Resources for River & Wetland Conservation

About this Site

Resources for River and Wetland Conservation


This is a resource website for better understanding the critical importance of rivers, tributaries, and wetlands to the protection of United States national water resources - for drinking water, ecological, and recreational priorities.

As the site is constructed, you will find educational and research tools, including links to key documents, news articles, and organizations actively working to better understand and conserve these critical national resources.

Whats is a Wetland?


Wetlands are distinct ecological areas that are saturated during part or all of the year. Known by many names: (in English) marsh, fen, bog, swamp, bayou, muskeg, mire, moor, slough, or morass - many of these names apply to wetlands with particular ecological features relating to soil types and species present.

They can be saline (including coastal wetlands) or freshwater, and they do not need to be "wet" year round - despite the name.

Wetlands are an important primary component of many river systems and they are connected to those systems in important biological, chemical, and physical ways even when there is no obvious surface link between or among the systems.

The 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands uses the following definition:

“…wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.”

For more information, you might look into

Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the

United States (Wetlands Subcommittee

Federal Geographic Data Committee) adapted from Cowardin, Carter, Golet and LaRoe (1979) at  https://www.fws.gov/wetlands/documents/Classification-of-Wetlands-and-Deepwater-Habitats-of-the-United-States-2013.pdf 

An Introduction to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (2016) at


Wetlands provide critical "services"


Wetlands are rich ecological systems that sustain important species, filter drinking water, limit the impact of storms in coastal and river communities, and mitigate climate change.

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