Wetlands Creation Project
The Ithaca College Wetlands is a project that branched off of the building of the Athletics and Events Center. The construction of the Athletics and Events center interfered with a wetland occuring on the South Hill section of the Ithaca College Campus. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act section 404, Ithaca College needed to mitigate, or create, a new wetland. The goal for the two new wetland sites are to be successful in that they naturally develop into an area that provides the same habitat for what was destroyed.
Ithaca College has gone a step further to attempt to mitigate a wetland that not only replaces what was destroyed, but also replaces an ecosystem that is rare in that section of New York State. The goal of these wetlands are to be dry in the summer and wet in the spring and fall. Specific plants have been chosen to grow at both of the sites and students and landscapers work to promote plant diversity. The Ithaca College wetlands are student monitored and overseen by Dr. Jason Hamilton of Ithaca College and Ron LeCain of LeCain Environmental Services.
The Functions of a wetland are vast. Most wetlands are used as a natural buffer for water, they are a place for large amounts of water to go during storm surges and prevent flooding. Wetlands are also important in some areas for water filtration. The plants and soils in a wetland can filter out sediments, nutrients, and waste materials brought on by storm surges. The Ithaca College wetlands are seen especially important for the wildlife habitat that they provide. Many students choose to research amphibians, birds, and mammals that the wetlands may bring to South Hill.