Swamps are under threat from drainage for agriculture and from development, especially along the shorelines of lakes.
Swamps are dominated by shrubs or trees. They may be flooded seasonally or for long periods of time. Swamps are both nutrient rich and productive. Vegetation may be composed of coniferous or deciduous forest or tall thickets.
The loss of the unbroken naturally free flowing shallow water that moved throughout the south Florida peninsula, has disintegrated into disconnected fragments dependent on human management through, levees, canals, pumps, gates and reservoirs.
The Yala Swamp, and the Nyando and Sondu Swamps on the Kano Plains, Kenya are being drained for agriculture. It is estimated that at least 14 000 ha of the Yala Swamp can be made productive, and by 1980, 380 ha had been converted for rice production. On the Kano Plains, 900 ha had been converted for rice and sugar cane.