Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



New protocols and procedures are needed to effectively implement many aspects of the new Virginia nontidal wetlands regulatory program. Effective implementation of the charge to assess and consider cumulative impacts of a proposed project on water quality and fish and wildlife resources will require a consistent and technically based assessment protocol implemented on a watershed basis. This project is the first step in development of the protocol for cumulative impact assessment.

The first step in the process was to review extant literature on cumulative impact assessment in wetlands and to review methods developed for this purpose. These reviews are an ongoing process, and will continue even after Virginia adopts a particular approach. The goal is to ensure the Commonwealth is using an approach that meets programmatic requirements for data collection and analysis, addresses the practical resource limitations of the regulatory program, and remains informed by the evolving field of wetlands assessment.

The primary product of this project, as the first phase in development of the cumulative assessment protocol, is recommendation of a draft protocols for description of the baseline wetland conditions. These recommendations will be under constant revision throughout a testing and evaluation phase, scheduled to last at least two years.


Wetland management -- Virginia, Wetland conservation -- Virginia