Wetlands are areas where the land is covered by shallow water or the soil is saturated to near
the surface for at least two weeks during the growing season. Some common names for
different types of wetlands are swamp, marsh, and bog.
What is a Wetland?
Wetlands are defined based on their hydrology, soils, and plants. The U.S. EPA defines
wetlands as “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a
frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do
support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.”
Why Should We Value Wetlands?
Wetlands improve water quality, protect against floods and droughts, provide important
wildlife habitat, and contribute to the resilience and biodiversity of West Virginia’s natural