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A Few Things About Wetlands that Might Surprise You

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From the marshes of the Gulf to the Great Dismal Swamp, some of our most fascinating natural wonders may lie in some of the most unexpected places. While celebrating their importance to both human communities and those in nature, test your knowledge: how many of these nuggets of information do you know?

Wetlands’ presence on Earth is small but mighty.

  • The amount of carbon that wetlands store is enormous. The soil in peat wetlands, specifically, stores more carbon than rainforests do. Despite the fact that they take up a mere 3% of earth’s surface, they store an entire third of the world’s carbon supply.
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You can find wetlands on every continent…except Antarctica.

  • From the salty marshes of the everglades to the inlets of the Dismal Swamp, the wetlands of the world illustrate both saltwater and freshwater characteristics, or even a combination of the two, known as ‘brackish.’ 
    NOAA Restoration Center, Erik Zobrist.
    © NOAA Restoration Center/Erik Zobrist

The best insect repellent to use when visiting a wetland may surprise you.

  • While you may think a typical, heavily potent repellent from the drugstore may suffice, reviews of a certain product on Amazon depict otherwise. According to a number of users, Victoria Secret’s Amber Romance body spray is said to be one of the most effective tools to keep bugs off your person…why? No one knows for sure. But hey, smelling nice and being able to hang out in wetlands? It’s a win-win!
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When it comes to flooding, wetlands save the day.

  •   According to the National Wildlife Federation, because of the landscape’s ability to trap and store excess rainfall, they’re natural protective barriers to coastal communities. Just one acre of wetland can store over 1 million gallons of floodwater–multiply that by the number of acres wetlands may actually have…that’s a LOT of water! 

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Wetlands serve as a haven for countless endangered species.

  • The National Wildlife Federation estimates that around ⅓ of endangered species that call the United States home depends on wetlands either directly or indirectly for survival; it seems mind-blowing to think about where we would be in terms of biodiversity if it weren’t for these plentiful arenas for wildlife.

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Wetlands are taking a hit.

  • Over the past century, it’s been said that the world has lost half of its wetlands to do drainage for agricultural and infrastructural development purposes. However, things have the potential to look up, if only we commit to preserving these precious ecosystems of awe-inspiring biodiversity and natural wonder. Are you ready to take part in World Wetlands Day? Click over to the map of events happening all over the world for this special day for conservation, or click here to learn about one of our biggest initiatives effecting our nation’s wetlands: restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.

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