Lynn Betts / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This article was originally published on Pacific Standard


“Stretching across the southeastern United States, wetland forests provide ecosystem services totaling $500 billion, according to a 2018 report by environmental watchdog group Dogwood Alliance. Today, America’s natural wetland forests exist in pockets, covering just a fraction of their former range.

However, even in their depleted state, they provide crucial services. These highly biodiverse ecosystems are some of the most carbon-rich in the country, serving as a buffer against climate change. They also benefit the health and well-being of local communities, filtering air and water and providing aesthetic and recreational value.

But conservation organizations like Dogwood Alliance say that, despite their ecological importance, U.S. wetland forests are currently being drained, logged, burned, shipped across the Atlantic, and converted to monoculture pine plantations—all in the name of renewable energy…”

Read on at: Pacific Standard.