Fish and Wildlife Classes
Wetlands offer an amazing opportunity for learning about the natural world. Fish and Wildlife offers a course for educators with wetland exploration as part of its curriculum.
A buffer is a setback area of a specified distance from a wetland’s edge, where development and other activities are restricted and vegetation is allowed to grow naturally. An adequate buffer zone minimizes disturbance to a wetland, protecting the significant functions and values it provides. In Vermont, a standard 100-foot buffer zone is designated around all Class I wetlands, and a 50-foot buffer zone around all Class II wetlands. The size and shape of a buffer may be adjusted to adequately protect a particular wetland. Select from the following links to learn more about buffers and their importance.
Vernal pools are wetlands that flood temporarily when seasonal precipitation and runoff collects in small basins (for a detailed description, see Wetland Types). Certain amphibians and invertebrates rely specifically on vernal pools for breeding habitat. Because vernal pools are small and isolated – meaning they don’t have inlets or outlets that connect with other water bodies – and because they only flood seasonally, they are often overlooked and do not always receive adequate protection. Several state agencies and nonprofit groups are working to locate and protect vernal pools across New England, and to support the significant functions they provide for wildlife. Select from the links below to learn more.
- VT Vernal Pools Study
- Vernal Pools Group
- VT Herp Atlas
- VT Vernal Pool Mapping Project
- Amphibian Monitoring Training Videos
- Fairy Shrimp Article
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Hampshire
Plants and animals that are transported from their native habitats to new locations, either intentionally or accidentally, are called exotic species. Some exotic species blend in and coexist with the native species, having little impact on their new environment. Others thrive so successfully under the conditions of their new habitat that they outcompete the native species. These invasive species degrade natural habitats by reducing biodiversity, and disrupting food webs and other complex ecological processes.
Invasive species are one of the major threats to wetlands. By displacing native plants and animals, they can impair the significant functions and values that wetlands provide. The following links provide information about some of the most common invasive species in Vermont’s wetlands, and about how to prevent their introduction and control them once they become established.
- Common Reed
- Purple Loosestrife
- Yellow Flag Iris
- Japanese Stilt Grass
- Glossy Buckthorn
- European Alder
- Japanese Knotweed
- ACOE Invasive Species Info
- VT Education and Outreach - Find training and volunteer opportunities, and educational materials about wetlands.
- Tactical Basin Planning - Learn how the Vermont Watershed Management Division is collaborating with watershed groups and communities to protect and restore surface waters across the state, and find out how to get involved and share your input.