Diverse species of mammals, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fish rely on wetlands for food, habitat or shelter. Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive natural ecosystems in the world, comparable to tropical rain forests or coral reefs in the number and variety of species they support. Although wetlands make up only about 5% of the land area of the lower 48 states, more than one-third of threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands. An additional 20% of the country's threatened and endangered species use or inhabit wetlands at some time in their life. Some species must have a wetland in order to reproduce. Migrating waterfowl rely on wetlands for resting, eating and breeding areas, leading to increased populations.
"Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs,
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress