Wetlands Conservation

A wetland is defined as a lowland area saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support hydrophytic (water loving) vegetation.  There are many different types of wetlands such as peat bogs, fens, wet prairies or meadows, marshes, swamps, floodplain forests, and vernal pools.

Three factors are typically used to classify an area as a wetland.
All wetlands have:
hydrology (the presence of water either above the soil surface or within the soil, near the surface)
hydric soils (soils where oxygen is or was limited by the presence of water for long periods of time)
vegetation (plant species that require saturated soils to survive and tolerate prolonged wet soil conditions)

Wetlands provide a variety of functions and values.  One of the greatest economic benefits provided is flood control.  Wetlands store excess water and the thick vegetation slows down floodwaters, reducing downstream flooding.  Wetlands also provide water quality benefits; they filter sediments and nutrients from surface water.  They also provide a variety of products for human use and offer many opportunities for recreation.

There are four basic types of wetlands projects:  restoration, enhancement, creation, and construction.  Restoration involves rehabilitating converted wetlands, enhancement improves a slightly degraded wetland or manages an existing wetland to serve a special function, creation is the establishment of a wetland in a historically upland area, and construction is the building of a wetland to treat nonpoint and point sources of water pollution.

Below is a list of links to information on wetlands construction, recognition, value, and regulations.

Living in Harmony with Wetlands
Ohio EPA Wetlands Information
Ohio Wetland Facts (Small Wetlands)
US Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District
US Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District 
USEPA Wetland Website
USGS Midwest Wetland Flora
Volunteer Wetland Monitoring Resource Guide  
Wetland Values and Trends 
National Wetlands Research Center

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