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Wetlands are places covered by water or saturated with water for at least part of every year. (Saturated means filled-up or soaked with water. A saturated wetland would be muddy, but not underwater.)
 
Wetlands are important ecosystems. An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things interacting in a specific area. Wetland ecosystems are unique because they include both land and water. 
 
Some wetland ecosystems are covered or saturated in saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water. Brackish water is a mixture of salty seawater and freshwater. 
 
Can you think of different plants and animals you might see in wetland ecosystems? Read our 'Questions' to help you think about it, then click on the GeoStory to visit some wetlands across the United States. 
aquatic
Adjective

having to do with water.

bog
Noun

wetland of soft ground made mostly of decaying plant matter.

brackish water
Noun

salty water, usually a mixture of seawater and freshwater.

Noun

all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

Noun

community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.

Noun

environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

humid
Adjective

air containing a large amount of water vapor.

Noun

wetland area usually covered by a shallow layer of seawater or freshwater.

noble gas
Noun

one of a group of elements appearing at the far right column of the periodic table of elements: helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), or radon (Rn). Also called an inert gas.

noble gas
Noun

one of a group of elements appearing at the far right column of the periodic table of elements: helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), or radon (Rn). Also called an inert gas.

saturate
Verb

to fill one substance with as much of another substance as it can take.

Noun

land permanently saturated with water and sometimes covered with it.

terrestrial
Adjective

having to do with the Earth or dry land.

tidelands
Noun

intertidal zone. Region between the high tide and the low tide of an area.

Plural Noun

region generally located between the Tropic of Cancer (23 1/2 degrees north of the Equator) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23 1/2 degrees south of the Equator).

tundra
Noun

cold, treeless region in Arctic and Antarctic climates.

Noun

area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.