Minnesota wetland evaluation shows gains

By on June 5, 2013
Wetlands and Estuaries News

A state assessment of Minnesota wetland losses and gains indicates that the state gained more wetlands than it lost, but wetland quality could still be improved.

Data from the study documented land cover change for 4,990 plots of land during three year sampling cycles. So far two cycles have been completed from 2006 through 2011. The land gained 200.4 acres of wetland area. Documented loss of wetland area totaled 77.4 acres.

MDNR scientists extrapolated the data to estimate that the state had a total net gain of 2,080 acres of wetlands.

The report also documents the conversion of 1,890 acres of wetlands to cultivated wetlands. These areas still have standing water, but lack much of the vegetation of unmolested wetlands.

More monitoring will be necessary to determine wetland quality and permanence of changes, according to the study.

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