Maine is home to innumerable wetlands of all sorts; here are some that we have visited as part of the Department of Environmental Science's Wetlands Ecology class (ESP 303) at the University of Southern Maine.

Maine salt marsh, Acadia National Park
Wetlands have a disproportionate effect on ecosystems for their size; despite their relatively small size they have important ecosystem functions that make life easier for all of us.
  • Wetlands absorb water from storms, reducing water levels, and slowly releasing water long after a storm has passed.
  • Wetlands slow sediment-laden water and catch sediments from moving further downstream.
  • Wetlands help cycle nutrients, pulling phosphorus and nitrogen out of the water. Constructed wetlands can be used to clean water from water treatment plants.
  • Wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl, amphibians and mammals.
  • Wetlands are home to some truly unique organisms, like the carnivorous plants that capture and digest insects in order to thrive in Maine's nutrient poor peat bogs.
On each wetlands page you will find information regarding the hydrology, soils, vegetation, wildlife and other intriguing bits of information that we've collected through our visits and research. Please visit our site again as future classes will contribute to the growing catalog of Maine's numerous wetlands.

For more information about this course or to give us feedback, please contact: karen.wilson "at" maine.edu.  Thanks!

This page last updated: 22 April 2014

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