Connecticut’s Freshwater Wetlands
Your feedback is important to us!
After viewing our curriculum units, please take a few minutes to help us understand how the units, which were created by public school teachers, may be useful to others.
Saltwater and freshwater wetlands cover five per cent of Connecticut’s total land area. These wetlands consist of salt marshes, tidal flats, freshwater aquatic beds, emergent wetlands, scrub-shrub wetlands, marshes, and forested swamps, bogs and flood plains. Historically, many of these wetland environments have been considered as waste places, more suitable as agricultural land or for commercial or residential purposes. In Connecticut, nationally and internationally, this negative image of wetlands has given way to the recognition (particularly over the past quarter century) that wetlands are extremely important for a region’s economic vitality, maintenance of human health and well-being, natural resource assets, wise land stewardship, and aesthetic interests. In this unit I focus on the freshwater wetlands of Connecticut, including aspects of wetland biodiversity, geology, soils, hydrology, and biogeochemistry. I give here only a cursory review of textbook wetland ecology subject matter, preferring to devote the greater part of the narrative to descriptions of six representative freshwater wetland habitats I have studied extensively in Connecticut. With this approach I hope to show how scientific study can be carried out by the teacher and brought into the classroom for similar involvement of students. The unit is intended for use in high school biology courses, and I believe that a good portion of the material presented here can be modified for elementary or middle school science instruction.