Donations to the Wetlands Habitat Fund will be used to restore wetlands in Ohio.
Wetlands, the “Cradle of Life”
The fund pays for the purchase of land for the wetland restoration and management, research of wetlands and maintenance of Ohio’s existing wetlands. Wetlands are known as the cradle of life, 60 percent of all wild animals need a wetland habitat some time during their life cycle. More wetlands mean healthy, diverse wildlife populations in Ohio.
Prior to European settlement, there were an estimated 5 million acres of wetlands in Ohio. By 1987, Ohio’s wetlands had been reduced to an estimated 706,000 acres, which included shallow marsh, wet woods, shrub-scrub wetlands, and wet meadows. A combination of factors led to the loss of Ohio wetlands, including agricultural and urban development, introduction of exotic species, and environmental degradation. Ohio’s wetlands support a diversity of indigenous and migratory species, including 36 state-listed threatened and endangered species (16 avian, 3 mammal, 9 reptile and amphibian, and 8 moth and butterfly species). Many of the wetland-dependent groups of wildlife (e.g., reptiles and amphibians, furbearers, waterfowl, shorebirds, neotropical songbirds, marsh birds, wading birds, fish, bald eagles, etc.) that use Ohio’s wetlands are important ecologically, socially, and economically. Remaining wetlands are being surrounded and encroached upon by agricultural and urban development. Wetlands continue to be lost, and various environmental threats negatively affect the quality of wetland habitats for wildlife.