Federal Data Standards for Wetlands

The FGDC Wetlands Mapping Standard directs the incorporation of federally-funded wetlands mapping data into the Wetlands Geodatabase, which is under direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the Wetlands Data Layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). This standard provides minimum requirements and guidelines for wetlands inventory mapping, including specific cartographic, photogrammetric, and classification conventions where applicable. The standard provides specification of the minimum data quality components for wetlands inventory mapping needed to support inclusion of the data into the NSDI, particularly when these activities are funded or conducted by the federal government. This standard is further codified by the Geospatial Data Act of 2018. The Act formalizes the role and authority of the FGDC to ensure the efficient management of geospatial data and technologies. Maintenance authority of the FGDC Wetlands Mapping Standard resides with the Service; however, this standard is structured to be extensible over time and deliberately developed with perspective to accommodate technology and map-scale enhancements that assure its long-term usability, and minimize the need for revisions and updates.

This standard is intended for all federal or federally-funded wetlands inventory mapping projects as mandated by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 (Revised) August 19, 2002,including those activities conducted by federal agencies, states, and federally-recognized tribal entities, non-governmental organizations, universities, and others. Specifically, if federal funding is used in support of wetlands inventory mapping activities, then use of this standard is required. The adoption of the standard for all other wetlands inventory mapping efforts (non-federally funded) is strongly encouraged to maintain and expand the wetland layer of the NSDI.

Contained within the FGDC Wetland Mapping Standard, the FGDC Wetlands Classification Standard provides minimum requirements and guidelines for classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats. This classification system is designed for use over all U.S. states and territories, and is also mandatory for all federal or federally funded wetlands inventory mapping projects. It is used to map non-tidal deepwater habitats, and all coastal and inland wetlands; it does not support legal, regulatory, or jurisdictional analyses of wetlands mapping products. It does not define the limits of proprietary jurisdiction of any federal, tribal, state, or local government or establish the geographical scope of the regulatory programs of government agencies.

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