Swamps, marshes, fens and bogs. These are our wetland areas, crucial buffer zones at the boundaries between land and water. Wetlands act as giant sponges in the landscape, soaking up rainfall which helps prevent flooding during storms. They also help protect rivers and lakes from runoff from the land during heavy rain by trapping sediment that can choke a stream and absorbing surplus nutrients like nitrogen that can lead to the explosion of algal blooms. Wetlands are a toxin sink, storing environmental pollutants as well as nitrogen and carbon in its wet, airless soil and in the deep roots of the plants that grow there.