Sep 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall as Monstrous Storm

Forested wetlands, all wetlands in fact, act as natural buffers to moderate the frequency and intensity of flooding events. These natural ecosystems soak up and store significant amounts of floodwater, holding and releasing waters slowly over time. Wetlands typically can store about three-acre feet of water or about one million gallons of water (per acre). Three acre-feet is an acre of land covered with three feet of water. Coastal forested wetlands serve as tremendous storm surge protectors and inland forested wetlands are sustainable buffers against wind wave action, soil erosion, and stream and lake flooding. When water enters a wetland, it slows down. The water moves around the wetland trees and plants and it is deeply absorbed into hydric soils, wetland mosses, and other hydrophyllic vegetation. After peak flood waters pass, wetlands slowly release the stored waters thereby reducing property damage and potential catastrophic loss of life downstream or inland.