Plan a School Wetlands Project

Biologist Rich Mason helps students plant a schoolyard wetland.

Wetlands play a critical role providing habitat for a diversity of wildlife and improving the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Wetlands act as sponges, soaking up stormwater and trapping polluted runoff. The subsequent gradual release of water minimizes erosion and slows the flow of stormwater into rivers, streams and the Bay. Wetland plants filter and absorb nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants before these pollutants can flow to nearby waterways. Wetlands are especially important in our cities, towns and suburbs, where development and impervious surfaces drastically increase the rate and volume of polluted stormwater runoff.

Unfortunately, over the past 50 years, the Chesapeake Bay watershed has lost at least 50% of its wetlands to development, sea level rise and invasive species. Creating, restoring and protecting wetlands is key to clean water, healthy habitats and a restored Bay. A school wetland (there are many sizes and types to choose from) can also provide a fascinating outdoor laboratory for instruction across many disciplines.

Before You Start

Design and Preparation

Implementation

Maintenance

Using Your Project

Sharing Your Project

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