New York State is home to over two million acres of freshwater wetlands. Freshwater wetlands are lands typically covered with water, are very wet, but are not connected to the ocean or estuary.
Freshwater wetlands have many different names including bogs, swamps, marshes, vernal pools, potholes, and fens. May is American Wetlands Month.
Wetlands provide many benefits, including:
- Habitat. Many plants and animals spend most of or all or their lives in wetlands. Springtime is the perfect time of year to visit a wetland and look for spring peepers and other amphibians who reproduce there.
- Filters. They remove excess nutrients, toxic chemicals, and sediment from water that flows through them.
- Flood protection. They absorb excess rain or river water.
American Wetlands Month is the perfect time to explore local wetlands, especially on warm, damp nights after a rain. Grab your rubber boots, rain jacket, and flashlight, and go out for an evening adventure.
Photo of spring peeper by John Lehmann.