Wetlands: Nature’s Multi-Taskers

Pond covered in green lillypads and bordered by tall reeds, shrubs and trees.
Wetlands only make up about seven per cent of the Credit River Watershed.

This is part five of our five-part Farm Gate series about agricultural projects that are supported by the ALUS Peel Pilot and Peel Rural Water Quality Program.

Imagine a system that filters water, prevents floods, controls erosion, recharges groundwater, supports diverse wildlife, and even combats climate change. These amazing multi-tasking systems already exist in nature—did you guess a wetland? Wetlands provide all these services and more.

Landscape with a densely vegetated area of reeds in the foreground and a field and woodland area in the background.
Example of a restored wetland habitat on a farm property.

Wetland Services

  • Water filtration – When runoff from roads and fields enters wetlands, they act as filters, removing sediment, absorbing excess nutrients, and break down harmful chemicals.
  • Flood prevention – Wetlands hold and slowly release water, reducing flood risks. This protects property and significantly cuts flood damage costs. Studies have shown that losing wetlands leads to an increase in flood-related expenses.
  • Erosion control – Wetland vegetation stabilizes shorelines and prevents erosion. Plant roots trap soils, slow water currents and dampen wave action. Without this natural barrier, controlling erosion is costly and often less effective.
  • Recharging groundwater – Wetlands are vital to the water cycle. Wetlands collect surface water, replenishing groundwater during dry periods. This is important because we rely on groundwater for agriculture and human consumption.
  • Supporting wildlife – Wetlands are biodiversity hotspots that provide food, shelter and breeding grounds for many species, including at-risk species, in Ontario. They are essential for the ecological health of agricultural landscapes.
  • Combating climate change – Conserving and restoring wetlands helps mitigate climate change by keeping carbon trapped in the soil.

We want to partner with rural landowners to protect, enhance and restore wetlands. We offer financial assistance, technical guidance and restoration services to help! Contact us today to discuss opportunities. 

More Articles in the Farm Gate Series

Part 1: The Best Defense is a Good Fence
Part 2: Keeping Soil in its Place: Funding for Erosion Control
Part 3: Agroforestry: Farms and Forests Working as One
Part 4: Grasslands for All: Supporting Livestock, Wildlife and Climate Resilience

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