Wetland Ecosystem of MOLS
Shorelines are Protected by Law
One of the mandates of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource is to protect shoreline habitat. Any project that occurs, whether to restore or to develop, requires a permit and a plan.
In 2009, with this permit and plan, the Marshfield Outdoor Learning Sanctuary dredged 3 ponds. Around these ponds is Shoreline Habitat. This is where land meets water. Ninety per cent of all lake life is born, raised and fed in this area. This diverse habitat supports plants, micro-organisms, insects, amphibians, mammals and birds. The first year after the ponds were dredged, MOLS had a pair of Canada Geese nesting in this ecological community. They successfully hatched six goslings.
Importance of Shoreline Habitat
The quality of this habitat is essential to the survival of the wildlife that live here. Shoreline habitat, however, is not just for providing wildlife habitat. It also plays a critical role in protecting water quality, preventing soil erosion, and preserving the quality of aquatic environments.
Let Nature Take Its Course--This is MOLS management objective concerning this Shoreline Habitat, with the exception of removing invasive species such as Purple Loosestrife, and St. John's Wort.
Try to visit this area often to see the changes that come about, because there will be many. Trees will grow and shade the ponds which should cool the water and discourage growth of algae. Also, with more vegetation more runoff and excess nutrients should be trapped and less will fill in with sediment. ...or maybe the ponds will fill in with sediment. Whatever happens here will be observed and studied by students from the Marshfield School District for many years to come. This is what a "Learning Sanctuary is all about."
Importance of Wetlands
Wetlands are Some of Wisconsin's Most Valuable Resources
Wisconsin wetlands provide habitat for more species of plants and animals than any another landscape in Wisconsin! According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 40% of all our birds and one third of all our threatened and endangered species depend on wetlands.
Presently, wetlands are protected by law, however, Wisconsin has already lost 53% of its original 10 million acres. Look at the list entitled "Ecological Values of Wetlands". It is no wonder these area have high biological productivity and support rare biotic life. The ecological values are what make Wisconsin's water pure and sustaining for all life.
Wetland communities have a common characteristic of soils either saturated or covered by water. Associated with these moist soils are the "water loving" plants that you will find growing in MOLS.
All the different plant communities found here are considered wetlands: Sedge Meadow, Shrub Carr, Mesic Forest, Ponds, and Shorline Habitat.
We have a responsibility to protect, and preserve these lands because all life benefits when wetlands are cared for.Outcomes when Wetland is NOT Protected
- Wildlife Habitat Destruction due to Agriculture, Urban, or Industrial Expansion
- Lake and Stream Pollution due to Fertilizer Runoff
- Depleted groundwater supplies
- Polluted drinking water supplies
- Industrial Pollution
- Uncontrolled Flooding
- Endangered Species
- Introduction of Invasive Species
- Loss of Biodiversity
- Destruction of Tourist Attractions
- Not edible fish and fowl