the uniqueness, beauty and importance of wetlands! A project of the Izaak Walton Leagues of America.
A Model Wetlands Ordinance for Indiana Communities ... The Old Muskrat's own work. Local protection for Indiana's wetlands.
Anna Mockler's Critique of Wetlands Mitigation ... A wetlands scientist tells why mitigation hasn't worked in King County, Washington.
Association of State Wetland Managers ... Helping state and local government create and manage workable wetland protection policies.
Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife ... Created to help people live in harmony with beavers and other wildlife.
Bedford, N.Y., Wetlands Ordinance ... A different approach in another state.
Build a Model Wetland! ... The National Wildlife Federation tells you how! Great classroom demo!
California Vernal Pools ... Learn about these threatened ephemeral wetlands and the plant and animal species that depend on them.
Celery Bog/Cuppy-McClure Watershed ... It's not a bog. It's a marsh; and the City of West Lafayette, Ind. uses it to collect storm water. Some Purdue Univ. profs tell you Celery Bog's history and why the marsh's hydrology is important.
City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Wetlands Ordinance ... Protects wetlands and other critical areas with generous buffer zones.
Clear Lake, Ind. - Using Constructed Wetlands ... Constructed wetlands for septic systems. Links.
Dutchess County, N.Y., Model Wetland Ordinance ... Not the whole ordinance, just a summary. From Cornell Univ.
Electronic Wetlands Herbarium ... Download this field guide to wetland plants.
Ephemeral Wetlands ... The "Herp Center" at IPFW tells you why even small wetlands are important. For another version, click here. (PDF documents. Require Acrobat Reader.)
Failure of Wetlands Mitigation in Indiana ... From the Indiana Department of Environmental Management: a report that says wetlands mitigation in Indiana is largely a flop.
Friends of Sauerman Woods ... Watch a grassroots band of dedicated Hoosiers fight city hall to save a forested wetland.
Great Lakes Region: Wetlands ... Northern Indiana's wetlands are part of the world's largest fresh-water ecosystem. Learn more about it from the Great Lakes Information Network.
Guide to the Economics of Wetlands Protection ... From Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs: an analysis of wetland protection from an economic perspective. Also has a page that summarizes current wetland regulations, with a kind reference to the O.M.'s model ordinance.
Hamoun Oasis: From Wetland to Wasteland ... NASA documents the destruction of the Hamoun Oasis on the Iran-Afghanistan border.
Hoosier Wetlands ... Well-organized site with facts, figures, events, legislative updates and a kids' page!
Hoosier Wetlands Newsletter ... A cooperative effort among Indiana state agencies, this online report offers not only information about threats to Hoosier wetlands, but gorgeous pictures, too!
Howell Wetlands ... The Evansville, Ind., Dep't of Parks and Recreation manages this wetland complex, which includes marsh, cypress slough and oxbow surrounded by prairie and bottomland hardwood forest.
Hydric Soils State Lists ... From the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a list of the soils that support each state's wetlands. Requires Adobe Acrobat to view pdf pages.
IDEM's Section 401 Water Quality Certification Program ... Under Sec. 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, Army Corps of Engineers permits to fill wetlands have to have state approval. IDEM's Office of Water Mgt. has this function in Indiana.
Lake Calumet Wetlands ... From the Sierra Club of Illinois, here's the beautifully- illustrated story of the great marsh that might become the "Lake Calumet Ecological Park."
Lake Calumet Wetlands Tour ... Take a tour of the Indiana Everglades!
Little River Wetlands Project ... A wetlands restoration project on the historic Little River in a rapidly-developing suburb of Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Michigan Wetlands Protection Law ... Full text of one of the nation's most comprehensive state wetlands protection laws. For a skeptical view of how well it works, click here.
Nat'l Wetlands Conservation Alliance ... Dedicated to voluntary wetlands conservation, restoration & enhancement ...and linked to the Old Muskrat's Model Wetlands Ordinance!
Nat'l Wetlands Inventory ... Official US Fish and Wildlife site that lets you download NWI maps.
National Wetlands Newsletter ... From the Environmental Law Institute, the online edition of America's most distinguished wetlands publication.
Nat'l Wetlands Research Center ... Louisiana-based USGS center charged with all aspects of wetlands research.
Pipe Creek Sinkhole ... An ancient Indiana wetland opens a door to North America before the ice age!
Ramsar Convention ... 135 countries, including the USA, are parties to this international treaty to promote wetlands conservation.
Richard B. Winston's Wetland Links ... A former Louisiana State Univ. prof opens the door to the online world of wetlands. An encyclopedia of wetland links, including the Old Muskrat's Model Wetlands Ordinance!
Salem, N.H., Wetlands Conservation Ordinance ... Here's another model to compare with the Old Muskrat's.
Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve ... 875 acres of desert wetland near Moab, UT.
Sidney Lanier's "The Marshes of Glynn" ... Sidney Lanier wrote this famous poem about Georgia's coastal marshes in 1878.
Sierra Club (Hoosier Chapter) Wetlands Project ... Education, information, projects and links, including (hooray!) one to the O.M.'s model ordinance.
Society of Wetland Scientists ... Based in Lawrence, Kansas, SWS links the people who try to understand how wetlands work.
Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ... Summary and full-text versions of the infamous 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision that has imperiled America's isolated wetlands.
Terrene Institute ... Promotes wetlands conferences and mitigation banking. The Old Muskrat's pretty skeptical about that last item, but here's the link anyway.
The Wetlands Initiative ... Illinois-based organization dedicated to restoring a million acres of Midwestern wetlands by 2010. Full-text access to newsletter "Wetland Matters."
Tina Golini's Wetland Links ... An Indiana Univ. grad student's treasure-trove of wetlands links. Needs updating, but still useful.
USGS Nat'l Water Summary on Wetland Resources ... Short description of US Geological Survey volume summarizing wetlands data state-by-state.
Walnut Creek Wetland ... An urban wetland in North Carolina inspires thoughts and hopes.
Watering Eden ...March 27, 2003 Christian Science Monitor story about destruction of the southern Iraqi marshes and hopes for restoring them.
Webquest Indiana Wetlands ... A third-grade wetlands study plan from Plainfield, Ind.
Wetland Losses Since Colonial Times ... EPA map shows wetland losses since the days of the early settlers. Guess what? Indiana is No. 5 in the list of states with the most severe losses, with only 13 percent of its original wetlands left.
Wetlands and Water Quality ... Purdue Univ. Prof. Brian K. Miller explains how wetlands improve water quality by removing nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticides from agricultural runoff.
Wetlands Regulation Center ... Dull, but useful: Federal wetlands regs under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act; full-text access to administrative policies, court decisions, pending legislation and proposed rules changes.
Wetlands International ... A non-profit effort to promote wetlands conservation worldwide.
Wetlands Science Institute ... A part of the USDA intended to "develop, adapt and disseminate science and technology needed to protect and restore wetlands."
Wildflowers of Twin Swamps ... Take Rick Mark's virtual tour of the Twin Swamps Nature Preserve, where the Wabash meets the Ohio!
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust ... Find out what our British cousins are doing to save wetlands for wildlife and people! Follow the migration of wild swans from Russia to Britain!
Yahoo! Wetlands Search Directory ... A shortcut to Yahoo's wetlands links.

Save It! Don't Pave It!

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