Dredge Today, Restore Tomorrow
Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Kentucky University
In this case study, students role-play members of a task force whose task it is to advise the Director of the National Park Service (their instructor) on the best location for creating a wetland using dredge material from the Potomac River. Students apply previously learned knowledge about wetland ecology (i.e. hydrology, soils, and plants) to a wetland restoration decision. Through the case, students increase their understanding of the principles of ecosystem ecology and the complexity of natural resource management dilemmas. The case was developed for a wetland ecology course, but would also work well in an ecosystem ecology or natural resource management course.
- Use previously learned knowledge of wetland ecology to determine the most suitable location for the beneficial use of dredge material.
- Understand the importance of ecosystem and landscape variables that either influence or are influenced by a wetland restoration effort.
- Understand the variety of concerned groups interested in wetland restoration efforts.
- Gain an appreciation for the complexities involved with wetland restoration.
- Gain experience working with a group on a management dilemma.
KeywordsRestoration; wetland; ecosystem; environmental decision-making; Potomac River; Chesapeake Bay; Washington, DC; Virginia
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type MethodsDilemma/Decision, Jig-Saw, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsEcology Natural Resource Management Environmental Science Environmental Engineering