Wetland Basics

  • What is a wetland?
A wetland is any area of land that is saturated or inundated by water regularly so that it supports life adapted to saturated soil environments.
  • What types of life can be found in wetlands?
Wetlands support many types of wildlife that, in many cases, would not be able to live otherwise. Many wetlands provide habitat for many animals including fish, frogs, waterfowl and many types of insects. Plants often found in wetlands include rushes, sedges, grasses, some trees, and water lilies. Common wetland plants here in Ohio include milkweed, cattails, bulrushes, and  sedges.
  • What functions do wetlands provide?
Wetlands provide a myriad of functions that are beneficial to us and the environment. Many wetlands serve as breeding grounds for many animals including fish, frogs, waterfowl, and many types of of insects. Wetlands also act as natural filters, that improve our overall water quality in our local water sheds. And during periods of high precipitation, wetlands store much of this floodwater. Economically, wetlands provide us with many types of produce including cranberries, blueberries, fish, shellfish and wild rices. But at they same time wetlands provide us all with beautiful environments in which to hunt, fish, photograph, paint and write about.


  1. The EPA provides a wonderful website to discover information on wetlands in general and the different types of wetlands. All information can be found on the bulleted points. The different topics about wetlands on the page are titled: What, Why, How, In The News, and A-Z Topics. Each of these has several subtopics beneath them. Click a topic and then a subtopic to explore. The A-Z Topics tab holds all subtopics. http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/index.cfm
  2. This is a great source for finding wetland plants. It holds any extensive data base on wetland plants, so once you now what plant you have you can learn all about it http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html

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