Wetlands Swamps_ Marshes and Estuaries by ewghwehws



What is a Wetland?
           • Wetlands are areas
             where water covers the
             soil, or is present either
             at or near the surface of
             the soil all year or for
             varying periods of time
             during the year,
             including during the
             growing season.
   Why are Wetlands Important to
• Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in
  the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs.
• They provide great volumes of food that attract many
  animal species.
• Form the base of the food web and feed many species of
  fish, amphibians, shellfish, and insects.
• Many species of birds and mammals rely on wetlands for
  food, water, and shelter, especially during migration and
• Wetlands retain excess nutrients and some pollutants,
  and reduce sediment that would clog waterways and
  affect fish and amphibian egg development.
   Why are Wetlands Important to
• Filter water that we swim in and get food from.
• Form a “sponge” to absorb excess water and control
  flooding and help control erosion.
• Food Supply: Wetlands are nurseries for food we eat
  such as fish, shrimp, crab and oysters.
• Jobs: Many people in our area support their families
  fishing, shrimping and oystering.
• Local Economy: Many local businesses depend on the
  seafood industry for their revenue.
• Tourism and sport fishing tournaments also rely on these
  wetland areas to provide us with recreation, hunting,
  fishing, photography and bird watching, just to name a
        Types of Wetlands
 Swamps
 Marshes
 Bogs
 A swamp is a wetland that is
  dominated by woody plants (shrubs
  and trees).
 Swamps are often near rivers or
 These rivers and streams sometimes
  flood, and the water from the flood
  carries nutrients to the swamp.
• A marsh is a type of wetland which is
  distinguished from other wetland varieties by
  having an assortment of grasses, reeds, and
  sedges, without large bushes and tall trees.
• A marsh can be salt or fresh water, and often
  has large spaces of open water which are
  heavily colonized by birds.
• A marsh provides vital habitat to many plant and
  animal species as well as protecting neighboring
  areas of land from flooding, and in the case of
  saltwater marshes, excessive salination.
• A bog is a wetland type that accumulates
  a deposit of dead plant material.
• Moisture is provided entirely by
• Blueberries and cranberries, cloudberries,
  are harvested bogs.
• Pitcher plants are also found in bogs.
• Estuaries are partially enclosed bodies of water
  where freshwater meets salty ocean water.
• Brackish water is a mix of fresh and salt water.
• Estuarine environments are among the most
  productive on earth.
• Many different habitat types are found in and
  around estuaries, including shallow open waters,
  freshwater and salt marshes, swamps, sandy
  beaches, mud and sand flats, rocky shores,
  oyster reefs, mangrove forests, river deltas, tidal
  pools, and sea grasses.
  Why are Estuaries Important?
• Habitats for a variety of marine life, birds and
  mammals. Safe place for small creatures to
  grow to maturity, such as fish and shrimp.
• Migrating birds often make estuaries their winter
  homes and resting spot.
• Plants help against erosion.
• Filter water
• Absorb Flood water
• Valuable natural laboratories for scientists and
               Places To Visit
• Weeks Bay Estuary- Pitcher Plant Bog
Baldwin County http://www.weeksbay.org/index.htm

• 5 Rivers Delta Center- Delta Boat Trips- Causeway

• Wildland Adventures- Tours of Upper Delta and Swamps

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