May is American Wetlands Month—a time to celebrate one of nature’s most productive ecosystems! This year we are excited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has been extremely successful, saving hundreds of species from the brink of extinction. Wetlands are home to more than 50 percent of all endangered species, making it extremely important to preserve and protect these habitats for successful species recovery.
Healthy wetlands are also vital to local communities, economies and wildlife across the United States and its territories. They recharge groundwater, remove pollutants, mitigate floods, comprise essential wildlife habitat and provide hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities. In addition to the endangered species that rely on wetlands for survival, 40 percent of all U.S. wildlife are reliant on wetlands, including millions of waterfowl and migratory birds.
There are many types of wetlands, including coastal wetlands, potholes, vernal pools, bogs, and swamps, and each provide unique ecosystem benefits. Unfortunately, wetlands face numerous challenges, such as climate change and sea level rise, as well as drainage, fill and excavation. These factors drive the need for wetland conservation and restoration.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to protect and preserve wetlands for future generations though various programs. The Service's National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) protects high quality wetland habitat within many of its 570 refuges spread across the United States. The Coastal Program promotes cooperative coastal wetland conservation so that wildlife and local communities thrive. The Migratory Birds Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations. The National Wetlands Inventory Program provides the foundational information necessary for the Service and all Americans to strategically manage our wetland habitats and associated ecosystem benefits.
Here is the link: https://www.fws.gov/wetlands-month