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During the month of May, the nation will celebrate American Wetlands Month, focusing on the economic benefits that wetlands provide.
Yesterday, the Environmental Law Institute, the EPA, and other federal agencies honored winners of the annual National Wetland Awards in Washington, D.C. for their outstanding contributions to wetland conservation, research or educational projects. Also known as marshes, swamps and bogs, wetlands are important for flood control, acting as buffers to absorb and reduce damage caused by flood waters.
Wetlands also help to remove pollutants from water, cleaning streams and lakes, thereby reducing the cost of drinking water treatment. Wetlands are important to the multi-billion dollar commercial fishing industry and provide a boost to recreation industry activities such as fishing, birding, canoeing and hunting.
While more than half of the nation's original wetlands have been lost or converted to other uses in the lower 48 states, EPA’s goal is to help increase the quantity and quality of wetlands nationwide.