National Wetlands Inventory

The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) was established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conduct a nationwide inventory of U.S. wetlands to provide biologists and others with information on the distribution and type of wetlands to aid in conservation efforts. To do this, the NWI developed a wetland classification system (Cowardin et al. 1979) that is now the official FWS wetland classification system and the Federal standard for wetland classification (adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee on July 29, 1996: 61 Federal Register 39465). The NWI also developed techniques for mapping and recording the inventory findings. The NWI relies on trained image analysts to identify and classify wetlands and deepwater habitats from aerial imagery. NWI started mapping wetlands at a small scale (1:250,000 map which covers an area the size of 128-1:24,000 USGS topographic maps or approximately 7,400 square miles). Eventually, large-scale (1:24K scale) maps became the standard product delivered by NWI. As computerized mapping and geospatial technology evolved, NWI discontinued production of paper maps in favor of distributing data via online "mapping tools" where information can be viewed and downloaded. Today, FWS serves its data via an on-line data discovery "Wetlands Mapper". GIS users can access wetlands data through an online wetland mapping service or download data for various applications (maps, data analyses, and reports). The techniques used by NWI have recently been adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee as the federal wetland mapping standard (FGDC Wetlands Subcommittee 2009). This standard applies to all federal grants involving wetland mapping to insure the data can be added to the Wetlands Layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. NWI also produces national wetlands status and trends reports required by the United States Congress.[1]


  1. ^ "NWI Program Overview". US Fish & Wildlife Service. 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links

A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA) is a list of wetlands of national importance to Australia. Intended to augment the list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, it was formerly published in report form, but is now essentially an online publication. Wetlands that appear in the Directory are commonly referred to as "DIWA wetlands" or "Directory wetlands".

Bowman Creek

Bowman Creek (also known as Bowmans Creek or Bowman's Creek) is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County and Wyoming County, in Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 26 miles (42 km) long and flows through Ross Township and Lake Township in Luzerne County and Noxen Township, Monroe Township, and Eaton Township in Wyoming County. The watershed of the creek has an area of 120 square miles (310 km2). The creek is not designated as an impaired waterbody and its pH is close to neutral, although it has experienced some problems with acid rain. It has low concentrations of dissolved solids like calcium. The creek is relatively small in its upper reaches, but by Noxen, its width is 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 m). It is also relatively shallow in many reaches. Rock formations in the watershed include the Catskill Formation, the Huntley Mountain Formation, Burgoon Sandstone, the Mauch Chunk Formation, the Pottsville Group, and the Pocono Formation. Soil associations in the creek's watershed include the Wellsboro-Morris-Oquaga association, the Oquaga-Lackawanna-Arnot association, the Mardin-Bath-Volusia association, and the Wyoming-Pope association.

The dominant land use in the watershed of Bowman Creek is forested land, which occupies nearly 90 percent of its area. Minor land uses in the watershed include meadows, agricultural land, and many others. Most of the development in the watershed is clustered along the highways that run through it. The creek has, on occasion, experienced major flooding. Bowman Creek was visible on maps by 1791, and there were a number of settlers in its vicinity by the early 1800s. Historically, industries in the creek's watershed included lumbering, agriculture, tanneries, gristmills, and ice harvesting. Numerous bridges have been constructed over Bowman Creek. The Bowmans Creek Watershed Association is active within the creek's watershed.

The main stem of Bowman Creek is designated as a High-Quality Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery, as are most of its tributaries. The creek is inhabited by brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout and reaches of it are stocked with trout. The creek is well known in the area for its significance as a trout stream. Reaches of it are also navigable by canoe. Parts of the creek are in Pennsylvania State Game Lands Number 57 and Ricketts Glen State Park.

Ecology of the Sierra Nevada

See Sierra Nevada for general information about the mountain range in the United States.The ecology of the Sierra Nevada, located in the U.S. state of California, is diverse and complex: the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. The combination of climate, topography, moisture, and soils influences the distribution of ecological communities across an elevation gradient from 1,000 to 14,500 feet (300 to 4,400 m). Biotic zones range from scrub and chaparral communities at lower elevations, to subalpine forests and alpine meadows at the higher elevations. Particular ecoregions that follow elevation contours are often described as a series of belts that follow the length of the Sierra Nevada. There are many hiking trails, paved and unpaved roads, and vast public lands in the Sierra Nevada for exploring the many different biomes and ecosystems.The western and eastern Sierra Nevada have substantially different species of plants and animals, because the east lies in the rain shadow of the crest. The plants and animals in the east are thus adapted to much drier conditions.The altitudes listed for the biotic zones are for the central Sierra Nevada.

The climate across the north-south axis of the range varies somewhat: the boundary elevations of the biotic zones move by as much as 1,000 feet (300 m) from the north end to the south end of the range.

Emergency Wetlands Resources Act

The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 became a United States federal law (P.L.) 99-645 (100 Stat. 3582) on November 10, 1986. Prior to the Act the purchase of wetlands by the Federal Government had been prohibited. The Act allocated funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the purchase of wetlands by the Secretary of Interior, who is head of the United States Department of the Interior. The Act also instituted a National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan which was to be established and set up by the Secretary. Included in this plan was a requirement for all States to include wetlands as part of their Comprehensive Outdoors Recreation plan. The plan also transferred the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund amounts which were to be equal to the import duties on arms and ammunition. The main purpose of the Act was to ensure a follow through on international obligations and fulfillment of these obligations on the various past and future migratory bird treaties. It also promoted the conservation of wetlands so the benefits they provide could be maintained.

An extension of the Wetlands Loan Act of 1961 which had been established and approved on October 4, 1961 was also provided by the Act. Under this extension wetlands loan advances would be forgiven and it extend the appropriation through September 30, 1988. A requirement was outlined in the Act which instructed the Secretary to report to the United States Congress on all losses of wetlands. The Secretary was to also investigate these losses and outline his findings in these reports to provide information as to whether or not federal programs and/or policies contributed to any of the wetland losses. Other responsibilities tasked to the Secretary were to complete the mapping of all the wetlands in the contiguous United States and those in the non-contiguous portions of the U.S. by September 30, 1990. This was to be done in conjunction with inventorying all of the National Wetlands which were to be completed eight years later on September 30, 1998 with continuation at ten-year intervals thereafter. Updates were to be provided to previous reports to help update and improve the “Status and Trends of Wetlands and Deep-water Habitat in the Coterminous United States, 1950’s to 1970’s” from September 1982.Included within the Act were several provisions to establish entrance fees to all National Wildlife Refuges and to also establish the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Funds collected from these entrance fees were to be split, with 70% going to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and 30% to the maintenance and operation of the refuges. The cost of Federal Duck Stamps were also increased from $7.50 to $15.00, this was to be phased in through 1991. The sale of Federal Duck Stamps to raise money for the conservation of migratory birds was established in 1929 by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.Later amendments to the Act allowed the establishment of Demonstration Fee programs. These fee programs established entrance and recreational use fees that allowed refuges and area agencies that participated in the programs to retain 80% of all fees collected. This of course superseded the 70/30 fee allocation that was first set up by the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986. The amendments were added to the Act through the Interior Appropriation Act Sec. 315 FY 1996 (P.L. 104-4; 110 Stat. 1321), as amended by P.L. 104-28 (110 Stat. 3009), P.L. 105-18, (111 Stat. 158) and P.L. 105-83 (111 Stat. 1543).

Moon Lake State Forest Recreation Area

Moon Lake State Forest Recreation Area is a 942-acre (381 ha), recreation area within Pinchot State Forest in Plymouth Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. It is open for mountain biking, hiking, fishing, bird watching, and nature study. The recreation area consists of open fields and woodlots surrounding Moon Lake, a 48-acre (19 ha), spring-fed lake. Moon Lake SFRA is in the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. It is located near Pennsylvania Route 29 on the western edge of the Scranton—Wilkes-Barre—Hazleton metropolitan statistical area.

Murray Bridge Training Area

The Murray Bridge Training Area (also called Murray Bridge Army Training Area) is an Australian Army training area located in South Australia in the locality of Burdett about 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) east of the city of Murray Bridge and about 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of the centre of the city of Adelaide. The training area was established prior to 1970. As of 2011, the training area contained shooting ranges for use with small arms for distances up to 800 metres (2,600 feet), space for the training of subunits from Australian Army units located within South Australia and support facilities such as a “vehicle maintenance compound.” An area of about 71 hectares (180 acres) within the training area was developed as an artificial wetland in 1992 for the purpose of treating effluent that would otherwise have been discharged into the Murray River. This wetland has been listed as a wetland of national importance since at least 1995.

OMB Circular A-16

OMB Circular A-16, revised August 19, 2002, is a Government circular that was created by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide guidance for federal agencies that create, maintain or use spatial data directly or indirectly through the establishment of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).

The circular establishes guidelines for the management of digital spatial data and the use of those assets. It also appoints the FGDC to the interagency coordinating body for NSDI-related activities. The Secretary of the Interior is established as chair, with the Deputy Director for Management, OMB as Vice-Chair.

Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives. COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015. COP13 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October 2018.

Rapanos v. United States

Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006), was a United States Supreme Court case challenging federal jurisdiction to regulate isolated wetlands under the Clean Water Act. It was the first major environmental case heard by the newly appointed Chief Justice, John Roberts and Associate Justice, Samuel Alito. The Supreme Court heard the case on February 21, 2006 and issued a decision on June 19, 2006.

While five justices agreed to void rulings against the defendants, who were prosecuted for impacting a wetland incidental to commercial development, the court was split over further details, with the four more conservative justices arguing in a plurality opinion for a more restrictive reading of the term "navigable waters" than the four more liberal justices. Justice Anthony Kennedy did not fully join either position. The case was remanded to the lower court.

Ultimately, Rapanos agreed to a nearly $1,000,000 settlement with the EPA without admitting to any wrongdoing.

Reed Island Creek

Big Reed Island Creek is one of the largest tributaries of the New River (part of the Upper New Watershed) situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains Physiographic Province of the Appalachian Mountains. The main stem of the river flows for approximately 95.98 kilometers (~60 miles) from the headwater source at Hurricane Knob in Meadows of Dan, Virginia (elev. 944 m) and opens to the New River via Big Reed Junction near Hiwassee, Virginia (see Map 1). Several tributaries and a confluence of smaller streams flow through the region, adding over a hundred extra miles to the length of the watershed. The principal named tributaries to Big Reed are Bear Creek, Big Branch, Bobbitt Creek, Buckhorn Creek, Burks Fork, Grassy Creek, Greasy Creek, Little Snake Creek, Pine Creek, Snake Creek, Stone Mountain Creek, Sulphur Spring Branch. It covers approximately 110.5 km2 (27,318 acres) and crosses Pulaski, Floyd, and Carroll County, Virginia in the southwestern part of the state.

Scotch Run (Catawissa Creek tributary)

Scotch Run is one of the main tributaries of Catawissa Creek in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 7.8 miles (12.6 km) long and flows through Beaver Township and Main Township. The stream's watershed has an area of 9.10 square miles (23.6 km2). The stream is infertile and acidic. It is 7.2 feet (2.2 m) wide in its upper reaches and 17.0 feet (5.2 m) wide in its lower reaches. The main rock formations in the watershed include the Mauch Chunk Formation, the Pocono Formation, the Pottsville Formation, and the Spechty Kopf Formation. The main soils include Leck Kill soil and Hazleton soil. It flows between Nescopeck Mountain and McCauley Mountain.

Nearly all of Scotch Run's length is within 1,640 feet (500 m) of a road. However, most of its length is not within 328 feet (100 m) of one. Part of Pennsylvania State Game Lands Number 58 is in the watershed and ephemeral natural pool system is located near the stream. The area in the vicinity of the stream was settled relatively late compared to the surrounding areas. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission carried out a survey of the creek in 1977. Scotch Run is designated as a Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery. In 1997, three species of fish were observed in the upper reaches of the stream, while eight species were observed in the lower reaches. Both reaches contained brown trout and brook trout. There is a hemlock-mixed hardwood palustrine forest along the stream.

Sleaford Mere

Sleaford Mere (alternative name: Kuyabidni) is a permanent saline lake, located on the Jussieu Peninsula on the south eastern tip of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) south west of Port Lincoln. The lake was discovered and named by the British explorer, Matthew Flinders, on 26 February 1802. Since 1969, the lake has been part of the Sleaford Mere Conservation Park and since 2005, it has been listed as a nationally important wetland. The lake and its environs are notable as a venue for recreational pursuits such as canoeing.

Swabia Creek

Swabia Creek is a tributary of Little Lehigh Creek in Berks and Lehigh Counties, Pennsylvania, in the United States.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency of the US Federal Government within the US Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."

Aurelia Skipwith is current President Donald Trump's nominee.Among the responsibilities of the FWS are enforcing federal wildlife laws; protecting endangered species; managing migratory birds; restoring nationally significant fisheries; conserving and restoring wildlife habitat, such as wetlands; helping foreign governments with their international conservation efforts; and distributing money to states' fish and wildlife agencies through the Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program.Sub-units of the FWS include:

National Wildlife Refuge System—560 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas covering over 150 million acres (607,000 km²)

Division of Migratory Bird Management

Federal Duck Stamp

National Fish Hatchery System—70 National Fish Hatcheries and 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices

Endangered Species program—86 Ecological Services Field Stations

International Affairs Program

National Conservation Training Center

USFWS Office of Law Enforcement

Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory

Landscape Conservation CooperativesThe vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-federal state or private land. Therefore, the FWS works closely with private groups such as Partners in Flight and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to promote voluntary habitat conservation and restoration.

The FWS employs approximately 9,000 people and is organized into a central administrative office in Falls Church, Virginia, eight regional offices, and nearly 700 field offices distributed throughout the United States.

Watervalley Wetlands

The Watervalley Wetlands is a nationally important wetland system located in the Australian state of South Australia which consists of a series of contiguous wetlands, lying on 56.6 square kilometres (21.9 sq mi) of private land between the Coorong National Park and Gum Lagoon Conservation Park, in the state's south-east.

West Kill

The West Kill, an 11-mile-long (18 km) tributary of Schoharie Creek, flows across the town of Lexington, New York, United States, from its source on Hunter Mountain, the second-highest peak of the Catskills. Ultimately its waters reach the Hudson River via the Mohawk. Since it drains into the Schoharie upstream of Schoharie Reservoir, it is part of the New York City water supply system. It lends its name to both a mountain to its south and a small town midway along its length.

The West Kill's 31.2-square-mile (81 km2) watershed accounts for 10% of the Schoharie basin and is located at the southern end of that creek's watershed. It has the highest elevations and steepest slopes of any of the Schoharie's subwatersheds, with runoff from seven of the thirty-five Catskill High Peaks draining into the stream. Due to limited development and extensive land protection in the stream's watershed, its water is relatively clean, supporting a habitat for both wild and stocked trout; historically it has drawn fly fishers and other anglers. However, the West Kill has contributed to turbidity issues with the Schoharie creek and reservoir due to recent floods; several government agencies have worked together to develop a management plan that will mitigate the floods and the turbidity.

Wetherell Pond

Wetherell Pond is a lake in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is just north of Interstate 84, located in a small wetland area not categorized by the National Wetlands Inventory.The name was collected by the United States Geological Survey between 1976 and 1979, and entered into the Geographic Names Information System on September 12, 1979.

Wetland classification

Classification of wetlands has been a problematical task, with the commonly accepted definition of what constitutes a wetland being among the major difficulties. A number of national wetland classifications exist. In the 1970s, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance introduced a first attempt to establish an internationally acceptable wetland classification scheme.

Wetlands of the United States

Wetlands of the United States are defined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Environmental Protection Agency as "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetations typically adapted for life in saturated soils. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas."

Wetlands can be valued in terms of their contributions to ecological, economic and social systems. Wetlands service these systems through multiple processes including water filtration, water storage and biological productivity. They also contribute the functions of flood control, providing a nutrient sink, groundwater recharge and habitat.The United States is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. Under the Swampbuster provisions of the Food Securities Act of 1985, farmers who modify existing wetlands may lose their benefits under the USDA farm program. Additionally, every Presidential administration since George H.W. Bush has operated under a "no net loss" of wetlands federal policy goal.

In the United States, some wetlands are regulated by the federal government under the Clean Water Act. Determining the boundary between regulated wetlands and non-regulated lands therefore can be contentious. In reality, there is no natural boundary between the classes that humans define on these gradients (wetland/upland), and this issue is highlighted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's definition from Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States, which defines wetlands as "lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems." Regulations to protect water quality and highway safety require that we create arbitrary boundaries within those gradients, but these boundaries are scientifically definable, and consist of areas where three criterion of the presence of hydric soils, the presence of wetland vegetation, and the presence of appropriate hydrology.

Such regulations must be predictable, reproducible, and enforced otherwise there will be a sacrifice of clean water for development in the case of wetlands regulation (or vice versa), or sacrifice safe travel for quick travel (or vice versa) in the case of speed limits. Determining which wetlands are regulated under section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act is termed "jurisdictional determination". Determining the boundary of wetland, whether jurisdictional under sections 404 or 10, or not jurisdictional but still meeting the technical definition of a wetland, that is having the soils, vegetation and hydrology criterion met is called a "wetland delineation", and generally is performed by college graduates with natural science or biology degrees working for engineering firms or environmental consulting firms who are familiar with the 1987 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland delineation manual.

Defining a boundary depends upon the ground and vegetation characteristics; it is easier to do where the slope of the land is steeper. Deciding if a wetland is a regulated wetland depends on classifying the water in it as "water of the United States" or not. Classifying water as "of the U.S." or "not of the U.S." for purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act suggests a natural boundary that probably does not exist in nature, and one that was not created regarding air for purposes of enforcing the Clean Air Act.

Indiana Wetlands are the focus of the U.S. National Wetlands Coalition, which in turn has become the focus of some controversy over "false fronts," a form of political camouflage.

Classification systems

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