POPULATION & ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES SERVICE
Wetlands

Last updated: 04/13/00
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National Library for the Environment

Wetlands are habitats that are flooded or saturated by water for at least some of the year. They include swamps, marshes, and bogs as well as other low lying areas where the presence of standing water changes the chemical and physical properties of the soil and may result in certain types of vegetation. This section presents information on how population effects the water quality and life of wetlands, and how presence and quality of wetlands effect people.


Type of Resource Statement
Title Population and Wetlands
Author National Wildlife Federation Population and Environment Program
Affiliation National Wildlife Federation
Url http://www.nwf.org/international/pop/wetland.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "The buildup of human populations, agriculture, and industries on coastal shores is destroying the natural capabilities of wetland ecosystems and is contributing to the decline of countless wetlands species. Today, 3.6 billion people live long the coastline. Within three decades, 75% of the world's population, or almost seven billion people, will be living on the coasts -- a billion more people than are alive today!"

Type of Resource article
Title Biodiversity in Freshwater Ecosystems
Author World Resources Institute
Affiliation World Resources Institute
Url http://www.wri.org/biodiv/b03-gbs.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "Freshwaters are also home to a tremendous diversity of fish, amphibians, aquatic plants, invertebrates, and microorganisms. The Amazon River alone contains an estimated 3000 species of fish--only 25 percent less than the total number of mammals worldwide. And freshwater biodiversity is among the most poorly known on Earth. Scientists believe that Thailand may have as many as 1000 species of freshwater fish, but only some 475 have actually been recorded."

Type of Resource Data Set
Title Natural Wetlands Data Set
Author E. Matthews, I. Fung
Affiliation NASA/Goddard Institute of Space Studies, Columbia University, USA
Url http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/data/wetlands.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "It shows the distribution and environmental characteristics of naturally occurring wetlands in a total of five data files, which are described as follows:"
a) Wetland Type - total of 12 categories
b) Vegetation Type of wetland areas (178 classes);
c) Soil Type of the wetland areas in 107 classes;
d) Fractional Inundation
e) Data Sources

Type of Resource Article
Title Wetlands Loss and Degradation
Author Water, Soil, and Hydro-Environmental Decision Support System
Affiliation North Carolina State University Water Quality Group
Url http://h2osparc.wq.ncsu.edu/info/wetlands/wetloss.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Statement on "Major Causes of Wetland Loss and Degradation" includes: Hydrologic Alteration; Urbanization (including development); Marinas/Boats; Industry (including industrial development); Agriculture; Silviculture/Timber Harvest; Mining; Atmospheric Deposition.

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Briefing Reports on Issues Related to Wetlands
Author Various
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/crswet.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract Reports are produced as nonpartisan briefing documents for the U.S. Congress.
OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCES: A BRIEFING BOOK (5/30/97~169p. in 24 sections)

Wetlands Issues (10/8/99 ~ 10 p.)
Nationwide Permits for Wetlands Projects: Permit 26 and Other Issues and Controversies (1/21/99~17p.)

Nationwide Permits for Wetlands Projects: Current Issues and Controversies (1/21/99~17 p.)
Clean Water Act Reauthorization In the 105th Congress (6/25/98 ~ 10 p.)
Wetlands Mitigation Banking: Status and Prospects (9/12/97~17p.in 3 sections)
Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress (8/21/97 ~ 5 p.)
National Estuary Program: A Collaborative Approach to Protecting Coastal Water Quality (6/23/97~14p.in 2 sections)
Wetlands Issues in the 104th Congress (1/21/97 ~ 14 p.)
Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals (1/4/96 ~ 12 p.)
Federal Agency Programs in Living Aquatic Resources and Aquatic Habitat Protection (8/15/95 ~ 102 p. in 8 sections)
Wetlands Legislation: Comparison of Two Bills (7/5/95 ~ 11 p.)
Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill (12/19/94 ~ 5 p.)


Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Nationwide Permits for Wetlands Projects: Current Issues and Controversies
Author Claudia Copeland
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/wet-7.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1997 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "General permits issued by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. These permits authorize activities that are similar in nature and will cause only minimal adverse effect on the environment. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize a landowner to proceed without having to obtain an individual permit in advance. About 80,000 activities per year are authorized by general permits.

Nationwide permits are one type of general permit. In December 1996, the Corps issued 37 revised and two new nationwide permits. One of them, nationwide permit 26 (MWP 26), has been very controversial. Before being reissued, it was criticized by environmentalists who contended that it results in significant loss of wetlands. The Corps responded by greatly reducing the scope of NWP 26, leading to criticism by industry groups who say it will now be more burdensome for permit applicants and permitting agencies."

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Ecosystem Management Tools and Techniques: Proceedings of a CRS Workshop
Author Wayne A. Morrissey
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/biodv-5.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1995 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "emonstrate tools and techniques used in scientific The purposes of his workshop were to research on ecosystems and to address technological aspects of developing and administering a national policy for ecosystem management. . . which addressed five policy questions:
  • What are the opportunities and limitations of these tools?
  • Where is the development of these tools headed, and how rapidly are they changing
  • What are the costs associated with tools, and how do those costs compare with the cost of data acquisition?
  • Is there a need for new or different data based upon the capabilities and opportunities of the tools? and,
  • What is the potential of these tools for informing the public decision-making process and contributing to other national goals?

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Ecosystem Management: Federal Agency Activities
Author Wayne A. Morrissey, Jeffrey A. Zinn, M. Lynne Corn,
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/biodv-4.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1994 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "Eighteen Federal agencies demonstrated their ecosystem management activities to the congressional community on March 24, 1994, as part of a two-day ecosystem management symposium convened by the Congressional Research Service . . . This report is a compilation of short papers distributed at the demonstration, describing each participating Federal agency's ecosystem management efforts. Each agency was asked to address five topics."
1. Ecosystem Management Activities.
2. Cooperation and Coordination.
3. Tools of Ecosystem Management.
4. Funding Ecosystem Management.
5. Ecosystem Management Limits and Opportunities.

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