Wetland values

Wetlands provide many functions that are highly valued for their benefits to society. These benefits can be divided into three categories:1) environmental quality values, 2) socio- economic values, and 3) aquatic and wildlife values.

Wetland Benefits

Wetland Values

Environmental Quality Water Quality Maintenance
    - pollution filter
    - sediment removal
    - oxygen production
    - nutrient recycling
    - chemical and nutrient absorption
Aquatic Productivity
Climate Regulator
Socio-Economic Flood Control
Shoreline Erosion Control
Groundwater Recharge - Water Supply
Harvested Products
     (timber, peat, fish, shellfish)
Hunting, Recreation
Education and Scientific Research
Aquatic and Wildlife Habitat
    - aquatic 
    - waterfowl and birds
    - wildlife

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated the economic values of wetlands in Maryland within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (EPA, 1997).

Economic value of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Wetlands

Sport fishing expenditures totaled
$275 million and supported 8,300 jobs

Retail sales from wetland-dependent migratory bird hunting totaled
nearly $20 million

Commercial fish harvesting contributed
7.7 million pounds of fish worth
$5.2 billion in 1993

57 million pounds of crabs were
harvested with a commercial
value of $35 million in 1993