Stream, Wetland & Habitat Conservation Restoration

 


Wetlands Conservation and the Conservation Effects Assessment Project

USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a multi-agency effort led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to quantify the effects of conservation across the nation’s working lands. CEAP provides resources for farmers and ranchers, other land managers, conservation partners, and researchers to support strategic, data-driven voluntary conservation.

CEAP Wetlands Assessments provide data, tools, and other resources to evaluate the outcomes of voluntary conservation efforts and strengthen wetland restoration decisions and maximize the benefits they provide.

Recent resources include:

  • This blog highlighting wetlands’ conservation superpowers by Terry J. Cosby, Chief of NRCS.
  • Our newest Conservation Insight shares findings from four contrasting coastal plain wetlandscapes in Florida that show that hydrological exchanges among wetlands increase five-fold when connected via surface pathways.
  • This Conservation Insight discussing how to optimize the benefits of wetlands by carefully managing the contributing areas to reduce contaminate loading. You can also learn more about this project in this Ask the Expert Blog by CEAP Wetlands Lead Joe Prenger.
  • More than 725,000 acres of Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley serve as important habitat for migrating waterfowl during the winter months. A project supported by CEAP revealed that, without these easements, the wintering mallard population in the study area could be reduced by up to 80 percent. Learn more in this Conservation Insight.

Access All CEAP Wetland Resources


The National Floodplain Function Alliance Wetland Mapping Consortium Strategies and Action Plan for Protecting and Restoring Wetland and Floodplain Functions

Since 2017, the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Foundation has collaborated with the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), the National Floodplain Functions Alliance, and the Wetland Mapping Consortium to provide funding and active participation in a series of four workshops, the focus of which was to:

 “Improve floodplain mapping integrating geospatial data being developed and used by the wetland mapping community to identify wetland and floodplain functions.”

Each of the first three workshops had a targeted discussion topic, which attendees discussed at length, offering their professional insights and informed opinions. 

  • The first workshop – conducted in 2018 was titled “Exploring Opportunities for Integrated Mapping and Functional Assessment of Riverine and Coastal Floodplains and Wetlands.”
  • The second workshop – conducted in 2019 was titled “Data Needs, GAPS and Interoperability for Integrated Mapping and Functional Assessment of Riverine and Coastal Floodplains and Wetlands.”
  • The third workshop – conducted in 2021 was titled “Federal Program and Policy Changes Needed to Advance Integrated Functional Mapping of Floodplain and Wetlands for Nature – Based Solutions.”

The final workshop, which convened in 2022, was a culmination of discussions during the first three workshops, and resulted in the development of strategies and actions, which were memorialized in the January 2023 final report, titled “Strategies and an Action Plan for Protecting and Restoring Wetland and Floodplain Functions.”  The final report and summary workshops reports are available on the Reports and Publications page of the ASFPM Foundation website.

ASFPM Foundation Mission StatementServe as the catalyst for ASFPM, its Chapters, and members to advance research, projects, education and policy initiatives, that promote reduced flood risk and resilient communities.

For more information about the National Floodplain Function Alliance Wetland Mapping Consortium, please visit website or contact Brad Anderson, ASFPM Foundation Projects Chair, at Brad.Anderson@acewater.com.


Presentation by KDOW – 2022 KAMM Confernece

From Forgotten to Critical Resource Planning for Kentucky Future with Wetlands – Michaela Lambert, DOW


 

Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration Projects

The Environmental Law Institute and The Nature Conservancy released a handbook to advance the use of a watershed approach in the selection, design, and siting of wetland and stream restoration and protection projects, including projects required as compensatory mitigation for permitted activities.  The joint report demonstrates how using a watershed approach can help ensure that these projects also contribute to goals of improved water quality, increased flood mitigation, improved quality and quantity of habitat, and increases in other ecological services and benefits.

Link to Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration and Protection Projects.

 


Protecting Streams

Implement Creditable CRS Activities

Mitigation activities that earn CRS credits Communities that protect streams should consider implementing these creditable activities:

  • Adopting erosion and sediment control regulations for land disturbed during development.
  • Establishing a library of flood risk data, which can contain LID and green space information.
  • Maintaining a flood protection website that can include relevant LID/GI information.
  • Prohibiting fill in the 100-year floodplain.
  • Adopting a building code that contains LID/GI requirements and practices.
  • Using dedicated funding for new or retrofit LID/GI projects in a capital improvement plan.
  • Conducting outreach that may include LID/GI and stream protection information.
  • Prohibiting dumping of yard waste and trash in streams and enforcing compliance.

 

 

KY Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Guide

 


Wetland Restoration Contemporary Issues & Lessons Learned

The Association of State Wetland Managers

This report will be useful to anyone who works in the field of wetland restoration including regulators, policy makers, practitioners, wetland managers, and individuals who are interested in wetland restoration.

This report –

1) documents barriers and problems associated with wetland restoration practices,

2) explores what can be done to address these challenges, and

3) outlines a series of practical actions to improve wetland restoration outcomes.

This paper is divided into two chapters: 1) Overall Challenges and 2) Actions to Improve Wetland Restoration.

Download the publicationWetland Restoration. 

 


Community Incentives for Nature-Based Flood Solutions

A Guide to FEMA’s Community Rating System For Conservation Practitioners

Nature-based solutions—such as open space protection and wetland restoration— can effectively reduce flood risk and are creditable components of the CRS. The conservation community can and should partner with municipalities to plan and design “nature-based solutions” that restore and protect natural areas, reduce flood risk and earn citizens a discount on their flood insurance rate.

Link to Community Incentives for Nature-Based Flood Solutions – A Guide to FEMA’s Community Rating System For Conservation Practitioners

 


Actions to Conserve Species and Protect Habitat


Conserving Wildlife While Reducing Flood Risk

The nation’s coastal and riverine floodplains and surrounding land areas support large and diverse populations of plants and animals by providing habitat and critical sources of energy and nutrients for these organisms.  Many species spend their entire lives in the habitats found in and adjacent to the floodplain.  The wide variety of plants and animals supported directly or indirectly by floodplains constitutes an extremely valuable, renewable resource important for our economic welfare, aesthetic enjoyment, and physical well-being.

Many communities across the country are recognizing the connection between conserving wildlife and reducing flood risk to their inhabitants, and are engaging in activities that both protect important habitat and help minimize community flood loss. 

FEMA encourages communities and project proponents to reach out to experts in wildlife and species conservation to discuss developing strategies to enhance existing habitat and reduce threats to specific species.

 


Strategic Partnerships and Floodplain Buyouts: An Opportunity for Wetland Restoration

University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment; Environmental Law Institute

This Handbook summarizes key considerations for wetland and conservation agencies or organizations interested in playing a role in the floodplain buyout process.  These organizations can be valuable partners for local governments while advancing their interest in ecosystem and habitat conservation or restoration.

Download the strategic-partnerships-and-floodplain-buyouts

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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