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Mike Walter's Wetlands Page
The Old Muskrat's Annotated Links to Useful Wetlands Sites
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.
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.
In Memoriam: Julie LaFollette 1945-2004 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.