Benefits of Wetland Conservation
Wetlands offer many benefits to wildlife, waterfowl and people. A few of these benefits include:
- Source of income
Wetlands restoration frequently can be targeted to marginal lands that tend to be higher risk in terms of agricultural income. Payments the landowner receives from easements may supplement income from the more productive agricultural lands on the farm. Often, these payments provide landowners with the necessary financial resources to continue farming on other lands.
- Water quality improvement and sediment filtration
Wetlands filter and collect sediment from runoff water, helping prevent mud from clogging lakes and reservoirs farther downstream.
- Habitat for wildlife
Wetlands provide migration, breeding, nesting and feeding habitat for millions of waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. Wetlands are home to thousands of different plant and animal species, many of which are threatened and endangered. Wetlands also provide important winter cover for pheasants and other upland wildlife.
- Flood reduction
Many wetlands store water temporarily, allowing the water to percolate into the ground or evaporate. This temporary storage reduces the peak water flow after a storm, reducing flooding impacts in the immediate area and downstream.
- Water Supply
Wetlands are reservoirs for rainwater and runoff, providing needed water for wildlife and improving soil moisture for forage production. Wetlands also help recharge groundwater.
- Recreation and aesthetics
Many individuals and organizations are interested in, and sometimes willing to pay a fee for, wetland recreation activities such as wildlife watching and hunting. Wetlands, and the ecological diversity they provide, add beauty to any landscape.