Wetlands conservation

Wetlands are usually coastal areas, mostly covered by water, which support plant and animal species adapted for life in saturated soils. These areas include swamps, marshes and bogs. In addition to providing habitat for wildlife, wetlands help control flooding, filter pollutants from water supplies, and help absorb the energy of hurricanes coming ashore. Wetlands also provide essential spawning, feeding and nursery areas for three-quarters of the fish caught by our commercial fishing industry. When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, there were about 392 million wetland acres. Only about 272 million acres now remain. It is estimated that about 40,000 acres of coastal wetlands are disappearing each year. The coastal wetland areas located in our Atlantic and Gulf States are the most threatened by development and pollution. These fragile ecosystems are frequently damaged by oil drilling operations and pollution deposited by rivers. Rising land values are also encouraging development in, or near, our wetland areas.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of S.261 - North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (116th Congress 2019-2020)
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM)

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Poll Opening Date
March 13, 2023
Poll Closing Date
March 19, 2023

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