Water And Oceanography

Preserving Wetlands a Natural Security Issue

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Why should we preserve our wetlands?

There are many wetland areas around the world, which are the habitats for many species of animals and organisms. Wetlands are composed of natural waterways and water environments along with rivers, lakes, streams, aquifers, and groundwater.

It is important to keep all natural water healthy by not allowing the introduction of contaminants. Eventually all water everywhere is the water we drink. It is also the water available to all living species.


A Wetland is land that is saturated by water such as a marshy area or a swamp. There are many of these types of areas in America and around the world. They should be cared for like all other high-density areas where wildlife live such as the rainforests.

The Everglades in southern Florida are a good example of a wetland.

According to the Clean Water Act wetlands are classified as "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas." www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/what/definitions.html.


It is important to preserve our wetlands because it is a natural habitat for many living animal species. Being it is saturated by surface and groundwater it is also part of the system that brings us the water we drink.

Our purest drinking water comes from the aquifers and groundwater beneath the earth. In the wetlands some of this pure drinking water comes to the surface.

Wetlands also provide fish, reed or building material, and peat for fuel. They are a significant deterrent to flooding and drought. Wetlands absorb water during wet periods and release it during dry periods. www.wetlands.org

Developers who operate mostly on greed often despoil aquifers, groundwater, and wetlands in their effort to build more properties, solely for their own personal benefit. They do not think of the consequences of their actions. Developing wetlands by filling them in and destroying the natural habitats and then building sewer systems and other building and digging operations totally destroys the natural biodiversity of the land. The natural aquifers and groundwater systems are destroyed.

In some cases they are so utterly destroyed that drinking water must be piped in from other sources.


In the United States, the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency enforces the guidelines regarding the preservation of wetlands. There are also many non-profit organizations that concerned citizens start to preserve and protect our wetlands.

EPA and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly administer the Clean Water Act 404 program. It seeks to regulate the misuse of wetland areas. Any developer must obtain a permit to develop in a wetland area.

Action will be taken against any developer who fails to obtain a permit or if after obtaining a permit the EPA regulators find "significant degradation of municipal water supplies (including surface or groundwater) or significant loss of or damage to fisheries, shellfishing, wildlife habitat, or recreation areas." www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/pdf/404c.pdf.

Wetlands International is a global NGO (non-governmental organization) that seeks to preserve wetlands globally. They are a unification of three world organizations - International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau, The Asian Wetlands Bureau, and Wetlands for the Americas.

Wetlands International is a science-based organization involved in wetlands research. They work with governments and communities to provide tools and information on how to preserve their wetlands and why it is important. They have thousands of birdwatching volunteers globally that monitor our wetland's waterfowl.

To learn more about the importance of preserving and protecting our wetlands go to www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/ and www.wetlands.org.

More about this author: Colette Georgii

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/what/definitions.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.wetlands.org
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/pdf/404c.pdf
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.wetlands.org