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Preservation of Wetlands Wetlands are in danger We must try to help them because they are very important to us They provide habitat and food for a variety of animals They also provide the unique growing conditions needed to grow certain kinds of plants The survival of many species depends on wetlands A wetland is an ecosystem in which land meets water or a piece of land that is covered with a thin layer of water at least part of the year Lisowski 1 Most wetlands in the Continental US are in the upper Midwest the southern Gulf coast and along the Northeastern coastal states Liptak Wetlands are found all over the planet Over half of Alaska is made up of wetlands and five percent of the lower 48 states are wetlands Arem 347 Wetlands cover six percent of the Earths total land mass yet they are among the Worlds liveliest places More animals depend on wetlands than any other ecosystem except for the ocean Staub 10 Wetlands collect water from rain snow and runoff from flooded rivers lakes and higher surfaces They may also collect ground water from below Arem 346 Wetlands need woodlands and meadows nearby The plants trap pollutants that would have gone into the water Some birds roost in the trees and feed in the wetlands Hirschi ix There is very little oxygen in water or watery soil Many plants get oxygen from tiny openings on their leaves above water Others have openings in bark or roots for oxygen Arem 347 Wetlands are major breeding grounds and migrating stopovers for waterfowl- ducks geese and swans- and other birds A magnificent array of wading and shore birds- herons egrets and ibis- need the wetlands Rails coots and many song birds also need the wetlands Some amphibians and many reptiles rely on the wetlands as well as mammals The wetlands are also shared with many insects clams snails
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