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Wetlands are a vital part of the landscape and ecology of the United States, providing food and shelter for species ranging from the beautiful wood duck to the tiny fairy shrimp. These areas provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife, protect communities from flooding, and recharge groundwater supplies—yet they continue to be destroyed at an alarming rate. A detailed analysis of wetlands management, Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair is a comprehensive guide to the past, present, and future of wetland recovery in the United States.

The book includes a historical overview of wetland destruction and repair over the past two hundred years and also serves as a unique resource for anyone, from novice to engineer, interested in the process of wetland restoration. Author Thomas R. Biebighauser draws from his own vast experience in building and repairing more than 950 wetlands across North America. Included are numerous photographs and case studies that highlight successes of past projects. Detailed, step-by-step instructions guide the reader through the planning and implementation of each restoration action. Biebighauser also provides a number of effective strategies for initiating and improving funding for wetlands programs. Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair is essential reading for all who care about and for these important ecosystems.

Thomas R. Biebighauser, a wildlife biologist for the USDA Forest Service in the Daniel Boone National Forest, has taught wetlands restoration workshops across North America. He is a three-time recipient of the National Taking Wing Award.

"Biebighauser's work is a thorough and accurate account about the good, the bad, and the ugly of wetland destruction and restoration. He objectively walks us through the history of wetland drainage, revealing clever solutions to dealing with soggy soil. In the process, he sets the stage for later portions of the book, where we learn how to be equally clever about bringing water back onto the landscape. The photographs are also excellent, showing historic perspective and illustrating what to do to bring wetlands back, or even put them where they never were."—Bruce A. Kingsbury, Director, Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management

"The book provides a range of interesting and useful advice on approaches to wetland creation and restoration, including adaptive management techniques and 'learning from beavers.'"—Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

"This one-of-a-kind how-to manual on wetland restoration is written in non-technical, accessible language and will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in wetlands restoration."—Northeastern Naturalist

"“Thomas Biebighauser does an effective job of making the case that with the right planning and a fundamental knowledge base, ecological landscape enhancement projects involving wetlands do not need to be as nearly complex, expensive, and constrained by regulations as they often are.” --David J. Cameron, Journal of the New England Water Works Association

"This is not a scientific treatise but, many will argue, much more useful. It focuses on the practical, not the academic, and the excellent array of photographs and diagrams provides clear understanding and guidance on techniques used and proposed. Biebighauser’s text is a valuable addition to the literature in showing how restoration can be achieved in practice. It manages to capture the real challenges of wetland recovery and how to meet them, using machines, human determination, skilful observation of terrain and the practical need for fund-raising. Wetland scientists, conservation and natural resource managers and water engineers are just some who will find the book a very useful practical guide and reference."—Environmental Conservation

"A wealth of detailed background information, practical advice, and real-world examples of how problems have been overcome."—Ecological Restoration

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Wetlands, Wetland restoration, Ecology


Environmental Sciences

Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair
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