USGS Water Resources
National Water Summary on Wetland Resources
United States Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 2425

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This volume, National Water Summary on Wetland Resources, is organized into two parts, a somewhat different format than the seven previous volumes (see inside front cover for previous volumes) in the National Water Summary series. (The "Hydrologic Conditions and Water-Related Events" included in the previous volumes are published separately, as U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Reports Numbers 96-107 and 96-145.)

This volume is the result of a coordinated effort to compile the most up-to-date information available on wetland resources. Although much has been written about the biological aspects of wetlands, much less has been written about the hydrology and the non-habitat functions of wetlands. This volume presents an overview of wetland resources from many different perspectives.

The first part of this volume, "Overview of Wetland Resources," discusses wetland resources from a national perspective and provides background information for the State summaries section. This section contains articles on the technical, management and research, and restoration, creation, and recovery aspects of wetland resources. These articles relate the history of wetlands in the United States; the definition of wetlands and a description of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Classification System (Cowardin and others, 1979); hydrologic and water-quality factors that affect the distribution of wetlands and related functions commonly attributed to wetlands; the role of wetlands as habitat for birds; the roles of Federal agencies in wetland protection legislation and research; progress in inventory and mapping of wetlands; techniques for evaluating wetlands; human attempts to restore damaged wetlands and create new ones; and the recovery of wetlands following natural disasters.

The second part, "State Summaries of Wetland Resources," describes wetlands of each State, the District of Columbia (combined with Maryland), Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Western Pacific Islands. Each State summary discusses wetlands in terms of value, types and distribution, hydrologic setting, and trends in acreage from predevelopment to modern times. Each State summary also provides an overview of public- and private-sector wetland-conservation efforts in that State and a table showing the wetland-related responsibilities of principal government agencies and private organizations within the State. Illustrations include a map depicting the areal distribution of principal wetlands and selected related features such as ecoregions, physiography, precipitation, runoff, evaporation, or other physical or climatic features that influence the presence or distribution of wetlands in that State. Some of the State summaries include a map or cross section depicting the hydrologic setting of wetlands and (or) a map showing predevelopment wetland distribution.

To supplement the information provided in this volume, bibliographic references are listed at the end of each article and State summary. An extensive list of suggested references for more information about topics discussed in the "Overview of Wetland Resources" is available in U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-169. This report also is available online at Most technical terms are defined in the glossary at the end of this volume, and a conversion table of water measurements precedes the glossary.


Preparation of the National Water Summary requires compiling information from many individuals within the U.S. Geological Survey and various Federal and State agencies. The National Water Summary on Wetland Resources is the eighth in this series of U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Papers and it was prepared under the direction of Robert M. Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist. The report compilers gratefully acknowledge the assistance of water-resources agencies in each State in preparing and reviewing the State summaries of wetland resources. In addition, the following Federal agencies and other organizations contributed articles for this report:

In addition, the following Federal agencies and other organizations provided materials for this report:

Although individual acknowledgment of all reviewers, managers, illustrators, and typists who participated in the preparation of this report is not feasible, their cooperation and many contributions made this report possible. The following persons, however, deserve special mention:

The authors of the individual articles and the State summaries, who adhered to strict guidelines and whose names appear on the articles; David W. Moody and Richard W. Paulson, who had the vision for this report, made the contacts, and got it started; Virginia Carter, who provided technical guidance and reviewed every article; Katherine Walton-Day, Martha A. Hayes, Helen M. Light, Melanie R. Darst, and Benjamin F. McPherson, who prepared prototype State summaries, and D. Briane Adams, and Marcus C. Waldron, who helped coordinate the effort; Kenneth J. Lanfear, who provided managerial assistance; Jo Ann Macy, who provided managerial assistance and editorial review; Jack H. Green and Chester Zenone, who provided technical editorial review; Edith B. Chase, Elizabeth A. Ciganovich, and Mary A. Kidd, who provided editorial review and editorial assistance; Hyla Strickland, who provided editorial review and editorial assistance in the preparation of the State summaries; John M. Watson, who provided editorial review of the State summaries; and Susan Tufts-Moore, who provided editorial review for several Overview articles; Patricia S. Greene, Robert J. Olmstead, and Gregory J. Allord, who assisted with the design, coordination, and layout of the report and its illustrations; James O. Whitmer, Gina P. Barker, Timothy D. Covington, John M. Watermolen, Joel J. Skalet, and Alan M. Duran, who assisted with the graphics; Jamaica Pettit, who did typesetting and layout for the State summaries; Kimberley L. Fry, who provided general assistance with review and preparation of articles in the front part (Introduction and Overview sections) of the book; Helen F. Ipsaro and volunteer Judy G. Fry, who proofread the front-part articles; volunteers Katie Green, Joyce Ipsaro, and Uma Rao, who helped keep us organized.

References Cited---------------

Cowardin, L.M., Carter, Virginia, Golet, F.C., and LaRoe, E.T., 1979, Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report FGWS/OBS-79/31, 131 p.

Fry, K.L., comp., 1996, Supplemental reference list for the National Water Summary on Wetland Resources: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report, No. 96-169, 39 p.

McCabe, G.J., Crowe, Michael, Brown, W.O., and Fretwell, J.D., 1996, Hydrologic conditions and water-related events—Water Year 1992: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report No. 96-107, 1 sheet.

McCabe, G.J., Crowe, Michael, Brown, W.O., Fretwell, J.D., and Fry, K.L., 1996, Hydrologic conditions and water-related events—Water Year 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report, No. 96-145, 1 sheet.

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