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Wetlands Will Play A Key Role In Addressing Climate Change In Pennsylvania
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Swamp, marsh, and bog. These are a few words that are used to describe wetlands; but what is a wetland and why do they matter?

Historically, wetlands have been hard to define because their characteristics can be highly variable based on their location and the time of year; however, all wetlands typically need to have the following three features:

-- Land that is either flooded or saturated by water for part of the growing season each year.

-- Prevalence of hydric soils, which are soils that form when saturated by water and are often dark grey in color and may have orange, brown, red, or black spots called mottles.

-- An abundance of water-loving plants that can tolerate or thrive under saturated soil conditions, known as hydrophytes. Wetlands serve many functions, both to the ecosystem and the human population. They provide a home to a wide range of wildlife, which offers recreational opportunities for people that hunt and fish.

Wetlands are also able to absorb large amounts of runoff and release it at a slower rate, leading to reduced flooding.  Additionally, wetlands can remove many different water pollutants from water flowing across them such as sediment, nutrients, and other toxins.

Some wetlands are even created to treat abandoned mine discharge, waste water, and other types of nonpoint source pollution.

Each year World Wetlands Day occurs on February 2nd to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands in our environment. This year’s theme: Wetlands and Climate Change, focuses on the role wetlands can play in relation to climate change.

According to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 2018 Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan.

Pennsylvania has seen warmer temperatures, more precipitation, and more intense storms, and it is expected that this trend will continue in the future. These changes have caused more flooding which can harm infrastructure, increase erosion, and reduce water quality.

 The presence of wetlands will play a key role in addressing climate change in Pennsylvania because of their ability to slow water flow, capture runoff, and absorb water pollutants which will reduce the risks of intense precipitation and flooding that are associated with climate change.

To learn more about wetlands in Pennsylvania, the benefits they provide for wildlife and society, and wetland management practices, consult the Penn State Extension Publication, Wetlands and Wildlife.

To discover how the DCNR will address climate change in Pennsylvania, visit the online Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan.

(Photo: Westmoreland County wetland/lake by D.Rhea, Penn State.)

NewsClips:

Climate Change Means More Floods, Great And Localized

Sharp Rise In Methane Levels Threatens World Climate Targets

Sisk: Report Shows How More PA Drivers Can Go Electric

Education, Climate & Sustainability Highlight PA Sustainable Ag Conference

Pittsburgh Summit To Focus On Solar Energy In PA

Kummer: Study: Philly Could Be As Hot As Memphis By 2080 Because Of Climate Change

Sisk: Could Membranes At Coal-Fired Power Plants Help Stop Climate Change?

Op-Ed: Bailout Tax: Profitable Companies Need To Come Clean On Nuclear Energy

Op-Ed: In PA, Cap-And-Trade To Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions A Constitutional Necessity - Clean Air Council

Op-Ed: How Many Times Are We Going To Bailout Three Mile Island? - Erie Epstein

Column: Cong. Boyle Steps Into Radical Territory By Backing New Green Deal

Op-Ed: Here’s What Green New Deal Advocates Can Learn From The 2009 Stimulus

Op-Ed: There’s A Remedy For Climate Change, The Green New Deal Isn’t It

Op-Ed: Take A Look At The Green New Deal Before You Attack It - Mark Singel

Op-Ed: Congressional Dems Might Recognize Problems, But Green New Deal Won’t Fix Them

EPA: Carbon Dioxide From Power Plants Rose Last Year

Climate Change Doubter Is Leading Effort To Advise Trump

Related Stories:

DCNR Outlines 123 Action Steps In Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation Report On Public Lands

Related Stories This Week:

PaEN: House Environmental Committee Meeting On Forge The Future Energy/Development Plan Turns Into Climate Change Debate

Rep. Metcalfe Says Reducing Carbon Dioxide Will Kill His Vegetables

PaEN: Federal Judge Dismisses Clean Air Council Lawsuit Challenging Federal Actions On Climate Change, Rollback Of Regulations

PaEN: Majority Chair Of House Environmental Committee Asks DEP To Make Climate Petitioners Resubmit Cap-And-Trade Petition

(Reprinted from Penn State Extension’s latest Watershed Winds newsletterClick Here to sign up to receive a variety of helpful information from Penn State Extension.)

[Posted: Feb. 19, 2019]


2/25/2019

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