May is American Wetlands Month—a time to celebrate one of nature’s most productive ecosystems!  

Healthy wetlands are vital to local communities, economies and wildlife across the United States. They recharge groundwater, remove pollutants, mitigate floods, comprise essential wildlife habitat and provide hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities. In addition, approximately half of all species listed under the Endangered Species Act and 40 percent of all U.S. wildlife species are reliant on wetlands, including millions of waterfowl and migratory birds.  

There are many types of wetlands, including coastal wetlands, potholes, vernal pools, bogs, and swamps, and each provide unique ecosystem benefits. Unfortunately, wetlands face numerous challenges, such as  climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's…

Learn more about climate change
and sea level rise, as well as drainage, fill and excavation. These factors drive the need for wetland conservation and restoration.  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to protect and preserve wetlands for future generations though various programs. The Service's National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) protects high quality wetland habitat within many of its 568 refuges spread across the United States. The Coastal Program promotes cooperative coastal wetland conservation so that wildlife and local communities thrive. The Migratory Birds Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations.  The National Wetlands Inventory Program provides the foundational information necessary for the Service and all Americans to strategically manage our wetland habitats and associated ecosystem benefits.

Wetlands Stories

Follow our Stories throughout the month to learn more about these amazing habitats and the role the Service plays in conserving them.

Alaska is home to some of the nation’s most vast and beautiful wetland landscapes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory is currently working to map almost 200 million acres of these habitats, to understand the abundance and distribution of these resources. Among these...
Sitting beside degraded marshland that has felt centuries of human intervention, the untouched, unditched Motts-Mullica Wilderness at E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge shows an alternate reality—a future that could have been for so many altered marshes, and one that’s still possible if we use...
Fish in the desert? It seems impossible but not in the ciénega habitat.
Whether shrouded in winter, bustling with spring fever, humming in the heat of summer, or resting in the fading light of fall, there are many opportunities to appreciate wetlands.
Despite being located in the hottest and driest corner of the United States, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is home to second greatest concentrations of endemic species in North America. In just under 24,000 acres live 26 species found nowhere else on Earth. That's because approximately 10,...
May is American Wetlands Month, yet every day is a great time to celebrate these diverse habitats. Wetlands support birds, fishes, amphibians, plants, and more. Discover the importance of wetlands to plants, wildlife, and people around the globe.
May is American Wetlands Month! But how much do you know about these historically derided resources?
You may not notice wetlands as you pass them, but chances are you’ve seen them, whether driving to the beach, near a forest stream, or even on a farm in the Dakotas. There’s great variation in the places we call wetlands, and they are worth a closer look.