How Do Wetlands Protect Against Erosion?


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Wetland Ecosystems

Erosion refers to when soil is removed from the land. During big storms, large waves may form on lakes and ponds. When these waves crash into the shore, big chunks of soil are sometimes swept back into the lake or pond. This can be bad for houses near the shoreline because the ground that supports these homes is slowly being taken away. Do you think having a wetland between the house and the shore would help prevent such erosion?

Erosion is also caused by water running down a steep hill. As the water runs down the hill, it may take large amounts of soil and sediment with it. If there is a water body, like a stream, at the bottom of the hill, then the soil and sediment carried by the water can cloud the stream. When the stream is clouded from too much soil and sediment, plants that live in the water of the stream may not get enough sunlight to grow, or fish that require clear water may not lay their eggs. Do you think less soil and sediment would reach the stream if there was a wetland between the top of the hill and the water body?

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