Can we restore your wetland?

Can we restore your wetland? We’re about to find out.

This morning, the Alberta Land Institute launched the Alberta’s Living Laboratory Wetlands Project, a multi-year, interdisciplinary research program that will see researchers work in partnership with private land owners to restore wetlands on their property. The objective? To use some of the most advanced scientific techniques available to better understand the ‘functional value’ of restored wetlands, while also using a reverse auction to build a more complete understanding of the true cost of restoration –– including the cost of compensating land owners.

Leading the Alberta’s Living Laboratory Wetlands Project will be three researchers from across Canada: resource economist Dr. Peter Boxall and scientist Dr. Shari Clare from the University of Alberta, and scientist Dr. Irena Creed, based at Western University, in London, Ontario. One of ALI’s signature research initiatives, this program will help inform Alberta’s new wetlands policy, which goes into effect in 2015, and sets out new guidelines for the replacement of wetlands that have been lost to development.

Today’s launch comes as Dr. Boxall, Dr. Creed, and Dr. Clare have initial meetings with their project’s advisory and technical committees, to prepare for the years of work ahead. In March, the researchers will head to Rocky View County, north of Calgary, to introduce this project to land owners who might volunteer to participate in the reverse auction. Stay tuned to this website for more information as their research progresses.

To read about the project’s public kickoff in Rocky View County, click here.

For in-depth information on all of the aspects of this project, check out this backgrounder.

Our partner, Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions, has also produced a news release about the project, which can be found here.