What are Wetlands?

Wetlands are areas of land that are saturated with water for all or most part of the year and the soils of these habitats are shaped by water. Because of their unique composition, wetland areas are highly productive ecosystems. These damp, soggy areas, when healthy, are among our planet’s most diverse and varied habitats supporting a wide spectrum of plant and animal species, more so than most other habitats.

Wetlands slow erosion, help recharge groundwater, and help prevent flooding.

Like a ‘giant natural water filter’ these wet, spongy soils trap the sediment and particles in polluted water allowing clean, fresh water to pass through. Because of this unique process, wetlands play a vital role in ensuring the availability of good quality water in large volumes and form part of critical catchments feeding into major water ways and rivers. These vleis provide fresh pastures for livestock, fertile soil for agriculture and critical habitats for wildlife.

Post published in: Environment

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