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From farmland to wetland: Millions of acres in North Carolina spring back to life

The North River Wetlands Preserve in Carteret County, N.C. on Feb. 6, 2023. The 6,000-acre preserve used to be farmland. Now it's been restored back to wetlands to help improve water quality of downstream estuaries. (Josh Sullivan/WUNC)
The North River Wetlands Preserve in Carteret County, N.C. on Feb. 6, 2023. The 6,000-acre preserve used to be farmland. Now it's been restored back to wetlands to help improve water quality of downstream estuaries. (Josh Sullivan/WUNC)

Wetlands protect water quality, prevent floods and serve as habitats for plants and animals. But over the past few centuries, millions of acres of wetlands were drained for development or farming.

Now there are efforts to restore these critical habitats.

Celeste Gracia of WUNC visits a North Carolina wetlands preserve, 20 years in the making.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.