May is National Wetlands Month


May is National Wetlands Month, making it the perfect time to celebrate one of nature’s most productive ecosystems.Wetlands improve water quality downstream, protect nearby towns from flooding, enhance and protect wildlife habitat and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.


The greatest potential for wetland restoration exists on privately owned forests, ranches and farms. In fact, 75 percent of the nation’s wetlands are located on private and tribal lands.

This year, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) celebrates 25 years of protecting wetlands. During this time, NRCS has helped thousands of landowners enroll acreage – in record numbers – to protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on their property.

NRCS and its partners used the former Wetland Reserve Program to ensure they achieved the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat, on every enrolled acre.

The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated WRP into the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program’s Wetland Reserve Easement component to streamline program administration and make it easier for landowners to participate in the program.

The cumulative benefits of this wetland conservation work have resulted in tremendous environmental, social and economic benefits nationwide.

In Florida, ranchers are actively engaged in conservation projects to protect the Everglades, the primary source of drinking water for 7 million Floridians.

Conservation wetland easements will continue to serve as a critical tool in a landowner’s toolbox for wetland restoration, protection and enhancement. If you’re interested in exploring conservation easements for your property, contact your local USDA service center.


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