on Earth. For the past several years, I have been a counselor at a natural resource conservation summer camp, and the rapidly declining number of wetlands is always a huge topic of discussion. This specific type of ecosystem is a freshwater environment that can reveal the health of a local area. These are different and much larger than ecosystems. I think its amazing that nature has organisms and ecosystems that filter out contaminants in our fresh water supply. These buffers are actually woodlands surrounding bodies of water that consist of trees, shrubs, and grass plantings that provide protection of aquatic resources from adverse impacts from things such as land development. Fresh water is the lifeblood of our planet, and freshwater ecosystems connect headwaters with oceans, land with water, and people with the resources they need to thrive. Pacific Fleet/Flickr Creative Commons. More than 2 billion people lack access to safe, readily available water at home. Conservation News spoke with Conservation International’s Colleen Sorto about how when it comes to water and human health, where your water comes from can be just as important as how you use it. The areas on which humanity depends for its most precious resource are under increasing pressure. If we raise awareness soon, there’s a very good likelihood that our future with fresh water supply will be in a better state. Chapter 8: Environmental Flows in Shared Watercourses: Review of Assessment Methods and Relevance in the Transboundary Setting In Transboundary Water Management: Principles and Practice (Eds A. Earle, A. Jägerskog and J. Öjendal) pp 107 – 128 (Earthscan, London). Agriculture, industrial processes, untreated waste and degraded lands are leading causes of pollution in freshwater systems. Civic Issues Blog. Coastal wetlands, such as saltmarsh and mangroves, are likely to have the highest rates of greenhouse gas capture and containment, and the drainage of these wetlands would turn them from carbon containers into carbon sources, further harming the ozone layer and speeding up the global warming process. Wetlands also reduce the risk of flooding greatly by retarding the movement of floodwaters towards nearby residential areas. Unfortunately, the sustainability of a large amount of these ecosystems is being negatively affected by land development. We work to secure inland freshwater fisheries, which provide food security to millions of people. From wetlands to Riparian buffers (using this phrase allows me to sound more intelligent), the processes for purifying elements that contaminate our water supply. It’s remarkable as to how Earth can filter such pollutants in a natural manner. Ecosystems are the interactions between the animals and the environment. A biome is a formation of flora and fauna, or plants and animals) that have common characteristics as a result of similar atmospheres. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within fifty years all forms of life would flourish.” — Jonas Salk. I liked that you talked about fertilizers and heavy metals being filtered through freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater environments are less extensive than the sea, but they are important centers of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the sustainability of a large amount of these ecosystems is being negatively affected by land development. Agustin Silvani, vice president of the Conservation Finance Division at Conservation International, explains the importance of tech accelerators. Included in these nine principles are ecosystem limitations, population dynamics, and the importance of habitat availability. Plants and animals from in this ecosystem can be important; plants provide oxygen through photosynthesis and for the animals. This photo depicts how wetlands purify the water that flows through them. Imitation (or manmade) wetlands essentially serve the same purpose, although they do so on a much smaller scale and can not serve as a replacement for natural wetlands by any means. I think what is most amazing about these ecosystems are their roles as sponges, absorbing and slowly releasing excess water in times of flooding.