Characterizing wetlands of different restoration ages in central Alberta using drone-based information (an extension to current Mitacs project: IT10213)
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 Canadas 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.. The aim of this research is thus to understand how well wetland ecosystem function recovers after restoration using new and emerging technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Results of this research will help the public and policy-makers better understand the effectiveness of wetland restoration methods in Alberta. Fiera Biological Consulting Ltd. will also benefit from this research in enhancing their expertise in wetlands monitoring.