Freshwater & Oceans
- USACE Sunrise River Watershed-Based Mitigation Pilot
- UMass Amherst Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System
- VIMS Wetland Condition Assessment Tool
USACE Sunrise River Watershed-Based Mitigation Pilot:1 The output map resulting from the Spatial Decision Support System ( SDSS) process will be evaluated by stakeholders and adjusted based on a final round of feedback before a final prioritization map is generated. The Corps expects this process to be iterative, with stakeholder feedback used to adjust inputs and weights for the model on a periodic basis. The SDSS will be rerun by the St. Paul District as necessary to update model results.
UMass Amherst Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS):2 CAPS researchers are seeking to calibrate their model with intensively collected data by comparing Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) scores obtained on the ground using site level assessment methods (SLAMs) with IBI scores derived from Index of Ecological Integrity (IEI) scores. This approach can tell them whether sites are actually more degraded that their landscape prioritization models are indicating, thus informing possible changes in the model.
Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) Wetland Condition Assessment Tool:3 VIMS calibrated the output from its Wetland Condition Assessment Tool using data obtained from field surveys. In these field surveys, VIMS counted the number of anthropogenic stressors within 30m and 100m of the center of 1928 randomly-sampled coastal plain and piedmont wetlands. Counts for the four most frequently observed stressors in the coastal plain (roads, modification of vegetation through mowing, brush cutting, and timber harvesting) and piedmont (roads, moving, brush cutting, and unfenced livestock) were then correlated with the landscape prioritization scores. VIMS used changepoint analysis to account for nonlinear thresholds in these relationships to establish a final scoring protocol for calculating habitat and water quality functions based on land cover metrics.
1Webinar "Watershed Based Identification and Evaluation of Compensatory Mitigation Site." Presented by Timothy Smith and Thomas Mings, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District.
2 Interview on 7/29/2011 with Scott Jackson, Program Director, UMass Extension's Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Program, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
3 Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. 2007. Development of a nontidal inventory and monitoring strategy for Virginia - completion of phase II (coastal plain and piedmont physiographic provinces): Final report to the Environmental Protection Agency Region III.