Wetlands Matter

Marsh Dog is on a mission to turn every dog into a Canine Conservationist! What do we help conserve? Wetlands! Using wild Nutria in dog treats supports science-based conservation of the fastest disappearing ecosystem in the world. Nutria must be removed to preserve habitat but their lean, clean, eco-sustainable protein need not go to waste!


People live in wetlands. Along with a wide variety of plants and wildlife occupy wetlands. Ducks, geese, ibises, kingfishers, and sandpipers, reptiles, amphibians, carbon sequestering grasses and trees all make up wetlands.



Each year, Louisiana’s commercial and recreational fishing industries contribute $3.5 billion and over 40,000 jobs to the state’s economy. Approximately 21% of the fish harvested by weight in the lower 48 states comes from Louisiana’s coastal zone. The annual economic impact of recreational fishing can amount to between $895 million and $1.2 billion.



Scientist estimate that around one third of endangered species that call the United States home depend on wetlands for survival either directly or indirectly. The threatened Louisiana Black Bear is one such species.



A wetland is a place in which the land is covered by water—salt, fresh, or somewhere in between—either seasonally or permanently. It functions as its own distinct ecosystem. You can recognize wetlands from other land forms or bodies of water primarily by the vegetation that has adapted to wet soil.



Wetlands face threats from pollution, climate change, dams, agriculture and aquaculture, development, channelling, and NUTRIA! Studies have found at least 64% of our global coastal wetlands have been lost since 1900.



Biodiversity is a key measure of the health of any ecosystem, and of our entire planet. Every organism in an ecosystem, or biome, relies on other organisms and the physical environment. Wetlands are considered to have the most complex biodiversity.



Despite the fact that wetlands take up a mere 3% of earth’s surface, their carbon capturing abilities pack a big punch. They can store 50 times more carbon than rain forests, helping to keep the heat-trapping gas that contributes to climate change out of the atmosphere. Wetlands strain matter that contains carbon from the water such as leaves and animal waste. This natural debris is buried by the water and sediment in the wetlands, locking them away. Another advantage is that wetlands grow quickly and are sturdy, meaning they have long lifespans of sucking carbon from the atmosphere.



Just one acre of wetland can store over 1 million gallons of floodwater–multiply that by the number of acres wetlands may actually have…that’s a LOT of water! According to the National Wildlife Federation, because of the landscape’s ability to trap and store excess rainfall, they’re natural protective barriers to coastal communities.



Without wetlands, cities have to spend more money to treat water for their citizens, floods are more devastating to nearby communities, storm surges from hurricanes can penetrate farther inland, animals are displaced or die out, and food supplies are disrupted, along with livelihoods.



Organized by the Convention of Wetlands, World Wetlands Day celebrates the importance of our wetland ecosystems. With our waters warming and sea levels rising, the frequency of natural disasters has quickly increased. The protection and restoration of the wetlands are crucial for reducing the damage caused by extreme climate change related weather events.



Over two million people live in Louisiana’s coastal zone, and the wetlands are an integral part of life for many residents. The wetlands provide the setting for the region’s primary economic activities, such as navigation and oil and gas production. In addition, the cultural impact of the ecosystem can be traced to traditions of music, food, and living off the land that continue to this day. Much of what gives Louisiana its unique heritage finds its roots in the coast.



Without wetlands, cities have to spend more money to treat water for their citizens, floods are more devastating to nearby communities, storm surges from hurricanes can penetrate farther inland, animals are displaced or die out, and food supplies are disrupted, along with livelihoods.



Louisiana’s wetlands provide habitats for thousands of plant and animal species. The intrinsic value of these lands as a haven for wildlife is felt by all who visit, and as such, the wetlands represent a precious aspect of our nation’s natural heritage.



More than 80% of the nation’s offshore oil and gas is produced off Louisiana’s coast, and 25% of the nation’s foreign and domestic oil comes ashore on Louisiana roads and waterways. The coastal zone also contains the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port; over 43,000 oil and gas wells; two storage sites for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; and the Henry Hub, one of the nation’s major natural gas distribution centers. Louisiana has 3,819 vendors and equipment suppliers in 165 different communities to service this array of infrastructure. These suppliers received an estimated $2.4 billion in oil and gas related business in 1992.



Recreational activities in south Louisiana such as hiking, bird watching, photography, kayaking, and camping, contribute more than $220 million annually to Louisiana’s economy.



The Mississippi River Basin terminates in Louisiana’s coastal zone, bringing with it nutrient rich runoff from 31 states and two Canadian provinces. Today, levees channel most of this runoff into the Gulf of Mexico. Before the levees were built, however, Louisiana’s wetlands filtered many of these sediments and nutrients, converting them into biologically useful materials. This purification function has an estimated mean value of $325 per acre per year.


“The swamps and marshes of coastal Louisiana are among the Nation’s most fragile and valuable wetlands, vital not only to recreational and agricultural interests but also the State’s more than $1 billion per year seafood industry.”

—S. Jeffress Williams,
U.S. Geological Survey

80% of US coastal land loss occurs in Louisiana


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P.O. Box 14848
Baton Rouge LA 70898


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