The Importance of Wetlands
Wetlands in the US are declining by a rate of 386-772 square miles per year. Why do we care? Well, there are many benefits to wetlands including:

-Wetlands provide habitat for both plants and animals
1/3 of all N. American birds rely on wetland habitats for some reason
26% plants on threatened or endangered lists are somehow dependent on wetlands

-Wetlands are important in flood prevention
depressions hold water when there is heavy precipitation
upstream wetlands catch and hold runoff

-Wetlands can help prevent pollution from degrading water quality
can capture and remove pollutants from runoff

-Wetlands have unique plant populations
plants adapted to living in saturated soils devoid of oxygen

-Wetlands have a high level of productivity
they are one of the most productive ecosystems because of their dense vegetation

-Wetlands are an important aspect to some human economic activities
95% commercially harvested fish and shellfish spend part of their life in wetlands

-Wetlands can provide habitats for recreation, education and research

It has been found that wetland fragmentation affects bird, amphibian, and many other animal populations. Daub (1993) found that many bird species in North America require a wetland larger than 1 hectare. Hudson Crossing Park’s pocket wetland, after it was fragmented from the larger wetland across the play garden, is approximately 0.1 acres, or 0.04 hectares. Additionally, plant diversity has been found to be higher in larger wetlands. The bird’s-eye primrose (Primula farinose), a common wetland specialist in Switzerland, was found to be sensitive to habitat fragmentation (Lienert and Fischer, 2003).

Male Redwing Blackbird on a Cattail- /animals/birds/red-winged-blackbird.aspx

History of Wetlands in
the United States
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