Date of Award
Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Many scientists have claimed that we are entering into the sixth mass extinction. According to IUCN, about 16% of the 6,016 species of dragonflies and damselflies are at risk of extinction. Dragonfly occupies an essential link in the food chain. Fluctuations in dragonfly numbers can affect the numbers of other species, such as mosquitoes and birds. Dragonflies are also closely related to the health of the water environment. Healthy water bodies can attract more and different species of dragonflies and other aquatic animals. Dragonflies’ decline is a symptom of widespread loss of the marshes, swamps, and free-flowing rivers they breed in, driven mainly by the expansion of unsustainable agriculture and urbanization around the globe. In addition to impacting habitat, urbanization has led to severe stormwater issues that impair the health of our rivers and oceans. My thesis aims to address three interrelated issues: restoration of aquatic insect habitat in urban areas, stormwater runoff , and education about species decline. To explore these issues, I focus on Roger Williams park, which has the potential to be high-quality habitat for dragonflies and other animals. However, currently the ponds in the park lack ecological diversity and have serious water quality issues due to stormwater runoff . To address these issues, I propose a series of rock berms in the ponds that change the direction of the water fl ow. Wetland plants along the berms will help clean the water as it flows through them. In addition, the berms will allow people to walk out into the pond to experience the wetlands and an educational installation that lists species of dragonflies that have gone extinct to help raise awareness about biodiversity loss. Ultimately, rock berms could be developed into a solution to urban stormwater and provide habitats for insects and other aquatic animals in different places.
Liu, Yan, "Aquatic assemblages: improving dragonfly habitat and water quality in an urban park" (2022). Masters Theses. 941.
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View exhibition online: Yan Liu, Aquatic Assemblages