February 2 is World Wetlands Day

February 2 is World Wetlands Day, and it’s a great day to learn about South Carolina’s beautiful wetlands and their importance. The state’s marshes and swamps are not only a natural heritage attraction for visitors, but they also play a critical role in ensuring a healthy watershed and environment.

There are approximately 4.1 million acres of wetlands in South Carolina, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Wetlands are vital vegetated, aquatic ecosystems that include areas such as Carolina bays, marshes, and swamps. They serve as an important home to reptiles and amphibian populations as well as rare aquatic plants. Wetlands also help support the state’s economy by providing outdoor recreation opportunities and habitat for wildlife popular with hunters and fisherman such as waterfowl, fish, and shellfish.

In addition to supporting recreation and wildlife, they provide safety and health benefits to communities in the state by reducing flooding, acting as natural water quality filters, and replenishing water supplies.

If you haven’t visited a wetland area, make plans to get outside and explore these natural wonders.

For more information on DHEC’s water quality program, please click here.

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