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EPA Releases the First Ever National Wetland Condition Assessment

  • Sarah Lehmann, Team Leader for National Aquatic Resource Surveys, Monitoring Branch, U.S. EPA’s Office of Water
  • Gregg Serenbetz, Environmental Protection Specialist, Wetlands Division, U.S. EPA’s Office of Water

The National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) 2011 report shows that nearly half of the Nation’s wetlands are in good health, while 20 percent are in fair health and the remaining 32 percent in poor health. The National Wetland Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) designed to advance the science of monitoring and answer critical questions about the conditions of waters in the United States. 

“America’s wetlands are vital for reducing water pollution, reducing flooding, providing habitat for fish and wildlife, offering recreational opportunities, and contributing goods to economy,” said Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “We know that protecting our wetlands is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts like flooding and managing pollution and nutrients damaging our country’s water quality,”

EPA conducted the National Wetland Condition Assessment in partnership with state environmental agencies and other federal agencies, including the Natural Resource Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The assessment supplements the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Status & Trends program, which has been documenting changes to the extent of wetland area in the U.S. for more than 30 years. EPA’s collaboration with states and other federal agencies on the National Wetland Condition Assessment catalyzed and dramatically accelerated state efforts to monitor and assess wetlands.

This Webcast will provide a brief overview of the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) that provide information on lakes, rivers and streams, coastal waters and wetlands, and will also highlight the key findings from the NWCA report

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