• Wetlands were often considered useless in the past because they could not be used for agriculture or development. Wetlands were drained to make them more productive. More study has revealed that wetlands and the plants growing there play a valuable part in ecology.

    Silt Catchers

    Wetland plants slow flood waters, and the roots and stems catch the silt that flood waters carry. This reduces the silt downstream, keeping the water clearer for fish and other organisms that need clean water to stay healthy.

    Erosion Control

    The roots of wetland plants bind the soil, making it more stable. Plant foliage also can reduce the impact of water washing up against shores.

    Water Cleaners

    Wetland plants act as filters for the water. They bind sediments and chemicals before they get to the groundwater.


    All kinds of animals, from those who live in the water to those who eat the animals and organisms that live in the water, find a unique habitat in wetland plants. In addition to shelter, the plants provide food for many animals, some of which are endangered.

    Sewage Treatment

    Wetland plants can absorb toxic chemicals and waste without harming themselves or the environment around them. Successful experiments have uses wetland plants as tools for treating sewage.


    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Importance of Wetlands

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