Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Eastern United States: 1998 to 2004.
This new report from NOAA and USFWS shows a loss of 59,000 acres per year in the coastal watersheds of the Atlantic Ocean, Great Lakes, and Gulf of Mexico. This causes concern, as coastal wetlands are important habitat for commercial and recreational fish, waterfowl, and other species, and they protect coastal communities from the effects of coastal storms and floods.
Gulf of Mexico coastal watersheds exhibited substantial losses in freshwater wetlands. This rate of loss was 6 times higher than the rate of freshwater vegetated wetlands losses in the Atlantic coastal watersheds. The estimated losses for all wetland types in the Gulf of Mexico were 25 times higher than those estimates for the Atlantic over the course of this study. – pg. 6