Fact Sheet
Wetlands

Basic Facts About Wetlands

Wetlands are the link between land and water, and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Some common names for different types of wetlands are swamp, marsh and bog. Depending on the type of wetland, it may be filled mostly with trees, grasses, shrubs or moss. To be called a wetland, an area must be filled or soaked with water at least part of the year. Some wetlands are actually dry at certain times of the year!

Wetlands have many important functions that benefit people and wildlife.

  • Provide habitat for a wide variety and number of wildlife and plants.

  • Filter, clean and store water - in other words, acting like kidneys for other ecosystems!

  • Collect and hold flood waters.

  • Absorb wind and tidal forces.

  • Provide places of beauty and many recreational activities

Wetlands also act like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. Wetlands filter and purify water as it flows through the wetland system. Plants found in wetlands help control water erosion.

More on Wetlands: Types of Wetlands »

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