Archive for December 15th, 2010

Habitat: What is a Marsh?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Nathan Kuhn is a wetlands biologist who spends his time studying marshes.

13—There are a lot of different categories, but the ones that I usually operate with are the four categories of freshwater, intermediate, brackish and saltwater marshes. And, basically, that’s a gradient from lowest salinity to highest salinity.

He explains that wetland is another term to describe marshland as well as other soggy bottoms.

16—Essentially they’re the same. A marsh is just a kind of wetland. A marsh is typically made up of grasses and other herb type plants. Whereas a swamp is another type of wetland, and that’s mainly composed of trees, like your bald cypress and tupelo gum trees.

We’re more inclined to visit a mall than we are a marsh. And as hard as it is to believe, our overall quality of life would not decline if malls disappeared. The same is not true were we to lose our marshes.

14—Without them, in many cases we would not have the shrimp or the speckled trout that a lot of people go to the Texas coast to enjoy. So, there are a lot of invisible values of these wetlands that these people don’t necessarily realize unless they were gone.

Tomorrow we see how a decline in marshland means an increase in flooding.

Our show is made possible by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti