Sunday, May 04, 2014

Fish & Wildlife Service releases wetlands database and mapping tool

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced  completion of the National Wetlands
Database and Interactive Mapping Tool, to coincide with American Wetlands Month, which began May 1.

"The Wetlands Inventory Mapper (
has digitally mapped and made publically [sic] available wetlands in the lower 48
states, Hawaii and dependent territories, as well as 35 % of Alaska."

I took a quick look at the interactive map. It has a nice easy to use web interface and it responds quickly. 

For southern Arizona, the Willcox playa is identified as a lake, and shows up on their map just like Lake Mead and Lake Powell.   I'm surprised that FWS doesn't appear to treat playas differently than year-round bodies of water.

The tailings pond by Sierrita and Twin Buttes copper mines near Sahuarita is also shown as a lake, as are what looks like tailings next to Asarco's Mission mine complex.    I captured a screen shot of the FWS map and added the yellow text identifying the mines.  The blue areas ("lakes") are from FWS.

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