Canoe paddling in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
© Brad Beck/Tandem Stills + Motio
Serene waters on a 'trembling earth'. American Wetlands Month
May is American Wetlands Month, a time to reflect on the importance of wetlands in local, regional, and global ecosystems. And wetlands deserve attention—these biologically diverse systems sequester carbon, increase water quality, and provide sanctuary to at least one-third of all endangered and threatened species. And yet, wetlands themselves are threatened. More than half of the 221 million acres of wetlands in the 48 contiguous US states have been destroyed.
Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, seen here, is a thriving wetland and the largest blackwater ecosystem remaining in North America. Here you'll find dozens of bird species, as well as lots of amphibians, reptiles and other critters. The Okefenokee Swamp gets its name from a Native American word meaning 'trembling earth'.