Report: 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost annually
The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate according to a new report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report, "Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009", tracked wetland loss on the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes coasts. It concludes that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, an increase from the previous study. EPA initiated a federal Interagency Coastal Wetlands Workgroup in response to the losses identified in the previous report, with the goal of reducing coastal wetland losses. The agencies are collaborating to better understand how wetland trends are affected by land use practices and other factors, and how federal, state, and local programs can better address threats to coastal wetlands.
Information on coastal wetlands and the federal Workgroup can be found at the EPA Coastal Wetlands webpage.