Report announces that annual wetlands loss has declined substantially during the past decade.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report indicates the amount of wetlands lost in the United States during the past 10 years has declined. The USDA report says the annual wetlands loss has fallen to 58,500 acres, which amounts to an 80 percent reduction from years during the prior decade.

Wetland areas include swamps, marshes, bogs, and other water-laden sites. Their benefits include flood control, water quality improvement and erosion buffers.

While the goal set in the early 1990s of no wetlands loss has not been achieved, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman hailed the report, saying the decline in loss of wetlands marks the greatest overall decline in wetlands loss since records have been kept.