The National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) is one in a series of statistically valid National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide the public with a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the Nation’s waters. In addition to wetlands, these NARS sample coastal waters, lakes, and flowing waters in a revolving sequence.

EPA will collaborate with state, tribal, federal, and other partners to implement the NWCA to meet three goals:

1. Describe the ecological condition of the nation’s wetlands,
2. Assist states and tribes in the implementation of wetland monitoring and assessment programs that will guide policy development and aid project decision-making, and
3. Advance the science of wetlands monitoring and assessment to support management needs.

The NWCA responds to long-term goals outlined in EPA’s current strategic plan (USEPA 2014) to protect America’s waters by means of protecting, improving, and restoring the quality of watersheds and aquatic ecosystems, including wetlands. Development of the NWCA builds on the accomplishments of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and their production of national reports on status and trends in wetland acreage. When taken together, the results from the NWCA and the USFWS Wetland Status and Trends (S&T) will be used to measure progress toward attainment of the national goal to increase the quantity and quality of the Nation’s wetlands. These complementary studies can influence how wetlands are managed at local, state, and national scales (Scozzafava et al. 2007).