Monday, January 30, 2012

Wetlands and you

Wetlands are often found where rivers, lakes and oceans meet land. Wetlands provide a rich mix of nutrients, insects, and plants that make them ideal nesting, resting, feeding and breeding grounds for many different types of creatures.

In fact, over a third of all federally listed rare and endangered species live in or depend upon wetlands.

But did you know, YOU depend on them too?

Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography.

Water Purification is one of the many benefits of ecosystems and wetlands.

Pollutants such as metals, viruses, oils, excess nutrients, and sediment are processed and filtered out as water moves through wetland areas, forests, and riparian (streambank vegetation) zones.

This purification process provides clean drinking water and water suitable for industrial uses, recreation, and wildlife habitat.
  • Wetlands can remove 20 to 60% of metals in the water
  • Wetlands can filter up to 90% of sediments from runoff, helping to purify water and slow down erosion
  • Wetlands eliminate 70 to 90% of entering nitrogen from the water
  • Treatment of wastewater by constructed wetlands could cost 60% less than conventional treatment methods
  • 1 acre of wetlands filters 7.3 million gallons of water a year
  •  Microorganisms in wetlands utilize or break down nutrients, metals, and other chemical contaminants in the water 
  • Many types of plants are specially adapted to different kinds of wetlands, and a large percentage of the nation’s imperiled plants and animals depend on wetlands for at least part of their life cycle
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a major role in helping restore, manage, and protect our wetlands for more, check out the Corps of Engineers Environmental Brochure   or the Lands and Waters Brochure.

Additional information can be found at the Environmental Protection Agency's Website.


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