Wetlands are acknowledged as being key components of shallow water ecosystems worldwide.
They are important for geochemical cycling, providing food and habitat for numerous aquatic food chains, serving as flood buffers, and disseminating energy of waves. These functions are achieved through complex physical, chemical, and biochemical interactions that occur among the various populations of organisms comprising the wetland: bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, and protists. In the field of restoration ecology, creating wetlands is the process of promoting these interactions by constructing an environment capable of supporting the required diverse assemblage of flora and fauna.
The goals of wetlands creation projects vary. Many are designed to replace wetlands and wetland values that were lost when wetlands were perceived as being worthless and legislation favored their destruction. Now that the importance of wetlands is more generally recognized and laws favor their protection and recreation, wetlands are often constructed to mimic natural systems that have been lost. Usually these projects have a primary goal of providing habitat features important to various kinds of wildlife. However, it is important to note that while a habitat may be a primary design criteria, other benefits, especially those related to water quality enhancement, will also be achieved.
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