Coastal wetlands stretch on 40 million acres and make up nearly 40 percent of the total wetlands area in the US. For the last century, half of the wetlands all over the world disappeared due to pollution, industrial threats, and climate change. In the US, coastal wetlands are experiencing disproportionate losses as compared to the wetlands of the inner areas of the continent. Protection of wetlands today is urgent as never before because these areas serve for the entire ecosystems and well-being of humans.
Normally, coastal wetlands protect upper areas from being flooded by storms and the rise of the sea level. Wetlands absorb the energy of ocean which allows them to prevent erosion of the shoreline. They provide constant habitat for the endangered species, including birds and mammals as well as temporary shelter for migratory birds which get ready to cross the ocean. Wetlands are the huge reservoirs of fish species; fish industry on 50 percent depends on the quality of coastal lands. Recreation and sports facilities, as well as the places of ecotourism, are based on the coastal wetlands and their diverse ecosystem. Besides, wetlands work like filters for the water which flows to the ocean.
Commercial use of the lands and industrialization greatly enhance draining of wetlands. Agriculture requires huge lands to cultivate yields, and paper industry is responsible for the inefficient use of water. Pollution from fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals affect health and reproduction of the wetland species and lower the quality of drinking water. Climate change makes coastal wetlands submerge and drown while the continental wetlands suffer from the increasing droughts.
Environmental organizations across the US work to protect wetlands from the excessive industrialization. They encourage the society to use water efficiently so that every citizen can contribute to preserving wetlands. But still, rapid global warming and agricultural expansion are responsible for the greater damage to the ecosystems.