Wetland and Stream Rapid Assessments

Wetland and Stream Rapid Assessments

Development, Validation, and Application

1st Edition - August 7, 2018

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  • Editors: John Dorney, Rick Savage, Ralph W Tiner, Paul Adamus
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128050910
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128050927

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Wetland and Stream Rapid Assessments: Development, Validation, and Application describes the scientific and environmental policy background for rapid wetland and stream assessments, how such assessment methods are developed and statistically verified, and how they can be used in environmental decision-making—including wetland and stream permitting. In addition, it provides several case studies of method development and use in various parts of the world. Readers will find guidance on developing and testing such methods, along with examples of how these methods have been used in various programs across North America. Rapid wetland and stream functional assessments are becoming frequently used methods in federal, state and local environmental permitting programs in North America. Many governments are interested in developing new methods or improving existing methods for their own jurisdictions. This book provides an ideal guide to these initiatives.

Key Features

  • Offers guidance for the use and evaluation of rapid assessments to developers and users of these methods, as well as students of wetland and stream quality
  • Contains contributions from sources who are successful in academia, industry and government, bringing credibility and relevance to the content
  • Includes a statistically-based approach to testing the validity of the rapid method, which is very important to the usefulness and defensibility of assessment methods


Wetland and Stream scientists, and environmental consultants/professionals who assess the quality of water and make decisions about their permitting and protection.

Table of Contents

  • 1.0 Introduction

    2.0 SECTION TWO: Landscape-Level Approaches-
    2.1 Introduction to Landscape-Level Approaches for Assessing Wetland Functions and Condition
    2.2 l Case Studies -- Landscape-Level Approaches
    2.2.1 A Landscape-Level Wetland Functional Assessment Tool: Building a Framework for Watershed-Based Assessments in the United States- Tiner.
    2.2.2 Georgia Coastal Wetlands Landscape-Level Assessment
    2.2.3 Assessing Streamflow Maintenance Functions in Wetlands of the Blackfoot River Subbasin in Montana, USA
    2.2.4 Landscape-level Wetland Functional Assessment for the St. Joseph River Watershed, Southwest Michigan, USA
    2.2.5 An Automated Procedure for Extending The NWI Classification System For Wetland Functional Assessment In Minnesota, USA
    2.2.6 Developing a Functional Classification for Wetlands of Colorado’s Southern Rockies
    2.2.7 Wetland Mapping Provides Opportunity To Compare Landscape-Level To Site-Level Wetland Assessments In Delaware, USA
    2.2.8 Virginia Wetland Assessment Tool (WETCAT): A model for Management
    2.2.9 The Use of Landscape-level Assessment for Producing a Decision-support Tool for Puget Sound Watersheds
    2.2.10 Development and Preliminary Tests of Remotely-Based Imagery, Digital Databases and GIS Methods as Tools to Identify Wetlands and Selected Functions and Values in Ontario, Canada
    2.2.11 NOVAWET  – Basic Information for Assessing Wetland Functions in Nova Scotia, Canada – Ralph Tiner 
    2.2.12 Maintaining the Portfolio of Wetland Functions on the Landscape: A Rapid Evaluation Tool for Estimating Wetland Functions and Values in Alberta, Canada -Irena F. Creed, David A. Aldred, Jacqueline N. Serran, Francesco Accatino
    2.2.13 Using Landscape-Level Wetland Assessment to Aid in Local Management Of Wetlands For Lake County, Illinois

    3. SECTION THREE: Field-level Rapid Assessment Methods: An Overview and General Process to Follow
    3.1 Process for Adapting and Developing a RAM 
    3.2 Developing Guidance for Delimiting the Assessment Areas 
    3.3 Selecting Indicators, Creating and Testing the Data Forms  
    3.4 Creating Models for Rolling Up Indicator Data Into Scores
    3.5 Collecting Calibration Data
    3.6 Converting Scores to Ratings 
    3.7 Analyzing a RAM's Repeatability and Sensitivity
    3.8 Analyzing a RAM's Accuracy
    3.9 General Issues in Statistical Testing for Streams and Wetlands
    3.10 Applications of Field-Based Methods

    4.0  SECTION FOUR: Case Studies -- Rapid Field-Based Approaches
    4.1 Stream Identification and Flow Duration methods
    4.2 Pacific Northwest Stream Method
    4.3 NC Stream identification
    4.4 Qualitative Indicators for Perennial Stream Determination in Virginia
    4.5 Stream Condition Methods
    4.5 North Carolina Stream Assessment Method
    4.6 The West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (WVSWVM) Crediting Procedures and Assessments in Developing a Stream and Wetland Mitigation Banking Site
    4.7 Virginia Unified Stream Method
    4.8 Wetland assessment methods
    4.9 North Carolina WESP (Wetland Ecosystems Services Protocol): Oregon, Southeast Alaska, Alberta, Atlantic Canada
    4.10 Ohio –  Developing and Implementing a Single State-Wide Wetland Rapid Assessment Method to Support Reliable Regulatory Categorization and Wetland Biological Criteria Development
    4.11 Michigan – Michigan Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (MiRAM)
    4.12 New England Functional Assessment Method (NEWFA)
    4.13 Washington State Rapid Assessment Methods
    4.14 Florida: Florida Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method
    4.15 California – California Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands and Riparian Areas (CRAM)
    4.16 New Mexico – Rapid Assessment of Arid-land Lowland Riverine  Riparian/Wetland Ecosystems: A New Mexico Case Study
    4.17 Ontario Wetland Evaluation System
    4.18 Implementing National-Scale and Regional-Scale Wetland Assessments
    4.19 The National Wetland Condition Assessment and USA RAM
    4.20 Creating a Unified Mid-Atlantic Rapid Condition Assessment Protocol for Wetlands
    4.21 Southeastern United States Assessment done as part of 2011 National Wetland Condition Assessment
    Other methods:
    4.22 Nearshore Assessment Tool for SE Alaska (NATAK-SE)  Floristic Quality Index and Forested Floristic Quality Index: Assessment Tools for Restoration Projects and Monitoring Sites in Coastal Louisiana
    4.23 Ecological Assessment and Rehabilitation Prioritization for Improving Springs Ecosystem Stewardship,

    5.0 SECTION FIVE: Non-North American methods
    5.1     Introduction and Overview
    5.2 Europe
    5.3 Wetland Rapid Assessment in France.
    5.4 Oceania
    5.5 New Zealand – Monitoring Wetland Condition in New Zealand.
    5.6 Asia
    5.7 Rapid assessment of the Himalayan Rivers 
    5.8 Central and South America
    5.9  Rapid Assessment Methods Developed for the Mangrove Forests of the Great Morass, St. Thomas, Eastern Jamaica
    5.10 Rehabilitation of Wetlands in Tempisque River Lower Basin: Mata Redonda National Wildlife Refuge as a case study: 
    5.11 Africa
    5.12 WET-Health – A Method for Rapidly Assessing Wetland Ecological Condition in South Africa
    SECTION SIX:  Conclusions 

Product details

  • No. of pages: 582
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: August 7, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128050910
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128050927

About the Editors

John Dorney

John Dorney has been employed by Moffat and Nichol since March 2014. His responsibilities include environmental permitting, wetland and stream functional assessment, as well as teaching classes in stream identification and functional assessment. He retired from the N.C. Division of Water Quality after twenty-eight years. During that time, he was in charge of the 401 Water Quality Certification Program that was responsible for regulatory review of development projects to ensure compliance with the state’s wetland, stream and buffer regulations as well as the Wetlands Program Development Unit which developed and implemented new or modified wetland regulatory and monitoring policies.

Affiliations and Expertise

Moffatt and Nichol, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Rick Savage

Rick Savage has worked with the NC Department of Natural Resources as a wetland scientist since 2004. He has conducted intensive surveys of wetlands in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions including collection and analysis of data on water and soil chemistry, vegetation, amphibians, aquatic macroinvertebrates, hydrology and rapid assessments. He participated in the EPA’s National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) in 2011 and worked with the EPA to define the wetland survey methodology. Rick led the Southeast Wetlands Monitoring project with South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia to expand the NWCA database and allow a regional analysis of wetland condition.

Affiliations and Expertise

Carolina Wetlands Association, Raleigh, NC.

Ralph W Tiner

Ralph Tiner is a wetland ecologist with over 40 years of experience in wetland classification, mapping, and functional assessment. A former adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts and recently retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, he coordinated the National Wetlands Inventory for the northeastern United States for nearly 40 years. For the past two decades, he worked on landscape-level functional assessments, developing classification and assessment protocols to predict wetland functions at the watershed level. Ralph is the author of over 250 publications including several books including “Tidal Wetlands Primer” and “Remote Sensing of Wetlands”. He is editor of the Society of Wetland Scientists’ journal – Wetland Science & Practice. He currently teaches wetland short courses at Rutgers University's Office of Continuing Professional Education.

Affiliations and Expertise

Rutgers University, Office of Continuing Professional Education, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Paul Adamus

Dr. Paul Adamus is retired from Oregon State University where he was Courtesy Faculty in the Water Resources, Marine Resource Management, and Environmental Sciences Graduate Programs. He has assisted government agencies and NGOs with developing and field-calibrating detailed models of wetland functions in nine states and provinces, has twice been invited to testify on wetlands to the U.S. Congress, and was Coordinator of the Oregon Breeding Bird Atlas Project

Affiliations and Expertise

Courtesy faculty in water resources, marine resource management and environmental sciences, Oregan State University (ret)

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