On Jan. 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released four regional Coastal Wetland Reviews for the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. The reports were compiled in response to a report titled Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Eastern United States: 1998–2004. According to the report, coastal wetlands in the eastern U.S. decreased, on average, by 24,000 ha/yr (59,000 ac/yr).

The regional reports took a closer look at these trends to determine regional stressors and local protection strategies. The reports highlight some successful tools and strategies, as well as gaps and needs.

According to the report, primary stressors include development, hydrologic modifications, climate change and sea-level rise, agriculture, subsidence, shoreline hardening, and the cumulative impacts of minor alterations. The stressors play varying roles in the degradation of wetlands in the different regions. Read more. Also find more information on coastal ecosystems from NOAA’s Coastal Services Center and the agency’s Digital Coast data service.