Three Reasons You Should Consider Restoring or Enhancing a Wetland

Wetlands restoration and enhancement is only one aspect of a growing public interest and awareness in preserving and renewing natural ecosystems. However, it’s a vital one because we’re still destroying more wetlands than we’re protecting or restoring. The ultimate results will be catastrophic. So let's explore that a bit by examining 3 reasons why you should restore a wetlands area. First, for the positive side consider that Wetlands are one of the most, if the not the most productive ecosystems in the world after rain-forests. Despite this some 50% of wetlands in the USA have been lost over the last 200 years. O.K., I hear your objection that wetlands are often nothing more than wasteland; bogs that stop the land from being used for agricultural purposes or residential and industrial construction. It is a valid objection, I agree. However, let me provide for your attention the fact that wetlands are one of the most valuable resources around. Not only do they provide places for recreational activities such as duck hunting and fishing, they also provide important breeding habitats for these and many more animals, birds, insects and mammals. But there’s so much more so let’s continue. Second, consider that on an acre to acre comparison a wetlands biomass is around 4 times greater than grasslands and at least three times greater than crop or similar agricultural lands. And, additionally, consider that some 35 percent of the USA's rare animal species live either in wetlands or are dependent upon them. Finally, you'll get reduced erosion and thus more stable soils if you allow wetlands to exist. Wetlands plants help stabilize the soil thus preventing erosion. By capturing and slowing the water that feeds them wetlands act as natural purification systems as they are very effective at removing pollutants and sediments. Furthermore, wetlands help reduce flood damage by storing water. This in turn implies that wetlands help maintain healthy rivers, streams, estuaries and lakes etc. Likewise, despite acting like giant sponges water does slowly seep back into ground water resources to help maintain their vital reserves. . The bottom line is that as most of the land in the USA is privately owned significant increases in the amount of land returned to wetlands will only result in an increase in wetland quality and a much healthier environment for all of us! When you glance at the reasons and evaluate them, I expect you will probably have to admit that a compelling case can be made for considering why you should restore a wetland in your area. If you have any questions about wetland restoration or enhancement start off with your local conservation district office, talk to someone from Ducks Unlimited, or the Army Corps of Engineers. So what are you waiting for, start planning your wetlands restoration project today! You’ll be doing yourself, your family and the environment we all share a great big favor

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