Wetland Functions and/or Values
Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law, section 24-0105 (statement of findings) lists the benefits of freshwater wetlands that the Department is mandated to protect.
Freshwater wetlands provide:
- Flood and storm control by the hydrologic absorption and storage capacity
- wildlife habitat (breeding, nesting and feeding grounds and cover for wildlife, waterfowl, and shore birds including migratory waterfowl and rare species such as the bald eagle and osprey)
- protection of subsurface water resources and ground water recharge
- bird watching
- camping and other uses
- pollution treatment by serving as biological and chemical oxidation basins
- erosion control by serving as sedimentation areas, filtering basins,
- protection of channels and harbors by absorbing silt and organic matter
- education and scientific research by providing readily accessible outdoor bio-physical laboratories, living classrooms and vast training and education resources
- open space and aesthetic appreciation derived from the fact that they are often the only remaining open areas along crowded river fronts and coastal Great Lakes regions.
- sources of nutrients in freshwater food cycles and nursery grounds and sanctuaries for freshwater fish