Characterizing wetlands of different restoration ages in central Alberta using drone-based information (an extension to current Mitacs project: Advanced mapping techniques applied to wetland drone base information; IT08204)

Wetlands provide important ecosystem services to human communities, such as groundwater recharge, storing floodwater, and supplying fishery resources. In Alberta, wetlands cover ~21% of the province, forming one of the Canada’s largest wetlands reserves; however, many of these wetlands have been impacted or lost through human activities. Over the past 30 years, there have been efforts made by the government and partner agencies to restore wetlands, but little is known about the rate of recovery and the state of these restored wetlands, relative to a natural reference condition..

Advanced mapping techniques applied to wetland drone base information

Wetlands are habitats for many fishes, aquatic invertebrates, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Wetlands are also important for people’s daily lives. They can renovate freshwater, store flood, and provide fishery resources. However, wetlands are being destroyed and polluted at alarming rates worldwide. This research tries to understand the current wetlands extent and states in mid-Alberta, Canada. We use an emergent Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and cutting-edge computer techniques to map wetland vegetation species and communities.