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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2010

State’s wetlands to be celebrated in May

COLUMBIA, S.C. - May has been proclaimed "South Carolina Wetlands Month" by Gov. Mark Sanford, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"The goal of this month’s celebration of South Carolina’s abundant wetlands, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, is to encourage the public to learn more about our wetland resources," said Heather Preston, director of the Water Quality Division for DHEC’s Bureau of Water. "Wetlands are an irreplaceable part of the overall aquatic ecosystem and are vital to the existence of many of South Carolina’s treasured natural resources.

"This month is the perfect time to reflect back on the past 20 years and consider the progress that has been made, and to focus our efforts in surmounting the challenges we face protecting these valuable environmental and cultural resources," she said.

Wetlands are vegetated aquatic ecosystems that include areas such as Carolina bays, marshes and swamps. Wetlands provide habitat for wildlife such as waterfowl, as well as for economically important fish and shellfish populations. Many other ecologically important species are adapted to the wetland ecosystem including many amphibians, reptiles, and rare plants. Wetlands also provide safety, economic and other benefits to communities in the state by reducing flooding, cleaning and replenishing water supplies.

For more information on Wetlands Month, visit DHEC’s Web site at: http://www.scdhec.gov/water.

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For more information:
Heather Preston - (803) 898-3105
E-mail - prestohs@dhec.sc.gov
or
Adam Myrick - (803) 898-3884
E-mail - myrickar@dhec.sc.gov
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