American Wetlands Month
May is American Wetlands Month
American Wetlands Month is a time when the EPA and our partner federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit and private sector organizations celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to our Nation’s ecological, economic, and social health. Wetlands help improve water quality and supply, reduce flooding and provide critical habitat for plants, fish and wildlife.
Why Celebrate Wetlands?
Wetlands are renowned for their ability to remove excess nutrients, toxic substances, and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality and the overall health of waters in our communities. Studies indicate that, depending on the type of wetland, the season, and other factors, wetlands can retain significant percentages of pollutants such as nitrates, ammonium, phosphorus, and sediment loads. Natural wetlands have also been effective in removing harmful contaminants such as pesticides, landfill leachate, dissolved chlorinated compounds, metals, and excessive storm water runoff. They are so effective at improving water quality they have been referred to as the “kidneys” of a watershed.
Wetlands can absorb excess rain or river water so they protect against flooding. They are a form of green infrastructure that also provides recreational opportunities and serves as important habitat for many wildlife species. They are both an effective and economical way to enhance community safety while improving quality of life.