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
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?