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For years, wetlands were viewed as nuisances in America. Their natural values were measured against the value of their use as dry land. Because the natural functions of wetlands were not well understood, the accepted practice was to drain them in order to make the land more "useful" to humans (Illinois Department of Natural Resources 1997).

In recent years, wetlands have received a large amount of public attention. As a result, increased scientific study of these unique ecosystems at the global, national, state, and local levels has taken place. These studies have revealed the important biological, hydrological, terrestrial, and ecological functions wetlands perform. Knowledge of these functions has improved the recognition of wetlands as important, valuable ecosystems.

This section is designed to improve our understanding of wetlands by dicussing the various beneficial functions wetlands perform.

[ Introduction | Biological Functions | Threatened & Endangered Species | Hydrological Functions | Water Quality | Ground Water Recharge | Terrestrial Functions | Aesthetics & Recreation |Economics | Conclusion ]

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 Wetlands Home Page
 Understanding Wetlands
 Functions and Values
 Status and History
 Wetland Committees
 Mitigation Banking
 Illinois Wetland Types
 National Wetland Inventory
 Glossary Acronyms
 Literature Cited

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