How important is protecting the environments ecosystem? What value is there to maintaining natural ecosystems like Oregon’s wetland resources? Some would argue that the value to preserving the wetlands is to help education future generations. (The Wetland Conservancy, 2008) Regardless of what the value is or how important protecting the wetlands are to you, I believe the majority of us know that some protections are needed to help preserve the environments ecosystems. So that the future generations will be able to see the value of why we put the effort to help conserver or preserve what we have. If no protection plans were in place much of the wetlands in our local area would seize to exist. Currently about 40% of Oregon’s wetlands have been depleted since the European settlements. (The Wetland Conservancy, 2008) When it comes to how we go about protecting an ecosystem such as a wetland there is preservation, conservation and natural regulation.
Preservation is maintaining the existing ecosystems conditions. Conservation is protecting the changing conditions of the ecosystem due to outside influences. Whereas, natural regulation would be allowing nature to take control and we would allow what happens to happen with no interruption or assistance of any kind. Now that we have a little better understand of what preservation and conservation are let’s take a look at each of them a little closer.
Preservations vs. ConservationPreservation of the wetlands in Oregon is done by not allowing population growth to take over these areas and allowing nature to remain untouched. Preservation of the areas is needed because wetlands are considered to be among the most productive ecosystems. (Jackson Bottom Preserve, 2008) Natural regulation is best seen in the preservation sites for wetlands. Since the preservation site is unchanged by man, the wetland is able to regenerate and degrade on its own, meaning that the wetland will go through various stages of nature without mankind interrupting the course. Therefore, wetlands maintenance is a value because of the benefits they bring us like, pollution and sediment filtration; food, shelter, breeding and resting places for local wildlife and not to mention the value of education and recreation purposes as well. (Jackson Bottom Preserve, 2008) This is where conservation takes a part in maintaining the ecosystems.
Conservations unlike preservations mean that man has to help in the management of the land. Conservation of the wetlands has taken place to protect the loss of wildlife in our ecosystems. Oregon has gone to the lengths of going into areas deemed as a wetland and restoring them to what we believe would be a natural site. The difference here is that we are changing the landscape to reflect what the preserved sites look like. Whereas, with the preservation sites we only have to keep the land protected by law for non-development purposes. The similarities between the two are obvious because the goal is that the end results means that both preservation and conservation wetlands means protecting the environment and restoring it to retain the value for the future.
ConclusionFor most people, the ability to accept that wetlands are a true value for today and the future is hard to believe. To help assign value to the maintenance of the wetland ecosystems means that we have to find ways for the people to want to preserve and help conserve what land is already in use without taking away the rights of land owners to build as they see fit. In doing this we will be able to keep the wetlands to provide the much needed education to the future generations and at the same time slow the process of losing what has been said as one the worlds most productive ecosystems. (The Wetland Conservancy, 2008) So, what is the importance of maintaining these ecosystems? The importance is that if we don’t do something to protect them the likely hood of losing them is great and the consequences of that would mean less open areas for us to appreciate and relax in.
Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve. (2008) Retrieved on September 12, 2008 from www.jacksonbottom.orgThe Wetland Conservancy. (2008) Retrieved on September 12, 2008 from www.wetlandconservancy.org
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