Prioritizing Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, and Mitigation

Prioritizing Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, and Mitigation

MDE's Wetlands and Waterways Program is working on two separate projects to prioritize areas for wetland restoration, mitigation, and preservation. One project focuses on all of Maryland and the other project focuses only on Maryland's Coastal Bays watersheds.

Project Focusing on all of Maryland

As part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, MDE completed a project to prioritize areas for wetland restoration, preservation, and mitigation in Maryland.

MDE compiled information from numerous resource inventories and management plans in a comprehensive background document on the wetlands, their surrounding environment and management and restoration recommendations. We met with the counties, state agencies, and other interested parties to incorporate their recommendations. Based on this information and our understanding of wetlands, we used GIS and desktop data to identify desirable and undesirable locations.

The May 2006 version of the document entitled Prioritizing Sites for Wetland Restoration, Mitigation, and Preservation in Maryland and maps for each county are available for download.

We will continuously be accepting comments/inputs on the project for future updates. Please email any comments or questions to Kelly Neff, at Kelly.Neff@maryland.gov

 

Project Focusing on Maryland's Coastal Bays

Maryland’s Coastal Bays watershed, located in eastern Worcester County, is one of Maryland’s most ecologically diverse regions. Unfortunately, wetland loss in the watershed has always been among the highest in the State, with an estimated 1,500 acres of tidal wetlands and 25,000 acres of non-tidal wetlands lost since the 1930's. Despite efforts to regulate wetland loss, wetlands continue to be negatively impacted due to intense development pressure. The Maryland Coastal Bays Program adopted a plan to protect and enhance the Coastal Bays in “The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Maryland’s Coastal Bays”. The Plan charges the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) with targeting wetland restoration and creation in areas of historic wetland loss for water quality improvement and wildlife habitat. Additionally, MDE was to develop a comprehensive plan to target areas for wetland mitigation in watersheds of wetland impact, replacing lost wetland types and functions.

As part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency State Wetland Program Development Grant, MDE completed the project entitled Priority Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, and Mitigation in Maryland's Coastal Bays. In this project, MDE compiled information from numerous resource inventories and management plans in a comprehensive background document on the wetlands, their surrounding environment and conditions, land use, and management and restoration recommendations. Based on this information and our understanding of wetlands, we used GIS and desktop data to identify desirable and undesirable locations in a unique approach. We added or excluded specific sites as recommended through previous management plans. The outcome maps had wetland project sites, roughly ranked based on priority for water quality and habitat benefits, while not conflicting with other land use goals. This project is similar to that completed for all of Maryland, but due to the smaller size of the area under consideration, is more detailed.

The final Priority Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, and Mitigation in Maryland's Coastal Bays is available for download. 

 
Entire document (9.5 MB)

The targeting section was also revised to be a shorter stand-alone document:

Methods and Targeting(stand-alone document 4.8 MB)

Please email any questions to Kelly Neff, at Kelly.Neff@maryland.gov