Natural Products for Our Economy
We use a wealth of natural products from wetlands, including fish and shellfish, blueberries, cranberries, timber, and wild rice, as well as medicines that are derived from wetland soils and plants. Many of the nation's fishing and shellfishing industries harvest wetland-dependent species. In the Southeast, for example, nearly all the commercial catch and over half of the recreational harvest are fish and shellfish that depend on the estuary-coastal wetland system. Louisiana's coastal marshes are tremendously valuable for their commercial fish and shellfish harvest. Wetlands are habitats for fur-bearers like muskrat, beaver, and mink as well as reptiles such as alligators.