Wetland Mitigation – Ecological Performance Standards


About This Project

Wetland mitigation and restoration practitioners, as well as scientists and policy makers, have been calling for stronger ecological performance standards to guide the wetland mitigation process, to ensure that mitigation either results in ecologically comparable wetland types or functions, or enhances watershed functions.

Wetland mitigation standards are best addressed in the context of watersheds.

A watershed approach can assist the process of wetland mitigation. The following information is helpful when identifying watershed needs:

  • Landscape integrity of watershed
  • Fish faunal intactness index
  • Locations of critically imperiled (G1) and imperiled (G2) species and ecosystems
  • Ecosystem maps of watershed
  • High-priority conservation sites

With this watershed perspective in view, wetland sites that may be impacted by development or wetland sites that are chosen for mitigation can be assessed.

  • Assess the wetlands type and its key ecological attributes and indicators.
  • Use a three-level approach to identify a suite of metrics, including Level 1 (remote sensing), Level 2 (rapid field-based), and Level 3 (intensive field-based) metrics.
  • Provide a scorecard by which the metrics are rated and integrated into an overall performance rating.

Goal

Wetland mitigation and restoration practitioners, as well as scientists and policy makers, have been calling for stronger ecological performance standards to guide the wetland mitigation process, to ensure that mitigation either results in ecologically comparable wetland types or functions, or enhances watershed functions. The objective in setting performance standards and in conducting subsequent monitoring is to collect sufficient data to answer the question: has the mitigation wetland met the performance goal within the monitoring period?

Significance

Ecological performance standards ensure that mitigation efforts create or restore wetlands that correspond to the wetland types and functions that are being lost.