Let us join hands in safeguarding our precious wetlands, advocating for their preservation, and taking collective action to ensure a sustainable future for these crucial ecosystems
Why Are Wetlands Important ?
Wetlands offer various societal advantages. They serves as valuable ecosystems that contribute to floodwater storage, the filtration of pollutants, the sequestration of carbon, and the provision of recreational opportunities
Extensive losses of wetlands occurred in the United States since the 1600s. There were more than 220 million acres of wetlands in the lower 48 states; however, due to human activities such as agriculture and urban and rural development, wetlands have lost half of their original value.
They are home to numerous plants and animal species. Wetlands play a significant habitat role for various wildlife: migratory birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles. They supply them with breeding areas, food, and shelter.
Wetlands are unique ecosystems with water near the surface, blending aquatic and terrestrial environments. Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. They offer various societal advantages.
For Water Quality
Healthy wetlands help protect water quality, they act as natural filters, preserving water quality by trapping pollutants, sediments, and numerous nutrients, thus, preventing these substances from flowing into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
For Floodwater Storage
They serve as valuable ecosystems that contribute to floodwater storage, the filtration of pollutants, the sequestration of carbon, and the provision of recreational opportunities.
For Climate Regulation
Wetlands carbon sequestration advantage helps mitigate climate change. Their rich vegetation absorbs greenhouse gases. They can control rising sea levels and extreme events by absorbing and dissipating storms and floodwater. Wetlands can store and absorb tremendous amounts of water during heavy rainfalls or floods, serving as sponges, and can exponentially decrease downstream flooding. In addition, wetlands substantially reduce water surface erosion by absorbing and slowing down the flow, protecting soil and water bodies.
It is of utmost importance to prevent any construction on wetlands, whether for parking lots or buildings, to protect these sensitive ecosystems. Wetlands are not wastelands; they are valuable ecosystems that shouldn't be overlooked. Today we have lost over half of our original wetlands due to human activities such as agriculture, urban development, and drainage; we have drained, dredged, and dumped them for various reasons. The peak of national wetlands loss between the 1950s and the mid-1970s and 1980s. Florida, in particular, has experienced significant wetland loss.
Threats to Wildlife
Wetlands are mainly thought to be linked to birds but support a diverse array of species, including mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, by providing crucial habitat and resources. However, UP TO 45% of these species are considered endangered and need urgent protection. Many of these species heavily rely on wetlands since wetlands vegetation helps them to find shelter; it provides excellent nesting conditions for some species; it secures safe stop-over for migratory birds; it is a great food chain for other species to feed on. Many species spend their whole life in wetlands; IF OUR WETLANDS ARE FURTHER DEGRADED, OUR WILDLIFE WILL GO EXTINCT!
Almost 75 percent of all nation's wetlands are privately owned. Therefore, engaging the public to participate in protecting and managing wetlands is extremely important.
Preserving Florida's Wetland is a collective effort.
Individuals, like YOU, generously volunteer nationwide, dedicating their time and expertise to wetlands preservation and supporting local wetlands. Discover how you can protect local wetlands.
The federal and state government put great effort into Florida's Wetlands by making adequate legislation. Scientists and engineers are working together to restore wetlands to their original conditions. Such activities are being substantially supported around the nation, which greatly helps prevent wetlands loss.
Tampa Bay Water stands as an exemplary model for wetlands restoration best practices. Its efforts led to the restoration of more than 550 lakes and wetlands throughout the broader Tampa Bay area.
Wetlands hold tremendous value as they provide exceptional recreational opportunities. These unique ecosystems are breathtaking in their natural beauty and offer various activities for you to enjoy in Pasco County.
If you are seeking an adventure or simply a place to relax, wetlands are the best place. Wetlands offer a chance to connect with nature and explore diverse plant and animal species. They invite you to engage in activities that promote well-being, adventure, and a greater appreciation of the environment.
To explore trails encompassing wetlands, click here.
Gain deeper insights into hiking, biking, paddling, and camping trails, along with maps, across the picturesque landscapes of Florida. Moreover, it can display trails that cater to dog-friendly, family-friendly, and wheelchair-friendly experiences. Download the app to learn more about your area's trails.