The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) provides users with a robust and powerful dataset that is used to address questions and support decision-making in various fields of study. The tables below provide example applications using NWI data.
NWI wetland and deepwater classifications provide critical information when determining existing or potential habitat for many species. This information is vital for developing wildlife habitat management and conservation and recovery plans through modeling and other procedures. NWI data have been used to estimate habitat accessibility in migration corridors, waterfowl populations, species recovery potential and more.
Watersheds and Water
Wetlands provide a multitude of ecologic and societal benefits. They not only provide habitat for fish and wildlife, but also reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, maintain stream flow and help improve water quality. Access to clean, abundant water supports opportunities for hunting, fishing and other types of recreation. Federal, state and local agencies use NWI data when assessing the health of their watersheds and water supply.
An important role of the Service is to conserve fish and wildlife species to ensure sustainable populations for future generations. Species diversity is vital to the health and sustainability of ecosystems that in turn benefit local communities and economies. NWI data have been applied to various wetland dependent species assessment and recovery efforts.
|Restored Agricultural Wetlands in central Iowa: Habitat Quality and Amphibian Response||R.A. Reeves et al.||2016|
|Macro-invertebrate community structure across a wetland hydroperiod gradient in southern New Hampshire, USA||T.L. Tarr et al.||2005|
|Small Mammal Communities of High Elevation Central Appalachian Wetlands||K. E. Francl et al.||2004|
|Landscape context influences salt marsh bird diversity and area requirements in New England||W. G. Shriver et al.||2004|
|The relative importance of wetland size and hydroperiod for amphibians in southern New Hampshire, USA||K.J. Babbitt||2003|
Climate and Sea Level
NWI data are an important resource for the development of
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.
Learn more about climate change impact assessments, as well as adaptation and mitigation plans. Sea-level rise poses a risk to coastal communities and infrastructure, as well as many Service refuges. Precipitation changes also pose threats to our inland wetlands that could cause impacts to waterfowl and other wildlife populations, as well as agriculture, food security and biofuel development. Additionally, NWI data have been used to help quantify carbon sequestration rates and carbon balance in relation to ecosystem management and restoration actions.
|"Linking Satellite and Soil Data to Validate Coastal Wetland 'Blue Carbon' Inventories."||NASA||2017|
|"Cape Lookout, North Carolina, 2012 National Wetland Inventory Habitat Classification."||Kathryn A. Spear and William R. Jones||2016|
|"Uncertainty in Hurricane Surge Simulation Due to Land Cover Specification"||Celso M. Ferreira, Jennifer L. Irish, Francisco Olivera||2014|
|"Estimates of Carbon Sequestration and Storage in Tidal Coastal Wetlands Along the US East Coast."||M. Charpentier, C. Wigand and J. Hyman||2011|
|Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model||U.S Fish and Wildlife Service||2011|
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.
Learn more about invasive species is any plant, or animal that is not native to a specific location and whose introduction to that site causes or is likely to cause harm. These species can have damaging effects on the environment, economy and human health. NWI data have been used to assess the susceptibility of certain ecosystems to invasive species and how those species may affect local populations.
|Invasion Risk in a Warmer World: Modeling Range Expansion and Habitat Preferences of Three Nonnative Aquatic Invasive Plants||N.G. Koncki and M.F. J. Aronson||2015|
|Disturbance and Wetland Type Alter Reed Canarygrass Cover in Northern Michigan||K.M. Marlor et al.||2014|
|Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales||D.S. Pilliod||2010|
|"Remote Sensing Applications for Detecting Common Reed."||MI Tech University||2009|
Energy and Development
NWI data have been used to investigate site suitability for renewable and traditional energy projects. The data are not only used to help select potential sites, but also to help understand how these activities might affect local species and to help to mitigate those effects.
|Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Gateway||DCREP||2017|
|Wintering Sandhill Crane exposure to wind energy development in the central and southern Great Plains, USA||A.T. Pearse, D.A. Brandt, and G.L. Krapu||2016|
|Wind Farm Environmental Assessment, Campbell County, SD||Western Area Power Administration||2015|
NWI data have been used in cartographic products to highlight the location of wetland habitats and resources for a variety of projects. Here are some examples of maps that use NWI data to communicate wetland information.
|Wetlands Mapper PDF Map Prints 2016-2019||National Standards and Support Team||2019|
|Alabama Strategic Conservation Map||National Standards and Support Team||2014|
|Moses-Karankawa Bayou Map||Moses-Karankawa Bayous Alliance||2013|
|GeoMine Pilot Project Map||National Standards and Support Team||2012|
|Deepwater Horizon Coastal Resources Map||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service||2010|
|Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Map||Minnesota Department of Natural Resources||2006|