Wetlands and Your Health

wetlands-hr-fink---walking-the-boardwalk Wetlands are the 'workhorses' of our watersheds! They provide many environmental services that contribute to human health and economic well being.

Every time you drink a glass of water, you're benefiting from wetlands! Wetland plants filter sediment, nutrients, and pollution, helping to clean our drinking water sources. They also recharge groundwater, which more than 20% of Ontarians rely on for their drinking water.

Wetlands also help keep us safe through water retention! They absorb high waters, store the excess water and then gradually release it later, over time, helping to control flooding and droughts. Another benefit of wetlands? They provide us with cultural, recreational, and tourism opportunities!

The State of Ontario's Wetlands

Wetlands are one of the Earth's most threatened ecosystems. Research shows 72% or 1.4 million hectares, of southern Ontario's large, in-land wetlands have been lost or significantly degraded over the last 200 years.

The decline to the wetland base has been most drastic in southwestern Ontario, parts of eastern Ontario, Niagara, and the Greater Toronto Area, where in some regions the loss is greater than 90%.

Did You know?

  • Wetland loss in Canada is like adding the emissions of over 1.1 million
    new passenger cars to the atmosphere every year!
  • Wetlands - such as marshes and ponds - provide habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals including fish, insects, mammals and birds.
  • While they occupy only six per cent of the world's land surface, wetlands hold twice the carbon found in the tropical forests of the world.

info wetlands


Learn More

To learn more about how wetlands impact our health check out these great resources:

Partners

Back to Nature Network Canadian Mental Health Association Ducks Unlimited Ecohealth Ontario Ecoschools Forests Ontario Hike Ontario

Kids in the Woods Initiative LEAF Ontario Childrens Outdoor Charter Ontario Headwaters Ontario Nature Traversing Urban Poling York Region


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