The wetlands here are man-made. In 1926, three gasoline storage tanks were built here on concrete slabs. In the 1940s, a brick wall was added which trapped water inside, creating the wetlands. Seasonal in nature, the wetlands here are only wet after a heavy rain.
Wetlands are important to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. They slow down and temporarily store water running into streams, preventing flooding and reducing water pollution. Wetland plants absorb some of the excess water and provide food and shelter for wildlife. Man-made wetlands are often created to improve water quality and replace natural wetlands lost to development.
This aerial photograph, taken in 1929, shows the gasoline storage tanks next to the Carrie Weedon House.
This man-made wetland area, created at Adkins Arboretum on Maryland's Eastern Shore, converted a farm pond into habitat for plants and animals.
Homeowners can create their own backyard wetland habitats, like this one at the NOAA Laboratory in Oxford, Maryland.