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Monday, January 3, 2011

Human Effects on Wetlands

Humans are notorious for their negative affects on the many different types of biomes. The wetlands are not excluded from the list of biomes that are damaged by human activities. Wetlands are often the victims of draining and filling by humans. These areas are then used for the construction of new buildings or the creation of recreational lakes. This is not only common in the United States, but also throughout the world. In fact, by 1993, half of the world's wetlands had been drained. Wetlands are also subject to pollution through the dumping contaminated waters and mining for peat and other minerals.. This causes increased extinction or endangerment of organisms living in such environments. Actions like building a new condominium complex may seem beneficial at the time, but these changes to the environment will most likely negatively affect us in the future. Habitat destruction and alteration can decrease biodiversity. This may cause a decrease in food supply and security, meaning they could be more vulnerable to similar diseases and other problems. A decrease in biodiversity could also cause humans to miss out on plants and minerals that may be vital to curing diseases. Also, like mentioned in an earlier post, wetlands provide excellent protection against flooding. Without wetlands to protect areas with high precipitation, floods could occur more frequently and cause more damage. Wetlands are not easy to replace either. The expense to create artificial dams and to replace all of the services the wetlands provide would be gigantic. We humans must work towards protecting the wetlands of the world, or we will surely pay the price with the disappearance of such a necessary component of the environment.

Just one example of destruction to the wetlands by humans: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10354/1112232-100.stm
Thankfully, this developer paid for his crimes to the environment.

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