An eco-experience: Wading into wetlands
October 15, 2014
On Saturday, October 4, VCU Rice Rivers Center hosted its third EcoExperience, entitled “Wading into Wetlands: An Amphibian's Eye View of Some Exceptional Ecosystems”. Participants from the general public were treated to a special day of donning waders and experiencing wetland science from a researcher’s point of view.
Wetland habitats provide numerous ecosystem services such as clean water, clean air, and critical habitat for threatened and endangered species and increased regional biodiversity, and are among some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Participants learned about these critically important, yet highly imperiled, wetland ecosystems and engaged in hands-on exploration of some diverse and unique wetland resources located at the VCU Rice Rivers Center. Participants investigated forested and herbaceous dominated tidal/non-tidal and ephemeral wetlands along the banks of the James River.
Additionally, some “Experiencers” planted bald cypress seedlings as part of the wetland restoration of Kimages Creek and its surrounding areas, a long-term project of VCU, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, American Rivers and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The project encompasses the original 70 acres of lake bottom (formerly Lake Charles, created by a now-removed dam) and 1.5 miles of tidal creek to their natural hydrology and ecosystem functioning.
Saturday’s EcoExperience was the final installment of the series for 2014. A series of EcoExperiences for 2015 is being developed as a way to further welcome and engage the general public in the exciting and vital work that is being done at the Rice Rivers Center.