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Monday, July 03, 2006

U.S. Fish & Wilflife Service Issues Wetlands Report

The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-645) requires the Fish & Wildlife Service to produce national wetlands status and trend reports for the Congress at ten year intervals. The current report has just been issued: Status & Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous U.S. 1998 to 2004. The reports concludes that, "for the first time net wetlands gains, acquired through the contributions of restoration and creation activities, surpassed net wetland losses." On Earth Day 2004, President Bush announced a wetlands initiative that established a federal policy BEYOND "no net loss" of wetlands.

In addition to sustaining various flora, fauna and folk, wetlands support healthy fish populations by providing clean water, food production, spawning and nursery areas and refuge. Wetlands are "nature's kidneys" because they filter and purify our streams, rivers and waterways.

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