The Importance of Wetlands

The Importance of Wetlands

Wetlands play a very important role in the environment, and provide a home to many different plant and animal species. Among other benefits, wetlands help reduce shoreline erosion, they provide flood control by storing vast amounts of flood water, and they work to break down pollutants which improves water quality. The major types of wetlands are bogs, fens, marshes, and swamps. Bogs are formed after many years of decaying plants form a spongy substance named peat. They are critically important because they store a vast amount of carbon within the accumulated dead plant matter, and they also continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. While other types of wetlands also store carbon, bogs are the best at doing so. Bogs cover 3% of the earth’s surface, but store more than twice the amount of carbon compared to all of the forests on the planet. The destruction of bogs releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

All types of wetlands have been at risk, and 35% of the planet’s wetlands have been lost since 1970. Ducks Unlimited (DU) is a not for profit charity that works to conserve and restore wetlands throughout North America. 82% of the DU’s expenses are put towards conservation and education, versus administration and other costs not directly related to their mission. 14.7 million acres have been conserved since DU was established in 1937, and they continue to expand every year – DU conserved over 300,000 additional acres of land during its most recent fiscal year. There are many bogs within Canada’s Boreal Forest, and DU considers this region to be one of their priorities.

Axalta is one company that supports wetlands conservation through its $10 million sponsorship of DU. The company manufacturers coatings, such as paints, for a wide variety of applications. They have received various quality excellence awards, including from Nissan (2019), Honda Motorcycles (2019), and Daimler Truck (2018). They have also focused on developing ecofriendly products, such as Cromax EZ, a low-VOC automotive paint from their Cromax product line that is water based rather than petroleum based. Paint releases VOCs (i.e. volatile organic compounds) into the air, even for a few years after the application. VOCs contribute to air pollution and have been connected to cancer. Paint is the second leading cause of VOCs, after auto emissions, so low-VOC paints are generally more eco-friendly versus oil based solvents.

Axalta’s website contains a Cromax shop locator map that lists automotive shops that use Axalta’s Cromax coating products. Supporting an Axalta shop also helps to support Ducks Unlimited and wetlands conservation.

Sources

Undiscovered peatlands might be the most important thing you learn about today. Here’s why. – ensia.com

The manicured wetland that sucks up more carbon than a natural marsh – nature.com

Ducks Unlimited 2019 Annual Report – ducks.org

How Low-VOC Paint Works – howstuffworks.com

Wetlands photo by Brian Sumner on Unsplash

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