Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed Wetlands
by Gary J. Pierce
with contributing editors Mallory N. Gilbert and Robert J. Pierce
For those who work in wetlands, it is the A to Z of construction and restoration. It focuses on the importance of water to wetland construction. As Dr. Paul Keddy writes in the Foreword to Wetland Mitigation:
Half of the challenge, as Wetland Mitigation tells us, is simply getting the water right. Too much flooding, or too little flooding, can have disastrous effects on the survival of populations and emergence of communities. Now note the first two words in the sub-title. Planning hydrology. Get the hydrology right, this book says, and you are well on your way. It is a strong foundation. Get the water wrong, and you are heading for failure, or even disaster. This book has four entire chapters on water, all dealing one way or another with the hydrograph. A hydrograph is an essential tool for getting the water right.
Other chapters detail the importance of setting goals for construction planning, preparing hydrographs and managing substrate and subgrade. The book provides models for wetland construction, discusses plants to include, where to get them, and how to plant them. Filled with full color photos and illustrations, graphs and tables, the book will quickly become your most important resource for wetland construction and restoration.
Purchase of the book (see page 54 for information) entitles the buyer to access a secure website that contains an Excel program to prepare annual hydrographs based on monthly data sets. An instruction guide accompanies the program. The software allows a wetland designer to generate hydrographs that can be used for site evaluation and in preparing site grading plans. The Excel program can be readily modified to accommodate more sophisticated calculations and assumptions.
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During more than three decades of research and field experience Gary J. Pierce, Ph.D. compiled the material for the twelve chapters of Wetland Mitigation. Published posthumously by professional colleagues and friends, the book’s 373 pages are filled with the results and experiences from Gary’s innovative work in wetland construction and restoration.
To the dismay of many who work on wetland mitigation projects, Pierce’s original 49 page pamphlet, Planning Hydrology for Constructed Wetlands, has long been out of print. Before he died in 2011, Gary had been working for over a decade on a volume to replace the popular manual. Wetland Mitigation is the fulfillment of his goal and a deathbed promise by a colleague and friend to publish the long awaited, and necessary, contribution to wetland science.
Gary was a botanist by training and an outstanding wetland scientist by vocation. He was one of the nation’s top experts in wetland construction for mitigation purposes. His objectivity and personal integrity were evident, revealing themselves in unquestioned and exemplary professional ethics.
A pioneer in wetland construction, Gary was contracted annually by the Corps of Engineers to instruct in its own “Wetland Construction and Restoration” course. In the early days of wetland construction for mitigation, finding it difficult to obtain native plant species for his projects, Gary and Mary, his wife of 45 years and an excellent botanist in her own right, founded their own native plant nursery in Olean, NY. When he needed a reference text specific to planning hydrology for constructing wetlands, there were none. So he researched and, with considerable effort, wrote the aforementioned Planning Hydrology for Constructed Wetlands (1993). He used this publication for years in his professional short courses on wetland construction related topics.
Gary’s knowledge and suggestions, based upon decades of experience, and tempered with a no-nonsense approach shine through this compilation of his original chapter manuscripts. The editors have added photographs and illustrations to further enhance his thoughts and have formatted it for easy reading.
In summary, we need more restoration to repair the damage we have caused. But there is another more practical purpose for reading this book— to save money. That is, to make wetland restoration simple and effective and predictable. … Overall, this book is a fresh and bold statement that there are some simple steps we can take to increase our success in wetland restoration. This will generate not only profit, it will begin a cascade of benefits for all the other species that will eventually live there. So this is also a book, indirectly, about sedge-wrens, and Blanding’s turtles, and spotted salamanders, and amphiumas, and alligators. I’m confident that if they could speak, they too would encourage you to read and contemplate the important and constructive lessons in Wetland Mitigation.
Dr. Paul Keddy – Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists
from the Foreword to Wetland Mitigation
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Wetland Mitigation by Gary Pierce