Published on January 8, 2008
Slide1: Notice: The views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scientists in EPA have prepared the EPA sections, and those sections have been reviewed in accordance with EPA’s peer and administrative review policies and approved for presentation and publication. The EPA contributed funding to the construction of this website but is not responsible for it's contents. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. Slide2: Assessing wetland condition on a watershed basis in the Mid-Atlantic region using synoptic land cover maps Robert P. Brooks, Denice Heller Wardrop, and Joseph A. Bishop Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 Penn State Cooperative Wetlands CenterRobert P. Brooks, Director: Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center Robert P. Brooks, Director *Acknowledgements*Funding and collaboration:: *Acknowledgements* Funding and collaboration: USEPA OWOW, Washington, DC USEPA ORD-STAR Grants Program USEPA Region 3, Wetlands, Phila., PA U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg and Baltimore District PADEP, Div. Waterways, Wetlands & Erosion Control, Harrisburg, PA THANKS! Slide5: Outline Rationale for wetlands monitoring and assessment Concept and use of reference Wetland Monitoring Matrix Case studies Slide6: Why monitor wetlands? Determine abundance (area) and condition (function) Meet CWA integrity goal for all “waters” Essential component of any Water Management Program Comply with USEPA’s National Wetlands Monitoring Strategy Slide7: Wetland Monitoring (regulatory and non-regulatory purposes) Classification and Inventory - use of hierarchical systems such as NWI and HGM over time provide trend data Assessment Methodologies - intensity of data collection to determine condition (health) will vary by purpose (e.g., permit evaluation vs. regional reporting of condition) Watershed level reporting and listing - prioritize, rank, and target sites for action (e.g., preservation, conservation, restoration, and mitigation) Conceptual Wetland Condition Gradient: Conceptual Wetland Condition Gradient High Low Slide10: Wetland Monitoring continued… Practical and feasible: - Rotating basins by region - Coarse level screening with remote sensing - Fine level evaluation on selected sites - Sharing of compatible reference data - Regulatory and non-regulatory approaches Slide11: Reference Benchmark for comparative assessments Streams: reference = best attainable disturbed = < reference Wetlands: reference std. = best attainable reference = < reference std. Need a gradient of sites from high to low ecological integrity. Questions: Questions How do we find the wetlands? (Inventory) How do we assess their ecological integrity? (Condition) How do we use this information to improve condition? (Restoration) Inventory Condition Restoration Wetland Monitoring Matrix: Wetland Monitoring Matrix LEVEL 1Landscape Assessment: LEVEL 1 Landscape Assessment Why on a watershed basis?: Why on a watershed basis? Watersheds are more efficient unit financially, socially, ecologically Accounting Unit (AU) for Integrated 303(d)/305(b) Reporting Conceptually attractive for local managers Watershed reporting of wetland condition by state by 2014 Slide18: Forested - 22% Agriculture - 40% Urban - 38% Level 1 Watershed ScoresBased on 50 Randomly-Selected Wetlands: Level 1 Watershed Scores Based on 50 Randomly-Selected Wetlands LEVEL 2Rapid Assessment: LEVEL 2 Rapid Assessment Stressor Checklist: Stressor Checklist Hydrologic Modification Sedimentation Dissolved oxygen Contaminant toxicity Vegetation alteration Eutrophication Acidification Turbidity Thermal Alteration Salinity Rapid Assessment Score: Rapid Assessment Score Combination of landscape, buffer, and site-specific stressors Score=Buffer+(%For*WF)-Buffer Hits Landscape Buffer Wetland Buffer Penetration Stressors (on-site) LEVEL 3Quantitative Assessment: LEVEL 3 Quantitative Assessment HGM Functional Assessment Models for Wetlands: HGM Functional Assessment Models for Wetlands Energy dissipation/Short term SW detention Long term SW storage Interception of groundwater Plant community structure and composition Detritus Vertebrate community structure and composition Invertebrate community structure and composition Maintenance of landscape-scale biodiversity Cycling of redox-sensitive compounds Solute adsorption capacity Retention of inorganic particulates Export of organic particulates Export of dissolved organic matter Plant-based IBI metrics - S. Miller: Plant-based IBI metrics - S. Miller Tested over 40 potential plant metrics Selected 8 to build IBI Adjusted FQAI % Annuals % Non-natives % Invasives % Trees % Cryptogams (ferns and fern allies) % Cover of tolerant plant species % Cover of Phalaris arundinacea Slide35: r = -0.889 P < 0.001 Summary: Summary Multi-level assessment approach described and verified at each of 3 levels Each of the 3 levels is informative Can be adapted to meet federal, state, and tribal needs for all “waters” and WQS Can implement coarse-level watershed prioritization now!