Posted: 24 January 2001

Swamps, marshes, fens, tidal marshes, peatlands and other ecosystems which are dominated by water. The presence of water may be permanent, temporary or seasonal and it may by fresh or salt, but the plant and animal organisms in wetlands have adapted to that situation to create unique communities that reflect the conditions at a specific site. Wetlands provide habitat for fish and wildlife, act as staging areas for migrating wildfowl, filter sediments and control flooding in stream systems and protect the shore from erosion in coastal areas.