A Great Blue Heron wades in the wetlands. These majestic birds rely on watery environments for their food supply (fish and other aquatic animals), but humans are no less dependent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, wetlands and streams are a crucial source of water, with 117 million Americans relying on water supplies that, in turn, rely on the nation s hundreds of thousands of miles of streams. Wetlands also provide a buffer against storm induced flooding. South Carolina s swamps alone can store the equivalent of 7,000 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water, according to the EPA. Just constructing a stormwater treatment facility for that amount of water would cost more than $200 million.