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May is American Wetlands Month

wetlandsThis month is American Wetlands Month, a time to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation’s ecological, economic, and social health. It is also a great opportunity to discover and teach others about the important role that wetlands play in our environment and the significant benefits they provide — improved water quality, increased water storage and supply, reduced flood and storm surge risk, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.

The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) encourages all Americans to consider doing the following to help celebrate the month, wherever they reside:

  1. Learn about wetlands. This is a great time to better understand what a wetland is, where wetlands can be found, and the importance of wetlands. Activities may include reading and studying about wetland areas, drawing maps or illustrations of wetlands, and identifying native species found in wetlands.
  2. Explore a wetland near you. Unless you live in the most extreme climate zones, there is a good chance a scenic wetland exists nearby for you to visit and explore during American Wetlands Month and throughout the year. To find a wetland near you, consult your local parks department, state natural resource agency, or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
  3. Take action to protect and restore wetlands. Support and promote wetlands informing community members about wetlands’ vital roles, “adopting” a wetland, joining a local watershed group, or participating in a wetland monitoring, restoration, or cleanup project. There are many other actions Americans can take to help conserve wetlands. To learn more about what you can do to help protect and restore these valuable natural resources in your state or local area, visit What You Can Do to Protect Wetlands.

For more information on wetlands and the important benefits they provide, visit the EPA’s website here.

You can also check out the top ten benefits of wetlands from EarthShare here.