Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Northeast Region

Chesapeake Bay Wetlands

Diversity is the spice of life. And contrast, in all forms, basically makes life more interesting. Nowhere is this more apparent than where land and water meet. Whether you're talking about salt marshes, mountain bogs or wooded swamps, the blending of both land and water creates a wetland, an ecosystem that often supports more life than either one alone.

Wetlands are semi-aquatic lands, flooded or saturated by water for varying periods of time during the growing season. Because of the presence of water, wetlands are characterized by water-loving plants, called hydrophytes, and periodically saturated or flooded soil known as hydric soil.

Types of Wetlands
Wetlands include bogs, swamps and marshes and shallow water areas of rivers, lakes and ponds. Two major groups of wetlands are found in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: estuarine and palustrine. Estuarine wetlands are tidally-flooded and range in salinity was fresh to salt water. Estuarine wetlands are the marshes found mainly along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal portions of rivers. Palustrine wetlands are freshwater bogs, marshes, and swamps bordering streams and rivers, filling isolated depressions and fringing lakes and ponds.

Why are wetlands so important?

wood duck

Why are wetlands so important?

Wetlands need our protection.

What can you do?

Last updated: January 28, 2011