There's so many different varieties of animals that live - you just can't believe how
much of an ecosystem is sitting right at your footstep.
It's pretty cool to see the birds here.
It's pristine, it's alive, it's fresh,
there's new things coming in here.
The birds are thick.
This is it, this is really good stuff.
Wetlands are among the richest and most
diverse places on earth.
They provide shelter for animals, thousands of fish,
mammals and birds call them home.
If you can believe it, wetlands, thick with plants and soggy
soils, act as a sponge, soaking up pollutants and help keep our
They also help protect people from floods and storms.
Aquatic habitats like these along the Gulf Coast are vital
to seabirds, fish, and shellfish;
economically the gulf alone contributes billions to our
economy and supports millions of jobs.
Sometimes, in places where communities are growing along
the coast, wetlands are paying the price.
In some places, these once biologically rich areas are
filled in, and developed into homes.
Others are turned into farmland or industrial sites.
As a result, our wetlands are disappearing,
and with them, the fish that lived there...
the same fish that we catch and eat at home.
But, the news is not all bad.
Scientists are finding that protection and restoration are
making a difference.
At a time when people are losing their jobs and our economy is
troubled, should restoring wetlands be a priority?
Fortunately, in many cases, conserving wetlands also
supports a healthier economy.
In 2009, President Obama signed an economic stimulus law that
would send a portion of funding to restore coastal areas,
while creating jobs for those living nearby.
Here in Huntington Beach, California,
3 million dollars went to support the restoration of the
Magnolia Marsh Wetland, which is surrounded
by a thriving coastal community.
It is estimated that the economic benefits of this
restoration equals billions of dollars per year.
This is essentially a group of local people who saw a cause and
decided to take action themselves.
They said to the government, give us the tools,
give us the resources and we'll do the project.
Wetlands Conservancy was able to acquire the property and
preserve it as open space wildlife habitat.
But the marsh was cut off from seawater for more than 100 years
and people, birds and fish were nowhere to be found.
In 2010, after a few months of construction,
the wetland was restored.
Not only did this effort provide
jobs for 45 local residents, but today Magnolia
is on the road to recovery.
Water floods its land once again.
The fish and wildlife are returning,
including important commercial fish like California Halibut.
Putting water into these wetlands it creates really
important nursery habitat for fish species like halibut which
will then grow up in these nurseries and will then enter
back into the system and be available for fishers to fish
and consume and be great habitat for fish in the future.
What this project shows is that nature has an amazing capacity
to recover if you give it a chance to do so.
Restoration requires help from the entire community.
We've left our mark on something that's going to be here for
a long time, for my kids and other kids to enjoy and
it definitely makes me proud to see this completed and not just a big
dumpsite that is was before
This project has provided a job for me but in addition to that
has also improved the environment in our community.
Over 90 percent of the wetlands in California are gone,
so this is a celebration
People can now enjoy the beauty of this area and participate in
many recreational activities.
We're here to look at birds and fish for cub scouts.
This is a real gift to the nation...
We need to value and protect our coastal habitats and
this is a tremendously exciting way to do it.
This is an opportunity to draw attention to how important these
places are how much they deserve our protection how much we
benefit from them and from a scientific standpoint this is so
exciting to have the opportunity to participate in this.
Supporting local economies...
Protecting the environment.
Doing our part to preserve wildlife and an ocean
we can all enjoy for generations to come.