Those who live and work in Georgia are fortunate to be among some of the most beautiful and beneficial water systems nature can offer. Not just limited to the beaches and shorelines, these systems also include wetlands that feed into those precious bodies of water. It is easy to think of these wetlands as swamps or wasted space, but they are critical to the health of the environment and the community.
Coastal wetlands are those places where the land is flooded either seasonally or all the time. They offer a unique ecosystem for plants and animals that thrive in wet soil with little oxygen. You may be among those who enjoy fishing, hunting, photographing or simply observing nature in the wetlands. However, those delicate areas provide a more important service, and they are in danger from the destruction of pollution and negligent development.
Why are wetlands important?
The benefits of coastal wetlands go beyond providing beauty, relaxation and sporting opportunities. The wetlands offer a massive filtering system for rivers, bays and beyond by trapping impurities like pesticides, silt and runoff from construction projects before they reach larger bodies of water. Property owners along the coast can thank wetlands for slowing erosion and absorbing the brunt of storm damage. Healthy wetlands can also minimize the destruction to farms and properties when severe storms bring heavy rain and flooding.
Unfortunately, challenges like development, pollution and drainage cause the destruction of about 80,000 acres of wetlands per year, leaving almost half the population of the country at risk of losing the protections these water systems provide. If this concerns you, you may want to learn more about how you can help environmental advocates and agencies protect this priceless asset to the community.
What can I do?
The reasons for your interest in coastal wetlands may be varied. If you are a property owner, you may want to preserve the land for future generations or to improve the value of your property. If you are a developer, you may have questions about how to protect these precious habitats and address environmental concerns during a construction project. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect Georgia’s natural resources. You may learn about those laws by contacting an experienced attorney who is passionate about protecting the water systems across the state.