May is the American Wetlands month! If you are out on a walk and see an area where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year around then you are looking at wetlands! Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation and other factors, including human disturbance.
The wetlands in Eugene cover over 3,000 acres and protect endangered species habitats. In the West Eugene Wetlands, there are over 350 species of rare and unusual plant and animal species. Some of the species are so rare that they can only be found in the Willamette Valley. The West Eugene Wetlands are also unique because they encompass many types of habitat from wetland, to upland prairie and to oak Savannah.
There are many mitigation projects in the wetlands which strive to emulate a natural, self-regulating system that is integrated ecologically with the landscape in which it occurs before any human interference. The term mitigation refers specifically to the creation, enhancement and restoration of wetlands specifically. Under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, wetlands may be legally destroyed only if their losses are resorted which was set in place in order to help maintain a healthy wetland.
Learn more about how you can help restore, explore and learn about the Wetlands through our volunteer opportunities. Contact WREN at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-338-7047.