Why Wetlands Protection Is Important
Wetlands are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the country. Home to thousands of waterfowl and other bird, fish, and reptile species, wetlands must be preserved to ensure the continued survival of countless vulnerable plants and animals.
Wetlands play an important role in our lives, too:
- Wetlands improve water quality. By acting as a natural drainage and filtration system, wetlands collect and purify freshwater before it travels downstream, reducing the amount of further processing necessary for its use in municipal and agricultural applications.
- Wetlands prevent flooding. Wetlands play a key role in minimizing the impact of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. In fact, it is estimated the value of the storm protection services provided by wetlands in the United States is more than $23.2 billion each year.
- Wetlands feed us. In fact, two thirds of all fish consumed worldwide live in a coastal wetland ecosystem at some point in their lives. In addition to being home to commercial and sport fisheries, wetlands also supply rice and rejuvenate the water table for nearby farming operations.