This week, let’s take a step away from the swimming pool. Instead, let’s journey out into nature. After all, May is American Wetlands Month. This is a perfect time to celebrate the great outdoors.
What is American Wetlands Month?
Many of our readers may be asking: “What is American Wetlands Month?” Well, to keep it simple, this is a time set aside by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and other organizations to celebrate the vital importance of America’s wetlands.
Believe it or not, there are wetlands in all 50 states. According to the EPA, wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present at or near the surface of the soil, whether all year or just for varying periods of time during the year.
Why Are Wetlands Important?
So, what is the big deal about the wetland areas? Well, for one, wetlands are renowned for their ability to remove toxic substances, and sediment from any water that flows through them. Overall, this helps to improve water quality and keep nature healthy.
Even better, wetlands help to clean potential contaminates from the water. This includes pesticides, chemicals and more. Even chlorinated compounds can be removed by a healthy wetland. Many times, wetlands are described as the “kidneys” of our natural ecosystem. They help to cleanse the earth’s body.
Wetlands are Hotbeds of Biodiversity
Beyond cleaning the environment, the American wetlands serve another great purpose. These lands house some of the most unique species in the world. These protected creatures have specifically evolved to adapt and survive in these delicate ecosystems. A quick glance will show tons of unique animals, including alligators, crocodiles, muskrats, nutrias, fish species and hundreds of birds. Speaking of birds, more than half of the 800 species of protected migratory birds in the U.S. rely on wetlands. In addition to these animals, there is tons of plant life that can thrive only in these specific biodiverse environments.
Wetlands in Danger
Why are we celebrating American Wetlands Month? Well, unfortunately, these wetlands are in danger. Far too many of these precious naturally occurring resources are being destroyed or replaced by modern societal structures.
These areas are frequently cleared to make room for commercial farms or businesses. This can negatively impact everyone in the surrounding areas and beyond. During this month, we take time to focus on how the wetlands help to improve our lives. The wetlands are worth preserving.
Staying Safe in the Wetlands
Of course, we wouldn’t be much of a water safety site if we did not tell you any safety tips, right? In this case, we highly encourage everyone to learn about and explore our national wetlands. This is both educational and fun.
That said, drowning danger
is always a threat. Wetlands do not tend to be very deep with water… but it’s not always so simple. Anyone can drown in a surprisingly small amount of water. In fact, a person can drown in as little as two inches of liquid. In the wetlands, tripping and falling into the water is a risk. Take extra care and watch where you are walking. It’s great to celebrate American Wetlands Month out in nature, but don’t forget to be careful.