The National Wildlife Federation

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Wetlands at Risk: Imperiled Treasures

  • National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Nov 01, 2002

America’s wetlands are in danger. Thirty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, wetlands continue to be drained, filled, and polluted at an alarming rate. So-called “isolated wetlands” are in particular peril, due in great measure to a recent Supreme Court decision potentially jeopardizing federal Clean Water Act protections for millions of acres of waters and wetlands.

Researchers have found that ecological well being depends not only on preserving the total acreage of wetlands, but on maintaining a mosaic of different types and sizes of wetlands that together perform these complex and critical functions. Isolated wetlands are crucial pieces of this mosaic. Unless political leaders act quickly to protect them, however, they may be lost forever.

Wetlands play a vital role in the environment in all regions of the nation. This report offers a survey of many of the unique and valuable types of wetlands that are at greater risk of destruction due to the SWANCC decision and a sampling of the plant and animal life put at risk if these wetlands are lost.

Wetlands at Risk

America’s wetlands are in danger. Thirty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, wetlands continue to be drained, filled, and polluted at an alarming rate.

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