Why are Wetlands important?

Left in their natural state, wetlands provide many free services to the Town. These low areas provide floodways to channel storm waters and act as a buffer to prevent storm damage to nearby roads and buildings. These functions minimize the need for engineered flood control structures. Wetlands provide temporary storage for flood waters, allowing floods to slowly recede, and recharge the groundwater aquifer. Directly or indirectly, some Resource Areas serve as sources of public or private water supply. In addition, the wetland can purify the water it receives. Wetlands provide natural settling ponds whose vegetation traps sediments which bind, and in some cases chemically break down, pollutants into non-toxic compounds. For example, the sediments under marsh vegetation absorb chlorinated hydrocarbons and heavy metals such as lead, copper and iron. The wetland also retains nitrogen and phosphorus compounds which, in large amounts, can lead to nuisance plant growth in water bodies. Over half of this country's original wetland acreage has been lost to agricultural and urban development, and the cost of this loss is degraded water quality, increased storm damage, and depleted fish and wildlife populations.

Appears in: Planning & Development FAQs

Calendar of Events
Tue, May 31, 2022, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Greenfield Council on Aging/Senior Center at the John Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant Street, Greenfield, MA
Posted to: Disability Access
Wed, Jun 1, 2022, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
WebX City of Greenfield
Posted to: Public Safety Comm.
Wed, Jun 1, 2022, 4:30 pm
FCTS, 82 Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls