|Source: Environmental Protection Agency|
Wetlands make important contributions to the health of aquatic systems on a watershed basis by purifying water, filtering runoff, abating floods, and decreasing erosion. In addition, wetlands provide habitat for countless numbers of plants and animals including over 40% of all federally listed threatened or endangered species. Many wetland plants and animals support recreation and commercial industries. For example, wetlands act as nurseries for over 80% of coastal fisheries. In addition, millions of Americans are annually drawn to wetlands for bird watching, hunting, fishing, and enjoying the natural beauty of wetland ecosystems. Although wetland loss rates are slowing, the United States continues to lose approximately 70,000 to 90,000 acres of wetlands on non-federal, rural lands each year.
Cautions for this Product:
Existing inventories of acreage change are national in scope and designed to provide information on national wetland losses and gains by wetland type. They were not designed to track wetland change on a watershed basis and, in most cases, do not prov ide robust State or watershed information. NWI and NRI were designed to answer different questions and have different sampling procedures. NRI data used in this analysis were adjusted to reflect differences and to account for some changes in NRCS's data collection methods. Unlike the other 14 IWI data layers, this data is reported at the 6-digit accounting unit scale (each 6-digit unit contains several 8-digit units), which IWI interpolated to the 8-digit area. . For Further Information: