Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge
Wetlands benefit our communities as well. They replenish and clean water supplies and reduce flood risks, provide recreational opportunities and aesthetic benefits. They serve as sites for scientific research and education, and benefit commercial fishing.
Unfortunately wetlands have been misunderstood for many years, often viewed as wastelands to be drained and converted to other uses. But if wetlands disappear, water will not be as clean, fish and bird populations will suffer and the frequency and severity of floods will increase. Americans have begun to recognize the value of wetlands, and the rate of loss has declined dramatically over the last 30 years. It is important that we continue to stop the loss of wetlands and begin to achieve a net gain through better management and restoration.
"The natural pattern of flooding supplies nutrients and sediment to wetland areas, keeping them as kind of a buffer and a natural absorber when a really big storm hits."