Wetlands are amazing natural machines that keep our ecosystems healthy and provide many benefits to humans. Wetland plants are natural filters and can clean sediment and harmful bacteria such as E. coli from the water. Wetlands provide habitats and food for native wildlife. Wetlands also absorb and store water, which allows them to control floods naturally. The roots of wetland plants hold soil in place and prevent erosion.
Unfortunately, wetlands are facing many problems. With an increase in development, many wetlands are being destroyed to make room for more buildings. It is estimated that in Virginia, over half of the wetlands have been destroyed since colonial times. This is a major problem because wetlands are so important to our environment. Additionally, many people are not educated about wetlands and their positive effects, so there are not enough people who are attempting to save them.
The Watershed Warriors aim to educate future generations of environmental stewards about the importance of wetlands. Through our program, we hope that these students will be inspired to take action to improve their wetlands. Additionally, by planting wetland plants in our local watersheds, we are actively improving our wetlands.
For more information, please visit:
- World Wildlife Fund – Wetlands
- Defenders of Wildlife – Fact Sheet: WETLANDS
- National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick – What is a Wetland?
- Chesapeake Bay Program – Wetlands
- Missouri Botanical Garden – Wetlands
- The Nature Conservancy – Freshwater Conservation: How We Protect Watersheds