May is American Wetlands Month! No matter where you live, chances are there's a wetland nearby that provides important environmental benefits to your community. Wetlands supports diverse fish and wildlife species, filter pollutants from rain water runoff, help recharge groundwater supplies, prevent flooding and enhance property values.
Despite their many benefits, the United States loses about 60,000 acres of wetlands each year. Compared to other coastal states, Florida, Texas, California and Louisiana have lost the most coastal marshland - California alone has lost more than 91 percent of its coastal wetlands. The Chesapeake Bay has lost 50 percent of its coastal marshes. Since the arrival of settlers, 70 percent of tidally influenced wetlands in the Puget Sound have been lost. And, only about 40 to 50 percent of the prairie region's original prairie pothole wetlands remain undrained today.
Viewer Tip: Development that occurs on or nearby wetlands can lead to loss of habitat, changes in water flow, polluted runoff and other impacts. Try these tips to protect your local wetlands:
Download high and low resolution versions of the wetlands image by clinking the image above.
For more weather and environment tips, visit Earth Gauge!
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