Benefits of Wetlands
Wetlands include marshes, bogs and swamps and they are areas whose soil is seasonally or permanently soaked with water. Such areas can be found all over the world except on Antarctica. Wetlands offer a great range of benefits as illustrated in the following article.
1. Protection from floods
Wetlands offer an important benefit of flood protection where they act like giant sponges and absorb flood water arising from extreme weather conditions. Coastal wetlands also provide extra protection from floods. They work through absorbing the force of storm floods from hurricanes and tropical storms, thereby lowering their impact on the immediate surroundings. Furthermore, wetlands that are found near flood prone areas or along the shore help to limit soil erosion through securing the soil in its place.
2. Filtrate water
Wetlands also filter water that enters the environment through eliminating the toxins from agricultural and urban runoff. Water filled with minerals and nutrients is prone to algae formation, which can cause problems to both human and plant life. Water travels in wetlands very slowly allowing all suspended sediments to drop out of the water flow. This natural method of cleansing keeps pollution and nutrients from entering the clean water system.
3. Habitat for wildlife
Another key benefit of wetlands is that they offer important resources for various kinds of wildlife, providing habitat for many endangered and threatened species. Other species of wildlife rely on wetlands even though it is not their only habitat. Actually, most birds like geese, hawks, woodpeckers and ducks rely on wetlands at a certain point in their lives for nesting or food. Since wetlands support a great diversity of wild animals like swamp rabbits, raccoons, beavers and bobcats, they provide a good setting for study and recreation.
Wetlands are well known for encouraging mosquito breeding, which affects the immediate environment as mosquitoes can cause diseases such as malaria.