Techniques for restoration of disturbed coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes

  • Published source details Wilcox D.A. & Whillans T.H. (1999) Techniques for restoration of disturbed coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes. Wetlands, 19, 835-857.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Lower water level to restore degraded freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Lower water level to restore degraded freshwater marshes

    A before-and-after study in 1993–1996 of a lakeshore marsh in Ohio, USA (Wilcox & Whillans 1999) reported that over a year of drawdown, the area of emergent vegetation increased. In 1993, two years before drawdown, the marsh was mostly open water with only 10% covered by emergent vegetation stands. In 1996, after approximately one year of drawdown but before any other interventions were carried out, 73% of the marsh was covered by emergent vegetation stands. Colonizing vegetation included several herbaceous wetland species, wind-dispersed woody species, and some upland herbs (not quantified). Methods: In 1995, an embankment was constructed across the mouth of Metzger Marsh to replace a natural barrier beach that had disappeared in the 1970s. The embankment separated the marsh from Lake Erie and caused a decline (drawdown) of the water level in the marsh. Vegetation was surveyed before (1993) and after (1996) drawdown (further details not reported).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust