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Wetlands Alberta

Engaging Albertans to conserve and protect wetlands

DID YOU KNOW?

18% of Alberta’s land base is covered by wetlands.

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Wetland Values

Wetlands may very well be the most important part of our landscapes. Wetlands and surrounding habitats play an important role in improving the quality and quantity of our water supplies in addition to providing valuable wildlife habitat. These wetland functions deliver benefits to those who live both near and far, and this all adds up to the true value of wetlands.

Wetlands also:

Filter your water

Wetlands improve water quality through filtration. As water passes through a wetland, impurities are removed.

Recharge groundwater

Wetlands recharge groundwater supplies by soaking up surface water and letting some of it seep back into the ground where it’s filtered even further.

Moderate climate change

Wetland plants take carbon dioxide from the air and “sequester” the carbon in the soil, removing a potentially harmful greenhouse gas from the air, and replacing it with life-giving oxygen.

Reduce the effects of drought

Wetlands can provide a valuable source of water and livestock forage during times of drought.

Reduce the effects of flooding

Wetlands help reduce the effects of flooding and soil erosion by storing runoff water and releasing it slowly downstream.

Are important to the economy

Wetlands provide opportunities for tourism, boating, bird watching, nature photography, hunting, fishing and other activities.

Support biodiversity

Wetlands support biodiversity and provide habitat for plants, birds, mammals and fish.

Thankfully, wetlands are now being seen as something we need to retain and even enhance. Wetlands are being recognized as a key component to maintaining healthy land and livelihoods. Alberta’s Wetland Policy plays an important part in both recognizing the value of wetlands and retaining them on our landscapes.

Wetlands provide storage across the landscape to help hold back flood waters and reduce flood peaks.