By M. Power |
You might not have heard, but National Wetlands day happened this week, on February 2nd. So where does the wetlands issue stand in the U.S. If you're a builder, it's a topic that's probably come up many times when planning a site.
On the whole, the news is good. According to the EPA, destruction of wetlands in many parts of the U.S. has slowed dramatically. Of course, a recession that has all but killed the market for new housing gets some of the credit. But some developers
also have become much more wetland aware. But that good news doesn't extend to one region of the country: the Eastern states. A study
just released by the NOAA and the Fish and Wildlife Service finds that wetlands in this neck of the woods are disappearing fast. We're losing about 59,000 acres of wetland each year. One of the worst hit areas is the gulf coast of Florida. The culprits--a dense and rising population. Of course a lot of that destruction is not new homes. It's commercial structures, roads and other infrastructure in response to a growing population.
What's to be done? That question is on the table, but NOAA is already in talks with the EPA. You can bet on stricter regulation in short order. On the other hand, if climate change predictions prove true, much of the region may be underwater in a few years--but that's a topic for another day.
Full report here