Peaceful Wetland's Sunrise | Great River, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

A patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be considered a “wetland,” even though the land is wet. Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are generally distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the types of plants that live within them. Specifically, wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants.

A more concise definition is a community composed of hydric soil and hydrophytes.

Wetlands have also been described as ecotones, providing a transition between dry land and water bodies. Mitsch and Gosselink write that wetlands exist “…at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic systems, making them inherently different from each other, yet highly dependent on both.”

In environmental decision-making, there are subsets of definitions that are agreed upon to make regulatory and policy decisions. Read more

Artwork Comments

  • Diane Arndt
  • © Sophie W. Smith
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