Wetlands: Mother Nature’s Water Filter
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “wetland” is a mosquito. Add the word “conservation” and it’s tempting to tune out. But the role of wetlands in our survival makes this conversation too important to ignore. These little pocket ecosystems all over the world do more than support and sustain unique species of life touching all the branches of life. Wetlands naturally filter the water running off our residential, agricultural, and industrial areas. Wetland’s slow-moving currents allow harmful particles to settle to the floor, and the lush vegetation falling traps the harmful toxins, pollutants, and carbon into the new sediment layer before releasing clean water to replenish our rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater systems. These toxins remain trapped as long as the ground is left undisturbed.
Our world is in a water crisis, much of it manmade. For centuries our wetlands have been filled to increase our usable land for cities, industry, agriculture, and progressive development. This has added to our shrinking reservoirs and groundwater supply. The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that less than half of the Continental U.S.’s original wetlands in remains and many of those are being overburdened by our residential and industrial pollution.
To find out how you can make a difference in wetland conservation, go to https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/volunteer-monitoring-protect-wetlands