Home Archived January 13, 2017

Water-Supply Paper 2425 (Tennessee Section)

WSP 2425. Meador, M.R., 1996, Tennessee wetland resources, in Fretwell, J.D., Williams, J.S., and Redman, P.J., comps., National water summary on wetland resources: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2425, p. 357-361.


Recent surveys have indicated that Tennessee has between 640,000 and 787,000 acres of wetlands (Tennessee Department of Conservation, 1988; Dahl, 1990). Another recent, unpublished survey determined that the State might have as much as 1.4 million acres of wetlands (D.L. Porter, Tennessee Valley Authority, written commun., 1993). Although wetlands constitute a small percentage of Tennessee's total area, wetlands are ecologically and economically important to the State.

The benefits of Tennessee's wetlands include enhanced water quality, fish and wildlife productivity, and socioeconomic values. Wetlands enhance water quality by filtering nutrients, wastes, and sediment from upland runoff. Fish and wildlife benefit from the abundance of habitat and food that wetlands provide. More than 95 plant, 65 mollusk, and 44 vertebrate species listed by the State as rare are found in Tennessee's wetlands (Tennessee Department of Conservation, 1988). Socioeconomic values of wetlands include flood-damage reduction through temporary storage of floodwaters, erosion control, and, in a few areas, ground-water recharge. Tennessee wetlands also provide economically important recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, boating, wildlife photography, hiking, and bird watching for residents and tourists.

References (for abstract only)

Dahl, T.E., 1990, Wetlands--Losses in the United States, 1780's to 1980's: Washington, D.C., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report to Congress, 13 p.

Tennessee Department of Conservation, 1988, Tennessee wetlands plan: Nashville, Tennessee Department of Conservation, 118 p.

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