Ducks Unlimited Canada offers The Canadian Business Journal, a new wetland field guide for Alberta.

Edmonton, Alberta, March 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Despite playing an important role in maintaining healthy farms, areas and communities, Alberta’s wetlands continue to be lost. It is estimated that up to 70% of these precious ecosystems have disappeared in settlements. Today, new, easy-to-use field resources created by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) help Alberta identify, understand, and protect these precious habitats.

“Alberta landowners and land users, if they are not sure if their land has wetlands, use the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide to identify these ecosystems, activities and land management. We can inform you about your decision, “explains project leader Christine Mayner. DUC Wetland Management Specialist.

Wetlands play important roles in flood and drought prevention, groundwater recharge, and carbon storage, while supporting biodiversity and recreation. And because Canada is one of the few developed countries without a comprehensive national wetland inventory and surveillance system, the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide helps avoid the loss or destruction of these valuable areas. It’s an important tool.

“Wetland identification and classification is the first step in avoiding or minimizing potential impacts on these important ecosystems,” says Mayner.

The Field Guide provides 24 detailed fact sheets for each wetland class, morphology, and type by examining the landscape, soil, water, chemistry, and vegetation characteristics of each wetland class. Illustrative cross-sections help users visualize these features.

The entire guide section is also dedicated to common wetland plants. Vegetation-based classification keys and general species guides provide tips and photographs of plants at various life stages, as well as confirmation of the types of wetlands that plants occupy.

In 2015, Alberta introduced the Alberta Wetland Classification System (AWCS) to promote a consistent understanding of wetlands. This classification system supports other wetland-related laws and policies, such as water law, public land law, and Alberta Wetland Policy.

“AWCS is a very important document, but its content is very technical and tends to be less practical for field use,” said Tracy Scott, Head of Government for DUC in Alberta. I will explain. As a visual representation of AWCS. We’ve included over 250 images, from photographs showing seasonal fluctuations in water levels to close-ups of leaves, flowers, and fruits of plant species. We hope that field guides will serve as a valuable resource for anyone working on land or making decisions that affect wetlands and their functioning. “

The Field Guide was recently selected as a recipient of the Peggy Thompson Publication Award, awarded annually by the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, for recognizing the achievement of high standards in the disclosure of biological information that conveys an understanding of the concepts and applications of biological science.

The guide can be downloaded for free. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy here. DUC also offers custom training events for groups who want to learn more about Alberta’s wetland classification.

For more information on DUC’s Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide, watch the following video.


Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is a leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC works with governments, industries, nonprofits, indigenous peoples, and landowners to protect waterfowl, wildlife, and wetlands that are important to the environment. For more information on DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, please visit

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Ducks Unlimited Canada offers The Canadian Business Journal, a new wetland field guide for Alberta.

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