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Wetlands of Distinction

SWS Wetlands of Distinction (WOD) is an initiative to raise public awareness of wetlands and their many benefits to human health and the environment. To meet this goal, the SWS WOD has created a one-stop-shop for information on the biology, ecology, conservation status and access opportunities of high-functioning wetlands, across the US. SWS is also collaborating with the US National Ramsar Committee so that this initiative can become a vehicle for identifying and processing future applications for US Ramsar designation.

Our first step in this process has been to create an inventory of wetlands already deemed important by agencies and organizations. These prequalified wetlands are used as references to judge new wetland applications.

Recently, this initiative has been extended to other countries. In 2020, a wetland in Australia was the first site outside of the US to be included in the WOD family.  We are looking forward to many more wetlands from other countries being nominated!

All applications are reviewed by a team of regional experts to ensure that the criteria for SWS Wetlands of Distinction status are met. There is a team of wetland professionals waiting to assist you with your application questions. Please visit or email the committee at for more information.

SWS WOD team is calling all government and non-government organizations with critical, special or rare wetland lists to submit an application. Visit to learn more about the initiative, create a new account, and fill out an application for a wetland!

For information about this SWS committee, click here.

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