Evaluating Mechanisms for Wetland Restoration and Retention in Alberta

Alberta Land Institute (ALI) is funding a research project to determine which methods of restoring or retaining wetlands are most effective – ecologically, economically and socially.

Dr. Peter Boxall, Professor, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at University of Alberta, is ALI’s Principal Investigator for this project.

Boxall is collaborating with Dr. Irena Creed, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences, Department of Biology at Western University, Dr. Rebecca Rooney, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology at University of Waterloo, Dr. Wanhong Yang, Professor, Department of Geography at University of Guelph, Dr. Marian Weber, Economist at Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, and Dr. Shari Clare, Conservation Biologist at Fiera Biological Consulting.

“The research is focused on trying to come up with alternative policy instruments to create incentives for keeping wetlands on the landscape,” said Clare.

“We continue to lose wetlands throughout Alberta, and one of the barriers to wetland conservation is the opportunity cost of retaining a wetland in an urban or agricultural landscape.”

Several study areas in the province will be used to create living laboratories. These sites will each implement different policy instruments to evaluate wetland restoration methods.

“One of the objective of this research project is to better understand the ecological, social, and economic benefits of retaining or restoring wetlands on the landscape,” said Clare. “This research program is interdisciplinary and includes hydrologists, ecologists, economists, and sociologists who are all examining different aspects of this questions.”

Please visit AlbertaLandInstitute.ca for more information on this and other ALI funded research.