Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Protecting our nation’s wetlands is a priority of EPA and our state and tribal partners. Wetlands, an essential part of a healthy watershed, are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on Earth, comparable to tropical rain forests and coral reefs. They provide food sources that support a variety of species. Wetlands also act as giant sponges, storing large amounts of floodwater and slowly releasing it over time, reducing the frequency and extent of flooding. Protecting wetlands helps us work towards our goal of restoring and maintaining the integrity of our nation’s waters.
Since 2008, EPA has invested in state and tribal wetland programs by providing financial and technical assistance as part of our Enhancing States and Tribes Program (ESTP). States and tribes play important roles in protecting and restoring wetlands and other water resources. States and tribes adopt practices within our Core Elements Framework to complete various projects, such as restoration and protection, monitoring and assessment, Water Quality Standards and regulatory activities such as Clean Water Act section 401 certification for projects.
The stories below have been identified by the EPA as examples of how states and tribes are implementing the Core Elements Framework to enhance and protect their resources. We celebrate these states and tribes that are making a difference to improve America’s water resources and invite you to read their stories!
Ohio Uses Wetlands Program Development Grants to Protect Wetlands
Michigan Integrates Wetland Assessment into Watershed Protection
Maumelle, Arkansas: Protecting Wetlands and Sustaining Urban Growth
Oklahoma’s Road to Water Quality Standards for Wetlands
Kansas Protects and Restores Wetlands, Streams and Riparian Areas
Montana-The Story of Story Mill-A Community Working to Restore Wetlands
California Creates Rapid Assessment Method for Wetland Protection
Planning in California Pays Off for Wetlands
Lummi Nation Mitigation Bank-Restoration on the Reservation: First Nation Develops First Tribal Wetland Mitigation Bank
Tribal Wetlands Working Group (TWWG)