The Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin et al. 1979) was developed to support a detailed inventory and periodic monitoring of the Nation’s wet habitats using remote sensing. Often referred to as “The Cowardin System,” it is a hierarchical system that captures the aquatic system, type of substrate, and water regime of wetlands. It became a National Standard in 1996 (FGDC-STD-004) but has been the de facto standard for mapping U.S. wetlands and deepwater habitats since 1976.
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