Bismarck, N.D., May 6, 2009 – As communities in North Dakota assess the collective impacts of this spring’s flooding, residents are searching for ways to prevent another catastrophic flood. City and state officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are now strategizing on permanent flood protection measures that will protect residents and businesses in the Fargo/Moorhead area.
Ducks Unlimited advises that restoration and protection of wetlands and basin-wide management be crucial pieces of the flood protection puzzle.
“We realize that there are cumulative factors that have led up to this years flooding, and we would like to see wetlands and basin-wide water management be part of the cumulative solution that helps reduce the frequency and intensity of these major flooding events,” said Dr. Steve Adair Ducks Unlimited Great Plains Regional Office director.
Wetlands can act as speed bumps that absorb and slow down water entering a river. As snow melts and rain falls, the water traveling over land pools into natural depressions or wetlands. When these wetlands are intact, they help reduce the duration, height and magnitude of floods.
“We need to recognize the benefits our natural resources can provide in protecting our communities. If we develop a plan that incorporates solutions beyond the immediate Fargo/Moorhead area that utilizes natural wetland functions, we can improve the areas where we live and work,” Adair said.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.