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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #438798

Research Project: Assessment of NRCS Wetland Easement Program Effects

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13611-029-01-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Objective:
Develop a landscape-scale wetland functional assessment protocol that leverages existing landscape and field scale methods and datasets setting foundation for a national wetland functional assessment framework.

Approach:
Multiple government agencies (including NRCS and USFWS) have developed wetland functional approaches, but the outcomes from these disparate efforts have not been assembled or synthesized. This project will conduct a systematic review of current landscape scale wetland functional assessment protocols previously developed. The review will focus on the Landscape Position, Land Form, Water Flow Path and Waterbody Type which is used both the in LLWW and NWI+ protocols. Empirical data regarding wetland function, most notably data collected by the Wetlands National Component of the USDA-NRCS Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP-Wetlands), will be compared to landscape scale results to provide insights on landscape scale data uncertainty and utility for application in agricultural landscapes. The outcome from this project is expected to lead to development of a nationally standardized wetland functional assessment framework and will also inform the selection of metrics that can be used by the USDA National Resource Inventory (NRI) in wetland function assessments.