I understand that many animals like frogs need to reproduce in water, but live mostly on land after that. If I create berm/swales in the wetland will this likely increase the value of the land to wetland animals, or not?

  • 1
    Your definition of "worth" and it's relationship to sustainability is unclear. If you are changing an ecosystem, isn't it likely to benefit some species and harm others? – LShaver Aug 23 '16 at 15:36
  • Able to keep trees above the water table is worth more for me, but worth more to environmentalists means something else. – a coder Aug 23 '16 at 23:58
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unless there is lack of upland habitat, for example if you live in a highly developed area, then the conversion of any wetland area to upland area would almost certainly have a net negative impact on the system as a whole. Freshwater wetlands are comparatively rare and have been disappearing rapidly. Populations of the plants and animals that depend on wetlands for part or all of their life cycle have paralleled the losses of the wetlands themselves.

If, however, you are dealing with a manmade pond or some other isolated feature, then it is possible that you could improve habitat through the construction of small islands or other topographic variations within the wetland. In theory you could create habitat specifically for certain plants, animals, or ecosystems. These would benefit different species differently - but they would also negatively impact those species that did not benefit directly from whatever habitat you create.

Finally most freshwater wetlands are highly regulated, in the USA at least, by federal, state, and even local laws. In most cases it would be difficult to get permission to "fill" any kind of natural wetland - this would include just moving the mud around the bottom to make some areas deeper and others shallower or turn them into upland areas.

  • I'm thinking about doing strips of higher land next to strips of "streams" to create a few breeding ponds for frogs, and other animals so that the wetland trees are able to stay above water, but the wetlands are still there. There's a lot of fresh water wetlands in MN. – a coder Aug 16 '16 at 22:27
  • Apparently there has been an estimated net gain in freshwater wetlands in MN (files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/wetlands/…) but as your attorney I recommend you consult the regulations (bwsr.state.mn.us/wetlands/publications/MNRegulations.pdf) before taking any action. In my area of NY, you can't do such things within 50-100' of a wetland boundary. YMMV. – That Idiot Aug 17 '16 at 0:09
  • The area is also on a 104 acre area with a fairly steep natural hill. – a coder Aug 17 '16 at 5:52
  • Is the area currently considered wetland? If not, you could create berms to create impoundments. But then there is the issue of where the water would come from. If it is a perennial stream or some kind of a seep, then you would be disrupting a natural wetland feature, which would be frowned upon. – That Idiot Aug 17 '16 at 12:10
  • I believe it is DNR protected wetland. – a coder Aug 23 '16 at 23:59

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