World Wetlands Day 2002: USA


News from Ducks Unlimited...... For immediate release:

World Wetlands Day Is Coming Up. What Do You Know?
Test your wetlands knowledge with the DU wetlands quiz

Memphis, TN, January 30--- World Wetlands Day is coming up on Saturday, February 2. The United States has lost half of its wetlands, nature's most productive ecosystems, and losses continue at a rate of over 100,000 acres each year. In addition to supporting close to half of our endangered species, wetlands filter pollutants out of the water we drink and also blunt the impact of floods.

There is a direct correlation between our quality of life and the presence of wetlands! For instance, in the summer of 2000, there were more than 10,000 beach closings and advisories because of water pollution. Wetlands are nature's sponges-they help absorb water pollutants. Beach erosion is another problem that can be alleviated by better protection of neighboring wetlands. And for beach goers who enjoy the presence of migratory shorebirds, there is a wetlands connection because these vital ecosystems provide food and shelter for birds at critical times of the year.

In observance of World Wetlands Day, you can visit a nearby marsh or take a walk on a beach, but if it's too cold in your part of the country, then we recommend venturing indoors and taking the Ducks Unlimited wetlands quiz.

1. How many wildlife species depend on wetlands?
A: 245
B: 900
C: 17
D: 2050

2. The U.S. has lost what (approximate) percent of its wetlands?
A: 25
B: 80
C: 67
D: 50

3. Which state has lost the most of its original wetlands?
A: California
B: Maryland
C: Florida
D: New York

4. Which of the following statements about wetlands is NOT true:
A: Wetlands blunt the impact of floods, tropical storms and hurricanes
B: Wetlands provide important food and shelter for black bears
C: Louisiana's commercial fish and shellfish industry, worth approximately $250 million a year, depends on wetlands
D: The majority of wetlands today exist on public lands

5. What is a pothole?
A: A deep well-like cavity in the earth that is always filled with water
B: A type of wetland that is frequently compared to swiss cheese
C: A type of freshwater wetland that tends to dry up in the summer
D: A cavity in a tree where small animals hibernate

6. Loss of wetlands to agricultural practices has been curtailed by which of the following?
A: The Wetlands Reserve Program
B: Swampbuster
C: The Conservation Reserve Program
D: Severe drought in the 1980s

7. The Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act were both passed during the administration of which American president?
A: Jimmy Carter
B: Dwight Eisenhower
C: Gerald Ford
D: Richard Nixon

8. Which president set a wetlands goal of "no net loss"?
A: George Bush (senior)
B: Bill Clinton
C: Ronald Reagan
D: Theodore Roosevelt

9. Which of the following statements is NOT true?
A: Fens and bogs contain fewer nutrients than most wetlands because their water comes directly from rain and snow
B: 90% of the wetlands in the lower 48 states are palustrine, i.e. shallow and fresh
C: Wetlands found in lakes are lacustrine
D: Hydrophytic plants cannot survive in wetlands

10. What is a water budget?
A: A reward given to companies that improve wetlands
B: An allowance paid by the federal government to schoolchildren who help clean up wetlands
C: The balance between inflows and outflows of water in a wetland
D: The cost to restore and or enhance a wetland that has been negatively impacted by human activities

Extra Credit: What do fashionable frogs wear?

To arrange an interview with a Ducks Unlimited scientist, call Tildy La Farge at 901-758-3859.

Happy 65th birthday, Ducks Unlimited! On January 29, 1937, Ducks Unlimited's incorporation papers were filed.

With more than one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited ( is the world's leading wetland and waterfowl conservation group. Wetlands are nature's most productive ecosystems, but the United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands, and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres every year.

Answers: 1 B ; 2 D ; 3 A ; 4 D ; 5 C ; 6 A & B & C ; 7 D; 8 A & B ; 9 D ; 10 C ; Extra Credit: Jump Suit

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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