WAUKESHA COUNTY
E
NVIRONMENTAL
ACTION LEAGUE
Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978

WEAL

Representing the Waukesha County community for the protection of Waukesha County's natural resources through dedicated grass-roots participation and action.

WAUKESHA COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION LEAGUE
POSITION STATEMENT

Wetlands

WEAL aims to protect and preserve the remaining wetlands in Waukesha County against all forms of destruction or degradation.

Wetlands serve as reservoirs of biological diversity, as purifiers of ground water, as storage places for floodwater, as refuges for plants and wildlife, and as beautiful examples of our natural systems. Wetland types in the county include: deep and shallow marshes, (wooded) swamps, shrub carrs, bogs, calcareous fens, low prairies, and sedge and wet meadows. The most endangered are the driest types, most of which have been converted to farm fields, but which could be restored.

Wetland values:

  1. Wetlands are very biologically diverse ecosystems, containing plant communities peculiar to each type of wetland. Those adjacent to streams and lakes provide habitat for fish spawning, and they provide habitat for amphibians, birds and small mammals...as well as the plants peculiar to each type of wetland.
  2. Many wetlands provide direct economic benefit to surrounding human uses by storing floodwater during heavy rains and spring snow runoff.
  3. Pollutants are often filtered or otherwise processed by wetlands, benefiting downstream surface water and/or groundwater.
  4. Wetlands provide places to study nature, protected somewhat by their relative difficulty of access by people.

WEAL Goals:

  1. Preserve all DNR mapped wetlands, with adequate buffer zones. Preserve small unmapped wetlands wherever possible. Preserve wetlands missed in DNR surveys.
  2. Prevent pollution and runoff from damaging or destroying wetlands.
  3. When mitigation (restoration of damaged wetlands or "creation" of new ones) is allowed by Army Corps of Engineer permits, advocate for high quality mitigation sites and monitor results. Mitigation sites should be in the same watersheds as the destroyed wetlands, and should provide the same type of wetlands.
  4. Monitor local planning and decision making agencies to prevent rezoning or other loss of currently zoned wetlands.
  5. Strive to increase legal protection of wetlands, and defend the present degree of protection.
  6. Increase wetland knowledge and appreciation in the population of the county.

To accomplish these goals, we will use the legal protection already in place and work to preserve and extend legal protection to more wetlands...as part of our commitment to preserving and enhancing the natural heritage of Waukesha County. We encourage developers, private landowners, and governments to preserve and protect wetlands by setting them aside as outlots, conservation easements, or through purchase by public or private agencies.

written 12/92
revised 11/95 RE