Water

Natural Wetlands – Mimicking Nature

Natural wetlands

act as a sponge and purify water by soaking up the rainwater as it runs off the land to join the streams and rivers. They even help in extracting and trapping nutrients and contaminants from the water as the extensive root mass of the wetland plants work in tandem with the wetland soil. Read on to know more about these natural wetlands and their wonderful purifying properties.

Natural Wetlands – Definition

These wetlands are defined in the Clean Water Act as “ Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water (hydrology) at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation (hydrophytes) typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (hydric soils). Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.”

Natural Wetlands – Mimicking the Nature

Wetlands posses a natural cleaning properties that helps in keeping our streams, rivers and oceans clean. These properties include:

  • Wetlands minimizes the impacts of flooding. Also, it helps in reducing shoreline and soil erosion.
  • Wetlands act as essential habitats for many varieties of animal and plant species. These include the endangered species.
  • Several contaminants and pollutants like pesticides and nutrients are partially trapped when the water soaks through the wetland soils.
  • Minute particles of metals and sediments are eliminated and removed when the water flows passes over the wetland soils and vegetation.

Natural marshes are low lying areas created naturally due to floods. Usually, these wetlands consists of soft vegetation like reeds and cattails. There are two types of natural marshes that the constructed wetlands mimic:

  • Low Marshes:

    These occur right next to open water. They are regularly flooded by tides like estuaries.

  • High Marshes:

    These marshes are periodically flooded in the transition zone between higher upland grounds and low marshes.

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