Effects of agricultural, industrial, and municipal pollutants on wetlands and wildlife and wildlife health
Wetlands accumulate pollutants from adjacent areas through intentional discharge of sewage or industrial wastes, runoff of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, and discharge from municipal storm drains. Coastal wetlands receive more pollutants indirectly as the endpoint for upland drainage systems and directly through petroleum spills and insect abatement. Wetlands that serve as evaporation basins during seasonally high water, especially in more arid climates, concentrate natural compounds and as well as pollutants. The ability of wetlands to be effective filtration systems for wastewater nutrients through microbial transformations, uptake by plants, and deposition of particulate matter, and the shortage of water in arid climates has resulted in revision of wetland regulations. Wetlands can now be developed for wastewater treatment and natural wetlands can be restored or converted to wastewater treatment systems. The effect of these accumulation pollutants on wetland ecology and wildlife health needs to be recognized.