What about the Wetlands?

by Lindsey Tillisch, Intern

Wetlands are ever present in the Bay Area, but many forget the importance of these large, grassy buffer zones. The vegetation, grasses and trees among wetlands provide a vast variety of benefits for humans and wildlife alike. There are more living species in a single acre of wetland than any other type of habitat. Wetlands have dense vegetation that provides a safe habitat and a bountiful food supply for many species including small fish and crabs.

Wetlands also provide a nesting habitat and food source for a large variety of birds, including migratory birds who may only visit during spring or fall. Wetlands are also common habitats for endangered or threatened species, who find sanctuary in the dense vegetation. The roots of the vegetation in wetlands also assist in preventing erosion, as they bind and compact the soil, and absorb the crashing of waves. Wetlands may also help to slow down floods, absorbing rapid or large amounts of rainfall. Additionally, wetlands transport water to streams that may be dry during warmer months or drought, as they absorb water during rainfall for release later. This also helps to fill underground aquifers and replenish drinking water supplies for local cities.