Benefits of Wetlands
Life flourishes where the Ocean interacts with the Land
With tidal flow coming from the ocean via the San Diego River channel, the water in the Famosa Slough is brackish, part salt and part freshwater. The unique conditions of brackish wetlands and estuaries are important ecologically, as many species of fish use them as nurseries. The slough also has shallow water that is slow moving, another asset for fish, and also the conditions necessary for marsh plants to thrive. Marsh plants such as pickleweed, salt grass, and rushes are host plants to insects, as well as providing habitat for nesting birds, and an environment for foraging and hunting. The crabs and snails that line the shore, the fish in the water, the plants, and the birds that you see at the slough are markers of the high biodiversity that occurs in specifically in wetlands.
You might think of forests when you hear the term carbon sequestration, but recent research (which includes data collected at the Famosa Slough) shows that wetlands are even more efficient at carbon sequestration than forests. The plants at the slough and the layers of sediment work together to collect and retain carbon. Preserving existing wetlands, and restoring more wetlands, is an important way to contribute to global warming remediation.
With so much of the California coast having been developed, wetlands are scarce and the Famosa Slough is a rare opportunity for people to experience the dynamic animals and plants of the wetlands from a close vantage. Visits to wetlands provide a chance to learn, listen, relax, and watch nature up close.