One of the first things many people notice when they first visit Florida is just how much water there is. Such a reaction doesn’t just have to do with being surrounded by the ocean — it’s all the ponds, lakes, swamps, rivers, canals, mangroves, and springs that are dotting the landscape. Florida has more water than 49 other states, excluding Alaska (which is basically 1/5 as big as the entire U.S.) and Michigan (which technically includes Lakes Michigan and Huron).
Many Floridians treasure all of Florida’s natural water and love to spend time in and around it. But, not too many truly understand the importance of all these wetlands for our environment. Here are some reasons why we should take the maintenance and care of all Florida’s wetlands seriously.
Florida is home to a wide variety of reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish, mammals, and bugs which all depend on the wetlands for survival. Many of our rare and unique wildlife have become endangered with the destruction of wetlands. From bears to cranes to shellfish, all depend on our waterways to flourish.
Wetlands are nature’s water filters. When contaminants are introduced in an environment, the water supply can trap them, filter them into the sediment, and absorb them. This process results in water clarity both in waterways and in underground aquifers.
Many aquifers are refilled by wetlands, which trap storm water and filter it down underground. Much of Florida’s drinking and bathing water comes from aquifers, so our wetlands are incredibly important for our everyday lives.
Daily rainstorms and more serious weather systems could cause extensive destruction through floods if it weren’t for our wetlands. Lakes, rivers, swamps, and mangroves can all trap the excessive water runoff, protecting our cities and neighborhood from flood damage.
The freshwater and brackish fishing industries make up a large part of the commercial seafood industry in the country. The government estimates that 60% to 90% of all fisheries in the United States rely on wetlands.
Just as we have many animals that call our wetlands home, we also have unique plants that only exist in our wetlands. If these were destroyed, we would lose the rare plants that provide much of the beauty and special character to our state.
Tourism and activities
Aside from the beaches and theme parks, much of Florida’s tourism appeal comes from the opportunity for outdoor activities. Fishing, hunting, and camping are all extremely popular in Florida. Without thriving wetlands, animal populations would dwindle, our beautiful landscape would erode, and there would be little opportunity for the recreational activities that are loved by so many.
Sorko Services takes the health of Florida’s waterways seriously. We provide a host of services to keep our beautiful lakes, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water clean and healthy. Whether your body of water needs weed removal, algae control, fish stocking, or an aeration system, we can help. Call us today to learn more at 407-878-4492.
The Importance of Florida Wetlands in Central Florida
Serving Greater Orlando, Sanford and Kissimmee