2016 National Wetland Plant List released

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in partnership with other federal agencies announced on May 9, 2016 the release of the updated National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). This national list of wetland plants by species and their wetland ratings provides general botanical information about wetland plants and is used extensively by federal and state agencies, the scientific and academic communities and the private sector in wetland delineations and the planning and monitoring of wetland mitigation and restoration sites. The list is available at http://wetland_plants.usace.army.mil.

In the early 1980s, the four primary federal agencies with responsibilities for wetlands – USACE, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service – realized the importance of utilizing plants and soils as indicators for wetland delineation purposes. The agencies agreed to assemble panels of wetland ecologists and botanists to review and revise a national wetland plant list for the U.S. and U.S. territories.

Administration of the NWPL was transferred from FWS to USACE in 2006. Starting in 2008, USACE launched a web-based interagency process and created a website to update the 1988 plant list. Scientific names and ratings for wetland plants were updated through the website.

The 2016 NWPL should be used in any wetland delineations or determinations performed after May 1, 2016. According to USACE, wetland delineations received prior to this date may still use the 2014 NWPL or may choose to use the 2016 list.