There are numerous benefits to wetland restoration and below are just a few.
Already an essential component of our multi-million dollar sport fishing industry, wetlands will continue to fuel the Southern California economy. Their filtering capabilities offer cost-effective means to improve water quality. They are currently underutilized for groundwater recharge – and essential means of increasing the region’s water supply. They hold great potential for flood protection. As Pacific Flyway populations are restored and access to these areas are enhanced, the wetlands can play a growing role in quality of life, recreation and tourism.
The Benefits of Biodiversity
Internationally significant, these wetlands are critical nesting, feeding and breeding grounds for the magnificent array of birds on the Pacific Flyway – and for numerous California resident species. Many of these species are endangered, and healthy wetland areas represent their last and best chance for survival. With successful restoration, terns will have healthy feeding grounds when traversing the Americas, great egrets will hunt, avocets will peck the sand for crabs. Tidewater goby will dart about, and healthy steelhead trout runs will return.
Benefits to the Community
Islands of beauty and calm in a region beset by growth pressures, these urban refuges will play an integral role in the lives of Southern California communities. Just as many Eastern cities have revitalized their urban core by restoring riversides and historic areas, our region can use wetlands as a focal point. Early morning walks, the silhouette of a heron, evening light reflecting off a wind-swept lagoon – these subtle images become touchstones for a community’s quality of life. FHBP has united the community with the Orange Coast River Park and even held a Santa Ana River Gateway design contest.