Why Degraded Reefs could be the Future of Ocean Conservation

Posted by Rebecca Heisman

When you think of a nature preserve, chances are you picture a tract of pristine, healthy wilderness, set aside in order to protect a functioning ecosystem. But what if not much remains of the ecosystem you want to protect? A new proposal by an international group of scientists and conservationists is challenging traditional ideas about what’s worth saving when it comes to coral reefs. I... read more

Donor-Soil Microbes can speed up restoration of degraded farmland

Posted by Tracy Vence

Donor-soil microbes drive—and can speed up—the restoration of degraded farmland, scientists at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen have shown. The results of a six-year field test, published today (July 11) in Nature Plants, show the greatest ecosystem repair in formerly arable fields in which the team removed a thick layer of existing topsoil before applying a thin l... read more

A Guide for Incorporating Ecosystem Service Valuation into Coastal Restoration Projects

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This guidebook provides a framework for incorporating ecosystem service valuations at the beginning, rather than at the end, of coastal habitat restoration and creation projects. Applying ecosystem service valuation to coastal restoration projects has multiple advantages, including greater stakeholder support and greater likelihood of project success. Measuring the value of the ecosystem servic... read more

Researchers release 'ultimate guide' to coastal habitat rejuvenation

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Researchers have distilled 40 years of coastal marine restoration studies into a set of powerful guidelines for anyone hoping to rejuvenate coastal habitats. University of Queensland Global Change Institute postdoctoral research fellow Dr Elisa Bayraktarov said the new review was backed by 40 years of research, and could help stakeholders and decision-makers improve their conservation planning... read more

Great Barrier Reef water quality improved by wetlands restoration, scientist says

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13 June, 2016 Queensland, Australia - Restoring Queensland's tens of thousands of coastal wetlands, known as nature's kidneys, could be crucial to the Great Barrier Reef's future, a James Cook University scientist believes. Freshwater ecology expert Dr Nathan Waltham is urging state and federal governments to look to the 13,000 coastal wetlands in Great Barrier Reef catchments to help im... read more

Use environmental impact 'bank' to fund coast restoration, congressman says

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27 May 2016 Louisiana, USA - Why not allow industries, governmental agencies and individuals to pay money into an "environmental impact bank" to offset the effects of construction projects on wetlands, wildlife, and even the effects of oil spills, with the bank using the money to fund major federal and state restoration projects? That's the idea U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-B.R., has succee... read more

Planting In Clumps Boosts Wetland Restoration Success

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2 November 2015 Durham, NC, USA - When restoring coastal wetlands, it’s long been common practice to leave space between new plants to prevent overcrowding and reduce competition for nutrients and sunlight. It turns out, that’s likely all wrong.  A new Duke University-led study, conducted to restore degraded salt marshes in Florida and the Netherlands, has found that clu... read more

USDA to invest $30 million to help protect wetlands in six states

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15 October 2015 Des Moines, Iowa, USA – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will award $30 million to projects in six states to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands. The projects are being funded under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), a program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bil... read more

Restoring MD’s streams to health: Does triage make sense?

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9 November 2015 Maryland, USA - I volunteered to staff the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ exhibit building at the state fair on Aug. 30, something I’ve done many times before I retired from my job at the DNR. Talking with people about “critters” and answering questions about what DNR employees do is enjoyable and educational. Watching children and adults peer... read more

Green thumbs: Restoration ecologist sees hope in New Mexico’s plant biodiversity

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9 November 2015 New Mexico, USA - With all the talk about global warming these days it is rare to hear “promising future” and “native plants and pollinators” in the same sentence. But restoration ecologist Melanie Gisler makes a career out of the hopeful act of researching and restoring native plants. She directs the Southwest Program of the Oregon-based Institute f... read more