Significance of Wetlands
Wetlands are one of the most productive habitats in the world. Different kinds of wetlands play different important roles. The ABNC wetlands and other wetlands along the Gulf Coast play these roles:
The wetlands' plants can reduce soil erosion or the wearing away of the soil. The roots of the plants help to hold the soil in place.
Wetlands contain soil that is like a sponge. This soil can soak up a lot of water and release it slowly. This characteristic of wetlands can reduce flooding.
Wetlands are nurseries to many kinds of fish, birds and shellfish. ~90% of the fish and shell fish caught by commercial and sport fisherman in Galveston Bay began their life in Armand Bayou or other estuary. Commercial and sport fishing together represent a multibillion dollar industry in Texas.
Wetlands provide places to hunt, fish, bird and animal watch. Wildlife watching or ecotourism is a multibillion dollar industry in Texas and is continuing to grow.
Wetlands act as a filter for rainwater as it flows through. Wetlands actually clean up the water by removing soil and pollutants.
Wetlands are the home of hundreds of different kinds of animals. Some birds use the wetlands as a rest stop during their migration South during the winter. Other birds like the Gulf Coast wetlands and spend the winter there.
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