Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2008
Publication Date: 5/26/2008
Citation: Lang, M.W., McCarty, G.W., Walbridge, M.R., Ritchie, J.C., Palmer, M., McDonough, O., Gustafson, A., Fox, R., Fisher, T., Eckles, D., Denver, J., Ator, S. 2008. The Choptank Watershed Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project: Monitoring the delivery of Wetland Services across the landscape [abstract]. The Society of Wetland Scientists. p. 204. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Choptank Watershed Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts and resources from multiple federal agencies and the University of Maryland to assess the ability of “natural,” restored, and prior-converted wetlands on cropland to improve water quality. This joint CEAP-Wetlands (NRCS)/Choptank Benchmark Watershed CEAP (ARS) project will assess and ultimately enhance the effect of conservation practices on ecosystem services provided by wetlands in the Choptank Watershed. The provision of these wetland services is vital to the health of the Choptank River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay with high nutrient and sediment loads originating from agriculture. Project scientists are synergistically combining information gained from individual wetlands with landscape scale measurements from satellite images and other geospatial datasets. The impact of this project is greatly enhanced by extending the analysis to adjacent streams and measuring the effect of wetland biogeochemical processes on stream health. Examination of the wetland/stream connection is especially timely given the federal wetland regulation debate (e.g., impact of “significant nexus” on the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act) and increasing attention on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Project findings will be used to assess and improve the effectiveness of conservation practices and Farm Bill programs affecting wetlands and associated lands on the Maryland and Delaware Coastal Plain. This project encourages future inter-agency cooperation and is an important step towards producing a national landscape analysis tool that can be used to support the adaptive management of wetland restoration and enhancement programs.