Wetlands have many benefits. They provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife, flood water storage, shoreline erosion control, water quality improvement, and opportunities for recreation and education.
Wetlands often function like natural sponges, storing surface water runoff during storms and slowly filtering and releasing it into nearby streams or recharging groundwater. This capacity to intercept and filter pollutants from stormwater runoff makes wetlands invaluable in improving local water quality.
Wetlands can be among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world, making them vital to the survival of numerous animals and plants, including many threatened and endangered species.
Dakota County works with various organizations, local communities or citizens and to prioritize and assess wetland resources. One example is the Dakota County Wetland Heath Evaluation Program (WHEP)
where people volunteer to assess wetland health by monitoring its plant and macroinvertebrate diversity.