Friday March 24, 2023

Point Blue Conservation Science

No matter where you live, you’re likely to have a wetland somewhere nearby. Wetlands include any land that is saturated with water at least some of the time, like marshes and mangroves along our coasts, floodplains and wet meadows along rivers and streams, and vernal pools and prairie potholes. And all of these wetlands touch our lives in many ways you may not realize. In a new report produced by Point Blue Conservation Science and the Natural Resources Defense Council, we compiled evidence for a wide range of benefits wetlands provide us every day. Across all types of wetlands, we found evidence for a broad array of benefits, but what became clear is that wetland restoration is an important strategy for addressing three major challenges we face here in California and around the world: climate change, biodiversity conservation, and water management.

Wetlands store huge amounts of carbon in their rich soils, and in the case of mangroves and riparian forests, in the trees as well. Wetlands excel at removing CO2 – the primary greenhouse gas – from the atmosphere. Intact wetlands will continue to sequester additional carbon every year, contributing to a net cooling effect and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. They are also often sources of abundant food and water for fish, birds, and other wildlife, making them well-documented biodiversity hotspots: up to 40% of the world’s species live or breed in wetlands. For example, coastal wetlands act as important nurseries for shrimp, crab, and fish, while prairie potholes provide critical breeding habitat for waterfowl, and vernal pools serve as oases for wildlife in arid landscapes. Riparian forests and floodplains also support a rich diversity of fish and wildlife, and they serve as important corridors of connectivity for wildlife trying to move through a developed landscape. And all types of wetlands provide important habitat for birds, ranging from the Ridgway’s Rails nesting in the tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay, to the Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Least Bell’s Vireos that rely on riparian habitat along our rivers, to millions of waterfowl and shorebirds that depend on the managed wetlands and flooded agriculture in the Central Valley during the winter or as a stop on their long migrations.

Read more >

Link copied successfully