Wetlands at a Loss in the U.S.

10-30-2011 // Ken Moran

This excerpt is from The New York Post.

Ducks and geese rely on abundant, functioning wetlands for nesting and wintering habitat. Wetlands also serve as breeding grounds for many fish and wildlife species, contribute to drinking water supplies for millions of Americans, and filter polluted runoff before it reaches local waterways. The Clean Water Act was designed, in part, to protect such wetlands.

Yet in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "Status and Trends of Wetlands" report issued earlier this month, the United States had a net loss of 62,300 wetland acres from 2004-09, reversing small gains made in the previous five-year period. This represents a 140-percent increase in the rate of wetland loss. Almost 633,000 acres of forested wetlands were lost. According to the Service, these wetlands "sustained their largest losses since the 1974 to 1985 time period."

The Izaak Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt and Trout Unlimited are among the organizations in support of restoring Clean Water Act protections for wetlands and other waters critical to fish and wildlife populations and our outdoor traditions.

"While the Duck Stamp celebrates our nation's wetlands and wildlife, some lawmakers are trying to undermine these precious resources by crippling the Clean Water Act," said Jan Goldman-Carter, National Wildlife Federation senior manager for wetland and water resources. "Now that duck hunting season in underway, elected officials should stop trying to shoot down environmental safeguards and aim to protect our nation's rivers, lakes and streams for communities that depend on clean water for life and livelihoods."

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