Wisconsin is experiencing impacts due to Climate Change: Thompson & Associates Wetland Services is concerned about the effects of climate change in Wisconsin wetlands. Our recent project for the City of Middleton, WI is researching and attempting control of a population of Southern Cattail (Typha domingensis) which is southern in distribution and new to Wisconsin. The moderate winters and the ability of Southern cattail to hybridize with Wisconsin cattails has allowed this species to gain a foothold in Wisconsin wetlands. This is not an isolated case, more species are on the move.
Peatlands- wetlands with soils made up of dead, undecomposed plant matter (peat and muck) are important in carbon storage. According to Project Drawdown: ‘Peatlands are a hugely important stock of soil organic carbon. Despite covering only 3 percent of the global land area, they hold 30 percent of all soil carbon, amounting to at least 500 gigatons – twice the carbon stock of all forest biomass.’ Project Drawdown ranks the most consequential actions we need to take to stop CO2 emissions. Restoring and protecting peatlands is ranked #13 of 100 top actions.
Wetlands are important to ameliorate the negative consequences of our changing climate. Wetlands absorb flood waters, clarify water, and are refuges for wildlife. Flooding in extreme events is anticipated to increase- causing damage to persons, property and infrastructure.
Protecting wetlands from unregulated fill and restoring wetlands back on the landscape are practices that are increasingly vital to our long term ecological and economic health.
Protecting and restoring wetlands provides climate resilience on our landscape.