April 27, 2011 author: Cynthia Denny
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on earth. An immense variety of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals need wetlands for part or all of their life cycles. More than 1/3 of all threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands and nearly half use wetlands at some time in their lives.
Wetlands can also surpass forests in carbon sequestration. Some types of marshes soak up thousands of tons of CO2 per acre every year. Wetlands clean contaminated water and guard against flooding. When wetlands are developed, CO2 is released into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Restoring wetlands is one of the best ways of preserving the planet’s future.
Only 10% of California’s wetlands remain. Protection of the rest is critical.
**Reprinted by permission from the Yodler Newsletter and the Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club.