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May 6, 2013

Wetlands and Water Storage

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Wetlands function like natural tubs or sponges, storing water and slowly releasing it. This process slows the water's momentum and erosive potential, reduces flood heights, and allows for ground water recharge, which contributes to base flow to surface water systems during dry periods. Although a small wetland might not store much water, a network of many small wetlands can store an enormous amount of water. The ability of wetlands to store floodwaters reduces the risk of costly property damage and loss of life - benefits that have economic value to us.
"Allowing the large fraction of wetlands in New Orleans to disappear is an extremely expensive thing."

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