Flooding is one of the most devastating natural catastrophes that humans have to cope with. While water is essential to life, it can also create life-threatening conditions for people living in coastal regions or along rivers or streams. Furthermore, farming and industrial activities can create an environment where chemicals and toxins can leach into waterways. The waterways can then carry these harmful contaminants into the water supply of animals and people. While water treatment plants can be used to remove toxins and dikes can be used to control floods, one of the most important resources to a waterway is a wetland.
The Wetland and Flood Mitigation
Peat is a spongy soil that naturally accumulates in wetland areas. As the flow of a river ebbs and floods, the wetlands expand to absorb the rivers excess. Draining peat marshes and reconditioning the soil for building projects robs a community of a valuable resource and can leave any buildings built along the waterway in risk of flood damage. With peat marshes intact, you may never need dikes.
The Wetland and Toxin Filtering
To remove toxins from water, you need to pass the water through a porous material. Modern filters will use a specially prepared ceramic insert, a carbon filter, or both to remove contaminants from water. Modern water treatment plants will use reverse osmosis, and other complicated processes to extract harmful chemicals from water. Instead of spending millions of dollars on these water treatment plants, simply leaving wetlands intact leaves a natural filter in place. The porous peat soil and the plants that grow in wetlands will extract toxins from water supplies and trap them where they cannot do harm to people or animals.
Coastal Wetlands and Hurricanes
While ocean front property is highly desirable. The rush to develop land for real estate ventures should not consume mangrove swamps and other coastal wetlands. Much in the same way that a riparian zone along a river will provide natural flood mitigation, coastal wetlands will take the brunt of a hurricane's fury so that the land beyond is spared.
Wetlands are a valuable part of nature. They might not be the most attractive area to look at, and they definitely are not the best land for building projects, but they, nonetheless, can be an asset to a community. While wetlands can bounce back from many natural and man-made hazards, they are not indestructible. Thus, communities should take steps to preserve and nurture wetlands. For further assistance, contact a professional wetland service, such as Meryman Environmental Inc.