Why Florida Wetlands are Important to the Environment

Why Florida Wetlands are Important to the Environment

Florida wetlands play a crucial role in maintaing and preserving nature and the environment. What is a wetland? A wetland happens when water and land mix together. In order to be a wetland, the top 12 inches of soil must be drenched in water. While these swampy bug-invested lands may not seem to play a huge role in society- they do. Shrek seems to be the only one who every cared about swampland and wetland ecosystems. In fact, they are often forgot about and destroyed for urban development and engineering purposes. Over 50% of wetlands have been destroyed. Only 6 percent of the Earth is wetland, however, most oxygen is generated by wetland ecosystems. 

There are several types of wetlands located in Florida. For instance, there is marshes, cypress domes, sloughs, and mangrove swamps. Mangrove wetlands are located in Florida and Louisiana. They are often found in estuaries where fresh water meets salt water. Preserving wetlands is important for protecting the crucial role they play in preserving the natural environment. Here are some things you should know about Florida wetlands.

Promotes biodiversity 

A wide diversity of wildlife live in wetland ecosystems in Florida. Additionally, many of these species help promote economic growth, jobs, and food to Americans. With out which the world we live in would look a lot different. Certain species of fish and crab would likely die off entirely without the sanctuary of wetlands.

Florida wetlands wildlife
Florida wetlands wildlife

Mangroves are a “blue carbon” ecosystem 

Blue carbon refers to the carbon captured by marine and coastal ecosystems. For example, Mangroves among a common ecosystem that traps and stores carbon. Carbon plays a huge role in the Earth’s rising temperature. Ecosystems like the mangroves are important for keeping carbon from going back into the air, and helping prevent future climate change.

Water storage for dry periods 

Wetlands contain a large amount of water, so when area flood wetlands absorb the excess water and releases the water slowly. By slowing down the water they allow sediments to settle, creating a nutrient rich aquatic ecosystem.

Ecosystems for endangered wildlife 

Wetlands are a safe nursery for endangered wildlife. For example, Shellfish, waterfowl, crabs, oysters, and other fish are all native to wetland ecosystems. Without which these animals and plants would have no habitat to live in. 

Flood and pollution buffer

Since wetlands capture extra water during storms they can act as a buffer for areas that are at risk of flooding. In addition, wetlands act as a pollution buffer by having such a biodiversity of species they are able to improve water quality. The plants and animals in a wetland help filter out pollutants. 

Florida wetlands help prevent flooding
Florida wetlands help prevent flooding

Provides most of the Earth’s oxygen

Without the nutrient rich wetland ecosystems produce much of the Earth’s oxygen.In fact, Phytoplankton, which primarily live in wetlands, produce most of the oxygen we breath.

Generates indirect economic growth 

Wetlands impact indirectly effect economic growth. For example, timber, fish, and medicine are made from natural resources found in wetlands. These help promote jobs, economic stability, and important household products.

Fish market sale- wetlands
Fish market

In conclusion, wetlands are imperative for reducing climate change, and maintaining a healthy natural environment on Earth.

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