A Message from Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

Published on Jul 11, 2017 at 07:46a.m.

Wetlands are Important Too!

There is a lot of information out there about protecting lakes and streams, but did you know that wetlands need protecting too? Wetlands are characterized by wet soils and support vegetation that adapt to the damp conditions. They function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater, and floodwater. As they trap and release water they filter out pollutants (especially phosphorus), control erosion, and provide habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife.

If you live near a wetland, you can take steps to ensure you are helping protect this important resource:

  • Establish and maintain a natural buffer area around the wetland. A wetland buffer is an unmowed, naturally vegetated area next to the wetland that protects the wetland from the effects of nearby development by providing initial filtering of stormwater runoff. The larger the buffer, the more effective it will be.
  • Consider planting native plants in your wetland buffer. Native plants are well-adapted to local environmental conditions, help maintain or improve soil fertility, reduce erosion, and are more effective in removing pollutants because of their deep roots.
  • Decrease runoff from your property. By mowing your lawn higher, decreasing the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used, picking up pet waste, and sweeping up excess sidewalk salt, you can help minimize your impact on the wetland all year long.

To learn more about wetlands and wetland restorations, visit www.minnehahacreek.org/education/keep-our-water-clean-home/wetlands.

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