From the prairie potholes in the southwest to the vast expanses of peatlands in the north, the diversity of Minnesota's wetlands is arguably unmatched by any other state. Although roughly half of Minnesota's original wetlands have been lost to draining or filling, public perception began to shift in the 1970s with recognition of the many ecological and societal benefits that wetlands provide. In Minnesota this trend resulted in the passage of the Wetlands Conservation Act (WCA) in 1991, which aims to "achieve no-net-loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's existing wetlands" and eventually accomplish gains in these areas. Until recently, existing wetland monitoring programs were unable to accurately evaluate whether the WCA was meeting its stated goals. In 2006, a statewide wetland monitoring program was initiated to assess status and trends of both wetland quantity and quality. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is primarily responsible for the implementation of the wetland quantity monitoring program, while the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) conducts the state's wetland quality monitoring program. The focus of this report is on round two of the Depressional Wetland Quality Assessment (DWQA), evaluating the ecological condition of depressional marshes and ponds throughout the state and whether this has changed since the initial assessment was completed in 2009.
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency