Brian Hires, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-358-2191
They can be found in all 50 states and go by many names – wetlands, marshes, bogs, estuaries, swamps, mangroves, lagoons and even mudflats and mires. Regardless of the type, where they are found or what they are called, healthy wetlands are of vital importance to local communities, recreation and wildlife.
Critical functions and ecosystem services of wetlands include recharging groundwater, filtering excess nutrients, toxins and sediment from water that ends up in our rivers, oceans and faucets, mitigating against floods and supporting hunting, fishing and outdoor opportunities. Millions of waterfowl and migratory birds also call them home, and more than half of all species listed under the Endangered Species Act are also reliant upon them.
Since 2017, the Service’s National Wetlands Inventory Program has partnered with diverse partners on 55 projects that have mapped more than 200 million acres of wetlands across the U.S and updated critical information about them. During this period the Service awarded $168 million in North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants that were matched by $429 million in partner funding, delivering more than a half a billion dollars in wetlands conservation. The Service’s Coastal Program also helped administer the National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grants Program, which awarded almost $75 million in support for 86 projects protecting, restoring and enhancing almost 60,000 acres of wetlands across the U.S.
“We are proud of our work conserving a resource that benefits all Americans,” said Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “For more than half a century the Service has been a leader in forging diverse partnerships and creating value-added science on behalf of wetland conservation, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”
Conservation groups also underscored the importance of wetlands, conservation partnerships and opportunities like American Wetlands Month for engaging the public on their importance.
“Ducks Unlimited relies on our strong partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue tremendous wetlands conservation across the United States,” said Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Karen Waldrop. “In addition to providing vital habitat and nesting for waterfowl, wetlands filter our water, support outdoor recreation and reduce flooding risks. We look forward to helping highlight these stories with the Service throughout American Wetlands Month.”
American Wetlands Month will feature a first-ever national wetlands podcast featuring conservation voices from Alaska, Montana, Massachusetts and Washington, DC, where more than one million maps were recently downloaded at record pace by stakeholders thirsty for detailed wetlands data. There will also be a webinar on May 29, 2020 by the Association of State Wetlands Managers on the importance of wetlands to functioning floodplains in America.
Throughout the month of May the Service and conservation partners will tell stories of the importance and history of wetlands, and the people, collaborations and cutting-edge tools involved in conserving them to meet growing 21st century challenges. These stories will include:
For more than one hundred years, the Service has forged diverse partnerships to understand, conserve and restore wetlands that have protected water resources, waterfowl and endangered species, and recreational opportunities benefitting all Americans. Some of those partnerships include:
Programs within the Service that work on wetlands include:
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.