"Rate Of Coastal Wetlands Loss Has Sped Up, U.S. Study Says"

"The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 to 2009, according to the latest data published by federal agencies. More than 70 percent of the estimated loss came in the Gulf of Mexico; nationwide, most of the loss was blamed on development that incurred on freshwater wetlands."

"'The losses of these vital wetlands were 25 percent greater than during the previous six years,' NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports for our Newscast unit. She also notes that the loss equals 'about seven football fields every hour.'

The figures come from a recent report titled . For their study, researchers examined 2,614 plots that were chosen at random, with each plot representing 4 square miles."

Bill Chappell reports for NPR November 22, 2013.

Source: NPR, 11/26/2013