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When cutting and poking holes, please have an adult around to supervise and help out.
Wetlands—such as swamps, bogs, marshes and fens—are low-lying areas of land that are seasonally or permanently covered with shallow water. Wetlands act as natural sponges, absorbing water from rainfall and snowmelt. They slow down the movement of excess water by holding onto it and releasing it gradually, thereby protecting surrounding areas—including those where people live—from flooding.
Wetlands also improve water quality by filtering rainfall and snowmelt before it reaches open water. The masses of plant material in the wetland trap particles that are washed in. Pollutants can be absorbed by the plants or broken down by the bacteria that live on their roots or in the mud at the bottom of the wetland.
In addition to preventing flooding and filtering water, wetlands are home to many plants and animals—from bacteria to bulrushes to beavers. They also provide opportunities for nature appreciation, fishing and hunting.
Canada has 14% of Earth’s wetlands—one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on the planet. Given the countless ecological benefits they provide, wetlands are worth protecting. Learn more about the wetlands near you and find out how you can help in their conservation.