Below are some quick wetlands facts, with their source in the footnotes, if available:

Some text with a footnote.1 Wetlands can be as biologically diverse as the Amazon Rainforest. Some more text with a footnote.1

Prior to the 1500's, it is estimated that the the lower 48 States had approximately 220 million acres of wetlands. Less than half (103 million acres) remained as of the mid-1980's. Six States lost over 80 percent or more of their original wetlands acreage, and twenty-two lost 50 percent or more.2

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that the United States loses approximately 100,000 acres of wetlands annually. 3

Louisiana contains approximately 40 percent of the coastal wetlands found in the lower 48 states, and about 80 percent of the wetlands lost. 4

An acre of wetland can store 1–1.5 million gallons of floodwater. 5

As a rule of thumb, a wetland one mile deep can reduce storm surge by 1 to 1.5 feet. 6

In the United States, over 70% of wetlands are on private property. 7

Although wetlands only comprise approximately 5 percent of the land surface in the United Sates, they are home to 31 percent of our plant species. 8

The largest state in the United States, Alaska, is 45% wetlands, a total of 174.6 million acres. 63% of the entire nation's wetland ecosystems are in Alaska. 9

More than 5% of the land area of the U.S. is considered wetlands, but approximately half of the more than 200 animal species, 75% of bird species and 25% if of plant species identified as endangered or threatened depend on wetlands for survival. 10

The largest wetland restoration project worldwide is in Florida's Everglades. The restoration project is expected to last 30 years and cost over $13 billion dollars.11

Globally, wetlands are of significant value. According to the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA2005), the total economic value of 63 million hectares of wetland around the world is between about $200 billion a year. (Schuyt and Brander 2004) 12

A wetland in the Republic of the Congo, Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe, was designated as the world's largest protected freshwater wetland in July 2008 by RAMSAR. The massive 65,696 square kilometer site,(twice the size of Belgium)is situated Lake Tumba region, and has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world. 13

Prior to the 1970’s, the defacto U.S. national policy was to drain or convert wetlands into agricultural or other uses. This attitude has change dramatically beginning in the 1970’s when the value of wetlands became more apparent. In the United States, over 70% of wetlands are on private property. 14

The first legislation in the Unites States affecting wetlands was the first of several Swamp Land Acts in 1850. Approximately 65 million acres of wetlands were turned over to the States for agriculture and development in many cases, for a nominal fee. Today, nearly all of these converted wetlands are now are private owned, and in some cases leased back by the Federal Government for conservation purposes. 15

*Migratory birds are dependent on wetlands in many parts of the United States. On the East Coast, the flyway from New York to Pennsylvania allows migrating birds to rest and find a meal. In the central part of the United States, migratory birds find rest in the Prairie Pothole region, dotted with small, scattered wetlands.
16
In part due to conservation programs, wetland losses have declined since the 1950s, dropping from an estimated 593,000 acres per year during 1954-1974, to 26,000 acres annually between the years 1992 through 1997. During the period between 1997 and 2003, agricultural lands gained more than 260,000 acres, with the [[Wetland Reserve Program]] and [[Conservation Reserve Program]] leading as major contributors to wetland restoration and enhancement and Swampbuster reducing the conversion of wetlands to agricultural uses.
17
The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, found in Kansas, is the largest marsh in the contiguous 48 states. The International Shorebird Survey estimates that at least 320 species of birds and 45% of North America's shorebird population stops at Cheyenne Bottoms when migrating north in the spring.
18 1. Text of footnote 1
2. [Text of footnote 2]
3. [Text of footnote 3]
4. Louisiana Coastal Wetlands:A Resource At Risk U.S. Geological Survey Marine and Coastal Geology Program 1995.
5. South Florida Wetlands Quarterly Newsletter.SEPTEMBER 2005. Retrieved January 2009.
6. Rising sea swallowing chunks of Louisiana wetlands Associated Press. 2002. Retrieved April 2009. Improving Hurricane Intensity and Landfall Estimation with Refined Modeling. Pat Fitzpatrick - GeoResources Institute, Mississippi State University.
7. Wetlands: An Overview of Issues CRS Report for Congress Congressional Research Service RL33483. Nov. 3, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
8. [http://wwww.okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu/South%20Florida%20WetlandSEPT05.pdf South Florida Wetlands Quarterly Newsletter SEPTEMBER 2005. Retrieved January 2009.]
9. [http://alaskacoast.state.ak.us/ACMPGrants/EGS_05/pdfs/coastalWetlands.pdf Coastal Wetlands] pp. 45 Retrieved January 2009.
10. [http://alaskacoast.state.ak.us/ACMPGrants/EGS_05/pdfs/coastalWetlands.pdf Coastal Wetlands] pp. 45 Retrieved January 2009.
11. [http://www.dep.state.fl.us/evergladesforever/ Restoring the River of Grass] Retrieved January 23, 2009. [http://www.wetlandswatch.org/wet_facts.asp Wetlands Fact Sheet-Wetlandswatch.org]
12. (Schuyt, K. and L. Brander 2004: The economic value of the World’s wetlands. WWF Living Waters: Conserving the Source of Life. Gland, Switzerland. 31 pp.and $940 billion (Costanza et al. 1997)Costanza,R., d’Arge, R., de Groot, R.,Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R.V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R.G., Sutton, P.& van den Belt, M. 1997. The total value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387: 253-260.
13. [http://www.panda.org/index.cfm?uNewsID=141881 Congo wetland largest to achieve international recognition 7/24/2008] World Wildlife Federation. July 2008.
14. [TBD] 15. [TBD] 16. [http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RL33483.pdf Wetlands: An Overview of Issues CRS Report for Congress]Claudia Copeland, Specialist in Resource and Environmental Policy Resources, Science, and Industry Division Jeffrey A. Zinn Specialist in Natural Resources Policy Resources, Science, and Industry Division Updated July 8, 2008.]
17. [http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RL33483.pdf Wetlands: An Overview of Issues CRS Report for Congress]Claudia Copeland, Specialist in Resource and Environmental Policy Resources, Science, and Industry Division Jeffrey A. Zinn Specialist in Natural Resources Policy Resources, Science, and Industry Division Updated July 8, 2008.]
18. [http://www.cheyennebottoms.net/about_cheyenne_bottoms.html Cheyenne Bottoms: Jewel of the Prairie - cheyennebottoms.net - Retrieved April 13, 2009][http://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/birding.shtml Kansas Wetlands Education Center]Retrieved April 2009.
[http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/wetlands/facts/contents.html EPA Wetland Fact Sheets]

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