Between 2010 and 2012, 5,503 acres of wetlands were established, rehabilitated or re-established on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.
What are waterfowl, and why is the Chesapeake Bay so important for these migratory birds? Mike Slattery from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains why waterfowl visit our region each winter and what is being done to protect their habitat.
Produced by Steve Droter
Music: “A Moment of Jazz” by Ancelin
Because of the many benefits of wetlands – including providing habitat, filtering water and preventing erosion – work is ongoing to increase wetland acreage. This involves establishing wetland outcomes where they do not exist or reestablishing former wetlands to their natural state. Removing invasive species is also a way to rehabilitate degraded wetlands. Additionally, wetlands are often protected through land purchases or conservation easements.
Amount completed since 2010 (baseline year)
Between 2010 and 2012, 5,503 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands were established, rehabilitated or reestablished on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.
Amount completed in 2012
2,231 acres were established or re-established, rehabilitated or reestablished on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.
Wetlands Restoration Data
All data reported here reflect only established, rehabilitated, or re-established wetlands on agricultural lands. These wetlands are considered functional and of benefit since they provide increased wetland habitat, among other services. Although partners report information for wetlands establishment or re-establishment in urban areas, these data are not included in this indicator since some (such as urban stormwater ponds) are established primarily to capture stormwater runoff and are not considered to be valuable habitat.
Beginning in 2010, data used for this indicator are from the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) watershed model scenario input deck. Input deck data were developed using state submissions (reported via the National Environmental Information Exchange Network - NEIEN), and the CBP Scenario Builder tool. Wetlands restoration data previously reported in this indicator were not collected in a similar manner and also did not account for the efforts from Delaware, New York and West Virginia.
Functional Gains vs. Acreage Gains
Not all of the wetlands accounted for in this indicator are functional. They are present, but not necessarily serving as a benefit to the Bay. Although projects that result in functional gains on existing wetlands are ecologically beneficial, such projects are different than projects that result in the actual gain of wetland acreage. Therefore, they are tracked separately for purposes of clarity and accuracy.