These “resource areas” are protected by Federal, state, and the Carlisle Wetland Bylaw because they provide important natural resource benefits. Wetlands protect water quality by trapping sediment and debris, breaking down pollutants, and absorbing excessive nutrients in water that would otherwise cause nuisance algae and plant growth. Wetlands and floodplains serve as important wildlife habitat by providing food, breeding areas, and protective cover. Wetlands and floodplains also act like sponges by absorbing stormwater runoff and releasing this water slowly to moderate flooding and stormwater damage. Through these functions, wetlands protect and recharge our drinking water supplies, provide recreation opportunities, prevent pollution, protect property from flood damage, and support ecological diversity.