Wetlands Essay

2075 words - 8 pages


A clear and widely accepted definition of a wetland has yet to be established. Wetlands are of various types and function, and occur in diverse locations, and climates which in part make them difficult to define. Many definitions of a wetland have been posed by different groups and individuals, some of the definitions include: “An area of land that has hydric soil and hydrophytic vegetation, typically flooded for part of the year, and forming a transition zone between aquatic and terrestrial systems (Brady and Weil, 1999).” A wetland is an ecosystem that depends on constant or recurrent, shallow inundation or saturation at or near the surface of the substrate (soil). The minimum essential characteristics of a wetland are recurrent, sustained inundation or saturation at or near the surface and the presence of physical, chemical, and biological features reflective of recurrent, sustained inundation or saturation. (National Research Council, 1995).” In general Mitsh and Gosselink (1993) define wetlands as areas that have characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but are neither.

Wetland classification systems are not used consistently by all groups of people, consequently wetland classification differences occur regionally. Wetlands classifications include; bogs, fens, swamps and flood plain forests, marshes, and wet meadows. In North Carolina Wetlands are classified by the source of moisture and include; wetlands sustained by rainfall, wetlands sustained by ground water discharge, wetlands sustained by ground water and surface water, wetlands on rivers and lakes, and wetlands on the ocean. This classification system has subcategories under each type of wetland (Vepraskas, 2000). A good overview of the classification system for wetlands used in North Carolina can be found in “A Field Guide to North Carolina Wetlands” printed in 1996, by EPA #904/B-94/001, DEM Report NO. 96-01, NCDENR, Div. of Envir. Mngt. Water quality section.

Wetlands are defined for classification purposes as areas that under natural conditions posses three factors including: hydric soil, wetland hydrogeology, and hydrophytic vegetation. Hydric soils are soils that are anaerobic (without oxygen gas) for at least one week during the growing season (Lilly, 1993). Specific criteria to identify hydric soils are not easy to develop, but indicators have been developed by scientist to aid in their delineation. Hydric soil indicators are listed in “Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States: A guide for identifying and delineating hydric soils” which was printed by the United States Department of Agriculture in March of 1993. A publication written by Vepraskas in 1993 entitled “Redoximorphic Features for Identifying Aquic Conditions” is also available through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Wetland hydrology criteria are based on depth of the water table from the soil surface and the...

Find Another Essay On Wetlands

Saving the Ballona Wetlands Essay

2375 words - 10 pages Before development exploded in California, the state contained about 5 million acres of wetland habitat. Unfortunately, over the years California has been willing to part with 91 percent of its wetlands, Southern California having lost 95 percent. Los Angeles County has only one wetland remaining. This being the Ballona Wetlands located between Marina del Rey and the Westchester bluffs, it was once a major part of California’s natural wetland

The Loss of Coastal Wetlands Essay

733 words - 3 pages The Loss of Coastal Wetlands This paper introduces the environmental concerns of the loss of coastal wetlands. The paper will discuss the significance of wetlands and the devastation that is occurring because of human activity. Wetlands are an essential element of our environment both ecological and societal; conservation will be essential for the preservation of these precious ecosystems. Globally coastal wetlands are disappearing at an

Impact of Global Warming on Coastal Wetlands

1655 words - 7 pages Impact of Global Warming on Coastal Wetlands Professor’s comment: Jane wrote this research paper for my Advanced Composition course. The assignment asks the students to read and understand six to ten articles within a research area of their choice, then synthesize the information so that a reader can quickly understand the present state of research in that area. Jane chose to look at how increased flooding and salinity might affect coastal

The Wetlands Anzali, Boojagh and Miyankaleh Conservation Prioritization

685 words - 3 pages This research has been done for the performance of the rapid assessment method in 3 wetlands, Anzali, Boojagh and Miyankaleh, for the first time in Iran. In this research compilation of Caspian Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) has been done. This method is derived from Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) by some changes in some indexes and eliminating some sub-indexes. These changes are regard to the characteristics of the region Caspian Sea

Living Machines, Constructed Wetlands and Sustainable Water Resources

3517 words - 14 pages Living Machines, Constructed Wetlands and Sustainable Water Resources Thesis: Conventional waste treatment plants, Living Machines and constructed wetlands can all be used for water purification, but only living machines and constructed wetlands will provide the human race with a sustainable future. Introduction Our liquid planet glows like a soft blue sapphire in the hard edged darkness of space. There is nothing else like it in

Wetlands in the United States and the Need for their Conservation.

2344 words - 9 pages IntroductionWetlands can be considered the vital link between water and land. The term "wetlands" is actually a collective term for marshes, swamps, bogs, and similar areas found in generally flat vegetated areas, in depressions in the landscape, and between dry land and water along the edges of streams, rivers, lakes, and coastlines. Wetlands can be found in nearly every county and climatic zone in the United States.Because they are so varied

Can Artificial Drainage of Wetlands Have Detrimental Effects on the Characteristics of the Soil?

1906 words - 8 pages all the wetlands in the United States have been drained for agriculture and other uses such as construction. When the soils are drained the characteristics are drastically changed. This paper is an attempt to describe the changes in artificially drained soils and to consider a few of the consequences of these changes. Body: The physical properties of saturated soils vary somewhat from wetland to wetland but are characterized by certain

Minnesota Wetland Restoration

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

Wetland Restoration

1170 words - 5 pages Wetland Restoration Most people think they know a wetland when they see one, but the delineation of wetlands for the purpose of granting permits has proven enormously controversial. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an area is defined as a wetland when a combination of three technical criteria are met: Wetland hydrology (land that is saturated within 18 inches of the surface for more than seven days per year

Little River Wetland Project (Great Marsh)

2199 words - 9 pages individual; he stated that, “there can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country,” and set aside 230 million acres of protected nature in the form of national parks, forests, game preserves and bird reservations (Almanac). Since his pioneering preservation acts, states, counties and even nongovernment-affiliated organizations have set aside and preserved land. One such organization is the Little River Wetlands Project whose

Value of Maintaining Natural Ecosystems: Preservation vs. Conservation

697 words - 3 pages How important is protecting the environments ecosystem? What value is there to maintaining natural ecosystems like Oregon's wetland resources? Some would argue that the value to preserving the wetlands is to help education future generations. (The Wetland Conservancy, 2008) Regardless of what the value is or how important protecting the wetlands are to you, I believe the majority of us know that some protections are needed to help preserve the

Similar Essays

Wetlands Essay

901 words - 4 pages Wetlands "Wetlands" is the collective term for marshes, swamps, bogs, and similar areas. Wetlands are found in flat vegetated areas, in depressions on the landscape, and between water and dry land along the edges of streams, rivers, lakes, and coastlines. Wetland areas can be found in nearly every county and climatic zone in the United States. Inland wetlands receive water from precipitation, ground water and/or surface water. Coastal and

Wetlands Essay

1595 words - 6 pages We chose to research about wetlands because they are very unique and special. Wetlands used to be extremely common during prehistoric times, but now there are only small areas left. Some plants and animals exist only in the wetland biomes, such as the star fruit and water vole. But, as the amount of wetlands decreased, many organisms became endangered and even extinct. We wanted to find out more about what the characteristics of wetlands and

Controversies Of Draining Wetlands Essay

1853 words - 7 pages Controversies of Draining Wetlands "Johnny, have you got a copy?" The voice came loud and clear over the two-way radio. "Yes, I'm here," answered Johnny, wondering what the worker doing the spring wheat planting wanted - he had just come from filling the planter, so he knew the air seeder wasn't out of seed yet. "Uh, could you bring a long chain to the field you just left? It seems like I can't get as much of

Wetlands Research Paper

6092 words - 24 pages Wetlands      When most people think of wetlands the first thing that will pop into their mind will be visions of swamps and flooded plains. These marshy lands would seem to have no purpose, while in reality they are the most precious form of ecosystem that we have in America. Wetlands contribute to biodiversity, clean water, flood control, and provide a habitat for millions of species of plants and animals. Even