The black bog had him by the feet; the sucking of the ground drew on him, like the thirsty lips of death. […] he tossed his arms to heaven, and they were black to the elbow, and the glare of his eyes was ghastly. […] Scarcely could I turn away, while, joint by joint, he sank from sight.
Lorna Doone, R.D. Blackmore
What do you think of when you think about wetlands: ponds, lakes, streams, rivers? Humankind needs water to drink, irrigate crops, and clean ourselves. However, our view of water tends to focus on the negatives: drowning, dirt, disease, and decay. Words like “bogged-down” and “swamped” have entered everyday use. In some ways Carver Doone’s plight represents the fears that we have about wetlands. But I want to make the case that these wetlands are misunderstood heroes of the natural world.
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