Wetlands are some of the most productive and dynamic habitats in the world. New Jersey is home to a variety of wetlands types, from vernal pools crucial to amphibian breeding in the north to our coastal marshes that are globally significant for migratory birds.
New Jersey Wetlands provide:
- The mud used to "rub up" every baseball used in the US major league baseball games?
- Habitat for species of wildlife including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals
- A natural filter for our water used for drinking, irrigation and industrial uses
- Economic benefits estimated to be at least $34 million dollars annually - from recreational uses of wetlands such as, birding, hunting, fishing and more!
This YouTube video features the sights and sounds of a wetland. You can hear the Spring Peepers (small tree frogs) singing!
---video hosted by the Firman E. Bear Chapter of SWCS
The physical, chemical, and biological interactions within wetlands are often referred to as wetland functions. These functions include surface and subsurface water storage, nutrient cycling, particulate removal, maintenance of plant and animal communities, water filtration or purification, and groundwater recharge.
Similarly, the characteristics of wetlands that are beneficial to society are called wetland values. Perhaps these can best be thought of as the importance of a wetland function to an individual or group. Some examples of wetland values include reduced damage from flooding, water quality improvement, and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement. It is important to maintain and restore wetland functions and values because wetlands contribute to the overall health of the environment.
May is Wetlands Month! America first celebrated “Wetlands Month” in May 1991. American Wetlands Month was created by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector partners to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health and to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource.
New Jersey NRCS provides technical and financial assistance for wetland restoration projects to private landowners interested in restoring wetland functions and values from agricultural areas formerly farmed and disturbed from agricultural uses.