Controversies Of Draining Wetlands

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Controversies of Draining Wetlands "Johnny, have you got a copy?" The voice came loud and clear over the two-way radio.

"Yes, I'm here," answered Johnny, wondering what the worker doing the spring wheat planting wanted - he had just come from filling the planter, so he knew the air seeder wasn't out of seed yet.

"Uh, could you bring a long chain to the field you just left? It seems like I can't get as much of that wetland that we thought we could," the voice on the two-way radio said.

"Okay, I'll bring a chain, and maybe this fall it will be dry enough to drain it all the way," answered Johnny.

Farmers are very reluctant to watch the land they own being underwater and unfarmable year after year, costing them lots of money. Some of them just go ahead and drain them, not caring that wildlife on wetlands needs a chance to survive.

Now, due to the draining of them, there are fewer and fewer wetlands available to provide habitats for ducks and wetland animals to survive.

What Are Wetlands? Wetlands are often called marshes, sloughs, swamps, bogs, and potholes, and can be described as pieces of land that are neither extremely dry nor extremely wet because they can dry out for some part of the year, but for the most part they have water either near the surface or are covered by shallow water on the surface. Many wetlands are actually dry for long periods of the year. "Wetlands must have one or more of the following qualities: (1) at least some time during the growing season, the land supports mostly water loving plants (aquatic plants); (2) at times the soil is so wet that it lacks oxygen; and (3) the soil is saturated with water or...