US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

May is American Wetlands Month

American Wetlands Month was created in 1991 by the Environmental Protection Agency and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit and private sector partners to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health and to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource. The annual celebration of American Wetlands Month in May inspires people to work throughout the year to protect, preserve, and expand wetlands.

Wetland Types

Swamps are wetlands with a canopy of trees or shrubs. They include forested floodplains along major rivers that are temporarily flooded in spring. Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin have extensive black ash and northern white cedar swamps on saturated, peaty soils of ancient lake basins. Shrub dominated swamps include "tag Alder" thickets and those composed of willows and dogwoods.
Marshes are wetlands composed of cattails, lake sedges, burlrushes, wild rice, arrowheads and other herbaceous vegetation growing in shallow water that may be seasonal to permanent. This example is of Deep Marsh Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Bogs are wetlands with acidic, peaty soils and a carpet of Sphagnum mosses. Growing on the mossy mat are sedges, orchids, pitcher plants, evergreen shrubs and often scrubby black spruce and tamarack trees.
Fens are wetlands supported by upwelling groundwater flows creating springs and seepages. Mineral-rich, alkaline, peaty soils are saturated throughout the growing season. These include calcareous fens, the rarest wetland type in Minnesota and Wisconsin and which support a disproportionate number of rare plant species.
Wet or sedge meadows are wetlands composed of sedges, grasses and wildflowers growing on saturated soils.

American Wetlands Month Stories

A Corps regulator’s life: Challenges and opportunities
5/19/2014
Corps regulators have many duties and responsibilities. They work with federal laws, including the Clean Water Act; Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, National Environmental Policy Act; Endangered...
Floodplain forests provide habitat, recreation and mitigation
5/19/2014
The St. Paul District environmental stewardship section has been busy lately planting trees near Bay City, Wis. The reforestation project began as a way to mitigate floodplain forest and wetlands that...
Corps, partners develop plan to protect wetlands
5/19/2014
Northeast Minnesota is known for its views of Lake Superior, outdoor recreation opportunities, the call of the loon and its pristine wetlands. ...
Watershed planning offers hope to challenging problems
5/19/2014
The district recently finished one of its first comprehensive watershed reports, the Sunrise Watershed Study, solely for environmental purposes and the benefit of watershed managers. ...
Wetlands support flood risk reduction
5/19/2014
While wetlands play an important role in providing habitat for a myriad of species and serve as a filter for aquifers, they also play an important role in reducing the impacts of floods....
Wetlands provide more than scenic views of nature
5/7/2014
Have you ever wondered what wetlands actually do for society or the environment? Barbara Walther, senior ecologist, said these areas, a place between water and land, provide value to both communities...
Regulatory 101: Science, people and America’s waters
5/7/2014
“When everybody is equally unhappy, we probably did our job right,” joked Tamara Cameron, regulatory branch chief. “Nobody ever says, ‘Thank you for making me get this permit.’...