Meaning of WETLANDS, BENEFITS in English

Since colonial times, an estimated 54 percent of the total wetland areas in the United States have vanished. In a major study by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), during the 20 years from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, such losses averaged 458,000 acres each year. More recent studies have clearly demonstrated that wetlands are precious ecological resources that nurture wildlife, purify polluted waters, check the destructive power of floods and storms, and provide a variety of recreational activities. The following constitutes a listing of some of the major benefits of these ecological systems: (1) Waterfowl Breeding: Over 12 million ducks nest and breed annually in northern U.S. wetlands. This area, when combined with similar habitats in the Canadian prairies, accounts for 60-70 percent of the continent's breeding duck population. (2) Habitat for Waterfowl and Other Birds: Some 2 million of the 3 million mallards in the Mississippi Flyway and nearly 100 percent of our 4 million wood ducks spend the winter in flooded bottomland forests and marshlands throughout the south. (3) Biological Diversity and Wildlife Habitat: Wetlands provide food and shelter for a great variety of fur-bearing animals and other kinds of wildlife. (4) Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species: At least one-third of the nation's threatened or endangered species live in wetland areas. (5) Marine Fish and Shellfish Production: Roughly two-thirds of our shellfish and important commercial and sport species of marine fish rely on coastal marshes for spawning and nursery grounds. (6) Freshwater Fish: Many of the 4 million acres of open water areas found in our inland wetlands are ideal habitat for such sought-after species as bass, catfish, pike, bluegill, sunfish, and crappie. (7) Timber Production: Wetlands, especially bottomland forests, are rich sources of timber. (8) Flood Control: Wetlands temporarily store flood waters and thus reduce downstream losses of life and property. (9) Water Quality: Wetlands act as natural water purification mechanisms. They remove silt and filter out and absorb many pollutants such as waterborne chemicals and nutrients. (10) Saltwater Intrusion Control: The flow of freshwater through wetlands creates groundwater pressure that prevents saltwater from invading public water supplies. (11) Shoreline Stabilization: By absorbing wave and storm energy and slowing water currents, wetland vegetation serves as a buffer against shoreline erosion. (12) Reduction of Coastal Storm Damage: Coastal marshes and mangrove stands help to blunt the force of major storms. (13) Recreational Opportunities: Wetlands offer unspoiled, open space for the aesthetic enjoyment of nature as well as activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, photography, and environmental education. (14) Groundwater Recharge and Discharge: Water standing in or slowing moving through wetland areas provides important recharge opportunities to ground waters while water taken from the ground, for example through mine Dewatering operations, is frequently released into wetland areas for further treatment of potentially harmful substances. (15) Sediment Stabilization: Through their ability to slow the flow of water and the filtering capabilities of associated flora, wetlands provide important functions for the removal and trapping of sediment and other materials in water affecting its Turbidity and its levels of Dissolved and Suspended Solids. (16) Sediment and Toxicant Retention: Wetland vegetation inherently provides important functions in the retention and absorption of various dissolved and suspended materials in the waters entering these areas as well as providing for the removal of various chemical and toxic substances as well as some heavy metals. (17) Nutrient Removal and/or Transformation: Wetland vegetation readily absorbs for its own use various nitrate and phosphate-based nutrients in the water, thereby increasing

Environmental engineering English vocabulary.      Английский словарь экологического инжиниринга.