Wetlands are Life Support System
Diversity is the spice of life. Nowhere is this more apparent than where land and water meet. The blending of terrestrial and aquatic environments creates a wetland, an ecosystem that often supports more life than either the land or water alone.When thinking of wetlands, many people envision the marshes found mainly along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal portions of rivers. They recognize the value of these wetlands as spawning and nursery grounds for fish, shellfish and crabs. Waterfowl and wading birds nest and feed here.The meandering flow of water provides opportunities for boating, crabbing and bird watching. Low-lying marshes also store floodwaters, minimizing erosion. As this water is slowly released it has essentially been cleansed: The nutrients are processed by the grasses and shrubs, and pollutants and sediments are intercepted and trapped.The importance of another type of wetland, the forested wetland, is often overlooked. Many forested wetlands have standing water only on a seasonal or temporary basis. These "saturated" wetlands provide the same benefits as marshes although it may not be apparent.
As with all wetland types, the hydrology, or the movement of water, drives the saturated forested wetland system. The hydrologic cycle has a wet and a dry phase that is affected by local weather, climate changes and activities by people.http://chestertownspy.com/2013/07/18/wetlands-are-life-support-system/