Wetland Ecosystem Education Plan
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Selection Marker ImageUtah Lake Wetland Preserve
Selection Marker ImageJordan River Wetlands
Selection Marker ImageSouth Shore Ecological Reserve
Selection Marker ImageGreat Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve
Selection Marker ImageWetland Conservation Plans

Wetland Discovery Point, Utah Botanical Center.
Photo courtesy of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station
link to larger map of Greater great salt lake wetlands ecosystemToday less than 1% of Utah's total land is wetlands. Seventy-five percent of these remaining wetlands, approximately 400,000 acres, are part of the Greater Great Salt Lake Ecosystem. This wetland ecosystem is known internationally for its importance to migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, not to mention aquatic and terrestrial wildlife and other avian species on the move during seasonal migrations. The Greater Great Salt Lake Ecosystem (click on map at left to view enlarged version) encompasses the area from Cache Valley, down the Bear River, along the shore of the Great Salt Lake, up the Jordan River, around Utah Lake and up the Provo River to Jordanelle Reservoir. It includes freshwater wetlands, salt water wetlands, open water, mudflats, and everything in between to support an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

In 1995, the Mitigation Commission funded a Needs Assessment and Conceptual Plan for Interpretive Recreation and Education for the Greater Great Salt Lake Wetlands Ecosystem to help raise public awareness of this resource. The report identified a gap between the level of importance the public placed on wetlands and wetlands awareness, and opportunities available to satisfy those needs. To facilitate an interpretive recreation and education master plan that identifies how to reduce that gap for the Greater Great Salt Lake Ecosystem wetlands, the Commission helped fund and participated in developing a wetlands education plan.

The Plan is entitled "Connections: A Master Plan for Wetlands Education in the Greater Great Salt Lake Ecosystem." It identifies diverse audiences, important messages, and over seventy message delivery ideas appropriate for each audience. The Plan may be viewed on-line at www.utahbotanicalcenter.org.

The Utah Botanical Center, which is an extension of Utah State University, has assumed responsibility for managing the wetlands ecosystem education plan that has been integrated into the Utah Wetlands Interpretive Network (UWIN). The Network includes 13 accessible wetland sites identified by a UWIN symbol that provide wetlands education and refer visitors to other sites within the network (click on symbol or on map above to enlarge and view site locations).

The Commission's partnership with the Utah Botanical Center includes Commission funded construction in 2005, 2006 and 2008 of portions of the Center's proposed wetlands education facilities. Moreover, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided the opportunity to complete installation of solar panels, a trail and boardwalks, and native vegetation at the Center's Wetlands Discovery Point. The Wetlands Discovery Point is a state-of-the-art classroom located adjacent to constructed wetlands. It received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification, the highest ranking awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Email Link to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, urmcc@uc.usbr.govAddress for Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045, (801)524-3146, Fax (801)524-3148