Although not many people are aware of it, February 2nd, 2021, is known as International Wetland Day. It is a day to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands around the world for our ecosystem.
So what is a wetland? Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil or is present either at or near the soil's surface all year or for various periods during the year. Wetlands are also habitats for both aquatic and terrestrial (land) species. Today, let's find out the benefits of wetlands and why we need to raise awareness about them.
You might be wondering what the benefits of wetlands are and why we need to raise awareness about wetlands? Let's find out today!
Wetlands are home to plants and animals.
Wetlands provide habitat for thousands of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals, including alligators, snakes, turtles, newts, beavers, and salamanders. They are also home to many birds like wild ducks, storks, herons, and other waterfowl.
Wetlands Improve Water Quality and Hydrology
Wetlands also help improve our water quality by intercepting surface runoff, removing or retaining inorganic nutrients, processing organic wastes, and reducing suspended sediments before reaching open water. Wetlands help filter the water that comes to our land and helps us save more effort and money to provide clean water to everyone.
For countries like Indonesia, having wetlands is crucial as they help protect us from floods. Wetlands store and slowly release surface water, rain, groundwater, and floodwaters. The trees and other wetland vegetation also help slow down floodwaters' movement and distribute them at a slower rate.
Resources and economic benefits
Wetlands also bring many economic benefits for us as there are many resources that we can get from the wetlands, including birds, fish, shellfish, and timber. Some plants like blueberries, cranberries, mints, and wild rice are also native to wetlands, so having wetlands can help us gain economic benefits.
Lately, wetlands around the world are disappearing more and more due to many things like water drainage, pollution, agriculture, and land development. Wetlands are essential for our life on this planet, and raising awareness of how we could preserve them is the least we can do to make the situation better.
Suppose you think you want to do more. In that case, you can also take environmental science or environmental engineering as your major and develop a sustainable solution to make the world a much better and sustainable place.