The Wonderful Land of Wetlands!
A wetland is land consisting of swamps and marshes. Wetlands are very saturated lands. Wetlands are located near water-covered areas. Wetlands form when the water-covered areas (rivers, lakes, streams/creeks, etc.) flood and go over it's banks.
For many of us, water simply flows from a faucet, and we think little about it beyond this point of contact. We have lost a sense of respect for the wild river, for the complex workings of a wetland, for the intricate web of life that water supports. --Sandra Postel
The 4 Types!
Trees can grow in a swamp. Swamp areas are found near rivers and are formed when the water overflows from the river and accumulates on the ground. Many types of animals, plants, and alligators call the swamp their home!
Soil is covered by shallow water year round. Reeds and cattail are the plants that flourish the most. Fish and amphibians thrive. Marshes are also the home to birds such as the herons, they will eat the fish/amphibians
A bog is another type of wetland. Peat forms in bogs. Peat is an organic matter that occurs when plants decay. Plants and animals can flourish in bogs. Bogs though, have few nutrients. Animals include moose, beavers, and a varity of nesting birds
Water in fens is below the soil. Soil is damp and doesn't rise above the soil (in most areas).Sedge grows here which is a type of plant. Not many birds thrive the area due to less vegetation and shelter. Amphibians thrive because of the dampness.
Many animals call the wetland home. Animals chooses wetlands as their home food/fishing such as birds and other mammals, but some choose the wetland because it can offer shelter due to the plants, trees, etc. within the land. (For example of what type of wetland some animals live in, see The 4 Types. Animals include fish, birds, moose, alligators, and other mammals/amphibians.
- Wetlands cover 12% of the Earths surface.
- A wetland that is 1 acre can hold up to 1 million and a half gallons of water.
- Between 2004 and 2009, 62,300 acres of wetlands were lost because of pollution, toxins, or contamination.
Wetland DESTRUCTION!-DUN, DUN, DUN!
Wetlands are being lost not just because of human destruction but of environmental damages also. Human destruction includes construction, logging, mining, toxins/pollutants, drainage, dams, runoff, and the bring in of animals that are not native to wetlands. Environmental damage includes storms (hurricanes, etc.), drought, erosion, subsidence, and rise of sea levels.
Wetlands are capable of growing plants such as cattails, sedge's, reeds for the animals to use as shelter. Plants also help the wetland thrive. Without plants, wetlands wouldn't be the wetlands we think of today.
Save the Wetlands!
We can keep our wetlands around a long time if we clean up after ourselves and just leave them alone. We can stop destruction to wetlands and start to bring back animals and plants that are native and quit bringing in the ones that are not native. We can clean up and quit draining or damming the wetlands. We can also quit trying to build buildings and things over the wetlands-that Walmart can wait!