Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2009
Publication Date: 6/22/2009
Citation: Lang, M.W., McCarty, G.W., Ator, S., Denver, J., Eckles, D., Fisher, T., Fox, R., Gustafson, A., McDonough, O., Palmer, M., Ritchie, J.C., Walbridge, M.R. 2009. Monitoring the effect of wetland conservation practices in an agricultural watershed [abstract]. Society of Wetland Scientists. p. 121. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Due to the substantial effect of agriculture on the extent and ability of wetlands to function, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves a key role in wetland conservation and restoration. The USDA has implemented several different conservation programs (e.g., the Wetland Reserve Program) with the aim of enhancing the delivery of key wetland ecosystem services (e.g., pollution control and habitat provision). In order for the USDA to best allocate funds, a better understanding of the impact of wetland conservation practices on the delivery of ecosystem services is necessary. 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 in the Choptank River – a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay with high nutrient and sediment loads originating from agriculture. Data collection is ongoing but trends in water quality, quantity, and transport are merging. Fine scale measurements are being combined with remotely sensed and other geospatial data to extrapolate findings across the watershed. Project results 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.