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Freshwater Wetland Monitoring and Assessment in Rhode Island
The RI DEM Office of Water Resources, with Clean Water Act grant funding from EPA, and in partnership with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), initiated an effort to monitor and assess the ecological condition of freshwater wetlands in RI. Under the Clean Water Act, states are required to report on the condition of all waters of the United States, including wetlands. Working with wetland partners in the state, a plan was developed, which outlines a multi-level approach to wetland monitoring, including short-term and long-term objectives. With continued EPA grant funding, DEM has been working with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey (RINHS) since 2007 to implement the plan and develop the program.
Systematic monitoring and assessment of wetlands is an essential element of the comprehensive water monitoring strategy for the state and serves many purposes: to document the location and extent of wetlands, analyze their condition, and document trends. Knowledge gained from wetland monitoring and assessment is intended to allow managers to more effectively protect wetlands, prioritize restoration projects, and better manage impacts on a watershed scale.
Short-term and Long-term Objectives
As stated in the plan, the goal of wetland monitoring and assessment in Rhode Island is to improve wetland protection and management by understanding the cumulative impacts of human activities on wetland condition. A three-tiered approach to monitoring, advocated by EPA, will be used to address the following long and short-term objectives, identified by DEM and partners:
Related Wetland Monitoring Links:
EPA Watershed Academy