As some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. Wetlands work hard for us, mostly behind the scenes. Here are just a few of the things wetlands do for us:
Wetlands provide many environmental services that contribute to human health and economic well being.
Wetlands function as natural water retention ponds, prevent flooding, filter and purify water, replenish and store groundwater, reduce erosion and protect shorelines.
Wetlands provide exceptional biodiversity.
One-third of Canada’s species at risk depend on wetlands for all or part of their lifecycle.
Wetlands will also play a crucial role in the future of climate change.
While they occupy only six per cent of the world’s land surface, wetlands hold twice the carbon found in the tropical forests of the world.
Wetlands do a lot of great things not just for the environment, but also for our economy and communities.
- are key to the lifecycles of waterfowl and other wildlife;
- moderate the effects of floods, droughts, climate change and erosion;
- filter our water and help provide clean, secure water sources;
- have the potential to remove and store greenhouse gases from the Earth’s atmosphere;
- offer tremendous recreation and learning opportunities for people of all ages; and
- are essential habitats for as many as 600 species of wildlife in Canada.
- Unfortunately, wetlands are also one of the Earth’s most threatened ecosystems. Despite their value, up to 70 per cent of wetlands have been lost or degraded in Canada as a result of urbanization, agriculture and industrial expansion.
Once we lose a wetland, it’s really hard to get it back to its natural state.