The Santa Rosa Plain WRAMP project demonstrated the use of the State’s standardized monitoring and assessment tools in a North Coast watershed setting and described how the results can be used to support watershed based management and planning decisions to protect and manage the state’s wetland resources at a landscape scale. Use of the watershed approach presumes that optimal environmental benefits are achieved by sustaining and improving the overall abundance, diversity and condition of aquatic resources in a landscape context.
The Santa Rosa Plain WRAMP project focused on developing a landscape level, base line assessment of the aquatic resources in the study area by addressing the following question: what are the abundance, diversity, and ecological conditions of wetlands, streams, and their riparian areas within the Santa Rosa Plain?
Project tasks included:
- Developing a detailed GIS map of the aquatic features within the study area the Bay Area Aquatic Resources Inventory (BAARI) mapping protocols, and further developing the methods for local aquatic features not previously mapped in BAARI. The mapping methods are documented here.
- Conducting field assessment to characterize the ecological condition of the streams, depressions and sloped wetlands within the study area.
- Three separate probability based sample draws were developed using the EPA’s Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified (GRTS) spatially-balanced sampling methods.
- Condition assessments were conducted using the California Rapid Assessment Method for wetlands (CRAM) ~ 30 sites for each wetland type.
- Assessing and reporting on the distribution, abundance, diversity, and condition of wetlands, streams, and their riparian areas within the Santa Rosa Plain, based on the level-1 aquatic resources base map and the CRAM stream assessments.
The Final Project Report, further describes how WRAMP monitoring and assessment methods and online reporting tools support comprehensive watershed-based approaches to wetland impact avoidance, minimization, compensatory mitigation, assessment, and reporting.
Collins, J.N., S. Lowe, S. Pearce, and C. Roberts (2014). Santa Rosa Plain Wetlands Profile: A Demonstration of the California Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan. Final Report prepared for the California Natural Resources Agency - STD Agreement # 0CA10043-2. San Francisco Estuary Institute & Aquatic Science Center, Richmond. CA. SFEI Contribution # 724.
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California's EcoAtlas provides access to information for effective wetland management. EcoAtlas is a set of tools for generating, assembling, storing, visualizing, sharing, and reporting environmental data and information. The tools can be used individually or together, and they can be adjusted or tuned to meet the specific needs of environmental planners, regulators, managers, scientists, and educators. The maps and tools can be used to create a complete picture of aquatic resources in the landscape by integrating stream and wetland maps, restoration information, and monitoring results with land use, transportation, and other information important to the state’s wetlands.
SFEI and the Santa Clara Valley Water District's (Valley Water) Priority D-5 Project have been conducting baseline ecological condition assessments in Santa Clara County, CA to characterize the distribution and abundance of stream and wetlands in five major watersheds, and assess the overall ecological condition of streams in the watersheds based on the California Rapic Assessment Method for streams (CRAM). The surveys employ the state's recommended Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan's aproach that includes the use of GIS-base maps of aquatice resources (BAARI), and spatially-balanced ambient stream surveys using CRAM. These surveys form a foundation from which Valley Water can evaluate and compare current ecological conditons across the County to support asset management priorities, set performance targets, and track change over time.
SFEI’s Wetland Science Focus Area’s Director, Josh Collins, is a leader in the coordination of statewide science advisory teams and acquiring funding to develop monitoring and assessment tools that support the State’s Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy.
The Tahoe WRAMP Watershed Demontration Project transfered statewide wetland monitoring and asseement tools to Sierra Nevada environmental agencies and organizations through a pilot project that assessed the distribution and abundance of wetlands, and the overall ecologcial condition of streams in two watersheds within the Lake Tahoe Basin.