Functions of Wetlands

Wetlands serve many functions and values that often go unnoticed.

They are particularly valuable components of the ecosystem. Much of this stems from their habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as for protecting water quality, erosion prevention, flood storage and recreation.

Their cleansing power provides natural pollution control and the way they filter and collect sediment from runoff water helps prevent mud from clogging lakes and reservoirs downstream. Wetlands help slow water flows, reducing downstream soil erosion.

Some wetlands, particularly those on floodplains and in coastal areas, function in aiding flood control by storing excess water during storm events.

Many wetlands temporarily store water, allowing it to percolate into the ground or evaporate. This can reduce peak flooding after a storm.

Wetlands shelter and feed thousands of different plants and animals, including many that are threatened and endangered. Nine of Nebraska's eleven federal endangered and threatened species use wetlands.

They also provide important winter cover for pheasants and other upland wildlife.

The ecological diversity of wetlands offers one of the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing features of any landscape.

Did You Know?

Some wetlands, particularly those on floodplains and in coastal areas, function in aiding flood control by storing excess water during storm events.