More than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year
The U.S. 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 the 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. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated a federal Interagency Coastal Wetlands Workgroup in response to the losses in the previous report. Federal 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.