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Wetlands: Nature’s Gift to All of Us
Tis the season of gift giving and receiving – all in the spirit of love, joy, generosity, and gratitude! Let’s take a moment from all the scurrying around for gifts that we do this holiday season, to appreciate our local wetlands and their bountiful – and priceless – gifts to all of us: clean water, protection from floods, wondrous and beautiful flora and fauna;
a youngster’s joy at a hopping frog;
a quiet refuge;
or the first fish on her line
These wetlands are essential to our health and well-being, and yet taken for granted, neglected, and threatened with destruction.
Take a Stand for Clean Water
This December, more than most, wetland experts are taking a hard look at the many ways in which wetlands give to all of us. From the flood protection and waterfowl gifted by the prairie potholes, to the water filtration and fish nurseries contributed by floodplain wetlands nationwide, to the recreational and commercial fisheries from coast to coast.
On December 16-18, while many of us are shopping away, wetland and stream scientists will be meeting in Washington DC to assess the contributions of wetlands upstream to the health and safety of rivers and bays downstream.
Our ability to protect and restore America’s wetlands and their gifts of health and safety to us all depend upon public understanding and valuing these wetland gifts.
This December, my thanks go out to the wetland scientists whose years of field work, scholarship, and wetland management help us all to understand the great gifts that wetlands bestow on all of us who share this planet and the great harm we do to communities and to nature when we allow them to be destroyed.