While explaining the 99wetlands blog concept to a friend, he asked a pointed question, expressed with genuine concern: what if you can’t find a wetland in one or more of Iowa’s 99 counties?
Actually, that’s a legitimate consideration! According to government reports, the country has lost over half of its wetland area, often for conversion to agriculture—in other words, drained to plant row crops, orchards, or pasture grass. And as you might predict, Iowa is a leader in this landscape transformation, with an estimated 90% wetland area lost.
Still, a county is a fairly large area: a typical Iowa county is maybe 500 square miles/1300 square kilometers. I’m fairly confident I can find at least one wetland in each county.
“But Paul,” you say. “What if the only available wetland is small, or weedy, or drained, or just not very appealing? How can you blog about that?” My goal with this project is to share, to educate, to tell the story of the wetlands. Sometimes the stories will be happy and beautiful, and sometimes not. I just believe there’s something worth learning from each wetland, and I want each to tell those stories.
Of course, some blog entries will not be about specific wetlands, but instead general topics…like this one! I encourage you to keep the questions and conversation going.
Thanks for reading!