The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has measured wetland losses for half a century and subsequently produced periodic Status and Trends studies on the nation's wetlands. These reports are based on a statistical sampling of the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps that focus on wetland acreage. Over the past decade, studies in wetland health and trends in wetland health have gained importance in understanding the quantity and quality of the nation’s wetlands. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with states and tribes, conducted the first ever national wetlands condition assessment. The 2011 results will be posted in 2015. States and tribes also conduct wetland assessments, and have developed a number of tools for assessment, such as: Rapid Assessment Methods (RAM); criteria for determining functions, values, ecosystem services; and ecological integrity assessments, using biological indicators. Local governments and nonprofit organizations may employ similar and other wetland assessment methods specific to their locality. Wetland monitoring and assessment information is used in regulatory and voluntary wetland programs and other areas.

Monitoring and assessment is one component of the U.S. EPA’s Core Elements Framework. To view the EPA’s webpage on monitoring and assessment, click here.