Why Are Wetlands Important?
What are Wetlands?

Classifying Wetlands


Why are Wetlands Important?


Types of Wetlands: Salt Water


Types of Wetlands: Fresh Water


Plant Adaptations to Wetlands


Animal Adaptations to Wetlands


Wetlands in Danger!


What You Can Do...


Why Are Wetlands Important?

Healthy Lakes, Rivers, and Streams. Wetlands act as a filter for the waters of our lakes, rivers and streams. The vegetation found in wetlands remove phosphates and other plant nutrients from surrounding soil. This reduces the growth of aquatic weeds and algae, which can choke a waterway by stealing the oxygen that plants and animals need to survive.

Pollution Filtration.Wetlands improve the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Wetlands are capable of filtering pollutants such as sewage, fertilizer runoff composed of nitrogen and phosphorus, and heavy metals from industrial waste.

Flood and Draught Control.Wetlands act like giant sponges. They soak up rain and snowmelt as they occur, and slowly release this water in drier seasons. Wetlands serve as temporary storage basins, lower flood crests, reduce erosion, and limit the destruction caused by severe floods. Land development and the paving of large areas causes much faster runoff, thus increasing the chance of flooding.

Habitat.Wetlands provide a temporary or permanent habitat to a wealth of species of plants, fish and wildlife. Wetlands are homes to many endemic and endangered species. An estimated 150 species of birds, and some 200 species of fish are directly dependent on wetlands for their survival. The prarie pothole marshes, which represent only 10% of the Wetlands of the United States, produce 50% of the Waterfowl. This Wetland system is disappearing fast, and with it go the ducks it produces.