May is American Wetlands Month

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May is American Wetlands Month

American Wetlands Month was founded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose is to celebrate the importance of wetlands for our Nation’s ecological, economic, and social health.

But first, let me ask you a relevant, albeit strange question; do you like your kidneys?

Sure, you do. They do some pretty useful things like filter your blood, remove waste and extra water to make urine, and maintain the overall fluid balance in your body.  

Curious about the physiology lesson?

 

Wetlands are to the environment, what your kidneys are to you.

The EPA explains -

“Wetlands 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... 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.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) classifies wetlands into five general types: marine (ocean), estuarine (estuary), riverine (river), lacustrine (lake), and palustrine (marsh).

In the United States and around the world, wetlands can include marshes, bogs, estuaries, swamps, mangroves, mudflats, peatlands, mires, ponds, fens, deltas, billabongs, lagoons, and floodplains.

Below are just a few of the awesome things that wetlands do for the environment:

  • Remove excess nutrients, toxic substances, and sediment from water
  • Absorb excess rainwater or river water and help protect against flooding
  • Provide important habitat for wildlife (depending on where you live, you might find beavers, otters, bobcats, deer, minks and muskrats, bats, alligators, snakes, turtles, frogs, newts and salamanders, birds, many types of fish and shellfish, and insects, so many insects…)

The US is home to coastal and inland wetlands, with both salt and freshwater, and they can be found in all 50 states.  

Sad truth: Between 1998 and 2004, the Eastern United States lost Coastal wetlands at an average rate of 59,000 acres per year. (That’s losing area larger than the size of Martha’s Vineyard every year!)

According to an EPA study, most of the loss was from man-made developments, hydrologic modifications, and sea level rise as a result of the changing climate.

The EPA and other organizations at federal, state and local levels are working to preserve wetlands. Some of our amazing customers are using HOBO water loggers to support this effort.  

Read their stories below:

If you are conducting wetlands research and wondering if data loggers might be able to help you, check out these free resources:

Psst! Are you using HOBO data loggers to study wetlands?

We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your work. 

Email us at social@onsetcomp.com.