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Quantifying the impacts of road construction on wetlands loss : preliminary analysis
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    NTL-ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT-Environment Impacts
  • Abstract:
    Over the past decades, the role of federal programs in the generation of wetlands losses has received much attention. One of the federal programs most responsible for wetlands losses and degradation is believed to be the Federal Aid Highway Program. For example, a recent report by the U.S. Department of the Interior reported that, of the areas studied, the Federal Aid Highway Program was the most frequently identified federal program source of wetland loss after agricultural programs and multi-purpose water projects. The Federal Aid road system has led to wetland loss and degradation both directly and indirectly. Road construction has led to losses of wetlands through the effects of filling, fragmentation, and alteration of hydrology. Road construction has also led to wetland losses by providing easy drainage outlets for agricultural wetlands conversions in the Upper Midwest and the Southeast. Constructed highways may also have indirectly led to wetland loss by enabling or inducing secondary development, although this effect is debatable. (12 p.)
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