Wetland Systems and their Value: Subject of FODM Meeting

Dyke Marsh

At FODM’s quarterly meeting on September 8, 2020, George Mason University professor Dr. Christian Jones gave a Zoom presentation on wetlands systems of the mid-Atlantic region, their value and threats.  Dr. Jones, a freshwater ecologist with GMU’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, explained that wetlands have several valuable functions, including storing water, recharging groundwater, mitigating flooding and buffering shorelines from storms.  Wetlands, like peat bogs, store carbon emitted into the air and thus help mitigate climate change.

He cited as threats to U.S. wetlands, among others, filling, mining, development and sea level rise.  He conducted a virtual “tour” of some mid-Atlantic wetlands and directed  participants to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wetlands mapper at www.fws.gov/wetlands/data/mapper.html.  He presented maps and data showing how development in Fairfax County has adversely impacted many riparian wetlands.

The Friends of Little Hunting Creek, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park and the Four Mile Run Conservancy Foundation cosponsored the meeting.  You can see his presentation by viewing the video posted below.

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