Nebraska Wetlands

Nebraska contains more acres of wetlands than any surrounding state. These wetlands are very diverse and dynamic and include marshes, lakes, river and stream backwaters, oxbows, wet meadows, fens, forested swamps, and seeps. To help you explore the varying roles that wetlands can play, this site defines wetlands, discusses their importance and dynamics, identifies status and trends, describes conservation programs that benefit wetlands, and takes an in-depth look at Nebraska’s regional wetland complexes. Take time to visit Nebraska’s wetlands and learn more about the wealth of opportunities they provide.

Guide to Nebraska’s Wetlands

Guide to Nebraska's wetlands.qxpThe guide is a full-color 59-page special publication by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. It defines and describes Nebraska wetlands and discusses wetland functions, dynamics, classification, inventory and conservation efforts. Fourteen wetland complexes are covered in depth. A listing of wetland plants and animals is provided as well as literature references. Funding was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection.

Download guide
Order a free hard copy

Wetland Program Plan

The Wetland Program Plan for Nebraska aims to continue to protect, restore and manage Nebraska’s wetlands. The EPA-approved plan calls for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and partner agencies to assess the condition of Nebraska’s wetlands, improve understanding of baseline conditions and to prioritize wetland restoration and protection activities. The full plan is available for download.

Download 2015 version of the Wetland Program Plan
Download 2019 version of the Wetland Program Plan

Wetlands of Nebraska Outreach and Education Project

We are excited to announce a new project that will produce and distribute a series of integrated outreach and education materials to increase awareness of the importance of wetlands in Nebraska and an understanding of the need for wetland conservation. These products will include an updated Guide to Nebraska’s Wetlands, a Student Wetland Activity Booklet and an array of multi-media products about wetlands. This project is being led by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and is funded primarily by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received in the fall of 2019. Partners helping with grant implementation include: the Platte Basin Timeplase (PBT) group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Ducks Unlimited. Check out and for periodic updates.

Wetland Video Trailer #1


Wetland Video Trailer #2

Other resources

For more information on how, when, and why the Commission pumps water into wetlands, view the pumping schedule online or read the latest wetland publication with frequently asked questions and in-depth answers.

Trail Tales Magazine, which is published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and distributed to Nebraska fourth grade students, published an issue dedicated to wetlands.
View Trail Tales special issue

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, along with biologists from partner agencies, conducted research on the sedimentation of Nebraska’s playa wetlands. Findings from that research are presented in the following report.
View Sedimentation of Nebraska’s Playa Wetlands

Nebraska Educational Telecommunications produced a 27-minute video target that provides an overview of Nebraska’s nearly 3 million acres of wetlands, the species that use them and the unique challenges facing wetlands in Nebraska and elsewhere. This video was designed for 4th through 6th grade students but is an excellent tool for anyone who wishes to learn more about our wetland resources.