From FISHBIO  Wetlands are vitally important ecosystems that serve as critical habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna and provide incredibly valuable ecosystem services in the form of carbon sequestration, flood risk reduction, nutrient cycling, and water filtration. Despite their importance, these habitats have been lost at a dramatic rate. Humans are experts at wetland draining and reclamation, so much so that an estimated 60 acres (an area equivalent to more than 45 football fields) of wetlands were lost every hour in the lower 48 states between the 1780s and 1980s. Though this rate has slowed in recent decades, it certainly hasn’t stopped. Globally, about 1,544 square miles of tidal wetlands were lost in just the last 20 years. However, as the understanding of the value of healthy wetlands has improved, there have been growing efforts to restore these ecosystems. This is particularly true in the Central Valley of California, which has only about 10% of its historic wetlands remaining. To rebuild these critical habitats, an inter-agency agreement known as the Fish Restoration Program (FRP) was made between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Water Resources in 2010. Since its inception, the FRP has made significant strides toward restoring wetlands, and a workshop was hosted by the State Water Contractors on November 1 to review current progress and discuss work that remains to be done. (more)