The marsh was the place that people dumped their garbage and construction debri. Just an ugly wasteland along the coast or inland. On a low tide, like the picture on the left, you would have seen garbage, tires and more, exposed. On a high tide, you could look out over a marsh and see all different kinds of birds. But most people thought “Wow, if this was filled in, it would be a great _______ (you fill in the word).
And that’s what happened to 90% of the wetlands in California – they were filled in for new development, businesses, houses, manufacturing plants or were used for agriculture.
Across the United States, over 49% have been filled in. Pollution has harmed animals, birds and water quality.
Now we know better.
The wetlands (literally means wet land) provide essential food, refuge or nursery habitat for 75% of fisheries species.
Tidal Wetlands can slow shoreline erosion.
They improve our quality of water.
They even protect the land from storm surges.
They provide shelter from encroaching humans.
They help control stream flow.
Never judge anything by its looks.