by: Sierra Parks
A wetland is a biome where saturated soil and wet land is covered in the majority of the region that is a biodiverse to many living organisms. They are NOT connected to oceans, but to nearby rivers, streams, banks, or shallow holes of water. These wetlands are important because they filter our water, act as a sponge to soak up water to control flooding, and provides homes to many organisms.
4 Types of Wetlands
The main types of wetlands is swamps, marshes, bogs, and fens. Swamps are often found in the edges of shallow rivers where white-tailed deer, raccoons, trees, and alligators usually live and grow. Marshes are similar to swamps but has soil that is covered by water all-year long that includes saw grass (10-15ft.), sedges, reeds, cattails, raccoons, amphibians, and beavers. Fens have water is covered by the soil below unlike marshes that also include sedges, amphibians, wildflowers, and rushes where peat might form. Bogs contain vegetable matter and peat which is organic matter that collects nutrients instead of precipitation that includes moose, beavers, and a variety of nesting birds.
The Destruction of Wetlands
How do we Cost Wetlands?
We cost wetlands by a plethora of ways including dealing with agriculture, urbanization, pollution and much more that is costing half of our wetlands since 1900. Over the years from the 1900's till now, the amount of wetlands have decreased from what is was thought to be 200 million acres (1900's), to about 60,000 acres (now).
Whenever we're developing crops in our wetlands, this can lead to serious consequences. When you collect many grazing farm animals, they're damaging the ground by eating it. Whenever you have a drainage system underground, you're making the wetlands dry which won't make the foundation stronger to provide more plants, animals, and most importantly, your own food. It's also polluting the water which it will only make the wetlands more dirty. When we spray pesticides and fertilizers in the ground, it's killing the plants and underground animals that are needed to grow nutrients.
Urbanization is the most efficient cause of the destruction of wetlands. When you're building construction including bridges, roads, and buildings, you're blocking the pathway where wetlands runoff to collect and nutrients their water, food, and their nutrients which makes them to overflow more quickly. Other activities like mining peat and other nutrients reduces the amount of peat and vegetation matter to the wetlands.
When we're littering the ground and releasing toxic chemicals, we're polluting the wetlands by polluting the water that we need, the ground that decreases the amount of vegetation the wetlands need in order to grow and fasten the nutrients, and to our ozone layer as well.
Many of these consequences needs to be stopped but how can we help save these wetlands? Recycling is the best and #1 way to help reduce waste by picking up liter, planting ONLY native trees and plants, recycling waste, and reporting illegal activity can help save wetlands.