The Hinman Valley Wetland Complex consists of 100+ acres of open water, deep marsh, shallow marsh, wet meadow, and forested wetland habitats. The site originally contained over 60 acres of regulated wetland. In 2008, the New York State Department of Transportation created an additional 41 acres of wetland at this site to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands during construction of the U.S. Route 219 freeway extension. Why Are Wetalnds Valuable? Wetlands are transition areas between upland and aquatic habitats. For many years, people did not recognize the many diverse benefits and values of wetlands. As a result, New York has lost almost half of its histpric wetlands to such activities as filling and draining. However, because wetlands are valuable to the people and environment of New York State, the use of wetlands is now regulated by the state and federal governments. Functions and benefits that wetlands perform include the following: Erosion Control Wetlands protect water bodies by slowing water velocity and filtering sediments. They also protect shorelines from water erosion. Flood and Storm Water ControlWetlands provide critical flood and stormwater control functions. They slow down, store, and absorb the movement of rain and melting snow, minimizing flooding
and stabilizing water flow. Wetlands also serve as surface water discharge areas, maintaining base flow in streams during dry periods, and supporting ponds and lakes. Pollution Treatment and Nutrient Cycling Wetlands cleanse water by filtering out pollutants, which are then broken down. In wetlands, organic materials are also broken down and recycled back into the environment, where they support the food chain. Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Fish and Wildlife Habitat Wetlands are important areas for wildlife feeding, nesting, spawning, and resting. Wetlands also provide protection and cover for fish and wildlife, including many rare and endangered species. Public Enjoyment Wetlands provide areas for recreation, education and research. They also provide valuable open space, especially in developing areas where they may be the only green spaces remaining.