West Virginia\u27s Wetlands

Abstract

Wetlands, transitional areas between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water, covered an estimated 221 million acres of the conterminous 48 states in colonial days. Over 53 percent of those wetlands have since been lost to development. Wetlands have a long history of being drained or filled due to the expansion of the human population and the need for agricultural land as well as the negative connotations associated with wetlands such as mosquitoes. West Virginia is estimated to have 102,000 acres of wetlands, which is less than 1% of the total area. This estimate is 24 percent less than the 134,000 acres present in the late 1700s. Because of their rareness, wetland conservation is of great importance in the Mountain State

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