Status and trends of wetlands in the coastal watersheds of the eastern united states
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Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Eastern United States. Susan-Marie Stedman, NOAA Fisheries Service Tom Dahl, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Some Background…. National Wetlands Trends (US FWS) Time Periodacres/year net change 1955-1975-458,000

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Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Eastern United States

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Status and trends of wetlands in the coastal watersheds of the eastern united states

Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Eastern United States

Susan-Marie Stedman, NOAA Fisheries Service

Tom Dahl, US Fish and Wildlife Service


Some background

Some Background….

National Wetlands Trends (US FWS)

  • Time Periodacres/year net change

  • 1955-1975-458,000

  • 1973-1983-290,000

  • 1986-1997 -58,550

    ------------ “No net loss”

  • 1998-2004 +32,000


Coastal wetlands trends

“Coastal” Wetlands Trends

Gosselink and Bauman, 1980 (mostly tidal wetlands)

  • 1922-1954: 19,000 ac/yr loss

  • 1954-1974: 46,000 ac/yr loss

    Brady and Flather, 1994 (mostly tidal wetlands)

  • 1982-1987: 19,000 ac/yr loss

    Brady and Goebel, 2002 (wetlands in coastal counties)

  • 1992-1997: 32,600 ac/yr loss


Coastal wetlands are important as

Coastal Wetlands are Important as:

Habitat for commercial and recreational fish

98% of Chesapeake Bay commercial landings and

97% in the Gulf of Mexico are estuarine-dependent

Habitat for waterfowl

majority of black ducks winter on Atlantic coast

majority of gadwalls winter along Gulf Coast

Protection from coastal

storms and floods - $23B/yr

Recreation

And more………


Defining coastal

Defining “Coastal”


Coastal wetlands are

Coastal Wetlands are….

  • Salt marshes

  • Brackish marshes

  • Fresh tidal marshes

  • Fresh tidal scrub/scrub

  • Tidal riverine

  • As well as….

  • Non-tidal fresh wetlands


National data points vs coastal data points

Total coastal drainage area: 212.6 million acres

Data segmented by coastline – Great Lks., Atlantic, Gulf

Sample plots:

2,265 (48 % of national total)

Field verification plots: 824 (36%)

National data points vs. Coastal data points


Status and trends of wetlands in the coastal watersheds of the eastern united states

Coastal Wetlands Status 2004


Coastal wetlands trends 1998 2004 including great lakes

Coastal Wetlands Trends 1998-2004(including Great Lakes)

  • Average annual net loss of 60,000 acres per year

  • Freshwater wetlands experienced 82% of that loss

  • About 70% of the loss was due to development

  • The Gulf of Mexico experienced the majority of the wetland loss


Gains and losses by coastal region

Gains and Losses by Coastal Region


Attribution of fresh water wetland losses atlantic gulf of mexico and great lakes

Agriculture, 3.6%

Deepwater, 14.5%

Intertidal

Wetlands,

0.05%

Urban & Rural

Development

22.4%

OtherDevelopment

Activities, 59.4%

Attribution of fresh water wetland losses: Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes


Gulf coast wetland change regions

Gulf Coast – Wetland Change Regions


Coastal development

Coastal development


Coastal development1

Coastal development


Attribution of saltwater wetland losses atlantic and gulf coasts

Attribution of saltwater wetland losses – Atlantic and Gulf Coasts


Atlantic coast inundation regions

Atlantic Coast Inundation Regions


Focus on coastal areas

Focus on Coastal Areas

Coastal watersheds of the eastern coterminous US:

  • Have 12% of the land area

  • Have 38% of the wetlands

  • Have >50% of the people

  • Support about 70% of the fish landings

  • Experienced approximately the same average annual net wetland loss from 1998-2004 as the entire coterminous US from 1986-1997


Conclusions

Conclusions:

  • Although wetland loss has reversed on a national basis, it continues at an alarming rate in coastal areas.

  • Coastal areas need greater efforts to reverse the trend of continuing wetland loss.


What next

What next?

  • Can we increase coastal wetland conservation through existing programs?

  • Do we need new programs focused on coastal wetlands?

  • How can we quantify coastal wetland trends on the Pacific coasts?


Status and trends of wetlands in the coastal watersheds of the eastern united states

Questions?


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