Encompassing bogs, marshes, coastal areas, and a number of other environments, wetlands come in many shapes and sizes. They are particularly vulnerable to human activity, and often face destruction to make room for farmland and construction projects.

Though their often soggy nature makes them a little off-putting to some people, wetlands are critically important to the health of the planet, and therefore to human survival. Many environmental experts devote their careers to protecting wetlands, aware of the damage that can be done when they are destroyed.

Would you like to learn more about the importance of wetlands? Here are some of the main reasons why some environmental science professionals make careers of protecting wetlands.

Wetlands Are Assets in the Fight against Global Climate Change

Ecological systems like forests and oceans are known to be crucial areas in which the Earth naturally captures and stores carbon. Proportionally, however, wetlands are even more important carbon stores than those. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of global soil carbon is held within wetlands, despite wetlands making up only about 5 to 8 percent of the world’s land. In working to mitigate climate change, investments in protecting wetlands can net impressive returns.

Wetlands are extremely effective at capturing and storing carbon

As impacting climate change through resource management is an important goal for many professionals with a Natural Resource Management Degree, making wetland preservation a focal point is a wise idea. Graduates can use transdisciplinary science and communication training to develop resource management strategies that protect wetlands as a part of a larger goal of climate change prevention. Through this strategic action, and in communicating its worth to colleagues, businesses, governments, and other entities, it’s possible to help protect these vulnerable spaces as well as the planet.

Natural Resource Management Professionals Know Wetlands Are Important Filters

Many of today’s most harmful climate and environmental issues are caused by human pollution, and wetlands are one of nature’s most effective tools for protecting against this harm. This is because wetlands often act like filters, taking in pollutants and either breaking them down or storing them within their territory.

For example, wetlands located between agricultural spaces and freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, and streams, have been shown to remove significant amounts of agricultural pollutants as the water runs through. These include compounds like phosphorus, nitrogen, and nitrates, which can contribute to algae blooms and oxygen-free “dead zones” in the water. These are phenomena that have been shown to have negative effects both on wildlife and on human health and which must be prevented. By protecting wetlands, then, it’s possible to retain an important tool in the struggle to achieve a healthy balance between agriculture and the natural world.

Wetlands can help prevent the formation of harmful algae blooms

For individuals entering environmental science careers who wish to contribute to achieving this balance, it’s important to develop a healthy understanding of landscape ecology at a top environmental university. Completing an online MA program at a school like Unity College offers a convenient way to do so, with the benefits of a flexible schedule and a top-class education from expert scholars. Graduates can apply their wealth of scientific knowledge to the protection of spaces like wetlands, which will protect us and help usher in a future of greater ecological and human health.

Do you want to get a world-class education in environmental science?

Contact Unity College to learn more about our Natural Resource Management Master’s program!