Wetlands are areas of land where water covers the soil, providing habitat to both land and marine animals. Wetlands are located all over the world, in every continent except for Antarctica. The two types of wetlands are tidal, which are located along the coast, and non-tidal, which are located inland. Depending on the amount and quality of water within the area, certain wetlands are seasonal, while others exist throughout the year.
A variety of animals, ranging from fishes to reptiles to mammals, are attracted to wetlands, which can be the only location where predators can find food in certain areas. Wetlands also provide a variety of nutrients that are crucial for the development of organisms and for the cleanliness of the water. Carbon is stored within wetland soil, which prevents carbon dioxide from being released into the air and helps climate control.
Wetlands also provide benefits to humans. Water quality is improved by the nutrients released by wetlands, which improves the water we drink and swim in. Wetlands also help combat natural disasters by providing erosion control and flood protection. The vegetation in wetlands traps flood water and any runoff that would typically lead to flooding or erosion.
The National Aquarium recently installed a floating wetland prototype in the Inner Harbor as part of our Waterfront Campus project. With this project, we’re providing a home for native marine life in the Inner Harbor, including oysters, blue crabs, rockfish and various species of reptiles and sea birds. Our floating wetlands will also help improve the water quality of the Inner Harbor and encourage both residents and visitors to see the importance of wetlands firsthand!
Learn more about the future of our Waterfront Campus!