- from Wetlands
Over the years, wetlands have gotten a bad rap. Think of these sayings: swamped with work, bogged down in details. Even the bogeyman may have come from the bogs of Europe.
But words aren’t the worst part. The common view of wetlands is much worse. People saw them as mosquito-infested, disease-ridden, worthless pieces of half land, half water. For a long time, most people thought that the best thing you could do with a wetland was drain it and plant crops. Or drain it and pave it, or drain it and build on it. It’s believed that human activity has destroyed over half of the original wetlands in the lower 48 states of the U.S. (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).
Only within the last 30 years have people begun to understand how important wetlands are to the ecology of the world. But battles are still being fought. Some want to preserve and restore the wetlands, but others think this approach stands in the way of progress. What good are wetlands? What problems do they face, and what can save them?