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Wetlands Program

Impounded wetland at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

The Utah Division of Water Quality’s (DWQ) mission is to protect, maintain and enhance the quality of Utah’s surface and underground waters for appropriate beneficial uses; and protect the public health through eliminating and preventing water-related health hazards which can occur as a result of improper disposal of human, animal or industrial wastes while giving reasonable consideration to the economic impact.

To support our mission, the Wetlands Program is currently focused on evaluating whether wetlands associated with the Great Salt Lake (GSL) are fully supporting their broadly defined beneficial use: habitat support for waterfowl and shorebirds, including the necessary aquatic life in their food chain.

Utah is not only the second driest state in the United States, it is also home to the Great Salt Lake ecosystem, a large inland basin that serves as a desert oasis for millions of migratory birds and other water-dependent wildlife. Integrated within the Great Salt Lake ecosystem are extensive wetlands that span the transition between the lake and a mosaic of cold desert, rugged mountains, and rapidly growing urban areas. These wetlands provide essential ecosystem services that moderate surface water and ground water flows, and protect downstream aquatic systems by removing excess nutrients and other pollutants. There is an essential need to maintain the health and extent of these valuable ecosystems for future generations.

These Web pages provide an online portal to wetland-related resources that support a wide range of projects, institutions, and program partners.

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