Water quality is often dependent upon wetlands because they serve to trap sediment, remove nutrients, protect shorelines and slow the effects of flood water. They also serve as both discharge and recharge areas for groundwater and provide habitat for many species of plants and animals. In part due to these functions, wetlands exhibit higher biological productivity than most other community types and support rare biota. Currently, 43% of all federally listed threatened and endangered species use wetlands at some point in their life cycles. In Wisconsin, 32% of the state’s listed species are wetland dependent.
Over the last 200 years, more than 50% of the wetlands in continental United States have been removed. Much of the remaining wetlands has been degraded. At present, Wisconsin has lost 47% of its original ten million acres of wetlands. The focus of the project is to restore wetlands to the benefit of macro-invertebrates, fish, and waterfowl, restore habitat, and improve water quality.