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Minnesota Wetland Restoration Essay

1996 words - 8 pages

Minnesota Wetland Restoration
*Missing Works Cited*
".. and from the swamp came the SWAMPTHING! The ugliest, scariest and
fowl smelling creature you could ever imagine." This is how many wetlands are
perceived: as dank, smell places and breeding grounds for diseases. But that is
untrue. Wetlands are a vital and very important part of our environment. In the past
10 years over 10 million acres of wetlands have been destroyed, having a negative
impact on lakes and rivers and other aspects of the ecosystem. By restoring
wetlands we can begin the process of patching the hole in the ecosystem made by
the absence of wetlands.
"Wetland" is a general term used to describe the major types of wetlands.
Wetlands are areas of land that are covered by water for part of the day, or year.
There are four types of wetlands; fens, bogs, swamps and marshes. Bogs are "old"
wetlands where drainage and water circulation has become poor. Swamps are
wetlands that have trees as predominate vegetation. Fens are similar to bogs but
are found mostly in Canada. Fens are wetlands with the predominate vegetation
being grasses. (Types of Wetlands) Marshes by far are the most productive of all
the types of wetlands. They have lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. Even
though there are many different types of wetlands, not everyone agrees on what
exactly defines a wetland.
In 1991 the government redefined and toughened the definition of a
wetland. They said the following about what wetlands must be in order to be called
a wetland.
"Must have 21 days of consecutive saturation at the surface or 15
consecutive days of standing water, during agricultural growing
season. Must have the presence of water or saturated soils and the
presence of certain vegetation that adapts mostly to wet, lowland
environments. Doesn't allow leaf and tree trunk, reduces the importance
of silt and surface marks, drift lines, pond sediment deposits that are prime
indicators under current wetland conditions." (Kanamine, 10A)
Wetlands are area's of land covered by water that support a great diversity of
life including plants and animals. They are usually found near lakes or rivers or
other bodies of water. Sometime the wetland is actually an area of the body of
water but only around the perimeter of the body of water.
For thousands of years wetlands were perceived as bad things. They were
thought to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes and diseases. They were thought of
as big bodies of mucky, dirty water that smelled bad.
Because of these beliefs, back in the 1860's many wetlands were filled in to
make more land available for housing, roads and business areas. Plus, the people in
1890's thought that they were reducing the spread of diseases that were thought to
be born in the wetland areas.
By the 1890's thousands of acres of Minnesota wetlands had...

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