Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, have quantified the actual cost for local farmers to restore wetlands on their properties—and it's much lower than anticipated. By looking at machinery costs, loss of crop land production, labor and consulting fees, researchers can show farmers how much it would actually cost to restore parts of their land.
The hope is that the government will use these findings to create conservation and restoration policies. Parts of wetlands are usually drained and filled with soil to prepare for crops, but when brought back to their natural state they can have great environmental benefit. Writes the Edmonton Journal: "Wetlands are vital habitat for waterfowl, but also act as buffers during times of flooding, allowing the landscape to hold extra water. They also clean bacteria and excess nutrients out of the water that flows into them."
In Manitoba, Canada, the cost came to around $400 dollars to restore an acre of wetlands. And that is also the price that farmers, in a blind bid, said they would be willing to pay to restore wetlands on their properties.
As one researcher said: "By putting an actual cost to wetland restoration, the element of the unknown is removed."
Source: Edmonton Journal