Other Federal Wetlands Laws and Programs
Numerous other federal programs provide
protection of wetlands in a variety of ways.
e U.S. Department of t he Interior,
in particular the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS), administers wetlands programs and lends
its expertise in wetlands through consulting roles.
e National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis-
tration (NOAA), within the U.S. Department of
Commerce, administers a number of laws address-
ing the coastal zone, including coastal wetlands.
ere have also been Executive Orders and presi-
dential policies addressing wetlands. Other federal
laws recognize the importance of wetlands and
oer protection or consideration of these natural
resources. Some of these programs are summarized
below. Agricultural wetlands laws are addressed
separately in Chapter 10.1
I. U.S. Department of the Interior
A. Fish and Wildlife Service Resources
e FWS has responsibility for cer tain national
wetland information. FWS maintains the National
Wetlands Inventory (NWI), a series of maps and
information concerning t he nation’s wetlands.2
1. Many federal statutes or actions that require consideration of
environmental impacts generally may include wetlands among
the resources considered. Examples of such laws include the
of 1969, 42 U.S.C.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C.
-6992k, ELR S
. RCRA §§1001-11011; and the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and
CERCLA §§101-405. In addition, the National Park Service
administers properties that in some cases consist almost entirely
of wetlands. An example would be the Everglades National Park
Protection and Expansion Act of 1989, Pub. L. No. 101-229,
2. See http://www.fws.gov/nwi/.
As a general matter, this project has been under-
funded, so that National Wetlands Inventory maps
may vary in utility depending upon their age. As
of 2008, approximately 57% of U.S. wetlands have
been mapped.3 FWS a lso periodically prepares
reports on Wetland Status and Trends based on
research on the wetlands of the United States.4
Until recently, the FWS maintained and period-
ically updated the wetland plant list, used for wet-
land delineation.5 In 2006, the lead responsibility
for updating this list was transferred to the Corps
through a four-agency memorandum of agreement
(MOA), involving EPA and NOAA, as well as the
Corps and FWS.6 is MOA provides that the
Corps will fund and take the lead in maintaining
and updating the list, but t he other agencies will
participate in technical determinations of plants to
include on national and regional lists, as well as the
wetland indicators to assign to those plants.
FWS provides assistance to land owners on wet-
lands and wildlife habitat conservation through
the Partners for Fish a nd Wildlife Program. is
program has been in place for over 20 years and
was updated under the 2006 Partners for Fish and
Wildlife Act.7 e law authorizes up to $75 million
per year throug h 2011 for technical and nancial
assistance to private landowners engaged in habi-
tat improvement and restoration, including with
respect to wetlands.
3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Justica-
tions at HC-42, available at http://www.fws.gov/budget/.
4. Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coterminous United
States 1998-2004, available at http://wetlandsfws.er.usgs.gov/
status_trends/index.html. e next report is expected in 2010.
5. See, e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1988, National List
of Vascular Plant Species at Occur in Wetlands. U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service Biological Report 88 (26.9).
6. See http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/_documents/gOrg/MOAWet-
Pub. L. No. 109-294, 120 Stat. 1351 (codied at 16 U.S.C.