Wetlands are natural treasures, but unfortunately have long been misunderstood and undervalued. Through the Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas program, the Carolina Wetlands Association (CarWA) seeks to increase public awareness and appreciation of wetlands, and to generate pride in, and commitment to, protection and stewardship of significant wetlands in North and South Carolina. In 2016, CarWA launched the program by recognizing five sites in our inaugural class of Wetland Treasures, each of which includes high quality forested wetland plant communities. These ecologically significant wetlands support extraordinary biodiversity and provide services like water purification, flood prevention, recreational opportunities, and more all for free. In 2017, CarWA has added an additional five sites to the list. CarWA thanks the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, whose Wetland Gems program (wisconsinwetlands.org/gems.htm) is the inspiration and model for this program.
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