Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn February 2, 1997, environmentalists first celebrated World Wetlands Day. The day marks the signing of the so-called Ramsar Convention in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. This international agreement provides a framework for the conservation and sustainable development of the world’s wetlands.Today, more than 2,000 sites are part of the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. These sites range from the enormous inland delta of the Okavango River in Botswana to the tiny lake of Mai Pokhari in Nepal to the “Nation’s Estuary” of the United States, Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia.Wetlands provide unique, often brackish, habitats for a wide variety of plant, animal, and fungal species. Mangroves, rushes, and other wetland plants help prevent soil erosion, supporting local agriculture. Coastal wetlands also serve as crucial “shock absorbers” for storm surges that could devastate inland communities.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry agriculture Noun
the art and science of cultivating the land for growing crops (farming) or raising livestock (ranching).
Encyclopedic Entry: agriculture aspect Noun
view or interpretation.
all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.
Encyclopedic Entry: biodiversity bog Noun
wetland of soft ground made mostly of decaying plant matter.
brackish water Noun
salty water, usually a mixture of seawater and freshwater.
management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
Encyclopedic Entry: conservation crucial Adjective
the flat, low-lying plain that sometimes forms at the mouth of a river from deposits of sediments.
Encyclopedic Entry: delta devastate Verb
community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.
Encyclopedic Entry: ecosystem environmentalist Noun
person who studies or works to protect the Earth's ecosystems.
act in which earth is worn away, often by water, wind, or ice.
Encyclopedic Entry: erosion estuary Noun
mouth of a river where the river's current meets the sea's tide.
Encyclopedic Entry: estuary habitat Noun
environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.
Encyclopedic Entry: habitat marsh Noun
wetland area usually covered by a shallow layer of seawater or freshwater.
Encyclopedic Entry: marsh saturate Verb
to fill one substance with as much of another substance as it can take.
storm surge Noun
abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm. Also called a storm tide.
Encyclopedic Entry: storm surge sustainable development Noun
human construction, growth, and consumption that can be maintained with minimal damage to the natural environment.
land permanently saturated with water and sometimes covered with it.
Encyclopedic Entry: swamp unique Adjective
one of a kind.
area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.
Encyclopedic Entry: wetland