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Florida Gulf Coast University
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FGCU's Next "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lecture Addresses Reclaiming and Protecting Wetlands
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Wetlands cover 30 percent of Florida, yet the state has lost nearly half of its wetlands since pioneer times. Reclaiming and protecting these vital resources is the topic of the next "Moonlight on the Marsh" lecture presented by the Everglades Wetland Research Park of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
Jos Verhoeven, professor emeritus of ecology and biodiversity at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, will discuss how the Dutch have approached wetland restoration and management at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. The free lecture is at FGCU's Harvey Kapnick Education and Research Center at the Naples Botanical Garden, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples.
Wetlands in South Florida provide critical ecosystem services, such as reducing storm-surge impact, filtering pollutants from agricultural runoff and sheltering wildlife nurseries. The Dutch have been recognized for expertise in restoring and creating wetlands since growing awareness of habitat destruction spurred the beginnings of conservation in the latter half of the 20th century.
"Since then, wetland restoration has become a major priority and large new wetlands have been created in a setting where the hydrology is totally controlled," Verhoeven said. "This has now led to a much-improved situation in terms of biodiversity and wetland ecosystem services."
In its second year, "Moonlight on the Marsh" presents distinguished scientists from around the world discussing timely topics for students, other scientists and the general public.
"The 2013-14 series focuses on some of the gigantic ecological and environmental issues we have in Southwest Florida," said William J. Mitsch, director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park and the Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management at FGCU. "Wetlands are among the most valuable pieces of landscape left on Earth."
For more information about the series, go online to www.fgcu.edu/swamp/moonlight.html.