The term is almost self-explanatory: it refers to land that is wet.  It can be wet permanently or just part of the time, usually seasonally.  But to be classified as wetlands the land will support vegetation of acquatic plants and hyrdic soils that adapt and grow in saturated land.  Wetlands can be found along coast or inland, often near rivers, lakes, streams and low-lying areas.


Wetlands with differing characteristics include marshes, estuaries, mangroves, mudflats, mires, ponds, fens, swamps, deltas, coral reefs, billabongs, lagoons, shallow seas, bogs, lakes, and floodplains.  They serve the important functions of providing habitats for a wide variety of fish and wildlife, they absorb excess rain from storms, which serves as flood control protecting properties and houses, and they absorb excess nutrients, sediments and other pollutants from farming and other activities.  They also are fun, for fishing, canoeing, hiking and walking.


Some further ideas to explore on Wetlands:

Identify the nearest wetland near where you live.  Try to find a small wetland rather than a lake  or river.

Identify at least three plants that grow in the wetland.

Identify at least three forms of wildlife that live in the wetland, including mammals, birds, fish or invertebrates.

Determine if the wetland is protected by any law against any development or harm.



Wetlands International, Power of Wetlands,

Biodiversity Information Systems for Europe, Wetlands

US EPA, What is a Wetland?

US NOAA, What is a wetland? A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water   With brief video.

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