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Monitoring and Assessing Wetland Condition: National Program Perspectives

Michael Scozzafava

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water, Office of Wetlands Oceans and Watersheds, Wetlands Division

Wetlands monitoring and assessment is a priority for EPA’s Wetlands Program and will be an area of increased program emphasis in coming years. With the National Wetland Condition Assessment on the horizon in 2011, it is important to increase our efforts to advance wetlands monitoring and assessment throughout the country. This includes strategic planning at the national level and capacity-building activities at the state, tribal and regional level. In 2007, EPA’s wetlands program will initiate a number of program activities intended to build state and tribal programs and advance the science of wetlands assessment. These include: rejuvenating the National Wetlands Monitoring and Assessment Workgroup; developing implementation strategies for state and tribal programs; supporting projects that demonstrate how wetlands assessment data informs watershed restoration; supporting regional pilot projects to inform the national survey; advancing assessment methodologies and core wetland indicators; and encouraging the development of Regional Wetlands Monitoring Councils. In addition, EPA will have an important role in coordinating design efforts for the National Wetland Condition Assessment. A vital component of this process will be to maintain communication with states, tribes, and other Federal Agencies, especially the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. EPA hopes to work in collaboration with US FWS to ensure the national condition assessment effectively compliments the FWS Status and Trends Study.

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