Wetlands are submerged or water saturated areas such as ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, and estuaries. They might be natural or human-made; permanent, temporary or seasonal; stationary or flowing; and with or without vegetation. They are essential for maintaining ecosystem balance and performing various ecosystem functions such as moderating micro-climate, providing habitat for aquatic and avian life, recharging aquifers and ground water, and maintaining soil moisture. Along with these functions, they also have potential for recreational activities. Inland wetland, especially marshes, were for long considered as wastelands and were filled with soil to create land for agriculture, housing, etc. Of late, however, there has been an increased awareness about significance of wetlands along with increasing efforts to conserve them.

Urban Wetland Restoration is a step forward from wetland conservation. Ecological Restoration, as defined by Society for Ecological Restoration is “the process of assisting the recovery of an degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystem” (SER Primer). Wetland Restoration is ecologically restoring a degraded wetland into a self-sustaining one. Restoration of the Dheerpur wetland and creation of a wetland park is a collaborative project of Ambedkar University Delhi with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The Project is undertaken by Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, CUES, set up by Ambedkar University Delhi with a mandate on Urban Ecology, Conservation of Wetlands and  Urban Sustainability.

The project envisages to ecologically restore, over a period of five years, 25.38 hectares of land earmarked for conservation of wetlands at Dheerpur as per the management agreement between DDA and AUD, using well-established frameworks of restoration science. Once established, the Wetland Park would provide hydrological, regulatory, cultural and aesthetic benefits to local communities (Mukherjee Nagar, Nirankari Colony, Gandhi Vihar and the Ambedkar University Campus). It is also conceived that the Wetlands Resource Centre of the Park would form a hub for nature education and outreach programs that further the cause of conservation of wetlands and long-term urban sustainability.