The Gulf Coast is home to more than half of all saltwater wetlands in the country and the Gulf region contains more than a third of the nation’s freshwater wetlands. Wetlands play a critical role in the Gulf ecosystem—providing habitat, filtering pollutants, stabilizing shorelines, and providing protection from storms. Wetlands also support the seafood and recreational fishing industries. The most recent federal study shows that wetlands losses in in the Gulf region were massive—with 260,000 acres of wetlands having disappeared over a five-year period.