Wetlands are important natural resources – and are where groundwater and surface water come together. They help control flooding, minimize erosion, purify water, and offer habitat for Vermont’s flora and fauna. Wetlands include bogs, marshes, fens, swamps and other areas where water influences plant and animal communities. In Vermont, wetlands are often associated with lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, and also are linked to groundwater.
According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, nearly 50 percent of Vermont’s historic wetland area has been lost or severely impaired due to draining, dredging, filling, or excavation activities associated with industrial, residential, and agricultural activities. Its estimated that since 1995, the rate of regulated wetland loss in Vermont has been 20 acres annually. In addition, there is likely a similar amount of unregulated wetlands that are lost each year. Vermonters recognize wetlands as valuable natural resources that provide many important direct and indirect benefits. In recent years, VNRC has helped advance legislation and regulatory changes that add protections for wetlands and we continue our vigilance in protecting these important natural features.