Supplemental Wetland Mitigation
The Wetlands Ordinance has gone through and is supported by the Mat-Su Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Mat-Su Planning Commission, and has received strong public support throughout the public process.
Want to deep dive? Check out this amazing Story Map the Mat-Su Borough put together HERE.
Benefits of Wetlands (From the Mat-Su Borough Website)
Wetlands are an important component of the natural resources within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (Mat-Su). Wetlands link land and water and create valuable and diverse ecosystems. Residents, visitors, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the state enjoy the Mat-Su for its scenery and natural environment which are interrelated and dependent on healthy wetlands and watersheds. Tourism, hunting, and fishing are major economic sectors for the Mat-Su. Fish and wildlife resources and related recreational opportunities contribute to the quality of life for both residents and visitors to the region. The management, conservation and protection of wetlands in the Mat-Su requires a community effort in order to retain the benefits that wetlands provide to us all.
Wetlands are a vital part of Alaska's ecology, supporting the health of the state's economy, environment, and citizen's lifestyles.
Wetlands are an important component of the natural resources within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Wetlands link land and water, and create valuable and diverse ecosystems.
Wetlands form where the land is subject to permanent or seasonal water saturation, to the extent that characteristic soils and plants form.
Wetlands in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Wetlands cover about 25% of the land area in the Mat-Su Borough.
In the past, wetlands were considered wastelands or swamps in need of draining or filling. They are now recognized as highly specialized, valuable and functional components of our environment that need to be managed and protected.
Wetlands and the activities they support are key to the sustainability of the Mat-Su's economy, lands, and communities.
Moose and wetlands go together - The ecological services provided by wetlands provide for "free" in detail include (besides supporting moose):
- Fish and Wildlife Habitat - notably, wetlands provide juvenile salmon habitat, as well as maintains water quality for salmon spawning.
- Water Quality - wetlands filter/clean runoff water before it enters lakes and streams.
- Flood Control - wetlands act like sponges, storing floodwater and minimizing the impact from floods.
- Groundwater - wetlands help recharge groundwater, providing abundant well water for human use, as well as providing cool groundwater inputs into local streams/lakes, providing consistent flow and temperatures that support cold water fisheries.
- Erosion Protection - wetlands help buffer shorelines from excessive erosion.
Recreation, Education, Cultural Resources, Open Space - wetlands have historically drawn human activity for the resources they provide.
Check out these great graphic pages that explain how the Ordinance will work!