California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM): Bar-Built Estuarine Wetlands
CRAM is a cost-effective and scientifically defensible rapid assessment method for monitoring and assessing the ecologcial conditions of wetlands throughout California. It takes less than half a day to assess a wetland area, and is designed evaluate the condition of the wetland based on it's landscape setting, hydrology, physical structure and biological structure. Because the methodology is standardized for over seven types of wetlands, ecological condition scores can be compared at the local, regional and statewide landscape scales.
This project will expand the CRAM information management system to include data entry forms for the Bar-Built Estuarine module and the display of assessments on EcoAtlas. Bar-built estuaries are the reaches of coastal rivers and streams that are ecologically influenced by seasonal closures of their tidal inlets. The frequency and duration of inlet closure can be natural or managed. The tidal regime can be muted or not (i.e., the tidal range can be the same or less than that of the adjacent marine or estuarine system when the tidal inlet is open). The salinity regime of a bar-built estuary can be highly variable. It can be fresh throughout very wet years or hypersaline during extended droughts. Bar-built estuaries covered by this module are often referred to as “lagoons;” geomorphologically this term refers to any coastal water feature behind a bay-mouth bar.
Visit the CRAM website to download the Bar-Built Estuarine field book.
2015 to 2016
Programs and Focus Areas:
Environmental Informatics Program
Wetland Monitoring & Assessment
California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM)
CRAM is a standardized, scientifically defensible rapid assessment method for monitoring the ecological conditions of wetlands throughout California. Because it is standardized, one can compare ecological conditions of wetlands locally, regionally and statewide.