The protection and rehabilitation of urban wetlands is critical. They are under threat from urbanisation and a changing climate climate but perhaps the greatest risk is disengagement from the community with many not really know the true value of our wetlands.
I have had a long and productive working relationship with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). One of the most enjoyable activities has been serving as a member of the Wetlands Education and Training (WET) Program Advisory Panel. A small group of wetland scientists assist SOPA develop and coordinate workshops for scientists, managers, policy makers and teachers. The program has been in place since 2002 and over 30 workshops have been held since then. There have two very successful “managing mosquitoes” workshops in recent years with the next scheduled for 2015 (keep your eyes out for that one)
After ten years of working with a diverse range of professionals, it was decided that the collected wisdom of those groups and individuals should be brought together in the form of a resource for those managing urban wetlands. In particular, it would draw on many of the experiences within the wetland of Sydney Olympic Park.
The “WET eBook: Workbook for Managing Urban Wetlands in Australia” was launched on Thursday 28 November 2013 in conjunction with a two-day workshop on constructed wetlands management. The eBook was officially launched by Michael Knight, Chair of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. Michael is well connected to the Sydney Olympics, serving as Minister for the Olympics between 1995 and 2001 in NSW, and it could be argued that, without the hosting of the 200 Olympics, many of the current wetlands around the area may not exist today.
I’ve contributed three chapters to the eBook. They can be downloaded individually but don’t just stick to the mozzies, there is lots more valuable information contained within the 400 or so pages. A wide range of topics, across broad topic areas of estuarine wetlands, freshwater wetlands, monitoring, developing a plan of management, are covered and a concluding section brings everything together. In fact, I was given the opportunity to be lead author on the final chapter, identifying and bringing together many of the challenges faced by urban wetlands and mapping out a way forward for wetland conservation.
My chapters and direct links to the individual PDFs are below.
Webb C.E. (2013) Managing mosquitoes in constructed freshwater wetlands. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4
Webb C.E. (2013) Managing mosquitoes in coastal wetlands. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4
Webb C.E. et al. (2013) Facing the challenges of managing urban wetlands in Australia: the way forward. ‘Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia’ (Ed. S. Paul) 1st edn. (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) ISBN 978-0-9874020-0-4