National Wetlands Inventory


The National Wetlands Inventory data set represents wetland and surface water areas nationwide. The classification system is based on Cowardin et al. (1979). This data does not represent jurisdictional wetlands.

USFWS staff and contractors map wetlands by photo-interpreting aerial photography. The dates of the source aerial photography and map scale of the photos varies dramatically across the state. The earliest mapping was done in the early 1970s using 1972 color-infrared photos at a scale of 1:80,000. Updates are still being made to NWI, although the coverage varies. Generally speaking, south Florida, coastal west central Florida, coastal east central Florida, and the panhandle are the most up to date areas. Please refer to a status map to know the source imagery for your particular location of interest.

This version of the data covers Florida and Georgia.


According to USFWS:

The present goal of the Service is to provide the citizens of the United States and its Trust Territories with current geospatially referenced information on the status, extent, characteristics and functions of wetlands, riparian, deepwater and related aquatic habitats in priority areas to promote the understanding and conservation of these resources. (USFWS metadata).

Time Period of Content

  • Beginning date: 1977
  • Ending date: ongoing

Publish Date



US Fish and Wildlife Service



Theme Keywords

wetland, swamp, hydrography, national wetlands inventory, NWI

Place Keywords


Source Scale


Horizontal Accuracy

+/- 40 feet or more, depending on source imagery and data date for a particular area.



Format Details



Albers Florida HARN

Field Names

Field Description Type
ATTRIBUTE Alphanumeric code identifying the wetland classification of the polygon. String (20.0)
WETLAND_TY General description of the wetland based on the Cowardin wetland classification. String (50.0)
SYSTEM System code. Highest level of classification hierarchy. String (1.0)
SYSTEM_D System code description String (12.0)
SUBSYSTEM Subsystem code String (1.0)
SUBSYS_D Subsystem code description String (20.0)
CLASS1 Class code String (2.0)
CLASS1_D Class code description String (30.0)
SUBCLASS1 Subclass code String (1.0)
SUBCL1_D Subclass code description String (30.0)
CLASS2 Class2 code String (2.0)
CLASS2_D Class2 code description String (30.0)
SUBCLASS2 Subclass2 code String (1.0)
SUBCL2_D Subclass2 code description String (30.0)
WATER1 Water code String (1.0)
WATER1_D Water code description String (36.0)
WATER2 Water2 code String (1.0)
WATER2_D Water2 code description String (36.0)
CHEMISTRY1 Water chemistry code String (1.0)
CHEMIST1_D Water chemistry code description String (22.0)
CHEMISTRY2 Water chemistry2 code String (1.0)
CHEMIST2_D Water chemistry2 code description String (22.0)
SOIL Soil type code String (1.0)
SOIL_D Soil type code description (either ORGANIC or MINERAL) String (8.0)
SPECIAL1 Special feature code String (1.0)
SPECIAL1_D Special feature code description String (26.0)
SPECIAL2 Special feature2 code String (1.0)
SPECIAL2_D Special feature2 code description String (26.0)


Code Description
E Estuarine
L Lacustrine
M Marine
P Palustrine
R Riverine


Code Description
ESTUARINE AND MARINE DEEPWATER Open water estuary, bay, sound, open ocean. Estuarine and Marine subtidal water (E1, M1).
ESTUARINE AND MARINE WETLAND Vegetated and non-vegetated brackish and saltwater marsh, shrubs, beach, bar, shoal or flat. Estuarine intertidal and Marine intertidal wetland (E2, M2).
FRESHWATER EMERGENT WETLAND Herbaceous marsh, fen, swale and wet meadow. Palustrine emergent (PEM).
FRESHWATER FORESTED/SHRUB WETLAND Forested swamp or wetland shrub bog or wetland. Palustrine forested and/or Palustrine shrub (PFO, PSS).
FRESHWATER POND Pond. Palustrine unconsolidated bottom, Palustrine aquatic bed (PUB, PAB).
LAKE Lake or reservoir basin. Lacustrine wetland and deepwater (L).
OTHER Farmed wetland, saline seep and other miscellaneous wetland. Palustrine wetland (Misc. types, PUS, Pf..)
RIVERINE River or stream channel. Riverine wetland and deepwater (R).