Report: Net increase in U.S. wetlands

Mar 31, 2006

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said for the first time since 1954, there is a net increase in U.S. wetlands.

The Fish and Wildlife Service report, released Thursday, said wetlands acreage, measured largely by aerial surveys, totaled 107 million acres at the end of 2004, up by 191,800 acres from 1998, The New York Times reported Friday.

"I'm pleased to complete my term as secretary of interior by announcing some good news, said Norton, who stepped down from her job Friday.

Although some 523,500 acres of swamps and tidal marshes had been lost, the government measured gains of 715,300 acres of shallow-water wetlands or ponds.

However, critics of the report say the increase in wetlands has also included ornamental ponds in new developments and mine reclamation ponds.

Wetlands are ecologically important areas because they prevent flooding, filter and purify surface water and provide habitat for wildlife.

"The country is losing diversity and the administration tells us it's OK because we've increased the number of ponds," said Julie Sibbing of the National Wildlife Federation.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Meteorite may represent 'bulk background' of Mars' battered crust

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New digs for the spadefoot toad

Nov 18, 2014

A plump Eastern spadefoot toad sits placidly in a patch of meadow on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Nearby, researchers Rachel Jania and Bryan Windmiller are house hunting for it, trying to figure out if the meadow might make a ...

SREL, DOE bring wood stork back from brink of extinction

Aug 04, 2014

Thanks to the hard work of conservationists across the United States, the once imperiled American wood stork has been down-listed from endangered to threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Among the many organizations ...

Environment loses out in Russia's race to Sochi

Feb 04, 2014

Just outside the Olympic Park in Sochi, where the Winter Games open on Friday, is a green space with benches, artificial ponds and a couple of hides. "Ornithological Park", the sign declares.

Scientist documents wetland losses

May 29, 2013

(Phys.org) —Wetlands in eastern North and South Dakota are shrinking at a rapid pace, according to professor Carol Johnston of the South Dakota State University Natural Resource Management Department.

Recommended for you

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

5 hours ago

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn't fussy, it didn't have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had ...

How are planets formed?

6 hours ago

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and ...

What's happening in the universe right now?

6 hours ago

There are some topics that get a little frustrating in their pedantry, but can really draw attention to the grand scope and mechanics in our Universe. This is definitely one of them.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.