On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released results from the first National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011, the latest in the series of National Aquatic Resource Survey nationwide assessments, each of which is to be repeated every five years. The other reports in the series have been for wadeable streams (2004), lakes (2007), rivers and streams (2008-2009), and coastal conditions (2010). The Wetlands 2011 report is based on sampling at 1,179 sites across the county in spring and summer 2011. Sampling for the next wetland conditions report is taking place in 2016.
Following is an excerpt from the EPA’s May 11, 2016, news release on the wetland conditions assessment: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released the first-ever National Wetland Condition Assessment, showing that nearly half of the nation’s wetlands are in good health, while 20 percent are in fair health and the remaining 32 percent in poor health. The National Wetland Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys designed to advance the science of coastal monitoring and answer critical questions about the condition of waters in the United States. …Physical disturbances to wetlands and their surrounding habitat such as compacted soil, ditching, or removal of plants, are the most widespread problems across the country, and nonnative plants are also an issue particularly in the Interior Plains and West.”
EPA documents for the Wetland Condition Assessment are available online at https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/nwca.
EPA Releases Report Showing Nearly Half of Nation’s Wetlands in Good Health, U.S. EPA News Release, 5/11/16.
EPA report: Coastal Virginia wetlands slightly above national average, [Newport News] Daily Press, 6/29/16.
For a Water Central News Grouper item on the latest Coastal Condition Report (data from 2010, report released in January 2016) please see this 5/4/16 post.