Swamp Facts



  • Wetlands are areas of land where the water level is mostly above the ground.
  • The main types of wetland are bogs, fens, swamps and marshes.
  • Bogs and fens occur in cold climates and contain plenty of partially rotted plant material called peat.
  • Marshes and swamps are found in warm and cold places. They have more plants than bogs and fens.
  • Marshes are in permanently wet places, such as shallow lakes and river deltas. Reeds and rushes grow in marshes.
  • Swamps develop where the water level varies — often along the edges of rivers in the tropics where they are flooded, notably along the Amazon and Congo Rivers. Trees such as mangroves grow in swamps.
  • Half the wetlands in the USA were drained before most people appreciated their value. Almost half of Dismal Swamp in North Carolina has been drained.
  • The Pripet Marshes on the borders of Belorussia are the biggest in Europe, covering 270,000 sq km.
  • Wetlands act like sponges and help to control floods.
  • Wetlands help to top up supplies of groundwater.
  • In the past, wetlands were seen simply as dead areas, ripe for draining. Now their value for both wildlife and water control is beginning to be realized.