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Wetlands went through a hard time in the 19th and much of the 20th centuries as they were summarily drained and used for real estate development. Today, scientists, planners, and recreationists are well aware of the value they provide in terms of their role as lively animal habitats and as a way to recharge groundwater. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the primary federal agency that provides information on the state of the country's wetlands, and this site provides extensive geospatial data on their current extent and location. Visitors can check out the "What's New" area to get started, and they will want to look at the recent annual reports and some of their research highlights. On the right-hand side of the homepage, visitors can click on the "Wetlands Mapper" tool and also view the wetlands via Google Earth. On the left-hand side of the homepage, visitors can elect do download digital wetlands data by state or quadrant, and they can also learn more about obtaining hard-copy maps.
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