Question Sheet: Saving Wetlands


Before reading:

  1. Why is it important to protect different ecosystems? 
  2. Where would you find wetlands?

During reading:

  1. What is an estuary, and why is it important? 
  2. What evidence is there that wetlands are disappearing? 
  3. What makes Louisiana an especially important place to consider in the disappearance of wetlands? 
  4. How has development affected wetlands? 
  5. What could the U.S. federal government do to help reverse wetland destruction? 
  6. Name something that you could do in your own community to help save wetlands.

After reading:

  1. Why do you think that wetlands are home to so many different plants and animals? 
  2. Design an experiment that you could do to study some aspect of a wetland ecosystem. 
  3. Why do you think that many people might not be as concerned about saving wetlands as they are about other environmental issues? 
  4. Who should help pay for restoring wetlands in Louisiana? Why? 
  5. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, volcanoes, and forest fires can play important roles in ecosystems. If you could stop hurricanes from happening, would that be a good idea? Why or why not?


You’ll find a brief outline of the history of Louisiana at (Louisiana Department of Economic Development) or (Louisiana Almanac). Which Spanish explorer discovered the Mississippi River? When did the United States buy the Louisiana territory from France? When did Louisiana become a state? When was oil discovered in the state? When was Louisiana’s first offshore oil well developed?


  1. Design a campaign to get people to save water. Create a slogan, design posters, and write a letter to try to persuade people why this issue is important. 
  2. Pick an animal that lives largely or solely in wetlands. Write a brief profile of the animal, focusing on why the wetlands are important to its survival.


Suppose that the population of birds at a wildlife refuge has the following distribution:

Northern pintail
33 percent
19 percent
American white pelican
14 percent
Great blue heron
9 percent
Blue-winged teal
6 percent
15 percent

On one particular day, birdwatchers spot and identify 1,200 birds. How many of those birds are likely to be pelicans? northern pintails? mallards? any sort of duck?