Resource and Mapping Support
Ecological Services
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The Resource and Mapping Support programs provides coordination, support and guidance to fulfill Service's responsibilities for the: (1)the Coastal Barriers Resources Act: (2) the Marine Mammal Protection Act; and (3) the National Wetlands Inventory. These responsibilities are primarily implemented through the Ecological Services and the Fisheries program

photo of coastal barrier

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 established the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System, comprised of undeveloped coastal barriers along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes coasts. The law encourages the conservation of these hurricane prone, biologically rich coastal barriers by restricting within the System, Federal expenditures funds that encourage development, such as Federal flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. These areas can be developed however, but Federal taxpayers do not underwrite the investments. CBRA saves taxpayer dollars and encourages conservation at the same time. CBRA has saved over $1 billion and will save millions more in the future. The Service’s role is to maintain the enacted by Congress that depict the System, and to advise Federal agencies, private landowners, and Congress regarding whether properties are in or out of the System, and what kind of expenditures are allowed in the System.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) directs the Service to conserve and manage sea and marine otter, walrus, polar bear, manatee, and dugong. The Service does this by working with partners to conduct population censuses, gather biological information, rescue and rehabilitate stranded and/or injured marine mammals, develop conservation and management plans, promulgate regulations prescribing permissible means to carry out activities that incidentally take marine mammals, and create national and international management agreements.

The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service produces information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation’s wetlands and deepwater habitats. The National Wetlands Inventory information is used by Federal, State, and local agencies, academic institutions, U.S. Congress, and the private sector. Congressional mandates in the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act requires the Service to map wetlands, and to digitize, archive and distribute the maps. With funding from other Federal, State, Tribal, local and private organizations, the Service has produced final maps for much of the nation. About half are digitized and available to the public on the Internet. Private companies provide NWI data in various other media. Hard-copy maps are available through Cooperator-run Distribution Centers.

Last updated: November 27, 2013
Ecological Services
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