Front Porch Blog

Interior Dept. Falsely Claiming More Wetlands

From NC Con Net:

The Interior Department issued a report on March 30 claiming that the country has added more wetlands than it has destroyed for the first time since 1954. The report, “Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States” claims that the national goal of “no net loss of wetlands” has been achieved. Environmental groups have taken issue with the report.

The Interior Department’s study, for the first time, counts shallow open water such as lakes, reservoirs, fish ponds and stormwater ponds as wetlands. Open water systems do not serve the same ecological function as wetlands, and have been increasing rapidly as a result of development; counting them as wetlands inappropriately skews the data. The study reports that 523,500 acres of swamp and marsh wetlands were lost between 1998 and 2004, while 715,300 acres of shallow-water was gained. Urban and rural development accounted for an estimated 61 percent of the net freshwater wetland losses between 1998 and 2004. Furthermore, this may not be the first time Interior has claimed a net gain in wetlands; some folks remember the same announcement in 1998 and 1992.

For more information see the National Wildlife Federation’s “Reality Check” fact sheet:
Download the full Interior Department report.





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