Refinement and Validation of a Multi-Level Assessment Method for Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetlands (EPA #CD-973494-01)

Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute of Marine Science


To monitor the extent and condition of wetland resources across the Mid-Atlantic physiographic region, efforts are currently underway in a number of states, most notably Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, to develop and implement wetland assessment models. The purpose of these models is to assess the condition of wetland resources and to track changes in the condition of these systems over time, primarily due to anthropogenically induced stressors surrounding individual wetlandss or the watershed in which they are located.

This project is designed to provide the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DE DENREC), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) with the ability to report the current extent and condition of estuarine wetlands of three major, tidal river systems of the Delmarva. We have developed this multi-level (Level I, Level II and Level III) tidal wetland inventory and assessment methodology for Delmarva using the estuarine segments of the York River, Virginia, Nanticoke River, Maryland and the Indian River, Delaware as our project watersheds

This report outlines the development of Level II & III assessment methods of this multi-level tidal wetland inventory and assessment. The Level I assessment was developed under previous EPA project (CD-973494-01) and applied here to the Nanticoke and Indian Rivers. It is intended that this assessment model can serve as a prototype for expanded investigations into other watersheds in the future.