Grand Lake Meadows
 


 

 

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Home > Why: Importance of the Eco-System
 
Great Blue Heron, Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Ian Varty
Great Blue Heron, Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Ian Varty.
Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Richard Goodick.
Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Richard Goodick.
Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Richard Goodick.
Grand Lake Meadows, courtesy of Richard Goodick.
 
 
 
Importance of the eco-system

Throughout this website, frequent mention has been made of the enormous importance of wetlands in general and the Grand Lake Meadows in particular.
 
Wetlands are among the most biologically productive and biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Wetlands provide critical habitat for a large number of species of plants and animals including many that are rare and endangered.

Among their many other functions, wetlands provide:
  • water quality protection by their capacity to filter out pollutants,
  • flood and erosion control by slowing the runoff of surface water into lakes and rivers after severe precipitation events,
  • a source of water for recharging ground water reservoirs and
  • have a moderating effect on local climate by means of the "heat sink" effect.
Moderation of the climate happens because large bodies of water slowly store heat during hot periods and gradually release this heat as temperatures decline seasonally. The lands around such large expanses of water have more frost-free days than more inland areas and therefore enjoy a comparatively longer growing season.

Not too long ago wetlands were often marked on maps as wasteland or unproductive areas. Nothing could be further from the truth and governments around the world are now enacting legislation to help protect these treasures from ill-considered destruction.