Seven important things to know about wetlands
| Canadian Geographic
In honour of World Wetlands Day 2016, here are seven facts you may not have known about these vital ecosystems
1. Wetlands make up 14 percent of Canada’s landmass
2. There are many different kinds of wetlands
‘Wetland’ refers to any land that is permanently or temporarily submerged in or permeated with water. By this definition, freshwater and saltwater marshes, wooded swamps, bogs, seasonally flooded forest, sloughs and peatlands are all considered wetland.
3. Canada is divided into seven wetland regions
These regions – arctic, subarctic, boreal, prairie, temperate, oceanic and mountain – describe broad climatic/vegetation zones that hew closely to Canada’s physical geography.
4. Canada has protected 13 million hectares of wetland
5. Wetlands are a critical part of the water cycle
Wetlands help moderate river flow, taking on excess water during floods and maintaining flow in dry years. Wetlands also recharge groundwater, and clean and remediate polluted water.
6. Animals rely on wetlands.
7. So do humans