Wetlands are areas that are covered with water for at least part of the year. Many different kinds of wetlands exist. They include marshes, swamps, estuaries, and coastal areas affected by ocean tides. Wetlands in the United States range from the Arctic bogs of northern Alaska to the Everglades of Florida. In fact, wetlands are found in all 50 U.S. states.
Wetlands are important natural resources for many different reasons. They provide habitat for fish and other marine life, birds, mammals, and a great variety of plants. For example, wetlands are a source of food for migratory birds. In addition, wetlands provide important water resources. They hold back and then slowly release floodwaters and snowmelt. They are a source of groundwater and act as filters that cleanse water of pollutants. Coastal wetlands can prevent erosion and protect coastal areas from powerful waves and storms. In addition, wetlands provide recreation for many people. Boaters, birdwatchers, fishers, kayakers, photographers, and tourists all enjoy visiting wetland areas……..
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