What are wetlands?

Wetlands are areas where groundwater is at or near the surface. They may appear dry during the summer and fall, but they contain enough water to support plants that are adapted to grow in wetlands such as red maples, skunk cabbage, cattails, reeds, and sensitive ferns. Wetlands include ponds and streams, forested swamps, open marshes, wet meadows, bogs, and floodplains. They also include vernal pools, which are temporary ponds that form in winter and spring, and dry out in summer.