Jan. 8, 2009 -- One of Indiana's most overlooked natural resources are spectacular wetland ecosystems, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has created a new Web site to offer a glimpse into the state's varied wetland ecosystems. The newest Internet offering, a Wetlands virtual tour, can be found at www.wetlands.IN.gov.
Wetlands, which store rainwater and slow the movement of floodwater, can be affected by construction projects. IDEM administers several permits regarding construction, excavation, and dredging projects that propose to impact Indiana's wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes.
"This Web-based educational component highlights just a few of the vibrant wetlands across the state of Indiana," said Thomas Easterly, IDEM commissioner. "Our goal is to help children and adults learn about the significance and beauty of these important natural resources."
The interactive map features short videos about 15 unique wetland sites located around the state of Indiana. Topics covered in the videos include information about each property and its history, as well as the wetland plants, trees and wildlife that can be found at the site. In addition to interesting facts about each property, the map also offers information on the activities and amenities that are available.
Hoosiers planning construction projects should contact IDEM's Wetlands program at (800) 451-6027 or visit the IDEM Web site at www.wetlands.IN.gov.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids business and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.