A new study released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) says between 2004 and 2009, wetland area in the coastal watersheds of the U.S. declined by an estimated 360,720 acres. The worst part: The rate of loss is on the increase. More than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, up from 60,000 acres lost per year during the previous study.
A strategy of achieving “no net loss” by offsetting wetland acreage losses with wetland creation or reestablishment does not appear to so far to have been effective for coastal watersheds. Both freshwater and saltwater coastal wetlands are absolutely critical to the health of our bays and estuaries. As we saw with Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, continuing losses of wetlands in coastal watersheds have direct costs for people and longer-term resource implications for fish, wildlife and other natural resources.
Despite this terrible truth, the only major news organization to cover this story was NPR.
Read the press release: http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=7B8CB057-90CD-5C03-6EA2F94520ED3BF1
Tags: coastal, conservation, ecology, ecosystem, environment, fish, freshwater, habitat, losses, no net loss, protection, restoration, saltwater, stewardship, u.s., united states, water, wetland, wetlands