Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

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WARC conducts relevant and objective research, develops new approaches and technologies, and disseminates scientific information needed to understand, manage, conserve, and restore wetlands and other aquatic and coastal ecosystems and their associated plant and animal communities throughout the nation and the world.

The WARC Strategic Science Plan demonstrates the alignment of the WARC goals with the USGS mission areas, associated programs, and other DOI initiatives.

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Have you seen me? Report sightings of non-native and invasive aquatic plant and animal species to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) information resource.

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Coastal Louisiana wetlands make up the seventh largest delta on Earth and support the largest commercial fishery in the lower 48 states. However, Louisiana currently undergoes ~90% of the total coastal wetland loss in the continental U.S.

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News

The Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion structure, located at the head of Breton Sound Estuary, became operational in 1992.
February 8, 2017

New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries. 

Wading birds feed near wooden posts marking a research site in a Louisiana salt marsh
January 25, 2017

Changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century, a new study from the USGS and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley concludes.

This picture was taken June 23, 2010 along the Louisiana shoreline in Barataria Bay and shows oil spilled from Deepwater Horizon
November 17, 2016

A new USGS-NASA study found widespread shoreline loss along heavily oiled areas of Louisiana's coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and compared the erosion from the spill with coastal changes Hurricane Isaac caused in 2012.

Publications

Expert elicitation, uncertainty, and the value of information in controlling invasive species
Year Published: 2017

Expert elicitation, uncertainty, and the value of information in controlling invasive species

We illustrate the utility of expert elicitation, explicit recognition of uncertainty, and the value of information for directing management and research efforts for invasive species, using tegu lizards (Salvator merianae) in southern Florida as a case study. We posited a post-birth pulse, matrix model in which four age classes of tegus are recognized: hatchlings, 1 year-old, 2 year-olds, and 3 +...

Relationships between salinity and short-term soil carbon accumulation rates form marsh types across a landscape in the Mississippi River Delta
Year Published: 2017

Relationships between salinity and short-term soil carbon accumulation rates form marsh types across a landscape in the Mississippi River Delta

Salinity alterations will likely change the plant and environmental characteristics in coastal marshes thereby influencing soil carbon accumulation rates. Coastal Louisiana marshes have been historically classified as fresh, intermediate, brackish, or saline based on resident plant community and position along a salinity gradient. Short-term total carbon accumulation rates were assessed by...

Structured decision making as a conservation tool for recovery planning of two endangered salamanders
Year Published: 2017

Structured decision making as a conservation tool for recovery planning of two endangered salamanders

At least one-third of all amphibian species face the threat of extinction, and current amphibian extinction rates are four orders of magnitude greater than background rates. Preventing extirpation often requires both ex situ (i.e., conservation breeding programs) and in situ strategies (i.e., protecting natural habitats). Flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi and A. cingulatum) are protected...