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

Baseline aquatic contamination and endocrine status in a resident fish of Biscayne National Park
Year Published: 2017

Baseline aquatic contamination and endocrine status in a resident fish of Biscayne National Park

Surface water, sediment, and fish from Biscayne Bay, coastal wetlands adjacent to the Bay, and canals discharging into the Bay were sampled for determination of baseline contamination in Biscayne National Park. While the number of contaminants detected in canal waters was greater during the wet season than the dry season, no seasonal difference was evident for Biscayne Bay or coastal wetland...

Species interactions and the effects of climate variability on a wetland amphibian metacommunity
Year Published: 2017

Species interactions and the effects of climate variability on a wetland amphibian metacommunity

Disentangling the role that multiple interacting factors have on species responses to shifting climate poses a significant challenge. However, our ability to do so is of utmost importance to predict the effects of climate change on species distributions. We examined how populations of three species of wetland-breeding amphibians, which varied in life history requirements, responded to a six-year...

Using management to address vegetation stress related to land-use and climate change
Year Published: 2017

Using management to address vegetation stress related to land-use and climate change

While disturbances such as fire, cutting, and grazing can be an important part of the conservation of natural lands, some adjustments to management designed to mimic natural disturbance may be necessary with ongoing and projected climate change. Stressed vegetation that is incapable of regeneration will be difficult to maintain if adults are experiencing mortality, and/or if their early life-...