Ducks Unlimited Canada
National Boreal Program
17504 111th Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T5S 0A2

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Update on the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide

Update: April 8, 2021


With support from Alberta Innovates and the Alberta North American Waterfowl Management Plan Partnership, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is leading the development of a visual, plain-language field guide for identifying and classifying wetlands based on the Alberta Wetland Classification System. Here is a summary of what we have been up to as we near the guide’s final version.


Ensuring a reliable product

Since the beginning of this project, we have engaged with and received valuable feedback incorporated into the guide from numerous stakeholders (i.e. government staff, environmental consultants, academics, and the general public). We are immensely grateful for the 38 reviewers who provided feedback, edits, and comments on the guide’s various draft versions. Additionally, the wetland classification decision key developed as part of the guide was rigorously tested in the field by DUC staff and others, and adjustments were made to the key based on our findings.


AWCSFG Table of Contents

A very visual guide

AWCSFG pg. 47 – Fen Shrubby


Our intention is for the field guide to act as a visual representation of the AWCS. We incorporated 260 images in the guide, ranging from photos that show seasonal variations in water levels to close-ups of plant leaves. Gathering all the necessary images was a tremendous effort. We are thankful for and acknowledge the contributions of the 39 individuals and organizations who provided images. Additionally, our project graphic designer created 57 illustrations to support the guide’s use as a visual tool for wetland classification in Alberta.

AWCSFG pg. 76 – Leaf Diagrams

Available spring 2021

The guide is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2021. It will be free online, with a hardcopy option available at cost. Visit the project webpage for updates and to purchase the guide once they are available to order. Learn more about the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide

For more information:

Catherine Brown
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Wetland Stewardship Specialist