United States	Environmental RtSMrch
Environ.-JOTj^eJ Protection	Laberatory— Corvallis
Afcsney	Corvallis, Oregon 97333
November, 1985

Joy B. Zedler, Professor
Department of Biology
San Diego State University
San Diego, California 92182-0057
Mary E. Kentula, Assistant Professor
Department of General Science
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Project Officer
Harold V. Kibby, Chief
Toxics/Pesticides Branch
Environmental Research Laboratory
Corvallis, Oregon 97333

We acknowledge the technical assistance
of Lucille Nielson.
The cover illustration and Figures 1-6
were prepared by Kathryn Torvik.

I.	Introduction	1
I.A. Planning approach
I.A.I. Advice from EPA Headquarters and Regions
I.A.2. Input from other agencies
I.A.3. Input from wetland science and scientists
I.A.4. Conclusion
I.B.	Structural framework for proposed research
I.B.I. Wetland values—What are they?
I.B.2. What information is needed to carry out
Section 404?
I.B.3. Which information should EPA develop?
I.B.3.a. Water quality
I.B.3.b. Cumulative impacts
I.B.3.C. Mitigation
I.B.4. Recommendations for the roles of other
I.B.5. How do the efforts of EPA, COE, and FWS
fit together into an integrated,
comprehensive program of wetland research?
I.B.6.	How do the three areas of research
recommended for EPA compare
II.	The research plan	16
II.A.	Water quality and related hydrologic functions	16
II.A.l.	Background and rationale
II.A.2. State of knowledge
II.A.3. Planning a coordinated approach
II.A.4. Rate Functions
II.A.4.a. Objectives: to determine
rates and factors influencing
rates; risk assessment
II.A.4.b. Rationale
II.A.4.C. Research approach: field
and mesocosm experiments
II.A.4.d. Time line and cost
II.A.5. Interactions among nutrients, organics
and heavy metals, and their impacts on
the water quality function
II.A.5.a. Objectives: to identify
interactions & controlling
processes; assess impacts

II.A.5.b. Rationale
II.A.5.C. Research approach: multiple
factor experiments
II.A.5.d. Time line and cost
II.A.6. Models and simple descision criteria
II.A.6.a. Objectives: model the water
quality of freshwater
wetlands; design simple
decision criteria; assess
cumulative roles of wetlands
within watersheds and
II.A.6.b. Rationale
II.A.6.C. Research approach: collate
research data; construct
II.A.6.d. Time line and cost
II.B. Cumulative impact assessment	34
II.B.I. Background and rationale
II.B.2. State of knowledge
II.B.3. Document past knowledge
Il.B.3.a. Objective: document past
II.B.3.b. Rationale
II.B.3.c. Research approach:
"cost-benefit" analysis
before proceding with
recommended research
II.B.3.d. Time line and cost
II.B.4. Relate functional losses to area losses
II.B.4.a. Objective: relate functional
losses to area losses and
model cumulative impacts of
piecemeal habitat losses
II.B.4.b. Rationale
II.B.4.C. Research approach:
feasibility study before
proceeding with recommended
II.B.4.d. Time line and cost
II.C. Mitigation	47
II.C.l. Background and rationale
II.C.2. State of knowledge
II.C.3. Success of past mitigation projects
II.C.3.a. Objective: catalog and
evaluate past mitigation
proj ects
II.C.3.b. Rationale

II.C.3.C. Research approach: survey
II.C.3.d. Time line and cost
II.C.4. Experimental component
1I.C.4.a. Objective: develop
experimental component
large-scale mitigation
II.C.4.b. Rationale
II.C.4.c. Research approach
II.C.4.d. Time line and cost
III.	Associated research and recommendations for other Federal
III.A. Ecosystem syntheses of target wetland types
III.B. Long-term studies of bottomland hardwoods
III.C. Quantifying hydrological and food chain support
III.D. Wetland delineation research
III.E. Wetland value assessment methodology
IV.	Technical information transfer
V.	Summary of recommendations
VI.	Literature cited
Summaries of interviews with EPA's Regional Offices
Summaries of research plans from the Fish and
Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers
Members of the Interagency Wetlands Coordinating
The status of wetland science—Summaries of selected
List of scientists consulted in developing the
research plan
Workshop participants
List of scientists who reviewed the draft plan
Opportunities for research on cumulative impact
assessment and mitigation techniques

This plan describes the research necessary to assist the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in carrying out its
responsibilities relative to wetlands, including Section 404 of
the Clean Water Act. There are both operational and policy
implications to the proposed research. Many of the products
will aid 404 personnel in evaluating permit applications. Some
will aid EPA in determining the relative Importance of wetlands
in altering water quality and, thus, help set policy determining
the scope of wetlands protection.
The introductory section describes the planning approach
(I.A.), Indicating the many sources of advice, and outlines the
structural framework for identifying research needs (I.B.),
demonstrating how the research program proposed for EPA fits
into the overall wetland research effort being sponsored by the
Federal government. The research program for EPA is then
developed (II.), followed by more detailed descriptions of the
plans of other agencies and recommendations of what might be
added to those efforts (III.). Next, several mechanisms for
technical Information transfer are prescribed (IV.) so that the
developing body of knowledge is continually made available to
the Intended audience of this research program. Recommendations
for research are summarized within each segment, and an overall
strategy for implementation is provided in Section V.
I.A.I. Advice from EPA Headquarters and Regions
The planning effort has been guided by EPA Headquarters,
EPA Regional Offices, other Federal agencies, the scientific
literature, and individual scientists who are wetland experts.
Correspondence from EPA Headquarters (Davis 1985,
Bretthauer 1985, Meagher 1985) outlined the major topics to be

covered in a research plan. Guidance from EPA headquarters
indicated that research efforts should:
*	Develop a mechanism for structuring knowledge on
wetlands values so that the Agency can evaluate
individual wetlands decisions within a framework of
national priorities,
*	Provide additional scientific information on specific
wetland functions, with a particular focus on water
quality interactions, including sediment retention,
and nutrient and toxicant uptake and release,
*	Investigate ways to assess the cumulative impact of
incremental loss of wetlands on a regional basis,
*	Provide visible, authoritative, and scientifically
credible information on major wetlands issues of
concern to EPA, and
*	Develop a plan that complements the efforts of other
Federal agencies.
Information needs of the 404 personnel were obtained in
visits to six Regional Offices and in telephone interviews and
correspondence with all ten offices (Appendix I). Two areas
were repeatedly indentified as urgent:
*	The need to assess the cumulative impacts of the
incremental loss of wetland habitat, and
*	The need to devise suitable mitigation procedures and
ways to assess mitigation success.
The means to document the water quality functions of a wetland
and to predict the impacts of a proposed project on these
functions are also needed. Moreover, a concern was voiced that
there was little information available on particular wetland
types, e.g., bogs and fens (see Appendix I).
Similar recommendations came from the National Wetland
Values Assessment Workshop (Sather and Stuber 1984), which was
sponsored in part by EPA. Participants recommended that
research investigate:
*	Cumulative impacts of nutrient, sediment, and
anthropogenic substances,
*	Water-sediment processes,
*	Microbiology of wetland systems,

*	Retention and processing of anthropogenic
substances, and
*	Long-term ecosystem dynamics of selected wetland sites.
Thus, there is wide agreement that the primary research needs
are the quantification of water quality functions of wetlands,
assessment of cumulative impacts and evaluation of mitigation
I.A.2. Input from other agencies
EPA and other agencies have recently sponsored reviews of
the wetland literature to assess the status of knowledge and
plan research programs. The Army Corps of Engineer's (COE)
review of wetland research was developed for purposes that
parallel this effort. Their proposed program of research
(Clairain, et al. 1985) recommends substantial effort in
understanding water quality, hydrologic and food chain support
functions of bottomland hardwoods. Plans of the Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) (Division of Biological Services,
Research and Development, FWS, 1984) focus on habitat values and
wetland delineation. These research plans are summarized in
Appendix II.
The Interagency Wetlands Coordinating Committee is
composed of representatives from about 20 agencies interested in
wetlands (Appendix III). Initial ideas for this EPA research
plan were presented at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on
September 18, 1985. At that time, COE, FWS, and other agencies
indicated their priorities for research in FY'86. The meeting
concluded with a lengthy discussion of how the focus of each
agency might fit together into an integrated research program.
Other agencies endorsed the need for EPA to focus on water
quality, cumulative impact and mitigation research with an
emphasis on freshwater wetlands.
I.A.3. Input from wetland science and scientists
Input from wetland scientists was obtained in three ways:
examination of literature reviews, discussion with wetland
scientists, and evaluation of an early draft at a workshop with
freshwater wetland specialists.
In a study sponsored by COE, Nixon and Lee (1985) reviewed
the information base of water quality functions within each of
seven geographic regions of the United States, identified
information gaps, and recommended specific research to improve
knowledge of water quality functions and to develop an

understanding of key wetland types. Other reviews were
sponsored by COE to evaluate hydrological, fish and wildlife
habitat, and socioeconomic functions. The Soil Conservation
Service (SCS) sponsored a review of the function of wetlands in
improving the quality of runoff from agricultural lands
(Dickerman et al. 1985). These and other literature reviews are
summarized in Appendix IV.
A number of scientists (Appendix V) were contacted for
input throughout the planning process. A workshop was held to
review a preliminary draft of this research plan. Scientists
from universities and EPA labs (Appendix VI) helped to clarify
program goals and focus individual research objectives.
Additional individuals (Appendix VII) were asked to review a
draft plan.
I.A.4. Conclusion
Overall, the need appears to be greatest for information
that will predict cumulative impacts of wetland loss, improve
the formulation and evaluation of mitigation proposals, and
quantify water quality functions of wetlands. An emphasis on
freshwater—rather than coastal saline—wetlands was repeatedly
suggested by agency personnel. Hence, these three information
needs are given the highest priority, and it is recommended
that freshwater systems be the primary focus of research
funding. In the next section (I.B.), the priorities for EPA are
fit into an overall scheme for Federal support of wetlands
The priorities listed here do not discount other
information needs or imply that coastal wetlands are fully
understood. Rather, they indicate what areas of study can best
expand our knowledge in the near future. Furthermore, any
research program must keep pace with new findings, new
techniques, and new information demands. Thus, the research
program must be adaptive—it must be able to change in ways that
maximize benefits to the Agency.
EPA will need to reevaluate this program periodically to
reassess priorities and justify continuation. Moreover, to
ensure that the research program continues to function within an
overall scheme for Federal support of wetlands research, EPA
will need to identify a representative for the Interagency
Wetlands Coordinating Committee who would interact with
comparable personnel from COE, FWS, and other agencies.
Finally, this is a research plan and not a research
proposal. It is expected that specific proposals will be
developed to meet the objectives that are adopted by EPA. The
goal is to identify the information needed to carry out Section

404 of the Clean Water Act and to recommend research that will
develop the necessary information in a timely way.
I.B.I. Wetland values—What are they?
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires that wetlands
be evaluated for a broad range of functions. The most
comprehensive system of wetland valuation available has been
developed by Paul Adamus for the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) (Adamus 1983). This system, called simply the "Adamus
technique" or the "FHWA technique", is under consideration by
several Federal agencies to provide a basic framework upon which
to develop a standard.
Value assessment strategies have undergone numerous reviews
(Leonard et al. 1981, Sather and Stuber 1984, Whigham and
Brinson 1985). The FHWA Technique has repeatedly been judged
the most comprehensive inventory of functional values because it
considers the three commonly accepted categories of wetland
functions. These categories are commonly defined as
*	Water quality functions, such as the uptake and/or
transformation of nutrients, heavy metals, and
anthropogenic substances,
*	Hydrologic functions, such as flood storage and
desynchronization, modification of ground water
recharge and discharge, and shoreline stabilization, and
*	Food chain support functions, such as habitat for fish,
waterfowl, endangered species, and other
wetland-dependent species.
Hence, the research proposed will fill information gaps that now
prevent adequate assessment of wetland functions. The
assumptions of the FHWA Technique are thus treated as hypotheses
to be tested through this research program.
Although the FHWA Technique is adopted as a structural
framework for this plan, it is recognized that there are still
problems with its implementation as a system for comparing
functional values of different wetlands. Several of these
concerns were expressed by Bill Odum at the October 8 workshop.
(Odum is using the FHWA Technique as part of a project that was
funded by EPA, through FWS-National Coastal Ecosystem Team

(NCET) to gather information on eight wetland sites on
Chincoteague Island, Virginia.) His concerns were:
1)	The system is very sensitive to the amount of
information available to evaluators, such that wetlands
for which there is more information available tend to
obtain higher scores
2)	There may be factors within the design of the FHWA
Technique which unevenly weight certain answers. This
needs to be investigated with some sort of sensitivity
analysis, and
3)	The system assumes a linear relationship between wetland
acreage and water quality function.
At present, at least one state (Wisconsin) has streamlined
the procedure; other states are modifying the procedure for
their specific needs. The COE is computerizing the FHWA
Technique to expedite its evaluation and implementation. EPA is
providing partial funding to the National Wetland Technical
Council (NWTC) to sponser a series of seven regional workshops
to evaluate the scientific literature upon which the FHWA
Technique is based. NWTC is a group of scientists who bring
scientific knowledge to bear on wetland issues at the national
level. The first of these regional workshops (Pacific Regional
Workshop, Mill Valley, California) was held in April 1985. The
output of all workshops will be an evaluation of the assumptions
that Adamus made in developing his assessment procedure, a list
of literature not utilized by Adamus (1983), and suggestions for
research. In addition, scientists are being asked to suggest
potential sites for long-term wetland research, especially sites
where there is a good record of hydrologic conditions.
I.B.2. What information is needed to carry out Section 404?
A complete body of knowledge on wetlands would include
details of water quality, hydrologic and food chain support
functions for all wetland types. To make decisions on permits
requesting alteration of wetland areas, it is essential to know
the impacts of disturbance on that wetland area, and on the
functional values of that wetland and of the watershed and
ecoregion where that wetland occurs. To make decisions on how
to mitigate those lost values, it is necessary to know how other
wetland areas can be enhanced, restored, or created in order to
replace values that will be lost by granting each permit.

In summary, the required knowledge is of two types:
*	The basic functioning of wetlands, and
*	How those functions change
—with cumulative losses, and
—with mitigation projects.
In addition to these needs for information on wetland functions
there must be
*	Field techniques for assessing wetland boundaries, and
*	Field techniques for assessing wetland functions.
I.B.3. Which information should EPA develop?
Through the planning process outlined in Section I,
priorities for EPA's role in wetland research were set in
relation to the plans of other Federal agencies. In order to
achieve the full range of desired knowledge (i.e.,
quantification of all functions for all wetland types), it is
possible to begin with a focus on either a major wetland type
(wherein all functions would be investigated in detail at
representative sites) or on one major function (with comparative
assessment of that function over many wetland types) (Figure 1).
Either approach provides a starting point upon which research
efforts can expand to include all functions and all wetlands.
I.B.3.a. Water quality
It is recommended that EPA primarily focus on the water
quality function, making a comparative assessment over many
wetland types. EPA's research with toxic materials and
pesticides and its excellent laboratory facilities make this
agency well suited for such an emphasis. This goal also
complements the work of several other agencies on wetland
functions. As one example, SCS is concerned with water quality,
but interest is focused on agricultural runoff. For another
example, COE is planning to focus on all three wetland functions
in bottomland hardwoods. However, COE researchers will assess
water quality functions only within their selected bottomland
hardwood site.
It is recommended that EPA develop some of its research at
the COE site. The detailed long-term studies that COE is
planning to initiate in FY'86 will provide an excellent backdrop
for manipulative experiments. EPA should fund experiments on
the ability of wetlands to retain or transform organic
compounds, heavy metals and nutrients. The experiments of

Figure 1. The body of knowledge required to quantify wetland
functions at any one point in time includes an
understanding of their role in altering water
quality, their influence on hydrology and their
support of food chains. Two different approaches
are possible to develop the desired information: a
focus on individual wetland type with study of all
wetland functions, or a focus on one wetland function
compared over a wide variety of wetlands types.








Brinson et al. (1984) on nutrient loading in an alluvial
floodplain swamp demonstrate the feasibility and utility of such
work (See review, Appendix IV). It may also be possible to
perform some EPA-sponsored research at the Department of
Energy's (DOE) Savannah River site.
Hydrologic functions are difficult to separate from water
quality or food chain support functions of wetlands. In fact,
it is impossible to evaluate the filtering or retention
functions of a wetland without examining the wetland's
hydrology, because water is the carrier. Hence, when reference
is made to "water quality" functions, it is implied that the
research include study of water flow over and through the
wetland. Other hydrological functions, such as modification of
ground water recharge and flood storage, are not recommended for
specific study by EPA.
I.B.3.b. Cumulative impacts
A mechanism to assess and predict cumulative impacts on all
major wetland functions for both fresh and saltwater systems is
urgently needed by all staff involved in evaluating requests for
404 permits. The effect of one permitted project may go well
beyond the site where activities occur. The effect may extend
to the entire wetland, to the watershed where the wetland
occurs, and the ecoregion(s) where the watershed occurs.
Assessment of the cumulative impact of one or many small
projects is perhaps the most difficult research objective
Methodology for cumulative impact assessment is in its
infancy, and few reviews of procedures are available. Neither
COE nor FWS has indicated an emphasis in this area of research.
Witmer (Argonne Lab, pers. comm.) recently reviewed procedures
for cumulative impact assessment and found the DOE procedure
(cf. FERC notice in Federal Register 50, No. 16, p. 3385) for
evaluating the impacts of multiple hydroelectric plants within
watersheds to be the most promising.
It is recommended that EPA support research that will
assist cumulative impact assessment on both the local (wetland)
and regional (watershed and ecoregion) scales, with a specific
research focus on the effects of granting individual 404
permits, and 404 general permits, if possible.
I.B.3.C. Mitigation
The process of mitigation is intended to hold stable the
status of wetland functioning, so that there are no net losses
of in-kind functions. Projects that would enhance, restore or

create wetlnds to replace the values destroyed through the
permitted project are being planned; others are in the process
of implementation; still others have been in place for several
years. Best known are the coastal salt marsh creation projects
of COE, which have created habitat on dredge spoils. It is
clear from their long-term dredge-material research program that
artificial salt marshes can be created.
Information on inland wetlands is less well documented.
Efforts to create emergent freshwater marshes have been the most
successful, while wetlands with woody or submersed aquatic
vegetation have been more difficult (Garbish, Environmental
Concern, Inc., pers. comm.). Commercial nurseries are beginning
to stock some of the woody, wetland species. So, the
methodology is developing. However, there are controversies
over the value of altered ecosystems (especially impounded
wetlands) and questions of how to restore various systems, e.g.,
bottomland hardwoods that have been cleared for agriculture.
Another set of problems arise when hundreds of acres of wetlands
must be created or restored, e.g., how to collect and handle of
the amount of plant material necessary.
While information is limited on the techniques of restoring
inland wetlands and on the likelihood of success for various
mitigation projects in both fresh and saltwater systems, there
are opportunities to realize large gains by reviewing past
efforts and integrating manipulative experiments into newly
permitted mitigation projects. These research efforts will
complement well the technical transfer functions of COE and
others (e.g., Association of State Wetland Managers' plans for a
workshop on mitigation). Most important, it will compile
information the Regions desperately need.
I.B.4. Recommendations for the roles of other Agencies
Hydrologic functions. COE has a history of involvement
in flood- and ground-water-related projects, and the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for monitoring selected
hydrologic features throughout the nation. FHWA has some
concerns with runoff, because of the effect of highways on
surface water flows. DOE has a site-specific interest in the
hydrology of its bottomland hardwood wetlands at the Savannah
River facility. EPA will study hydrologic functions as they
relate to the water quality research proposed in Section II.A.
Food chain support functions. Habitat values, or support
of food chains, are generally regarded as the responsibility of
FWS, because of its involvement in habitat evaluation
procedures, its role in developing wetland data bases, and its
National Wetland Inventory. COE will be assessing the

relationships between wetland habitat and wetland species in
their bottomland hardwoods study. EPA's role in examining food
chain support functions should come primarily in the assessment
of cumulative impacts and mitigation projects, as discussed
Ecosystem syntheses. EPA's role in quantifying wetland
functions within any specific ecosystem type should be limited
to the support of data syntheses. COE and DOE will have the
lead in examining bottomland hardwood forests, as indicated
above. EPA should encourage the preparation of "Community
Profiles" for freshwater wetlands. FWS has an excellent
publication program that has focused on coastal wetlands; these
summarize existing data for a management-oriented audience. It
is recommended that such data syntheses be developed for target
wetland types that have been identified as having high priority
by EPA Regional Offices (See Appendix I). Rather than
attempting to duplicate the successful Community Profile effort
of FWS, EPA should assist it with pass-through funding.
Wetland delineation research. Wetland delineation
methods have been developed by COE, and FWS has proposed to
implement boundary determinations through a range of field
studies (See Appendix II). In EPA's former wetland research
program, vegetation-based studies were performed on Pacific
coastal wetlands. While it is important for EPA to review
boundary determinations, further research in this area is not
recommended. Rather, EPA should retain the capability to
respond to any controversies that develop through short-term,
site-specific studies, as the need arises. In particular,
Regions 7 and 9 have expressed a need for wetland delineation
criteria for their ephemeral wetlands. Furthermore, EPA has
been developing a wetland delineation methodology (Sipple, EPA,
pers. comm.). It is recommended that COE and EPA continue this
effort jointly to establish a mutually acceptable methodology.
Wetland value assessment. The development of methods to
assess wetland values has been the focus of several research
efforts, and several streamlining procedures are in progress. As
mentioned above, COE is computerizing the FHWA Technique. It
is recommended that EPA not spend further research funds in this
area to develop new assessment methodology. Rather, the entire
research program is structured to help provide the information
necessary for refining the FHWA Technique. The data acquired
under the water quality section will feed directly into the
assessment strategy. The experimental component of the
mitigation research will fill gaps in the assessment of
hydrologic and food chain support functions. The cumulative

impact models would allow the analysis of functions to go beyond
the assessment of single sites.
I.B.5. How do the efforts of EPA, COE, and FWS fit together to
form an integrated, comprehensive program of wetland research?
It is recommended that EPA's wetland research program focus
on three areas:
*	Water quality functions (and associated hydrology) of a
wide variety of wetland types,
*	Cumulative impact assessment, and
*	Mitigation.
Research performed in these three areas will also provide
some information on hydrologic and food chain support functions.
New data will be made available for ecosystem syntheses that
bring together the state of knowledge for individual wetland
types. Thus, EPA's research program will focus on three areas
but include a broader range of necessary information (Figure 2).
How this fits into an overall Federal wetland research
program is depicted in Figure 3, wherein three dots indicates
major emphasis (within that agency's budget), and one dot
indicates some effort. The COE's emphasis is on bottomland
hardwoods and assessment methodology; the FWS emphasis is on
food chain support functions. All indications are relative, and
all were obtained from discussions at the September 18, 1985,
meeting of the Interagency Wetland Coordinating Committee.
I.B.6. How do the three areas of research recommended for EPA
compare scientifically?
The science of water quality functions, cumulative impact
assessment and mitigation differs in current conceptual status,
availability of experimental procedures, and the probability of
performing successful research. However, they are similar in
that the value of an increment of knowledge in all three areas
is high. These comparisons are graphed conceptually in Figure 4
on a relative scale.
For water quality research the state of knowledge is high
relative to that for cumulative impact assessment and
mitigation. Experimental procedures for water quality research
are readily available, although standardization is needed. The
probability of success in the research proposed here is high.
The research program would substantially improve EPA's water
quality modelling ability, so that predictions of change
following 404 permit approval would be developed for individual

Figure 2. To develop the body of knowledge needed to identify
the cumulative impacts of wetland alteration requires
that past losses and future gains be tracked. These
losses and gains can then be related to changes in
the water quality (WQ)# hydrologic (H) and food
chain support (FCS) functions.


(and associated hydrology)
• ••

(e.g., flood storage, around
water recharge)

(community profiles)


(bottomland hardwood studies)




(methods for detecting wetland

(revising or replacing existing
o h
Hi 3
ft ffl
to n
n> cr«Q
o n

Figure 4. Comparison of water quality (WQ), cumulative impacts
(CI), and mitigation (MIT) on a relative scale.

wetlands and substantial progress would be made in modeling the
cumulative impacts on water quality within watersheds and
possibly ecoregions.
For cumulative impact assessment, the state of knowledge is
extremely limited, and little is known about how to proceed;
thus success cannot be guaranteed. Careful planning of future
research is required. It is a new and important field, however,
and the value of an increment of knowledge is extremely high.
For mitigation, there is information available, but much of
it is not available to 404 coordinators or associated staff.
Approaches to be used are those of ecological research, which
has a rich set of study methods. Substantial gains could be
made in this component of the research program through review of
past mitigation efforts and integration of long-term experiments
into proposed mitigation projects. The need to improve
mitigation projects so they enhance, restore and create inland
wetlands is high.
To quantify the water quality functions of wetlands; to
model the aggregated role of wetlands in altering the quality of
water in receiving water (at the wetland, watershed, and
ecoregion scale); to design simple decision criteria for
evaluation of water quality functions, and to assess the effects
of cumulative wetland losses on the quality of water in
receiving water (at the wetland, watershed and ecoregion scale).
II.A.1. Background and rationale
To insure that regulatory decisions are sound, EPA must
have adequate understanding of the structure and functions of
wetland systems and the impacts of perturbations to them from
regulated activities (Meagher 1985). Wetlands function to alter
water quality (by removing, releasing or transforming nutrients,
anthropogenic substances, and sediments), modify hydrology (by
slowing flood flows and reducing erosion) and provide habitat
for support of a diverse food chain. The roles of freshwater

wetlands in flood-flow hydrologic buffering and as sedimentation
basins are well documented. Their importance as fish and bird
habitats is widely recognized. Water quality functions are the
most poorly understood of the wetland functions and are not the
primary focus of any other agency's research program.
It is recommended that EPA's research program focus on
water quality, because the need is strong and because EPA has
considerable expertise and facilities for water quality
research. "Water quality function" is defined here as the
uptake, transformation, or addition of materials as water flows
through the wetland. The function has positive value: 1) when
there is a net removal of materials that would cause negative
impacts downstream and/or 2) when the materials are transformed
into substances that do not cause negative impacts downstream.
It is widely assumed that wetlands filter sediments,
nutrients, and anthropogenic substances from flowing waters.
However, the documentation is strongest only for uptake of
nitrogen and phosphorus. Even for these two nutrients, the
rates are variable, partially because few studies have performed
complete analyses of inputs and outputs. Lack of calibration
and standardization of methods have made the comparison of
filtering rates uncertain (Nixon and Lee 1985). Measured rates
are also variable because many processes effect transformation
and removal of nutrients in wetland systems—sedimentation,
conversion to more refractory chemical forms, sorption onto soil
particles, uptake and internal cycling by microbes and higher
plants, and denitrification. The rate of each process depends
upon factors such as nature of the soil (organic vs mineral),
pH, redox potential, flooding regime, vegetation, and nutrient
loading rate (e.g., Nicholls 1983, Richardson 1985, Brinson, et
al. 1981, 1984; Kuenzler, et al. 1980, Ewel and Bayley 1978,
Reddy 1984). And finally, the long-term ability of wetlands to
reduce nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, i.e., the
cumulative uptake capability, is also unknown.
For metals and organic chemicals, the data base is minimal
(Giblin 1982, Dickerman et al. 1985). Not known are: which
materials are likely to be stored or transformed, the rates at
which accumulation and transformation proceed, what controls
those rates, and what potential different wetlands have for
long-term uptake, given continued loading.
In the process of performing water quality functions,
wetlands are affected by the materials they accumulate. In
isolated areas, the effects of low-level inputs may be minor,
but in wetlands downstream of urban or agricultural areas, there
may be cumulative impacts of high-concentration loadings. In
many areas, wetlands will receive several types of materials at
high concentration. Water quality functions should be expected
to change as each alteration occurs. The scientific literature

indicates that these effects are not simply additive. According
to Giblin (1982) one type of disturbance (e.g., nutrient
influxes) can enhance the impact of another (e.g., solubility of
heavy metals) indirectly by altering vegetation and changing
soil redox conditions. Few studies of such interactions are
available, and the need to explore them is clear for wetlands
subject to multiple loadings.
Data from long-term research programs at selected sites
(e.g., studies of wastewater wetlands) can help to determine the
impacts of several alterations on water-quality functions within
a wetland. Long-term ecological research sites funded by NSF
and the Smithsonian Institution should provide some of the
information needed to understand cumulative impacts on a single
wetland. Assuming that additional long-term, site-specific
research programs will not fit within EPA's budget, an
alternative approach appears prudent to maximize information
Water quality improvement functions do not occur
independently of hydrologic or food chain support functions.
The dynamics of nutrients, toxins, or sediments can hardly be
evaluated without considering hydrology. It is, however,
possible to initiate a research program on water quality
improvement by focusing on rates of accumulation and
transformation. Hydrologic work can be limited to specific
measurements. Similarly, the accumulation of toxins by plants
and animals cannot be examined without acknowledging the impact
on the entire food web. However, analyses of biota can be
restricted to soil microbes and shallow rooted vegetation.
It is proposed that EPA begin with an experimental program
using a broad range of wetland types. To obtain results that
can be extrapolated to larger ecological units, it is
recommended that the basic experimental units be on the
"mesocosm," rather than "microcosm" scale. Field manipulations
should be done on the scale of several square meters, with
artifical experimental units on a comparable scale (Figure 5).
Using this size of experimental systems should have two
advantages: 1) samples can be collected over a long period of
time without destroying the areas treated, and 2) an array of
wetland species can be accommodated, approximating those in
nature. At the same time, using mesocosms will likely increase
variability between experimental units, therefore, careful
replication will be essential. Microcosms, such as typical
laboratory aquaria, may be appropriate in some cases, e.g.,
microbiological work. However, wherever possible, the use of
larger systems than have previously been employed for
experimental work is suggested.

Figure 5. Research on water qualitly functions should utilize
manipulative experiments in mesocosm-size areas. For
forested wetlands experiments must be done in situ ;
for non-forested wetlands it will be possible to con-
struct artificial mesocosms and work with a variety
of wetland types at selected mesocosm facilities.
Experiments would manipulate the type and rates of
loadings and assess the fate of the substances.
A. Mesocosm-scale field experiments are required for wetlands
with forest cover:	ju
B. Mesocosms con be developed for wetlands that are dominated by
herbaceous vegetation:

II.A.2. State of knowledge
Nixon and Lee (1985) provided an extensive,
region-by-region review of nutrient and metal uptake functions
of wetlands for COE. Their overall conclusion was that
"credible quantitative assessment" of the role of wetlands in
water quality cannot now be done because of insufficient data.
Research in this area is only 5-10 years old. No single region
nor wetland type is adequately understood.
To fill the information gaps Nixon and Lee (1985)
recommended a two-fold approach. Long-term field studies,
conducted in combination with experimental studies using wetland
mesocosms, are needed to develop mass balances (i.e. budgets of
carbon, nutrients, heavy metals, other pollutants) at selected
sites. The need to calibrate methods prior to comparative
experimentation was emphasized.
Dickerman et al. (1985) reviewed the ability of wetlands to
take up nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticides from agricultural
runoff. Their conclusions (Appendix III) are that wetlands are
effective at retaining and transforming these materials, but
that rates differ with a wide variety of controlling variables.
They recommend developing water quality models that have a
hydrologic component as the core, with individual process
submodels to determine rates of retention of different
materials. They acknowledge that only the core model can be
constructed with the existing knowledge of wetland water quality
Richardson (In press) reviewed the fluxes, transformations
and storage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon in freshwater
wetlands. He states, "the data...suggest that wetlands are not
efficient in terms of being large annual nutrient sinks or
filters." Their large stores of N, P, K, and C have accumulated
over centuries. However, they do function as "transformers" by
converting nutrients into a less available form. Wetlands are
significant in transforming inorganic nitrogen to nitrogen gas
and may be important in sulphur transformation. However,
Richardson (pers. comm.) concludes that biogeochemical data are
inadequate to make valid comparisons of different wetland types
or ascertain the "true value" of many wetland ecosystems.
In another paper (Richardson 1985), phosphorus retention is
suggested to be less efficient in wetland than in terrestrial
ecosystems. Wetlands used for wastewater discharge may show
high rates of phosphorus removal initially, however large
exports can be expected after a few years. Thus, phosphorus
removal efficiency may be a function of cumulative phosphate
inputs, and the threshold for retention may be exceeded in a
short time if a wetland experiences excessive loading. Burns
and Taylor (1979), however, make the point that wetlands

exporting large quantities of phosphorus may do so largely in
the organic form, such that the likelihood of a negative impact
(stimulation of an algal bloom) downstream is still reduced.
Again, the wetland is seen to function as a transformer in
improving water quality.
The factors controlling nutrient retention and
transformation vary considerably between wetlands and through
time. Using microcosm experiments, Richardson (1985) showed
that phosphate adsorption differed substantially for five
different wetland soils. The varying uptake rates positively
correlated with the concentration of soil-extractable aluminum.
Thus, it is important to evaluate retention rates over a range
of loading rates and sediment types. Moreover, his work showed
that experimental microcosms can help greatly to understand
rates of and controls on retention.
The complexity of controls on retention rates has been
documented by Giblin (1982). Her work with heavy metals in salt
marsh sediments showed that retention of iron, zinc, copper, and
cadmium can be reduced by adding nutrients. Nutrient additions
increased primary production. Higher plant growth rates
tranferred more oxygen to the soils via the roots. Increased
oxidation decreased the concentration of sulfides, and that
Increased the solubility of metals in the pore water. Thus,
there are likely to be interactive effects among materials that
are added to wetland soils, and multi-factor experiments are
There are few mass balance studies for heavy metals.
Giblin's review (1982) concluded that retention rates vary for
different metals and different wetlands. Retention rates were
found to be highest for lead if loading rates were low, while
most metals, such as zinc and cadmium, may pass through the
ecosystem. She concluded that wetlands are good sinks for some
metals but that their retention capacity may vary through time.
Research needs include long-term studies, examination of
interactive effects, and detailed study of wetland hydrology and
pore water chemistry.
Overall, the water quality functions of freshwater wetlands
are poorly understood. Nutrient detention and transformation
roles have been used for control actions at the state level.
The ability of wetlands to reduce organic toxicant and heavy
metal loadings is widely assumed. However, none of the
functions has been comprehensively quantified.
II.A.3. Planning a coordinated approach
The proposed water quality research has been designed as a
coordinated experimental approach with three basic objectives.

First, rate functions and the factors influencing them will be
determined for organic chemicals, heavy metals and, as
necessary, nutrients. Second, interactions between these
substances and the factors influencing them will be identified.
Since the wetlands are affected by the substances they
accumulate, proposed research includes study of biological
responses to toxicant addition. Third, the rate functions of
individual wetlands will be combined into models that predict
the effect of wetlands on the quality of receiving water on the
scale of a watershed and possibly ecoregion. At the same time,
simple decision criteria to evaluate the water quality functions
of individual wetlands will be designed.
A meeting of scientists should be convened to select the
wetland types with highest priority for study of water quality
functions and with highest suitability for experimentation.
This group should also include experts in wetland models. The
formulation of models (conceptual and literature based) should
precede and guide the research. It will be important to
coordinate the modelling effort with the research approach. The
Regional Offices should be consulted as part of this process.
The participants should then develop and test standard methods
for investigation. This assumes that more than one lab will be
involved in research, and that there is a need to test the
reliability of methods being used in more than one type of
wetlands. EPA should select the labs most suited to perform the
manipulative research. The operation of the Delta Waterfowl and
Wetland Research Station in Delta, Manitoba, Canada, may serve
as a model. It is the site of a long-term, ambitious study of
the effects of changing hydrological regimes on the rates of
mineral cycling within freshwater marshes (Murkin et al. 1985).
There are several candidate labs that could carry out this
research. For example, the Monticello streams at the Duluth EPA
Lab would be appropriate mesocosms for work of this type with
northern wetlands. Outside EPA, mesocosm facilities exist at
Cornell University (experimental ponds), Michigan State
University (large experimental wetlands) and other locations, so
that proposals could be solicited for additional regions.
Before the organizational meeting of scientists is convened EPA
should identify all of the sites where long-term and/or
manipulative wetlands research is being conducted. An
assessment of the status of wetland modelling should also be
done. Some of the questions to be answered are who Is doing
wetland models at this time, what success have they had, and how
can ongoing efforts be expanded or redirected to include EPA
objectives. This early effort would lay the groundwork for the
planning session.
Field or in situ experiments. It is recommended that
specific experiments with pesticide, heavy metal, and nutrient

additions be carried out in the COE's wetland research site.
COE will have selected a large bottomland hardwood site in the
Mississippi River floodplain for long-term ecological research
by the end of 1985. Preliminary discussions indicate that the
site will be well over 100 acres, so that small plots ("mesocosm
scale") could be manipulated in replicate without disrupting COE
studies. There may also be opportunity to develop experiments
at DOE's Savannah River bottomland hardwood forest.
Specific field experiments should manipulate influxes
(i.e., different loadings) of organic chemicals, heavy metals,
and nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus). Brinson, et
al. (1984) have shown that such field experiments are effective
for testing specific management related hypotheses, and for
assessing the proportion of added nitrogen and phosphorus that
accumulates in or was transformed by the wetland. (See review
of this work in Appendix IV). Furthermore, this work could be
expanded to include wetlands used for wastewater treatment.
A subset of the same experiments should then be carried
out in artificial mesocosms utilizing sediments from the same
field site. This approach has been proven effective on a
smaller scale. A detailed evaluation of microcosms documented
their considerable utility in solving ecological problems in
aquatic, as well as terrestrial, ecosystems (Giesy 1980). Past
comparisons of sediment-water interactions (Kelly 1984) indicate
that artificial microcosms can mimic field conditions for
relatively long periods of time (at least 1-2 months).
Therefore, comparisons of the laboratory and field studies in
the bottomland hardwood site could justify use of only
laboratory studies.
Artificial mesocosm experiments. Artificial wetlands in
mesocosms should be used to analyze the uptake, accumulation,
and chemical transformation of organic chemicals, heavy metals,
and nutrients. Comparative studies should be conducted in
northern and in southern climates, using a wide range of wetland
types, identical experimental set-ups, and calibrated methods.
These experiments should provide two types of results: 1)
quantification of uptake and transformation rates under
different environmental conditions and 2) understanding of the
factors controlling those rates. For at least two natural
wetlands near each facility, there should be a subset of field
experiments to compare in situ and artificial mesocosm results.
Rates of accumulation in soils and plant tissues and any
transformations (e.g., denitrification) should be measured under
controlled environmental conditions that are appropriate for the
region. That is, temperatures and water circulation rates
should fall within the normal range for each wetland.

Before funding large manipulation projects, EPA should
initially fund one study to "work out the bugs". Like any other
project, there will be problems and it will be most efficient to
identify and solve them on a smaller scale. In addition, it
will be essential to know how mesocosms compare to natural
systems and a small project could provide some insight. This
work would best be done by a group that has a lot of data on a
natural system and would be in a position to move rapidly to
initiate appropriate experiments in mesocosms.
II.A.4. Rate functions
II.A.4.a. Objectives
To determine rates of retention and/or chemical
transformation of organic chemicals, heavy metals and nutrients
entering wetlands; to identify the factors that influence these
rates; and to assess the possible impacts of these substances on
the wetland.
II.A.4.b. Rationale
Quantification of the rates of retention and removal will
lead directly to capability for wetland evaluation and
cumulative impact assessment by EPA personnel. Identification
of impacts on the wetland will further augment the process.
II.A.4.C. Research approach
Manipulative experiments, where selected materials are
added to wetland systems in known amounts and their fates
observed under varied conditions, are recommended over
descriptive studies of natural ecosystems. The rationale for
this approach is two-fold. First, it will be possible to
examine functions over a variety of environmental conditions
within a short time-frame, and second, it will be possible to
test cause-effect relationships. Thus, the research should
rapidly identify minimum and maximum rates (of uptake,
transformation, release) and proceed toward an understanding of
the factors that Influence those rates.
The microbial community is undoubtedly the major component
of the biota involved in retention and transformation of
substances within wetlands. Therefore, detailed study of
microbiological processes involved in retention and
transformations is needed. Experiments should focus on the
relationship between physical factors and the rate at which the
microbial community functions.

Artificial wetlands with low, medium, and high retention
rates in a full range of mesocosms will be selected for study of
components responsible for uptake and microbiological processes
affecting retention. Artificial wetlands with low, medium, and
high transformation rates (e.g., breakdown of organic compounds,
denitrification) will be selected for study of biological
components responsible for transformation and factors
influencing breakdown rates.

II.A.A.d. TIm line and cost to produce technique* for evaluating the role of
Individual wetlands In altering receiving water quality on a watershed basis
Plan and construct artificial and in situ aesocosas for experimental
work ( ~ Indicates that theae aesocosas are required for the work/
COB bottomland hardwood site
Two additional In situ and two artificial mesocosms
See Model Section 1I.A.6. for provisional modele which will contribute
to the following products*
~	Validate aodels and collect additional data as necessary
COB bottomland hardwood site
Two additional in, situ and two artificial ¦esocosas
See Hodel Section II.A.6. for conceptual aodels which will contribute
to the following products*
~	Collect data on uptake, transformation and release of organie chealcals
by different wetland types
COB bottomland hardwood site
TWo additional in situ and two artificial mesocosms
*	Validate aodels (see Section II.A.6.)
See Model Section II.A.6. for conceptual aodels which will contribute
to the following products.
£ Collect data on uptake, transformation and release of metal chealcals
by different wetland types
COB bottoaland hardwood site
Two additional in altu and two artificial aesocosas
6 Validate aodels (see Section II.A.6.)
450.	475 550

100 . 100 . .	200 L 1050
50 . 400 .400 . t	850 J
200 200	500
ISO . SO . 500 . 300 . t	,000
250 . 300 . t 550
¦ >
50 200 200
150 . 150

II.A.5. Interactions among nutrients, organics and heavy
metals, and their impacts on the water quality
II.A.5.a. Objectives
To identify the interactions (synergistic, antagonistic
relationships) between elements or compounds entering wetlands
and the factors controlling those processes; and
To assess the impacts of elements or compounds entering
wetlands on the wetlands.
II.A.5.b. Rationale
In many areas, wetlands receive several types of materials,
and it is unlikely that their effects are independent. As
discussed earlier, nutrient inputs can affect the ability of a
wetland to remove heavy metals from water. Therefore, accurate
prediction of water quality function of wetlands requires that
the complex relationships among organic chemicals, heavy metals,
and nutrients be known. Concurrently, these results will be
incorporated into water quality models that will be used to
evaluate 404 permit requests.
At the time that wetlands accumulate or transform materials
such as organic chemicals, those materials can alter the
wetland's ability to alter water quality. The impact of
individual substances on wetlands will be assessed in the
mesocosm experiments of Section II.A.4.d.; the impact of
multiple imputs will be assessed in the interaction experiments
(Section II.A.5.C.). Thus, the research will involve additional
measurements within experimental treatments established for the
purpose of measuring uptake and transformation rates.
II.A.5.C. Research approach
The research approach outlined in Sections II.A.3.b. will
be expanded to include treatments that add two or more materials
simultaneously to mesocosm units. Uptake rates will be assessed
as in previous experiments.
Impacts of single and multiple loadings will be determined
by assessing the growth rates of vegetation. The determination
of impacts on wetlands will be used to predict the long-term
ability of wetlands to continue their water quality functions.
Results from this research will feed directly into water quality

II.A.S.d. Time line and cose to Identify the Interactions among
nutrients( heavy metals and organlcs, and assess their lopacte on the
water quality function of the wetland*
Determine residue analysis for selected orgsnlc chemicals
Bvaluation of Interactions between organic chealcals and nutrients
for use In water quality models
Impact assessment for effects of organic chealcals on
wetland vegetation
Determine residue analysis for selected metals
Bvaluatlon of Interactions between heavy metals, and nutrients
and organic chemicals for use In water quality models
Impact assessment for effects of heavy metals on wetlands
175 . 175 i j	350
200 . 200 . 150 . j 550
'	»
150 , 150 150 , _	450
_200_|_200J_50_1__> 450

II.A.6. Models and simple decision criteria
II.A.6.a. Objectives
To model the water quality function of freshwater wetlands
at the wetland, watershed and ecoregion scales; design simple
decision criteria for evaluating water quality functions of
individual wetlands and the cumulative water quality function of
all wetlands within a watershed and ecoregion (Figure 6).
II.A.6.b. Rationale
Models provide a vehicle to present scientific information
in a format that will be useful to decision makers. Only by the
application of process-based modeling can knowledge gained from
the study of one ecosystem be extrapolated to others. Moreover,
an interactive computer code can be an objective tool for
risk/benefit evaluation. For example, the EXAMS2 code, which is
used in the EPA Office of Pesticides, predicts the fate of a
chemical in a particular aquatic scenario (Burns, 1985).
Experience with the production of such tools has proven
their feasibility and has promoted contributing research. As
summarized by Dickerman et al. (1985), there is the capability
to model hydrologic processes, but not the associated
retention/transformation functions of wetlands. The "core" of
the water quality models can be developed at once. With the
accumulation of information from the mesocosm experiments, it
will be possible to expand the modeling effort to include
complex water quality functions.
II.A.6.C. Research approach
Process modeling begins from a base of fundamental
understanding of the kinetics of water quality processes. These
kinetics are functions of environmental forces, including both
internally controlled system resources (e.g., dissolved oxygen
and pH) and the externally imposed system environment (e.g.,
site geology and regional climate). Given valid functional
expressions of process dynamics, extrapolation among systems
can, at least in principle, be reduced to characterization of
their relevant differences in driving forces.
This approach has in fact been very successful in practical
water quality modeling. In consequence, there is a significant
background of completed water quality computer codes that could
be parasitized for components for wetland models. In addition,
there is a significant literature on modeling wetlands per se,
to the extent that it has engendered specific review articles.

Figure 6. The role of wetlands in altering water quality can be
assessed locally or for the watershed as a whole.
Models must begin with an understanding of local
effects and then be combined to assess watershed
level effects.

Thus, a legitimate general model of water quality functions of
wetlands could be constructed at this time.
Computer codes designed to model the water quality of
entire watersheds are also available. These could be derived
from a thorough review and synthesis of the behavior of
process-based ecosystem models. Moreover, the codes could be
used to evaluate the water quality consequences of the
progressive destruction of wetlands within a watershed. In such
models, the functions of each type of wetland would probably
have to be described in rather simple terms, to avoid
unmanagable complexity. Useful results from this "black-box"
type of evaluation could be available in the near-term.
Therefore, despite present gaps in the knowledge, model
development can proceed at the individual wetland and watershed
levels. Effective provisional codes can be constructed for
near-term testing and wetland evaluation. These codes could
then be updated as new information becomes available from the
field and laboratory studies.
At the next higher level of resolution the goal would be to
model the water quality function of wetlands within an
ecoregion. However, this increase in scale also increases the
complexity of the model. Therefore, it is recommended that the
feasibility of construction ecoregion scale models be explored
before funds are committed to construct the model.
The modeling effort should be used to direct the research
effort. Planning should procede as indicated by the gaps in the
literature based model for nutrients and by the conceptual model
developed for organic compounds and heavy metals.
Concurrent with model development, simple criteria for
assessing the significance of different levels of water quality
improvement can be developed. The procedure will utilize
wetland rate models to predict the per-acre value of
uptake/transformation functions. Then, criteria will be
designed based on the comparison of a wide range of wetland
types. This procedure will fit directly into wetland assessment
strategies that ask whether the wetland has a high, medium, or
low value for individual functions.
"Significance" would be determined from the comparative
rates of uptake/transformation and/or the relative proportion of
watershed discharge Influenced by that wetland. In other words,
the value of the wetland in improving water quality derives from
1) the rate of uptake or transformation per unit area and 2) the
volume of improved water discharged from the ecosystem.
Wetlands with either a high rate or a high discharge would be
ranked significant in that water quality function.

Setting the criteria for high vs. low uptake/transformation
should be done with as broad a data base as possible. The
experimental program of Section II.A.4. will add to existing
values in the literature. Frequency histograms of all known
rates for each material uptake/transformation will allow
determination of low, medium, and high values, using measures of
central tendency.
For wetlands with relatively low rates of uptake,
significant water quality function is still likely if the
wetland influences high volumes of water. And the cumulative
value of several water quality functions may be high even when
individual rates and flows are low. The modeling effort should
be designed to evaluate wetlands for individual
uptake/transformation rates, volume of flow influenced, and
cumulative water quality functions.

U.A.b.d. Time line and cost to assets the aggregated role of wetlands in
altering the quality of water In receiving water for selected ecoreglons
Report on feasibility of coablnlng watershed data acroas entire ecoreglons
Report on assessaent of lsportance of wetlands to receiving water
quality for 2-4 ecoreglons
Provisional wetland rate Model for uptake, transformation and release of
H6P by different types of wetlands (based on literature)
Provlalonal watershed aodel of effect of wetlands on MP in receiving
water (baaed on literature)
~	Final wetland rate aodel for uptake, tranaforaatlon and releaae of N&P
by different wetland types (based on new data)
~	Pinal waterahed aodel of effect of wetlanda and RIP In receiving water
(baaed on new data)
'A'	Determine alaple declalon criteria for evaluating water quality functions
of Individual wetlands
Conceptual wetlsnd rate aodel for guiding reeearcb experiments.
Pinal wetland rate aodel on uptake, tranaforaatlon and release of organic
chemicals by wetland types
Watershed aodels for organic chealcals by modifying nutrient watershed
models as necessary
Define al^le decision criteria for evaluating water quality functions
of Individual wetlanda*
METALS (all $ assume funding organic chemlcala)
Conceptual wetland rate model for guiding research experimental
¦ff	Pinal wetland rate aodel on uptake, tranaforaatlon and releaae of aetals
by wetlsnd types
Watershed aodels for metala by modifying nutrient watershed modela aa
£	Define alaple decision criteria for evaluating water quality functions
of individual wetlands*
100 . 250 . 50
400 I
50 125
' »
50. 150.
- 750
200 . 200 . 100.
75 75

50 25
• 450

To assess the effect of cumulative impacts of wetland
II.B.l. Background and rationale
Most of the permits reviewed by 404 personnel are for small
projects that individually may not have major impacts on wetland
functions but collectively may degrade and destroy wetland
habitat and water quality functions. The significance of these
numerous small projects can only be evaluated within the context
of cumulative trends. Impacts of wetland alteration accumulate
at the local scale, when several perturbations affect a single
wetland, and at the regional scale, when several wetland areas
are lost within a watershed or ecoregion. The problems are
different for these two scales. Predicting the impact of
cumulative losses on the water quality function is addressed in
Section II.A. The following section refers only to the
cumulative impacts of piecemeal loss on other wetland functions
at the regional level.
The best evidence that cumulative losses have substantial
negative impacts comes from areas where large percentages of
wetland acreage have been destroyed and wetland species have
become extinct or endangered with extinction. For example,
enormous losses of wetland habitat have occurred in southern
California, and habitat reduction has progressed to the point
where several wetland-dependent species have become endangered
with extinction. Reducing habitat acreage has had two major
impacts on wetland ecosystems. 1) Space where natural
populations can grow and reproduce has become more and more
scarce; crowding into other habitats has become impossible; and
subpopulations have died out. 2) Space that allows species to
move into alternative wetland habitats in order to survive
catastrophic events has been eliminated.
Without sufficient space, or with access to suitable space
blocked by barriers (such as roadways that dissect wetlands),
populations become extinct. In one California estuary
cumulative disturbances drastically altered habitat for the
endangered, light-footed clapper rail. Food, habitat and
protection from predators declined and the population of birds
(40 pairs) went extinct in 1984. This loss was one seventh of
the state's total population.
Declining species abundances and shrinking geographic
distributions can be used to indicate when the threshold for
habitat loss has been reached. Wetland-dependent birds and rare

wetland plants can be useful "red flags;" their declining
abundance Indicates excessive habitat loss. It is barely known
how many other species (e.g., the hundreds of insects yet to be
identified from these wetlands), or how many wetland functions,
or what economic benefits are lost at the same time as habitat
is destroyed. It is too late to identify them where most of the
habitat is already gone, but there are still opportunities to
identify and prevent such changes in other regions.
II.B.2. State of knowledge
Understanding the larger-scale impacts requires
extrapolation of local impacts to watersheds and ecoregions. In
order to predict cumulative impacts on the ability of wetlands
to control sedimentation, extrapolation from known relationships
appears feasible. The rates of erosion and/or accretion can be
identified within small segments of a watershed. Erosion rates
can be determined for individual soil types and slopes with
similar types of agricultural disturbance and extrapolated to
the entire watershed or ecoregion. An effort of this type is
being carried out cooperatively between FWS and EPA; the Western
Energy Land Use Team (WELUT) is developing impact models for a
portion of the Mississippi Delta (Ischinger, USFWS WELUT, Ft.
Collins, pers. comm.) with funding from EPA.
For many other wetland functions, cause-effect
relationships are not well known. In many cases, the role of
wetlands In the landscape may be a function of the mosaic of
wetland types and specific environmental conditions, not just a
function of wetland acreage. The whole may well exceed the sum
of the parts. The wetland assessment strategy of Adamus (1983)
assumes linear relationships between acreage of wetland and
water quality or "filtering" functions. Yet, even within a
long, narrow ("linear") watershed, the water quality functions
may be enhanced as runoff proceeds downstream, if individual
wetlands take up and release materials at different rates along
the water course. Wetlands that function in nutrient uptake are
not necessarily as efficient at heavy metal uptake. Because of
the potential for interactions between nutrient loading and
mobilization of heavy metals (Giblin 1982), the elimination of
one wetland that is efficient at nutrient removal could reduce
the ability of a downstream wetland to remove heavy metals.
The cumulative role of wetlands in changing downstream
water quality is addressed in Section II.A.5. through watershed
models. Models built to evaluate the collective water quality
function of several wetlands also serve to evaluate the impact
of removing wetlands or segments of wetlands on the quality of
water flowing from the watershed.

Assessing cumulative impacts is a relatively new endeavor.
Standard environmental assessment methods are not sufficient.
Few methods have been used, validated and modified. Most often
these methodologies are general guidelines or descriptive
accounts of potential impacts that rely heavily on qualitative
and subjective judgements (Witmer In press).
II.B.3. Document past losses
II.B.3.a. Objective
To determine the best strategy for summarizing cumulative
acreage losses by wetland type, within wetlands, within
watersheds, and within ecoregions. This will allow
relationships between acreage losses and cumulative losses of
wetland functions to be developed. Finally, the relationships
between acreage and functions will be used to identify critical
"break points" wherein future acreage losses would cause
irreversible losses of functional values.
II.B.3.b. Rationale and background
Regional 404 personnel are very concerned about how to
evaluate the many permit requests to alter small areas, where
the individual project would have little impact but the
collective effect of several such projects might be substantial.
To make decisions on individual small-scale projects requires an
assessment of how multiple permits would affect wetland
functions. To do this with available data requires that past
losses be linked to changes in functions. However, before a
predictive capacity can be developed one must summarize
information on past and present wetland loss, and, if possible
anticipate future losses.
Curtis Richardson (pers. comm.) evaluated acreage losses
permitted by COE over recent years within North Carolina. He
analyzed not only the acreage losses, but also the location and
type of wetland losses. While acreage losses were not great
along the coast, most tracts where filling was permitted were
linear, so that the miles of coastline per acre lost was very
The EPA Office of Federal Activities (OFA) is developing a
computerized information system to track the permitting process
in all Regions. When it is implemented there will be a uniform,
nationwide data base available. Data categories which will be
useful in assessing cumulative impacts are being
considered—location, type of activity, size, National Wetland
Inventory classification (R. Koke, EPA, pers. comm.).

II.B.3.C. Research approach
The first step in assessing cumulative impacts is to
summarize, within watersheds, ecoregions, and regions, the
losses (area by wetland type) that have occurred in recent
years. The percentage of each wetland type should then be
calculated from recent inventories (the FWS's National Wetland
Inventory maps), together with a rough indication of the
functions most important to that wetland type. The resulting
inventory would make it possible to evaluate permits in wetlands
for which little habitat remains and/or where critical functions
are predominantly carried out by that wetland type.
Acreage losses for past years (e.g., 1975-85) can be
obtained from several sources—summaries of COE permits, State
agency records, USGS hydrological unit maps, and evaluation of
aerial photographs, including those with multispectral imagery.
Problems with permit data are that not all wetland losses are
covered by COE permits, and the ratio of permitted to
non-permitted losses is not constant through time. Problems
with aerial photography data are the extensive time requirements
(as in the National Wetland Inventory of current acreages by
wetland type) and difficulty of classifying wetland type from
photos. It is not clear which approach to assessing cumulative
acreage losses will prove most efficient. Thus, a
"cost-benefit" evaluation of these two approaches is recommended
prior to proceding with the compilation of permit data.
There are several recommendations for improving the
data-logging system being developed by OFA. As presently
planned, the Information System will only include data beginning
in the year it is implemented; it will not include historical
losses. Several of the Regions have computerized records of
permits they have reviewed. The possibility of combining these
individual systems with the OFA system should be explored and
then implemented.
The WELUT-FWS has begun collecting wetland impact
literature to assess prior impacts on wetlands by geographical
area. Their Wetland Impacts Database will be designed to
generate a list of articles on a specific impact type or all
impacts for a given hydrologic unit, Hammonds's landsurface
form, Bailey's ecoregion or state. The FWS database currently
contains information on author, year, citation, location,
landform, ecoregion, hydrounit, wetland type, and impact, and an
abstract of the article. This effort is still in the early
stages of development, and it is recommended that EPA follow its
development as part of the feasibility study.

From the experience of Richardson in North Carolina, it is
clear that the configuration (e.g., length of shoreline) and
location of the acreage lost must also be included in the data
Mitigation by creation or restoration should increase
wetland acreage, so the same kinds of data should be recorded
for the gains as well as the losses.
Unfortunately, a data base which tracks only 404 permitted
wetland losses will include less than half of the total (B.
Wilen, FWS, pers. comm.). Wetlands are lost under the
provisions of the nationwide and regional permitting systems,
and through unregulated and illegal activities. Since the
ultimate goal is to develop a means to assess and predict
cumulative impacts, it would be important to include additional
information wherever possible. Existing data sets, such as the
survey of habitat changes along the Columbia River (Pacific
Northwest) over the past century (Thomas 1983), could be used to
expand the data set for a particular watershed. This
information could be used to validate the effectiveness of using
only the 404 permitting record to assess cumulative impacts.
It is recommended that the "cost-benefit" evaluation of the
two approaches be completed for selected ecoregions, and that
the preferred alternative be pursued, if sufficiently promising.

II.B.3.d. Tine line and cost to create data baae of wetland loa».
Determine beat strategy for documenting acreage loss (permits va. aerial
Develop historical data base of wetland loss for selected Regions
1.2. 3. 
II.B.4. Relate functional losses to area losses
II.B.4.a. Objective
To develop graphical models relating acreage losses to
functional losses; and thus predict the cumulative impacts of
wetland loss on the regional scale. Specifically, the
assumption of linearity between area and function must be
II.B.4.b. Background and rationale
It is assumed that many wetland functions are related to
habitat area in a simple manner (cf. assumptions of linearity in
Adamus 1983). Thus, as wetland habitat losses are evaluated on
a piecemeal basis, the overall impact does not become obvious
until threshold points are exceeded. One serious impact that
occurs with excessive loss of habitat is the endangerment of
wetland-dependent species. Another, less obvious effect is the
reduction in genetic diversity of small populations, which
ultimately imperils the species. It is an indication, rather
than a measure of functional changes that occur with declining
wetland area. Clarification of the relationships between area
loss and function is thus necessary to prevent the irreversible
degradation of natural wetland ecosystems, both at the regional
scale, as well as within watersheds.
The few methods that are available provide only general
guidelines or descriptive accounts of potential impacts; they
rely heavily on qualitative and subjective judgements (Witmer In
press). Quantitative relationships to assess the impact of
cumulative habitat losses are lacking. It is not now possible
to evaluate 404 permit requests on the basis of anticipated
cumulative losses.
In addition to the need to specify maximum permissable
losses, the ability to predict cumulative impacts will allow EPA
to plan and manage alterations of wetlands within ecoregions
much more wisely. EPA is becoming involved in an "advanced
identification" process. Regions are identifying wetlands where
permit requests are unlikely to be approved. This necessitates
an approach that considers the ways in which ecosystems are
linked. Both protective and preventative management schemes
must consider these linkages.
Harris (1984) developed a procedure to manage old-growth
forest in the Pacific Northwest based on the principles of
island biogeography. His goal was to develop a management
system that would allow for the continued harvest of timber

while preventing the loss of genetic diversity of the biota. It
combines conservation and development planning into an
integrated landscape approach. He is presently testing the
application of this approach in the bottomland hardwood system
in the Suwannee River watershed in Florida. Similarly, Ambuel
and Temple (1983) and Robbins (1979) have studied area-dependent
changes in bird communities and vegetation. The approach
appears fruitful, and further investigation is warranted.
The goal of assessing cumulative impacts complements EPA's
ecoregion research. The concept of ecoregion is based on the
premise that ecosystems and their components display regional
patterns that are reflected in combinations of spatial
characteristics (P. Larson, EPA, pers. comm.), i.e., within
region variance is less than between region variance (Hart
1982). Within an ecoregion particular types of wetlands will
dominate because of the ecoregion's characteristics. The
forcing functions determine what can exist in that area (Warren
The ecoregion research has focused on ecoregional
characteristics of streams. A project to identify "reference
streams" is being conducted in Region 8. The least degraded
systems in the ecoregion are characterized and then comparisons
are made with more severely altered systems to determine how
impacts affect the system. Identifying "reference wetlands" and
comparing them with more modified wetlands is consistent with
this approach.
The capacity to assess and predict cumulative impacts is
vital to the daily evaluation of permit requests. Moreover, it
is integral to the management of wetland associated systems.
II.B.4.c. Research approach
While the most efficient techniques for assessing past
acreages losses within Regions are being examined (Section
II.B.3), existing information needs to be evaluated. The
assumption of simple area-function relationships (e.g.,
linearity) can be tested for selected populations, species, and
communities. The components that can be examined are declines
(as habitat declines) and ability to rebound (as habitat expands
locally, through mitigation).
There are two major approaches that could be followed.
First is the correlation approach, wherein existing long-term
data sets (e.g., Audubon bird counts for wetland-dependent
birds; nesting data for waterfowl; Nature Conservancy records)
could be related to wetland habitat acreages where those data
can be readily summarized (e.g., within watersheds or small
ecoregions). Paired watersheds (with different degrees of

wetland acreage losses) might provide the data for area
reductions where historical data are lacking. Data of this type
from terrestrial systems are graphed in Figure 7. Searches for
long-term or broad-based inventories have not been undertaken in
this planning effort. The lists of priority research sites
being compiled at the NWTC workshops may identify such data sets
for wetlands.
The second approach is experimental, wherein habitat area
is altered (either through reduction or expansion), and the
response of wetland-dependent species is assessed. Large-scale
reduction experiments are not recommended, because of the
obvious damages and precedent-setting impacts. However,
small-scale experiments should be very effective if the species
assessed are ones that respond to small losses in habitat. For
animals, this would be species with small "home ranges" (e.g.,
insects, small mammals); for plants, species of small size and
narrow habitat requirements (e.g., rare or uncommon annuals).
It is quite likely that insects could provide some of the best
species-based indicators of ecosystem functional change. Their
habits are often highly specialized, and their role in energy
flow is enormously important.
It is recommended that a brief feasibility study be funded
that will lead to a decision to pursue the correlation and/or
the experimental approach to generate the necessary landscape
models for assessing impacts of cumulative habitat loss. The
decision rests on the availability of existing data sets for
correlating loss and function, and the availability of
appropriate situations for experimental manipulation of habitat
losses or gains to develop the necessary data sets. The
Garrison Diversion project in North Dakota might provide the
opportunity to decrease and to increase habitats systematically
within the potential mitigation area of 14,000-acres, with the
concurrent assessment of species and community responses.
Appendix VIII describes this and other projects.
It is also recommended that innovative techniques for
combining data sets be evaluated to obtain the most
comprehensive indicators of ecosystem response. Sharazi and
Hart (1984) have synthesized individual data sets for similar
classes of information (e.g., species diversity, wetland
function, ecoregion, wetland type). The pattern generated
represents a collective knowledge, a "unified relationship,"
that summarizes a group of tests. They have applied the
technique to dose-response relationships to predict chemical
effects. The concept is analogous to assessing cumulative
effects of wetland loss (Figure 8). The "dose" is the loss of
wetlands (expressed as a percent of the original acreage in the
region) and the "response" is the quantitative expression of a
change in function.

Figure 7. Examples of the types of information used by Harris
(1984) to assess the cumulative impacts of the loss
of old-growth Douglas fir forest.
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An intermediate step and the final product in the
data synthesis process developed by Sharazi and Hart
(1984). Note that data from several experiments are
combined to produce a unified response curve.

A graphic dlspUjr of * »c«Hng tt«p thovtng tht etrglng togtthir of
pot nil fros *or ttstt lid (vtrtging (long th« rtipontt *>1t to fom *
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Ultimately, a computer model should be produced that can
serve 404 personnel in assessing cumulative impacts. Data from
several large regions could be reviewed and acreage losses
related to changes in densities of well-studied species (e.g.,
rare wetland plant censuses, data on wetland-dependent birds
from Audubon Christmas counts, etc.). The relationship would
indicate the danger points where further losses cannot be
The problem is somewhat site-specific, in the sense that
the geography, e.g., the soils, hydrology and topography, of the
basin will have a strong influence on the response curve. For
example, if the wetlands exist in a catenated sequence, they may
possess substantial excess load-bearing capacity that will
ameliorate the impact of habitat losses. Therefore, these
models would require exacting set-up procedures designed around
actual mapped watersheds. In such models, the functions of each
type of wetland would probably have to be described in rather
simple terms, to avoid unmanageable complexity. These
descriptions might be derived from a thorough review and
synthesis of the behavior of detailed process-based ecosystem
Once the most feasible approach for identifying
relationships between cumulative wetland loss and functional
loss are identified, both the preparatory research and the
modeling should be funded.

lI.B.4.d. Tlae line and cost to relate functional loaa to acreage loaa.
Determine feasibility of developing rodela to relate functional loaa
to acreage loaa
Field atudlea to document relationship between functional loas and
acreage loss
Model to relate functional loaa to acreage loaa
75. .	75
25 500 500	1025
' ' ' ¦ >
150.	150

To improve methods of enhancing wetland habitat values; to
improve methods of restoring highly disturbed wetlands; and to
determine if projects proposed as mitigation for dredge/fill
activities in wetlands are likely to mitigate losses; and to
provide guidance for the design of effective mitigation
II.C.l. Background and rationale
This initiative has been recommended both by 404 Regional
personnel and by the scientific community. A number of
procedures have been proposed to enhance existing wetlands or to
create wetland habitat from highly disturbed wetland areas or
from upland habitats. Vegetation has been planted in numerous
mitigation projects, but the existence of typical wetland
functions over the long-term (especially use by animals) remains
undocumented for most artificial wetlands. Reasons for success
or failure usually go undetermined.
In some Regions where development pressure is high, the
areas available for mitigation are extremely limited, and
questionable trade-offs are being permitted (e.g., the dumping
of dredge spoil onto existing salt marsh habitat and calling it
a "bird nesting island," a practice that is becoming common in
Southern California	this is a loss, not a gain, in functional
value). In other places, where there are many opportunities for
restoration of altered systems (e.g., bottomland hardwood areas
that were drained for farming, but have been abandoned; prairie
potholes that have been drained and plowed), it is unclear how
to assess the potential of disturbed wetlands for restoration
(c.f. the 14,000-acre Garrison Diversion Project in North
Dakota, and others summarized in Appendix VIII).
There are three major needs for EPA: assessing the kinds
of activities proposed for mitigation; establishing the best
management practices for restoring altered wetlands; and
determining whether or not they successfully mitigate permitted
losses. Regional offices must be aware of the range of
mitigation practices used in their Region, be able to decide
whether or not proposed mitigation projects will cause a net
loss of in-kind wetland function, and determine whether or not
the Implemented project has fulfilled its stated purpose.
Overall, the desire to know more about mitigation planning and
Implementation was rated high by EPA Regional Offices, and it
was identified as an issue by the Narragansett Laboratory's

survey of estuarine wetland information needs (Charles A. Menzie
and Assoc. 1985).
II.C.2. State of knowledge
There are several types of mitigation: a) impact avoidance
(i.e., through denial of proposed project or alternative site
selection); b) impact minimization (i.e., through on-site
modification techniques); c) on-site compensation techniques;
and d) off-site compensation techniques. Deliberate
modifications can be required. Very often, the success of such
modifications goes undocumented; occasionally, there is a brief
period wherein contractors must demonstrate that project
specifications have been carried out.
The most thoroughly documented habitat restoration projects
are the dredged material islands that have been created and
studied by COE. These coastal wetlands have proven suitable for
vegetation establishment and bird usage. Coastal dunes have
also been manipulated to restabilize eroding sand, but not
always with the intended result. Planting of non-native beach
grasses produced excessively high dunes in some regions that
were later undercut. While short-term stabilization was
obtained, long-term stability was not. An artificial habitat
must be as resilient and as able to achieve stability as natural
The ecological literature on assessing the success of
mitigation projects is sparse. While there are several books on
techniques for establishing vegetation, there are few detailed
documentations of long-term changes in the total wetland
ecosystem that followed vegetation planting. Several ideas on
how to assess mitigation success were obtained from P. Zedler
(SDSU, pers. comm.), who has created artificial vernal pools
with funding from EPA.
The task in determining whether or not an artifically
created or modified habitat can replace habitat lost to
development involves two elements: 1) comparison of biotic and
abiotic components of the created/modified habitat, and 2)
prediction of future change in the created/modified
habitat—i.e., will it become more or less like the natural
habitat? Both are difficult because of high spatial and
temporal variability. No two natural habitats are identical;
the same habitat is not identical from year to year or season to
The Comparison Problem. In order to compare natural with
artificial habitats, there must be replication in the
created/modified habitat to characterize means and variability
in features present. Single variables (e.g., vegetation cover)

will be inadequate for comparing artificial and natural
habitats.	The ecosystem is too complex, and the
interrelationships of variables (e.g., change in dominant
species as vegetation cover expands) are important.
Multivariate statistics will be required to compare artificial
and natural habitats, and a number of attributes will need to be
assessed to characterize both types of habitats. Discriminant
analysis may prove very useful.
For natural and artificial habitats, a number of system
attributes (e.g., cover, plant height, number of species,
hydroperiod, etc.) could be used to determine the similarity of
the modified ecosystem to natural systems. Ordination or
classification (dendrogram) techniques could also be utilized to
compare large numbers of habitats. In all cases, the mitigation
program will be judged a complete success when artificial
habitats cannot be distinguished from a set of natural habitats.
The Extrapolation Problem. Predicting how a community
will change through time requires consideration of intrinsic
biotic features (e.g., competition, predation) that control
community development as well as extrinsic features, which may
be abiotic (e.g., catastrophic events) or biotic (e.g., predator
exclusion) that also modify species composition or function.
Because extrinsic features would modify both natural and
artificial wetlands, the focus of research on temporal trends
should be on the intrinsic features of each community.
II.C.3. Past mitigation projects
II.C.3.a. Objective
To catalog and evaluate past mitigation projects for
problems, likelihood of failure, and reasons for
II.C.3.b. Rationale
Review of projects in areas with a long history of
mitigation can identify common problems and suggest means of
preventing failures. Few individuals have attempted to evaluate
mitigation projects over a wide area, but even a cursory review
of attempts to enhance, restore, or create wetlands can lead to
recommendations for improved mitigation. Failure to plan
correctly for the altered wetland's hydrology appears to be the
most basic and consistent problem with mitigation projects.
There is no need to repeat such errors, when the consequences

are easily documented. Because each Region has many types of
wetlands with different hydrology, regional reviews of
mitigation projects are recommended.
An important component of this effort will be information
exchange among Regional personnel. Several opportunities to
learn from the broader management community are expected to
develop in the near future. At least two workshops on
mitigation are being planned for 1986, one in the state of
Washington, and one by the Association of State Wetland
Managers. EPA 404 Regional personnel should attend these
workshops and receive the proceedings.
II.C.3.C. Research approach
The types of mitigation projects that are most often
proposed within Regions need to be quantified (e.g., no project
allowed, use of alternate sites, marsh creation, tree planting,
increased tidal circulation, creating wetland habitat from
upland, changing one type of wetland to another). Next, it is
necessary to determine the implementation success of each type
of mitigation project, identifying the causes of success or
failure wherever possible. This should lead to a list of "red
flags" for each Region, alerting 404 personnel to mitigation
projects that have not fulfilled their promise (e.g., improperly
contoured topography resulting in too much or too little
inundation for the desired wetland ecosystem).

II.C.3.d. Tloe line and cost to evaluate past alligation projects*
Survey past altlgatloa projects to determine If they set stated goals
Provisional handbook of (litigation techniques for different wetland types
00 "|

II.C.4. Experimental component
II.C.4.a. Objective
To develop an experimental approach to mitigation so that
cause-effect relationships can be identified and successful
techniques for wetland restoration/creation can be developed;
and to provide design guidelands for effective mitigation
II.C.4.b. Rationale
First, EPA needs to know how hydrological conditions
determine the functional value of a wetland. Under normal
circumstances, this cannot be learned from short-term studies of
natural wetlands, because few extremes will be experienced.
Chances are that a one- or two-year study will coincide with
average hydrological conditions, and not reveal cause-effect
relationships. With longer data sets, a broader range of
conditions is documented, and shifts in biota can be associated
with shifts in hydrology. To determine these relationships in
the quickest way, with good controls on the hydrological
features, requires a large-scale experimental program.
By manipulating hydroperiod (frequency, duration and timing
of inundation or soil saturation) and hydrological energy
(current speed or flow-through rates) in large-scale mitigation
projects, it will become possible to determine the effects of
these variables on wetland community structure and functioning.
Some examples of altered hydrology exist which can be used to
assess effects (e.g., impounded bottomland forests in North
Carolina; Kuenzler, UNC, pers. comm.). Others will need to be
created using future mitigation projects.
Second, EPA needs to determine how best to control
hydrology and other "forcing functions" to achieve the
highest-value artificial or restored wetlands. This goal goes
hand-in-hand with the first goal—with an understanding of
cause-effect relationships comes the ability to manipulate the
ecosystem to achieve desired results. As landscapes shift
further and further away from their natural condition, the
process of management becomes more active (rather than passive,
preservation-oriented), and the need to understand causal
mechanisms becomes urgent. One of the biggest questions that
has haunted efforts to construct wetlands in Florida is the
hydroperiod and depth of inundation requirements of newly
created wetlands versus mature systems (Mark Brown, UF, pers.
comm.). Moreover, there is the problem of how to collect and
handle the volumes of seeds and/or plant material required for
projects hundreds of acres in size.

II.C.4.C. Research approach
There are many opportunities to incorporate large-scale
experiments into the design of mitigation projects. For large
mitigation projects, where several acres of habitat are
scheduled for improvement, it is possible to develop
manipulative experiments to determine a) how altered wetlands
function and b) how to enhance desired functions.
Previously drained prairie potholes and bottomland
hardwoods may provide opportunities to determine how best to
restore altered wetlands. The questions that arise are what
size wetland is necessary to be functional; what plant community
is most effective in supporting the food chain; what
hydrological condition produces that vegetation and food web;
and what configuration and arrangement of individual wetlands is
most effective in attracting wetland-dependent wildlife. With
projects of several thousand acres of wetland, such as the
Garrison Diversion Project or the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska,
subsets of the landscape could be identified for controlled
experiments (see Appendix VIII).
With much smaller projects, much simpler questions can
still be answered, such as what planting scheme will produce the
desired vegetation most quickly. Treatments would vary selected
factors, such as species planted and planting density within
different elevations (hydroperiods), different proximities to
flowing water (hydrologic energy), and different substrate
types. Also, it would be valuable to know under what
circumstances plants would "volunteer" to recolonize an area.
Every mitigation project should be evaluated for its
research potential, especially the opportunity to identify
causes of success or failure. For those that provide such
opportunities EPA should solicit an associated research project.
A portion of the EPA research budget should be reserved to fund
research where the mitigation project lends Itself to good
experimentation and appropriate research projects are proposed.
The main needs are careful design of the experimental aspect of
each project followed by key observations at appropriate
Multi-year investigations are needed. COE, FWS, and EPA
should collaborate to recommend experimental treatments to be
included in each project design. Before the mitigation plan is
approved, it should specify exactly how habitats will be altered
to meet experimental objectives. The opportunity for such
experimentation would generate a request for proposals to follow
the treatments in detail for at least two years and again at the
fifth year after implementation.

The results of these investigations need to be integrated
in a form suitable for use by Regional staff in evaluating the
effectiveness of proposed mitigation projects.

II.C.4.d. Tlae line aod cost Co refine and develop litigation
Experimental work In cooperation with existing mitigation projects
Final handbook of altlgatlon techniques
2 . 3. 
To substantiate the values of target wetlands, those where
the anticipated level of regulated activity most seriously
threatens wetland functions protected by the Clean Water Act and
those for which information is not readily available.
III.A.l. Background
Each of the Regional offices is developing lists of
wetlands that might be appropriate for priority wetland status.
Regions have proposed different numbers of wetlands (from one to
many) for priority status, and they have used different criteria
for inclusion of wetlands. The process of protecting wetlands
under 404(c) is lengthy and labor intensive (Meagher, pers.
Each Regional office (cf. Appendix I) also indicated that
there are unique types of wetlands and unique problems
associated with their Region. Tundra wetlands, pocosins,
montane wetlands, bogs and fens, prairie potholes, vernal pools
and desert seeps are examples of systems for which the hydrology
and biota differ enormously from the most studied ecosystems
(i.e., coastal saline marshes). Thus, there are individual
problems for which extrapolations from existing data are
The research effort should assist in characterizing
functional values of wetlands that require the most detailed
evaluation of permit applications. Those wetland types will
differ with Region and will be determined by a) the pressures
for development, b) the size of the wetland, and c) the degree
to which wetland functions are presently unknown or
III.A.2. Recommendation
The ongoing ecosystem synthesis program of FWS, which
produces "community profiles" of selected wetland types, should
be expanded to include wetland types targeted for special
emphasis by EPA regions. These profiles synthesize existing

information for a wetland type within a large geographical unit.
Ecological attributes are summarized and management
problems/recommendations indicated.	In addition, a
complementary approach is recommended where the new literature
on all wetlands types (all functions) is summarized every two to
four years.
Prairie potholes are one wetland type with high information
demand for improved management. To date, no summaries of
technical information on prairie potholes have been developed.
However, EPA provided partial support for a National Wetland
Technical Council workshop on prairie potholes held in early
November 1985. Eleven review papers will be presented, each of
which will summarize one aspect of prairie pothole wetland
functioning. If the proceedings are not published in their
entirety, this information base may be suitable for summary as a
community profile.

III.A.3. Tine line and cost to produce coranlt? profiles.	COST PER YEAR OF PROGRAM (K/year)
WORK/PRODUCTS	.1.2. 3. A. 5. 6. 7. TOTALS
Produce comnlty profiles for priority wetlands (3 per year)	i i >	'50 J-

EPA has worked closely with COE and FWS in identifying
bottomland hardwood forests as a high priority wetland type.
Rates of habitat loss are high, and impacts of multiple
alterations are accumulating. In Mississippi, EPA and FWS are
collaborating on a project in the Yazoo watershed to examine the
sediment-trapping ability of wetlands, with watershed-level
models being developed to assess the effects of wetland losses
on the landscape.
COE is proposing to focus its 1986-87 research budget on a
selected site within the Mississippi basin. Site selection is
in progress, and detailed ecosystem-level projects are being
planned. All three major wetland functions (water quality,
hydrology, and food chain support) will be examined within a
large site. USGS may assist with some of the hydrological
studies. The wetland-intensive approach is highly complementary
to the function-intensive program of water quality research
recommended. EPA should perform some of the manipulative
experiments within the COE site, as indicated in Section II.
In addition, the proposed studies of DOE in bottomland
hardwood forests at Savannah River, Georgia, are valuable to the
overall characterization of priority wetland types. EPA may
wish to fund some manipulative work at the Savannah River
bottomland hardwoods site.
The bottomland hardwood focus is widely recognized by
Federal Agencies as having high priority for research. It will
be increasingly important for EPA to keep abreast of efforts and
findings. The Interagency Wetlands Coordinating Committee
provides the structure for such interactions.
USGS and COE are viewed as having responsibility for
undertaking detailed studies of wetland hydrology, and FWS is
seen as having responsibility for quantifying food chain support
functions. These are important areas for research, but it is
not recommended that EPA spread its resources over all functions
in all wetland types.
It Is recommended that FWS continue to develop data bases
support for wetland community profiles. It may be desirable for
EPA to assist with funding for selected wetland types,
especially where EPA-funded research provides or has provided a
major contribution.

The Association of State Wetland Managers has tentatively
scheduled a workshop on wetland hydrologic functions for late
1985/early 1986. The workshop will provide an opportunity for
personnel from all the regulatory agencies to update their
understanding of wetland hydrology.
To identify in the field the geographical boundaries of
wetlands falling under the jurisdiction of Section 404 of the
Clean Water Act.
III.D.l. Background
The COE has been developing a multiparameter approach for
identifying and delineating wetlands under the 404 program. EPA
has been developing a similar methodology (Sipple, EPA, pers.
comm.). It is recommended that the COE and EPA continue this
effort jointly to establish a mutually acceptable methodology.
The FWS and SCS have developed a list of wetland plants and a
list of hydric soils, respectively, which will be very useful
input to any joint COE-EPA methodology. The FWS is also
developing a study plan to address how their wetland plant list
can be used to define wetlands under their classification system
(Cowardin et al. 1979).
III.D.2. Objective
Acquire the ability to respond to information needs as
controversies develop over wetland boundary determinations.
III.D.2.a. Recommendation
Scientific consensusing can be effective in determining
what habitats function as wetlands. Regional offices should
call upon scientists who receive EPA funding (e.g., through
individual grants and Centers of Excellence) to provide
expertise in identifying wetlands. In coastal areas, scientists
who work with Sea Grant Funding are expected to disseminate
research findings to agencies; they are an additional source of

III.D.2.b. Future approaches
Field Survey: Coordinated study of soils, vegetation,
fauna, and hydrology along transitions from wetland to upland
should be encouraged in wetlands where controversies develop.
Ephemeral wetlands are most likely to be contested because
hydrological evidence of wetland status is not always present.
The boundaries of riparian areas, particularly western riparian
areas, are also difficult to discern, because functional values
often extend beyond the area of hydric soils.
Experimental Research: Testing of selected hydrophytes
for obligate wetland status will be needed if the FWS plant
species list, or EPA's draft jurisdictional methodology, which
relies to large extent on obligate hydrophytes, are contested.
Obligate status of plants (a "red flag" feature) can identify
wetland boundaries in regions where hydrological data are
difficult to obtain (e.g., seasonal wetlands) and where hydric
soils have not developed (e.g., recent alluvial fans).
To insure that EPA can evaluate individual wetland
decisions within a framework of national priorities.
III.E.l. Recommendation
No new funding is suggested for the purpose of developing
new assessment methodology. Assessment strategies have already
been reviewed repeatedly (e.g., Whigham and Brinson 1985), and
COE has undertaken an effort to refine, computerize and test the
FHWA Technique, which is deemed most suitable for wetland value
assessment. Although scientists remain critical of the method,
it is the most thorough system available, and it requires
evaluation of all three major wetland functions (water quality,
hydrology, and food chain support). Some States have already
tailored the FHWA Technique for their own wetland types; others
are in the process of modifying it. The research proposed in
Section II., especially Section II.A., will contribute to the
refinement of the FHWA Technique. However, maximum benefit will
be derived only if refinement of the technique proceeds in
parallel with the research, not in a "leap-frogging" manner,
i.e., conduct research, incorporate data into method, do more
research, etc. The assessment method should be considered in
the planning of the research and during its evolution, not only
at its conclusion.

EPA is providing some support of regional workshops being
carried out by the National Wetlands Technical Council. Each of
the seven workshops has as its goal the evaluation of scientific
literature utilized in the FHWA Technique. Assuming that the
method is only as good as the information available for its use,
the scientific evaluation of the literature base will identify
major data gaps and indicate where the FHWA Technique is
inadequate due to lack of information.
To provide visible, authoritative, and scientifically
credible information on major wetlands issues of concern to EPA.
Use existing expertise to:
1)	Expand COE training sessions to include additional staff
from EPA and other agencies.
2)	List and describe the existing data bases on wetlands
and how to use them.
3)	Develop workshops where agency staff members and
scientists exchange information and experiences.
4)	Pass funding to FWS to develop and distribute "Community
Profiles" of target wetlands.
5)	Appoint a representative to sit on the Interagency
Wetland Coordinating Committee and keep abreast of developments
in all EPA wetlands research programs. This person would also
chair the technical advisory panel for water quality
experimentation and guide the development of reports and
broad-scale information syntheses.

The research plan focuses on three major information needs:
*	Quantifying the water quality functions of freshwater
*	Assessing the cumulative impacts of incremental habitat
losses, and
*	Determining how mitigation projects can lessen the
impact of habitat loss.
The following tables summarize the time lines and cost for the
work/products presented in the text of the research plan.
Other areas of important research have been and should
continue to be the focus of other agencies. Field studies of
selected wetlands (e.g., long-term analyses of bottomland
hardwoods), food chain support functions, hydrological functions
(i.e., flood storage and modification of ground water recharge
and discharge), are important areas for research; and it is
essential for all agencies to agree on wetland delineations and
value assessment methods. It is not recommended that the EPA
research program emphasize these areas of study.
Implementation of this research plan will require extensive
coordination between Regions, as well as between EPA and other
Federal agencies, State agencies and the university community.
The research will need to be coordinated by someone or some
office who has a good working relationship with these groups.
Furthermore, since many of the proposed activities will involve
long-term projects and manipulative experiments, this
coordinating function will need to have continuity.

Assess the aggregated role of wetlands In altering the quality of water
in receiving water for selected ecoreglona.
Report on feasibility of coablnlng watershed data across entire ecoreglona
Report on assessment of Importance of wetlands to receiving water
quality for 2-4 ecoreglona
Produce techniques for evaluating the role of individual wetlands in
¦Irorlng receiving water quality on a watershed basis.
Plan and construct artificial and In situ aesocosas for experimental
work ( A Indicates that these aesocosas are required for the work/product)
COB bottoaland hardwood site
Two additional In altu and two artificial aeaocosas
Provisional wetland rate aodel for uptake, transforastlon and releaae
of N6P by different typea of wetlanda (baaed on literature)
Provisional watershed aodel of effect of wetlands on N&P in
receiving water (based on literature)
~ Validate aodels and collect additional data aa necessary
COB bottoaland hardwood site
Two additional in situ and two artificial aesocosas
+ Final wetland rate aodel for uptake, transforastlon and release of
N&P by different wetland types (based on new data)
^ Pinal watershed aodel of effect of wetlands and N6P In receiving
water (based on new data)
Define slaple decision criteria for evaluating water quality
functions of individual wetlands
100 . 250 50
' ¦ ¦ >
- 475
25, *5° »
50 . 125,
50 150
1 ¦ I
100. 100
50 . 400 . 400.
J	»
u 1725

WATER QUALITY (continued)
Conceptual wetland rate model for guiding research experiments
h	Collect data on uptake, transformation and release of organic
chemlcala by different wetland types
COE bottomland hardwood site
Two additional In altu and two artificial aesocosms
^	Final wetland rate model on uptake, transformation and release
of organic chealcals by wetland types
Watershed models for organic chemicals by modifying nutrient watershed
models as necessary
~	Validate models
Define staple decision criteria for evaluating water quality
functions of Individual wetlanda.
Determine residue analysis for selected organic chemicals
Bvaluatlon of interactions between organic chealcals and nutrients
for use In water quality models
I^iact assessment for effects of organic chealcals on
wetland vegetation
1.2. 3. 
WATER QUALITY (continued)
METALS (All 9 asauae funding organic chealcals)
Conceptual wetland rate aodel for guiding reaeareh experiments
~	Collect data on uptake, transforsatIon and release of aetala
by different wetland types
COE bottomland hardwood site
Two additional In altu and two artificial nesocoaos
~	Final wetland rate aodel on uptake, tranaforaatlon and releaae
of aetata by wetland types
Watershed aodela for aetals by aodlfylng nutrient watershed
¦odeIs as necessary
*	Validate aodela
Define alaple decision criteria for evaluating water quality
functions of Individual wetlands
Determine residue analyala for selected aetala
Evaluation of Interactions between heavy aetals, and nutrients and
organic chemicals for use in water quality aodels«
lapact aaaeaaaent for effects of heavy aetala on wetland
™ - 100 - >
50 . 200 . 200
- 1300
100 100 50
¦ ¦ » I
50 . 25
150 • 150 - ,
200 . 200 . 50 . |	450
150 150 150	_ «50

Determine best strategy for documenting acreage loas (permits vs. aerial
Deteralne feasibility of developing aodela to relate functional loss
to acreage loss
Develop historical data base of vetland loss for selected Regions
Field studies to document relationship between functional loas and
acreage loss; to Identify spatial patterns and ilnloii acreages to
support selected wetland functions*
Model to assess cumulative functional loss*
Survey past mitigation projects to determine If they met stated goals
Provisional handbook of mitigation techniques for different wetland
Experimental work In cooperation with mitigation projects
Final handbook of mitigation techniques
Produce community profiles for priority wetlands (3 per year)
1 i2i3*4(5«6«7»
250 . 250 . 100 . ,
25 . 500 . 500 .
150 .
50 300 300 300
30 30 30 30 30
		>	a	m	a

150 h 150

Adamus, P.R. 1983. A method for wetland functional assessment.
U.S. Dept. of Transportation Report FHWA-1P-82-83,
Vol. I, 176 pp., and Vol. II, 139 pp. Washington, D.C.
Ambuel, B. and S.A. Temple. 1983. Area-dependent changes in
the bird communities and vegetation of southern
Wisconsin forests. Ecology 64:1057-1068.
Bretthauer, Erich. 1985. Letter from Erich Bretthauer, Dir.
Office of Environmental Processes and Effects Research
Brinson, M.M., H.D. Bradshaw and E.S. Kane. 1981. Nitrogen
Cycling and Assimilative Capacity of Nitrogen and
Phosphorus by Riverine Wetland Forests. Report No.
167, Water Resources Research Institute of University
of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C. 90 pp.
Brinson, M.M., H.D. Bradshaw and E.S. Kane. 1984. Nutrient
assimilative capacity of an alluvial floodplain swamp.
J. Applied Ecology 21: 1041-1057
Brown, J.H. 1978. The theory of insular biogeography and the
distribution of boreal birds and mammals. Great Basin
Nat. Mem. 2:209-227.
Burns, L.A. 1985. Models for predicting the fate of synthetic
chemicals in aquatic ecosystems, p. 176-190. In: T.P.
Boyle (ed.), Validation and Predictability of
Laboratory Methods for Assessing the Fate and Effects
of Contaminents in Aquatic Ecosystems. American Soc.
for Testing "and Mat., Philadelphia, PA.
Burns, L.A. and R.B. Taylor, III. 1979. Nutrient-uptake model
in marsh ecosystems. Journal of the Technical
Councils, ASCE, Vol. 105, TCI, Proc. Paper 14540,
April, 1979, pp. 177-196.
Charles A. Menzie and Associates. 1985. Technical information
and research needs to support a national estuarine
research strategy. Prepared for the Environmental
Protection Agency under subcontract F-4153 (8834)-451
with Battelle Columbus Laboratories. 171 pp.

Clairain, E.J., Jr., D.R. Sanders, Sr., H.K. Smith and C.V.
Klimas. 1985. Wetlands Functions and Values Study
Plan Technical Report Y-83-2, U.S. Army Engineer
Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.
Cowardin, L.M., V. Carter, F.C. Golet and E.T. LaRoe. 1979.
Classification of wetland and deepwater habitats of the
United States. U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv. FWS/OBS-79/31.
103 pp.
Davis, David G. March 13, 1985. Memo to Erich Bretthauer,
Dir., Office of Environmental Processes and Effects
Dickerman, J.A., A.J. Stewart and J.C. Lance. 1985. The impact
of wetlands on the movement of water and nonpoint
pollutants from agricultural watersheds. A report to
the Soil Conservation Service. USDA ARS Water Quality
and Watershed Research Laboratory, Durant, Oklahoma.
Division of Biological Services Research and Development, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. 1984. Wetland Research and
Development 5-year Plan.
Ewel, K.C. and S.E. Bayley. 1978. Cypress strand receiving
sewage at Waldo, p. 750-801. In: H.T.Odum and K.C.
Ewel (Princ. Invest.), Cypress Wetlands for Water
Management, Recycling and Conservation. Fourth Annual
Report to National Science Foundation.
Giblin, A.E. 1982. Comparisons of the processing of elements
by ecosystems. II. Metals, pp. Il-i - 11-24.
Ecosystems Research Report No. 21, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY.
Giesy, John P., Jr. (ed.) 1980. Microcosms in Ecological
Research. Technical Information Center, U.S.
Department of Energy. NTIS C0NF-781101,
Springfield, VA.
Harris, L.D. 1984. The fragmented forest: island biogeography
and the preservation of biotic diversity. Univ. of
Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 211 pp.
Hart, J.F. 1982. The highest form of the geographer's art.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
72(1): 1-29.
Kelly, John R. 1984. Microcosms for studies of sediment-water
interactions. Ecosystem Research Center, Cornell Univ.
Report No. ERC-030.

Kuenzler, E.J., P.J. Mulholland, L.A. Yarbro and L.A. Smock.
1980. Distributions and Budgets of Carbon, Phosphorus,
Iron and Manganese in a Floodplain Swamp Ecosystem.
Report No. 157, Water Resources Research Institute of
University of North Carolina, Raleigh. 234 pp.
Leonard, R.I., E.J. Clairain, Jr., R.T. Huffman, J.W. Hardy,
L.D. Brown, P.E. Ballard and J.W. Watts. 1981.
Analysis of methodologies used for the assessment of
wetland values. U.S. Water Resources Council.
Washington, D.C. 68 pp.
Meagher, John. Assumed date, 1985. FY1987b Wetlands Research
Initiative. EPA, Washington, D.C.
Murkin, H.R., B.D.J. Batt, P.J. Caldwell, C.B. Davis, J.A.
Kadlec and A.G. van der Valk. 1985. Perspectives on
the Delta Waterfowl Research Station--Ducks Unlimited
Canada Marsh Ecology Research Program. Trans. N. Amer.
Wildl. and Natur. Resour. Conf. 49:253-261.
Nichols, D.A. 1983. Capacity of natural wetlands to remove
nutrients from wastewater. J. Wat. Poll. Cont. Fed.
Nixon, S.W. and V. Lee. In press. Wetlands and water quality:
a regional review of recent research in the United
States on the role of freshwater and saltwater wetlands
as sources, sinks, and transformers of nitrogen,
phosphorus, and various heavy metals. Prepared by
University of Rhode Island for U.S. Army Engineer
Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.
Picton, H.D. 1979. The appliction of insular biogeography
theory to the conservation of large mammals in the
northern Rocky Mountains. Biol. Conserv. 15: 73-79.
Reddy, K.R. 1984. Nitrogen transformations and loss in flooded
soils and sediments. CRC Crit. Rev. Env. 13:273-309.
Richardson, C. In press. Biogeochemical cycling in freshwater
wetlands: a landscape perspective. In: Scient. Comm.
on Prob. of the Env. (SCOPE), Ecosystem Dynamics in
Freshwater Wetlands. UNESCO.
Richardson, C. 1985. Mechanisms controlling phosphorus
retention capacity in freshwater wetlands.
Science 228: 1424-1427.

Robbins, C.S. 1979. Effects of forest fragmentation on bird
populations, p. 198-212. In: R.M. DeGraaf and K.E.
Evans (eds.). Management of north central and north
eastern forests for nongame birds. Forest Service
General Technical Report NC-51, North Central Forest
Experimental Station, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sharazi, M.A. and J.W. Hart. 1984. A unifying scaler for
bioassay tests. ISEM Journal 6: 25-53.
Sather, H. and P.J.R. Stuber, tech. coords. 1984. Proceedings
of the National Wetland Values Assessment Workshop.
U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv., Western Energy and Land Use
Team. FWS/OBS-84/12. 100 pp.
Thomas, D.W. 1983. Changes in Columbia River Estuary habitat
types over the past century. Columbia River Estuary
Data Development Program. 51 pp.
Warren, C.E. 1979. Toward classification and rationale for
watershed management and stream protection.
Witmer, D. In press. Assessing cumulative impacts to wetlands.
Presented at the National Wetland Assessment Symposium
held at Portland, Maine, June 17-20, 1985.
Whigham, D.F. and M.M. Brinson. In press. Wetland value
impacts. In: S. Jorgenson (ed.), Ecosystem dynamics in
freshwater wetlands and shallow bodies of water.
John Wiley.

As part of the information gathering phase of this research
plan 404 personnel at each of EPA's Regional Offices were
interviewed. Four types of information were obtained and are
summarized here:
1)	A description of the permit review process,
2)	Recommendations for research that would augment the
permit review process,
3)	Major concerns relative to the Region, and
4)	Research in the Region.
EPA becomes involved in the permitting process when a
public notice is distributed by a local COE district. EPA
personnel work closely with personnel from COE, FWS, National
Marine Fisheries Service, and State and local agencies. Because
of the size of the Regions and limited travel funds, the EPA
personnel do not make site visits for most permit requests.
They typically obtain site information from the FWS and/or State
agencies, which very often have offices near the site in
question. In some of the Regions, the agencies Involved in
permit review will meet monthly. One will be responsible for
visiting the site and preparing a presentation for the meeting,
Including slides.
For larger or more controversial projects there will often
be an Interagency meeting at the site. This meeting will
include FWS, COE, the State, the applicant and EPA.
A typical response to a public notice would describe the
project and where information about the project and/or site was
obtained. The evaluation of the permit would be structured
around the 404b(l) Guidelines. Section 230.10 is critical to
this evaluation; COE is required to deny permits that do not
comply with 230.10. There are four broad conditions to
1) Is there an alternative? This includes consideration
of whether or not the project is water dependent.

2)	Does the proposed project violate any water quality
3)	Does the project contribute to the degradation of the
waters of the United States? This includes adverse
effects on aquatic life and wetland dependent wildlife,
on the diversity of life, and on the productivity and
stability of the system.
4)	Have the potential impacts been minimized?
Then it will be recommended that the permit be approved, denied
or approved on the condition that modifications, as outlined in
the evaluation, be made.
The Regional personnel often had similar recommendations
for research in the areas which became the major components of
this plan. Their recommendations are summarized below.
B.1. Water Quality
It is difficult to document the potential water quality effects
of a project.
What is the role of wetlands in the status of water quality?
How does this change with season? How would the receiving body
be affected if the wetlands were removed?
Wetlands are targeted as clean up areas for a watershed. How
well do they function in this role? What features are critical
to this function?
What is the role of wetlands in controlling the concentrations
of agricultural pollutants and sediment loads in streams?, in
mediating nonpoint sources of pollution?
How might small, isolated wetlands act to improve water quality?
In particular, bogs, fens and prairie potholes were mentioned.
What is the role of the small, urban wetland in flood control
and water quality?

B.2. Cumulative Impacts
How can cumulative impacts be assessed?, predicted? How broad
of a point of view must be taken?
How does the piecemeal loss associated with small projects
affect an area? Suspect that the cumulative impact of the
incremental, small losses of wetlands result in a significant
resource loss.
What is the relationship between wetlands in a watershed? How
do upstream wetlands influence the functioning of coastal
wetlands, fisheries? What is the effect of eliminating the
export of material from upstream? One can miss the real
importance of a wetland if it is viewed in isolation. The
impact of a loss is most important in relation to the loss of
function within the "system", i.e., watershed, ecoregion,
There is a need for a data base which will track acreage of
wetlands lost and still remaining by wetland type and functional
B.3. Mitigation
Projects to repair or replace wetlands are difficult to plan,
monitor and evaluate. Moreover, it is becoming more difficult
to suggest that alternative sites be considered for projects.
People want to use the land they have. An increasing number of
permit requests are being received that propose mitigation "up
front". Furthermore, they suggest that the mitigation will
create a situation that is better than what exists.
Information is needed on how to advise the planning of
mitigation projects. This includes:
*	What are the elements of a good plan?
*	What has worked and not worked? What has been the
relative success with different wetland types,
techniques? How far away from the site of the permitted
activity can mitigation be allowed and realistically
mitigate for the loss?
*	What is a reasonable time line for follow-up? When is
a project termed successful?

Other concerns relative to mitigation are:
*	How can degraded areas be improved? Knowledge about the
success of restoring and creating wetlands can be
applied to the estimation of the "potential" value of
degraded wetlands.
*	How can mitigation fit in to management decisions? Is
mitigation a viable way to manage wetland loss?
*	How do the functions of restored and created wetlands
compare with natural systems?
It is difficult to track down the adverse impacts of a project,
especially in regards to flood control (reduction in peak flood,
frequency and severity of flooding), modification of ground
water recharge and discharge, biological values, and aesthetics.
Forested wetlands, which are common in the Region, are
considered lower in value than other types. This point of view
may not be justified. For example, the controversy over the
permit to build a shopping mail in Sweeden's swamp is of this
type. Moreover, the claim is made that forested wetlands have
little influence on water quality because the water mostly
remains in the channel.
Need information on the effects of peat mining in Maine. What
sorts of conditions should be attached to permit requests? How
does this activity affect water quality?, flood control? How
can these areas be restored? What are the values of a natural
peat area?
Need a synthesis of information on channelization, highway
construction, and impoundments for both large and small
Region 2
There is a growing pressure for developing the freshwater
wetlands in northwest New Jersey for shopping malls and housing.
Need simple wetland delineation techniques, and ways to assess
functional values.

Ability to assess the cumulative effects of the piecemeal loss
of wetlands is critical. New Jersey is a particular problem.
The mangrove swamps of Puerto Rico need investigation. They are
under increasing pressure for development.
Region 3
In areas with great development pressure there is a potential
for water quality problems due to the increased use of septic
tanks. Research on the use of wetlands in wastewater treatment
would be useful, both in relation to the water quality problem
and as a mechanism to preserve wetlands.
The construction of impoundments is a current issue. The loss
of wetlands is important in itself, however, there is an
additional concern about how these dams affect the watershed as
a whole, and, in particular, how they influence the productivity
of the coastal systems downstream. In the evaluation of such a
permit it is customary to check the proportion of the wetlands
within the watershed that have already been affected by
impoundments. Need to document how eliminating the material
exported from upstream wetlands impacts systems downstream.
Often agricultural drainage channels empty into wetlands. It
would be important to know how the receiving body would be
affected if the wetlands were removed, and how this changed with
the season.
There are a number of small, isolated bogs and wetlands in the
Region. It has been proposed that peat bogs in Pennsylvania and
West Virginia be used to receive acid mine drainage. In
Pennsylvania these small wetlands are used to polish the salt
brine generated from blowouts of old, oil wells. It would be
important to know how these wetlands might act to purify water,
and how they might affect groundwater recharge.
Region 4
There are efforts to reimpound old rice fields in North
Carolina, South Carolina and Florida for use in aquaculture and
duck hunting. About 40% of South Carolina's coastal wetlands
are behind impoundment dikes. This takes a sizeable amount of
land out of the base that supports the coastal fisheries.
Pocosins, which occur in coastal North Carolina, are under great
pressure from agriculture and peat mining interests. These
wetlands may be important to the quality of the local aquifers.
As the pocosins have been drained and converted to farmland,
farm associated pollutants have been getting into the aquifers
and surface waters.

What are the impacts of agricultural pollutants? How are these
related to the loss of wetlands?
What are the impacts associated with the release of drilling
muds in tidal areas? How would this activity affect the area's
fisheries? How might it influence the hydrology? Presently, in
the Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound area no such discharge can be
made within three miles of the shore. Due to the discovery of
natural gas, there is growing pressure to change the policy so
that drilling could proceed up into the Delta.
Region 5
It is very difficult to document potential water quality
effects. Projects along the shore of Lake Michigan, for
instance, are often so small in relation to the size of the
system that it is meaningless to attempt to describe possible
water quality effects from a single project. Cumulative losses
exist, but can only be roughly predicted. Moreover, further
loss of littoral habitat should be minimized.
The Region is Interested in the prairie potholes and Savage Fen
in Minnesota. They are examining the possibility of applying
404c restrictions to Savage Fen. It is a large calcareous fen
that covers an area of approximately 40 acres. JRB Associates
is doing a groundwater study of the area for EPA with the goal
of documenting how changes in the hydrology might affect the
biota and the quality of water in local wells.
Other concerns are the loss of littoral habitat and the effects
of channelization.
Region 6
The most common types of impacts to this Region's wetlands occur
as a result of the clearing of land for agricultural conversion,
oil and gas exploration and production, building of marinas, and
residential and commercial development.
Currently, the loss of marshland along the Louisiana coast is
getting much attention. A number of factors contribute to this
loss—the decreased input of sediment from the Mississippi River
due to the construction of levies, subsidence, activities
associated with the energy industry, digging of canals, the rise
in sea level. The Region, along with other agencies, is
Interested in finding ways to slow these losses. The EPA Office
of Policy Analysis and the Louisiana Geological Survey sponsored
and led a workshop to discuss the problem. Representatives from
federal, state and local agencies were invited. A research plan

is being developed which will be used as a guide to solicit bids
for research.
Bottomland hardwoods are another major focus of concern, in
particular, the mitigation of losses.
In general, the isolated and degraded wetlands are the hardest
to protect. It is argued that since a wetland is isolated or
degraded it is of low value. Therefore, it would be important
to know what function(s) these wetlands are performing and had
the potential to perform.
Region 7
The herbaceous wetlands of the Rainwater Basin and the Sandhill
Wetlands of Nebraska have been impacted through conversion to
agriculture. These areas are used heavily by migrating birds.
In addition, they may have a significant water quality function.
Would like to have information on their connection with the
area's groundwater and how their water quality function might
influence the pollution problems associated with agricultural
Need information on how to restore wetlands that have been
filled or drained.
The forested and riparian wetland in Missouri are impacted by
channelization projects. The practice is to straighten streams
by cutting through the meanders. Would like to know how this
affects the hydrology, especially flooding, and water quality of
the entire system.
Region 8
Prairie potholes (primarily in the Dakotas) are currently at the
focus of many controversial issues. Not much quantitative
information is available. However, of the four wetland types
listed here the prairie potholes are recieving the most
attention. USGS studies of their hydrology have documented
their importance in flood control. However, we still need to
know how their functions change seasonally, particularly with
respect to hydrology and water quality, and how they relate to
the functioning of the watershed.
The riparian systems of the Colorado River and its tributaries,
and the Platte and the Arkansas Rivers are of interest. Need to
know the functional values of such systems, particularly how
they might protect in-stream water quality. It is felt that
they are an important buffer, but they don't receive much

attention. In arid areas, like much of this Region, they may
serve a unique function.
Montane wetlands (at >9000 feet in elevation) are being greatly
impacted by development of ski areas, summer homes and highways.
Feel they may be critical to flood control, in protecting water
quality and as habitat. There is no hydrologic data available
for such systems, but EPA is faced with evaluating projects that
will divert water from these areas. Many of these systems are
important water supplies for urban areas. Although the pH of
precipitation in the area is lower than expected, the lakes
typically have a low buffering capacity. Therefore, the acid
deposition may be critical even at low levels because of the
local water chemistry. Those lakes with vegetated areas seem to
have a better buffering capacity. This suggests a role for
wetlands in the buffering of acid deposition.
Urban wetlands around Denver and Salt Lake City are subject to
great pressure from development projects. These are typically
small wetlands, often riparian. Very little is known about
their role in general, therefore, it is difficult to predict the
impact of eliminating them. Their value may be unique because
of their proximity to the isolated, population centers of the
Region 9
Although the planning of effective mitigation projects is of
general concern, there has been such a great loss of wetlands in
the Region that there are literally no places left to mitigate
for proposed losses.
What is the relation of the coastal wetlands to the fisheries of
this Region? This issue has been explored by research done on
the East coast, but the results obtained in studies outside the
Region do not often apply to the situation on the West coast.
Introduced species are a problem in this area. Dr. Michael
Josselyn had proposed to study the impact of an introduced
species of Spartina in San Francisco Bay. The proposal was
not funded by EPA. However, the problem of introduced species
remains. In some areas they have replaced native vegetation. A
possible mitigation project could be designed around the removal
of these species from areas and replacing them with native
There are several types of wetlands that are unique in this
1) Vernal pools. Little is known about them. Defining
them as wetlands and delineating their boundaries are problems.

It is hard to have COE take any action to protect them. Suspect
they may be important to waterfowl.
2)	Riparian systems. Riparian systems in this Region are
special because they are not widespread and they occur in an
arid area. They are primarily associated with the Lower Colorado
River and the Humboldt River.
3)	Diked wet1ands. These occur mostly in the San
Francisco area. They were formerly salt marshes that since
being diked have become seasonal, freshwater marshes. It has
been suggested that they substitute for freshwater wetlands
being eliminated in the Imperial Valley. More needs to be known
about these systems. They have been suggested as mitigation for
other projects, so there is the problem of deciding whether they
should be returned to tidally flushing systems or remain
freshwater systems.
4)	Anchaline ponds in Hawaii. These are depressions in
relatively new lava which receive a mix of fresh and salt water.
The water level will rise and fall with the tides due to the
intrusion of salt water through the lava. They have an
algae-based food chain, and contain shrimp and fish. An area of
the coast where they are found is threatened with development.
A Sheraton complex that is being proposed will wipe out 30% of
that island's pools. Very little is known about them—how
broadly they are found in the island chain or what unique
species might be found in them.
5)	Mangroves. The primary wetland type in the territories
is mangrove swamp. Little is known about them. They have not
been inventoried.
Region 10
Forested wetlands and riparian zones in the Region are the
wetland types most threatened and least understood.
In Alaska there tends to be a net loss of wetlands because there
is little resoration or creation. Since so much of the state is
pristine it is difficult to find areas to mitigate for a
project. One approach being considered is the use of mitigation
banking. However, there is still the fundamental problem of how
one creates or reclaims tundra or bog.

Region 1
A project is being conducted at Narragansett in conjunction with
COE. They are testing dredge material for pollutant uptake and
are developing short term bioassays.
Have recently contracted with Metcalf and Eddy to survey past
mitigation projects, evaluate the success rate and make
recommendations on ways to improve mitigation^
Region 2
No specific research at this time.
Region 3
The Region has funded Dr. Bill Odum to do a functional
assessment of eight areas on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. He
will use the FHWA Technique in the evaluation process.
The State of Delaware is sponsoring a study to evaluate the
relative effectiveness of wetlands vs bulkheads in shoreline
Region 4
The Region is supporting a study of bottomland hardwoods.
Initially, the program was aimed at determining what practices
EPA could ask COE to implement on Federal projects that would
minimize sediment release to streams and protect forested
wetlands. Research was funded to investigate how sediment
inputs were related to the type of vegetation covering an area.
The work was being done at COE's Waterway Experiment Station and
included modelling. The next step will be to examine the
process of sediment transport during overbank flooding.
Although the project began with a limited study, the work is
viewed in the context of broader goals. The first objective is
to determine how best to protect the remaining fragments of
bottomland hardwoods that exist in the Mississippi Delta. The
second is to determine what remedial measures can be applied to
solve the sediment loading problems in the area. And the third
is to explore the possibility of making land that is no longer
used for farming available for restoration. EPA believes that
the protection of the forested areas will be enhanced if they

can show with good data that these systems function in sediment
Region 4 is also investigating the use of freshwater wetlands in
wastewater management. They have recently published the first
phase of an Environmental Impact Statement. This report is a
comprehensive synopsis of institutional, scientific and
engineering considerations associated with wetlands wastewater
management systems in the Southeast. There are approximately
400 systems in existence where wastewater is diverted into a
freshwater wetland.
Region 5
For a forthcoming generic environmental impact statement, Region
5 is currently studying the use of wetlands in water treatment.
This will be a needed tool for decision makers. A literature
review of wetland evaluation methodologies has already been
Field studies have been initiated to examine the impacts and
long-term changes associated with the diversion of wastewater
through wetlands. The work has been committed for two seasons.
USGS is doing the hydrological work for EPA. The biological
study will soon begin.
An aerial photo analysis of wastewater impacts on wetlands has
been completed. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois
were included in the study. Archive, as well as new photos were
used to document a history. Preliminary analysis shows that
over the long-term these wetlands tend to go to cattails ( Typha
spp.). There is some indication that what was there originally
and how it was distributed will also influence the changes that
occur with the introduction of wastewater.
Region 6
There is no research by EPA ongoing in the Region. However, a
research plan for investigating the losses of Louisiana
coastline is being developed, as described above.
Region 7
Have implemented a project to target areas in the Rainwater
Basin which are important to the bird migrations. Would like to
study the economics of filling vs not filling a wetland. Feel
that with the current low price of corn that filling wetlands is
probably no longer profitable.

Region 8
The Region has requested money to support a study of the
seasonal water quality functions of prairie potholes and their
relationship with the surrounding watershed.
Would like to develop an initiative on riparian systems with the
Bureau of Land Management and FWS.
Funded the development of a community profile of the montane
wetlands in the Region.
Region 9
A current research project will map the wetlands of San
Francisco Bay. This process is especially important in the
South Bay where development pressure is greatest.
Aerial photographs and ground-truthing will be used. Maps will
be generated using the FWS computer system in Slidell,
Louisiana. The maps will be produced with overlays to indicate
various features of the area, e.g., vegetation type, zoning.
Region 10
The Region is involved in the advanced identification of areas
in anticipation of oil and gas development in Alaska. The
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, Section
1002, provides for comprehensive and continuing inventory and
assessment of the fish and wildlife resources on the coastal
plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the analysis
of impacts of gas and oil exploration, development and
production in these areas. In response, the Comprehensive
Planning Initiative for the North Slope of Alaska was initiated
by COE.
A recently published document reviews ongoing studies on the
North Slope to ascertain if the scope of the existing work could
serve to accomplish COE's goal to initiate a comprehensive plan.
These studies are being done by a number of federal, state and
local agencies. As part of the program, EPA's Alaska mapping
project will develop a method for the production of aerial
photographic interpretation keys for the identification of
Arctic wetland habitats from color infrared photographs. This
project was designed to provide support for site specific
assessments of the Arctic Coastal Plain necessary for meeting
Section 404 review capabilities.

Summary of: Division of Biological Services Research and
Development, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1984. WETLAND
Obtained From: Lee Ischinger, Leader, Wetland Ecology Group,
Western Energy and Land Use Team, USFWS, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
Summarized By: J. Zedler.
Timespan of Plan: 1986-90.
Purpose of Plan: To provide information and capabilities in
support of the National Wetland Inventory [this involves wetland
delineation and wetland value assessment] and Habitat Resources
[this involves information and technologies needed for
conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and
their habitats].
Special Provisions:
Division of Biological Services will "continue to work in
close cooperation with other governmental and private
agencies...in the management of wetland ecosystems."
Refers to the Interagency Agreement between EPA and FWS
regarding NEPA compliance, environmental review and 404 permit
A.	Wetland delineation
1.	Complete and maintain data bases (e.g., Wetland
Plant Species List)
2.	Develop, refine and test methods for wetland
3.	Train Service personnel in wetland classification
and delineation
B.	Assessing wetland functions and values
1. Maintain Wetland Values Bibliographic Database

2.	Fill data gaps that were identified in the 1983
workshop on the National Wetland Values Assessment
Procedure (Adamus method or WET)
a.	Quantify relationships between hydrological
regimes and biotic communities (includes water
b.	Determine food chain support functions of inland
c.	Determine critical habitat attributes for fish
& wildlife
d.	Assess socio-economic values of wetland biotic
3.	Train staff in use of Wetland Values Database
C.	Evaluate wetland impacts associated with wetland uses
(permits, licenses, etc.)...i.e., assessing or
predicting changes
1.	Develop supplemental bibliographic data base on
wetland impacts
2.	Generate techniques to assess impacts (e.g.,
Community Modeling of Impacts of Santee-Cooper
project on bottomland hardwoods—this project
predicts effects resulting from spoil deposition,
fire, clearing, and hydrological modification);
simulation models are emphasized to complement
hydrologic and water quality work of COE and EPA
3.	Train staff in use of data base and impact
D.	Improve wetland habitat management
1.	Develop bibliographic data base on creation,
restoration and mitigation and management of
2.	Assess and evaluate existing methods; design and
test new methods
3.	Train staff in use of mitigation/restoration data

Summary of: Clairain, E.J., Jr., D.R. Sanders, Sr., H.K. Smith
and C.V. Klimas. 1985. Wetlands Functions and Values Study Plan,
Technical Report Y-83-2, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment
Station, Vicksburg, Miss.
Obtained From: Ellis J. Clairain, Jr., U.S. Army Engineer
Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS 39180
Summarized By: M. Kentula
Timespan of Plan: 1985-89
Purpose of Plan: To guide a multiyear research effort that
will develop methods for quantifying wetlands values.
National Wetlands Functions and Values Research Priorities: The
priorities listed were reproduced from Table 21 of the research
1	Bottomland hardwoods (Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts
and Interior: Midcentral)
o Synthesis study of hydrologic functions
2	Bottomland hardwoods, including swamps (Gulf and
South Atlantic Coasts and Interior: Midcentral)
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nutrient uptake
o Denitrification
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Detrital export
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota
o Waterfowl habitat
3	Freshwater marshes (Interior: North Central-Great
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nurtient uptake
o Denitrification
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Detrital export
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota

Estuarine marshes (North Atlantic)
o Synthesis study of water quality functions
Swamps (North Atlantic)
o Synthesis study of ground-water
Estuarine marshes (Pacific Coast)
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nutrient uptake
o Denitirfication
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Detrital export
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota
Swamps (North Atlantic)
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Nutrient uptake
o Denitrification
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Detrital export
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota
Riparian forests (Interior: Desert Steppe)
o Winter habitat for big game species
Tundra (Alaska)
o Ground-water recharge discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nutrient uptake
o Denitrification
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Detrital export
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota
o Migratory waterfowl habitat
Pocosins (Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts)
o Hydrology
o Water Quality
Freshwater tidal marshes and swamps (Gulf and South
Atlantic Coasts and North Atlantic)
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota

12	Prairie potholes (Interior: North Central-Great
o Hydrology
o Water Quality
13	Altered wetlands (Pacific Coast)
o Hydrology
o Water quality
o Fish and wildlife
These studies will be conducted for all implemented research
priorities. The studies will be implemented when investigated
functions are better understood. Both monetary and nonmonetary
values assessments will be investigated.
Other indentified research needs are presented below by
region, wetland type, and function. No attempt was made to
assign priorities to these needs.
Region 1 - Alaska
o Habitat for migratory waterfowl
Estuarine marshes
o Food chain production
o Spawning and nursery habitat for aquatic biota
Region2 - Pacific Coast
Freshwater marshes
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Nutrient uptake
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Wildlife habitat
o Aquatic habitat
Riparian Forests
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention

Region 3 - Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts
Freshwater marshes
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Nutrient uptake
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Aquatic habitat
Estuarine marshes
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
Region 4 - North Atlantic
Freshwater marshes
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nutrient uptake
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Food chain production
o Aquatic habitat
Estuarine marshes
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Food chain production
Region 5 - Interior: North Central-Great Lakes
Region 6 - Interior; Desert Steppe
Freshwater marshes
o Ground-water recharge/discharge
o Flood storage and desynchronization
o Sediment retention
o Shoreline anchoring and erosion abatement
o Nutrient uptake
o Heavy metal immobilization
o Wintering waterfowl habitat
Region 7 - Interior: Midcentral


Mr. Jack H. Berryman, International Association of Fish 6
Wildlife Agencies
Dr. Hugh C. Black, Wildlife Program Manager, Wildlife and
Fisheries Division, U.S. Forest Service
Mr. James Chambers, National Marine Fisheries Service
Lt. Col. Ronald Kelsey, Assistant Director of Civil Works for
Environmental Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Dr. John Hall, National Marine Fisheries Service
Dr. Heyward Hamilton, Director of Ecological Research Division,
Ofice of Health and Environmental Research, Department of Energy
Mr. Pat Murphy, Terrestrial Section, Federal Energy Regulatory
Mr. Walter Prybyla, Deputy Director, Environmental Management
Division, Office of Environment and Energy, Department of
Housing and Urban Development
Dr. Jon Kusler, Association of State Wetland Managers
Dr. Hanley Smith, Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers
Mr. Doug Smith, Federal Highway Administration
Mr. John Meagher, Office of Federal Activities, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Mr. Bill Sipple, Office of Federal Activities, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Mr. Carl E. Thomas, Soil Conservation Service
Dr. Laurence R. Jahn, Wildlife Management Institute
Dr. Joseph Larson, National Wetlands Technical Council
Dr. William D. Barnard, Office of Technology Assessment, U.S.

Dr. Paul Adamus, developed the Wetlands Evaluation Technique
while a consultant to the Federal Highway Administration
Dr. Bill Wilen, National Wetlands Inventory, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service
Dr. J. Henry Sather, National Wetlands Technical Council
Dr. Dana R. Sanders, Sr., Leader, Wetlands Research Team, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Ellis J. Clairain, Jr., Waterways Experiment Station, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Charles DesJardins, Federal Highway Administration
Mr. Herbert Quinn, Office of Research and Development, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Ms. Patricia Riexinger, New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation
Mr. Thomas Dahl, National Wetlands Inventory, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service
Other Department of Interior Contacts:
Dr. John D. Parsons, Office of Surface Mining
Mr. Bill Radtkey, Division of Wildlife, Bureau of Land
Dr. William Walker, Biological Resources Division, National Park
Dr. Edward Pluhowski, Water Resources Division
Mr. Larry Roberts, Deputy Director, Office of Environmental
Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation

Summary of: Brinson, M. M., H. D. Bradshaw, and E. S. Kane.
1984. Nutrient assimilative capacity of an alluvial floodplain
swamp. J. Applied Ecology 21: 1041-1057.
Summarized by: J. Zedler.
This paper reports on field ("in situ") experiments
performed in a floodplain forest in North Carolina that held
standing water for most, but not all of the year. Chambers of
1.46 square meters were pushed into the soil around a small
sapling to isolate a column of water within the wetland.
Weekly additions (1 g of N or P/sq. m/week) of nitrate,
ammonia, phosphate, all three combined, and secondary sewage
effluent were added as individual treatments to 5 chambers; one
had no additions; a final area had no additions and no chamber.
[Note: Future experiments of this type should replicate all
Four hypotheses were tested:
(i)	Nitrate removal occurs principally by denitrification
under anaerobic conditions.
Findings: "Nitrate loss by denitrification was rapid and
persistent; only slight accumulation occurred in surface water,
and soil water accumulation was undetectable."
(ii)	Ammonium accumulates...during low redox conditions
but is transformed to nitrate under oxidizing
Findings: "Ammonium accumulated on cation exchange sites
but was transformed to nitrate during drydown of sediments in
summer and autumn. As nitrate did not accumulate, a tight
coupling of nitrificaion and denitrification is inferred."
(iii)	Phosphorus accumulates in easily extractable forms
that are readily mobilized under low redox
conditions in soils.
Findings:	"Phosphate accumulated in sediments
principally in acid-extractable form with little evidence of
loss after the additions ceased."

(iv) Rooted vegetation takes up little N and P.
Findings: "At these high loading rates, uptake of
nitrogen and phosphorus by vegetation and accumulation in tree
stem-wood was small in comparison with disappearance by
denitrification and accumulation in sediments."
In summary, the authors state:
"The capacity of the swamp for nutrient removal was highest
for nitrate, intermediate for ammonium, and lowest for
phosphate." Of the nitrogen added, only 15% accumulated in the
sediment and water, while denitrification losses summed to 30%.
Of the phosphorus added, 46% accumulated in the soil and water.

Summary of: Dickerman, J. A., A. J. Stewart, and J. C. Lance.
1985. The impact of wetlands on the movement of water and
nonpoint pollutants from agricultural watersheds. A report to
the Soil Conservation Service. USDA ARS Water Quality and
Watershed Research Laboratory, Durant, Oklahoma.
Summarized by; J. Zedler.
As the title implies, this is a review of information to
build predictive models of wetlands to serve agricultural needs
(i.e., predicting runoff, phosphorus and nitrogen losses) and
manage adjacent wetlands to improve downstream water quality
(i.e., the necessary wetland size, vegetation, and sediments
required for water quality improvement).
The report reviews literature on wetland hydrology, wetland
cycling of phosphorus, wetland cycling of nitrogen, and the
capacity of wetlands to store sediments and pesticides. It
includes recommendations for research and computer models. The
report cites 176 references. Questions asked include:
"What value can we assign to the water quality improvement
of agricultural runoff by wetlands adjacent to agricultural
"How can these and other wetland attributes be enhanced?"
The authors conclude that wetlands are "generally effective
at removing both N and P on an annual cycle," based on 7 studies
that adequately evaluate inputs and outputs. They also agree
that wetlands reduce sediment loads.
The ability of wetlands to retain or alter agricultural
herbicides and insecticides is also reviewed. The persistence
of pesticides in wetlands is evalated, and several conclusions
are made:
Organochlorine pesticides are highly persistent due to
strong sorbtion onto soil particles and the presence of organic
matter in soils. Sorptive tendency is best predicted by the
compound's octanol-water partition coefficient.
Arsenate pesticides bond strongly to clays; intensity
varies with pH, Fe, and phosphate. Anaerobic conditions favor
arsenic release.
Excepting parathion, most organophosphorus insecticides
hydroloze rapidly around pH = 7. Parathion can be degraded
microbially, under either oxic or anoxic conditions.

Carbamate insecticides persist longer with low, compared to
high, pH.
Phenoxy herbicides are degraded microbially, with faster
rates in the presence of sediments and under warmer
Predicting breakdown rates is "chancy," because the
processes and their controls are complex; e.g., rates of
degradation differ in terrestrial vs. aquatic systems; compounds
that are related chemically aren't always degraded similarly.
The authors conclude that four processes dominate the fate
of materials in agricultural runoff:
1)	physiocochemical transformations of pollutants
2)	aeration
3)	biochemical transformations of pollutants, and
4)	sediment adsorption.
The data base is judged best for the first three processes, and
poorest for sediment-related processes. A "water-budget based
hydrological model" is recommended to predict the fates of
materials, with sub-models for each of these four processes.
More research is recommended to develop and validate the
sub-model for sediment adsorption.
The basic structure of a hydrological model is outlined in
Fig. 3, p. 71, to predict the ability of wetlands to remove
agricultural pollutants. This "core model" is given overall
highest priority for attention, because it is the major
controlling force determining wetland water quality functions.
The authors believe that adequate information already exists to
construct such core models. "Such a model could...be interfaced
with the Small Watershed Area Model (SWAM) under development by
the Agricultural Research Servce; the latter model provides
reasonable estimates of the types and quantities of pollutants
(sediments, nutrients, and pesticides) discharged from
agricultural watersheds."
The four pollutant-controlling processes listed above would
each be developed as a sub-model; the essential elements of each
submodel are listed on p. 72. Importance of processes, relative
to degree of understanding, is summarized in table 8, p. 74,
which is a matrix of 7 pollutant categories affected by 8
Fates of settleable solids are considered most well
understood, followed by P, N, heavy metals, halogenated
hydrocarbons, colloidal materials, and organic compounds (most
poorly understood).

Highest priority for research to feed the
pollutent-controlling sub-models was assigned to the role of
sediment	adsorption, sedimentation/flocculation,	and
emulsification. Next were evaporation, chelation/complexation,
nitrification/denitrification. Ranked third were: biotic
uptake, decomposition, and precipitation. Specific needs within
those categories included: volatilization of ammonia and
influence of flocculation/filtration on dissolved organic
nitrogen. In addition, fates of organic pesticides in relation
to the organic and inorganic components of the sediment, cation
exchange capacity of the sediment, and sorption/desorption
characteristics of selected organic pesticides are poorly known.
The authors identify major drawbacks in existing studies of
processes related to agricultural activities: artificial
systems have been too small and field studies have lacked
sufficient replication. As a result, the results do not allow
for spatial heterogeneity, nutrient cycling, pollutant
processing, interactions between controlling factors, and
identification of cause-effect relationships.
Thus, they recommend developing an experimental wetlands
facility to do large-scale manipulaive experiments with adequate

Summary of: Nixon, S.W. and V. Lee. In press. Wetlands and
water quality: a regional review of recent research in the
United States on the role of freshwater and saltwater wetlands
as sources, sinks, and transformers of nitrogen, phosphorus, and
various heavy metals. Prepared by University of Rhode Island
for U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg,
Obtained from; Scott Nixon, Graduate School of Oceanography,
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
Summarized by: J. Zedler.
Objective of paper: Presents the results of a literature
review on water quality functions of wetlands. The analysis was
conducted, by wetland type, for each of seven geographic regions
of the United States. Recommendations are also provided to
address data gaps.
This paper reviews approximately 400 papers.
I. Field studies
A.	Focus—Development of mass balances on budgets of
carbon, nutrients, heavy metals and, perhaps, other
pollutants. Studies should include several annual
cycles. Exchange rates should be measured across system
boundaries, including atmospheric deposition, surface
and ground-water flow, nitrogen fixation, denitrifica-
tion, volitization, and burial.,
B.	Considerations for field site selection
1.	Freshwater wetlands should recieve most of the
attention because they comprise almost 90% of the
nation's wetlands.
2.	Wetland types that are being lost or altered most
rapidly should have priority for study.
3.	Wetlands that are near urban centers or large
agricultural areas should be emphasized.
4.	Large systems should recieve attention, because they
will attract the best research
5.	Small systems should recieve attention, because they
are easier to control and measure.

6.	Sites that have already been studied will allow for
building on existing data.
7.	New sites will attract new people to do the research
and new ideas will be stimulated.
8.	Sites with simple hydrodynamics and ability to
develop a water budget would have priority.
C.	Three to six sites should be selected for intensive
D.	Special study needs include:
1.	Measurement of rates of denitrification and nitrogen
fixation are needed for hardwood swamps.
2.	Sediment accretion measurements are needed in Great
Sippewissett Marsh.
3.	Atmospheric exchange studies and budgets for heavy
metals should be included in the research sponsored
by the National Science Foundation at its Long-Term
Ecological Research (LTER) sites, e.g., North Inlet
salt marsh in Georgetown, S.C.
II.	There is a need to develop facilities with replicate
microcosms with controlled hydroperiod, slope, water inflow
flow rate, light, soil type, temperature, wind, etc., that
are suitable for using radioactive tracers for studies of
"routes, rates and reservoirs".
III.	Methodology
A.	Studies of nitrogen fixation should be proceeded by a
study that would calibrate acetylene reduction
measurements with radioactive nitrogen tracers for a
representative sample of wetland soils, sediments and
B.	Studies of denitrification should be proceeded by inter-
calibration of the various techniques available to
measure this process.
C.	Studies of accretion rates in wetland sediments should
be preceeded by comparisons of results with different
isotopes (C-14, Pb-210, Cs-137, etc.) and comparisons
with different types of wetlands (e.g., rapidly vs
slowly accreting wetlands; wetlands with mineral vs
organic soils).

Summary of: Odum, William E. In press. The role of non-tidal
and tidal freshwater marshes in reducing nutrient inputs to
Chesapeake Bay. In: J. Kusler (ed.), The Wetlands of the
Chesapeake: Protecting the Future of the Bay. Env. Law Inst.,
Washington, D.C.
Obtained from: William E. Odum, Department of Environmental
Science, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Summarized by: M. Kentula.
Objective of paper: Examine the possible role of tidal and
non-tidal freshwater wetlands in diverting nutrient inputs from
non-point runoff in Chesapeake Bay.
This paper reviews approximately 25 papers.
A.	The problem
1.	Water quality in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries has
been steadily declining.
2.	It appears to be related to increased inputs of
nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen compounds) and toxic
B.	Wetlands as nutrient filters
1.	A positive relationship between wetlands and improved
water quality has been recognized for at least 50
2.	In the past 15 years there have been attempts to use
freshwater wetlands to process wastewater.
3.	A wetland's ability to improve water quality varies
a.	depends on hydrology, seasonality, soil type,
vegetation type, wetland type
b.	questions and disagreement on the effeciency of
different wetland types, time to become saturated,
degree of degradation that may occur, whether
wetlands should be used in wastewater treatment
c.	Agreement that wetlands indirectly "process" and
remove nutrients from adjacent eutrophic bodies of

4. Nutrient cycling in wetlands
a.	all have the ability to intercept and retain
nutrients from water
b.	there is great variation between sites and wetland
types in the seasonal pattern and length of time
that nutrients are retained
c.	fresh and salt water tidal marshes act primarily as
transformers of nutrients (differ from non-tidal
because of the large flow of water with tides and a
different soil chemistry because of high sulfur)
Potential nutrient interception by freshwater wetlands
adjacent to Chesapeake Bay
1.	Non-tidal
a.	occupy 15-20X the area of the tidal marshes
b.	know almost nothing about their role in
intercepting nutrients
2.	Tidal—two factors may limit their ability to intercept
nutrients before they enter the bay—
a.	most are broad, therefore, much of the volume of
water may not have the opportunity to be directed
through the marsh
b.	lack a permanent litter layer (plant material
decomposes quickly), have no standing dead and
little underground peat, therefore, may release
nutrients in the fall, winter and early spring
1.	Tidal and non-tidal freshwater marshes should be
protected from destruction and alteration as much as
2.	Investigate the role of non-tidal freshwater marshes in
nutrient removal.
3.	Investigate the use of small, artificial, non-tidal
wetlands at point sources of pollution.
4.	Investigate the variables which control the degree and
extent of nutrient retention, e.g., hydrology, peat,
surface litter, organic matter in the soil.

Summary of; Richardson, C. In press. Biogeochemical cycling
in freshwater wetlands: a landscape perspective. In: Scient.
Comm. on Problems of the Env. (SCOPE), Ecosystem Dynamics in
Freshwater Wetlands. UNESCO.
Summarized by: M. Kentula.
Objective of paper: Reviews the fluxes, transformations and
storage of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon in freshwater
wetlands. Key biogeochemical cycles are analyzed in terms of
the resulting nutrient outputs from wetlands and evaluated as to
how these yields influence regional landscapes.
Obtained from: Curtis Richardson, School of Forestry, Duke
University, Raliegh, N.C. 27706
Summarized by: M. Kentula.
This paper reviews approximately 60 papers.
I.	Generalization—wetlands are transformers of elements like
nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon, and outputs are regulated
by hydrologic conditions, soil adsorption and storage, and
biotic uptake and recycling.
II.	Nutrient outflows from wetlands
A.	The variation in chemical constituents in outflow waters
among wetland types is controlled to a great degree by
regional geology, climatic inputs and the nutrient
status of wetlands.
B.	Marsh ecosystems appear to have the highest annual
concentrations and variation in outflows of total
nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus,
sulfate and specific conductance. The large varia-
tion may be related to the dramatic seasonal changes
in water levels.
III.	Seasonal retention of nutrients
A.	The death of wetland vegetation is typically followed by
the rapid release to the water of 35 to 75% of the plant
tissue phosphorus and somewhat smaller, but substantial
amounts of nitrogen.
B.	Bogs are nutrient traps.
1. The greatest amount of nutrient retention occurs in
the spring for metals, orthophosphorus, organic
phosphorus and organic nitrogen.

2. The bog and surrounding terrestrial landscape are
seasonally out of synchronization in terms of
nutrient uptake and retention.
C. In terms of inorganic nitrogen, wetlands apparently are
transformers rather than functioning strictly as sinks.
Wetlands: a sink or source for nutrients?
A.	The majority of nutrients are stored in the peat and
litter compartment. More than 95% of the nitrogen and
phosphorus in peatlands is found in the bound organic
form and is not readily available for biotic uptake and
B.	Suggests that there is a higher potential nutrient
output from wetlands than terrestrial ecosystems for
most elements.
C.	Accumulation rates suggest a limited nitrogen and phos-
phorus storage capacity for wetlands if peat accumula-
tion is the main biogeochemical mechanism being sug-
gested for processing and storage.
D.	Wetlands are apparently great transformers of inorganic
E.	Phosphorus outputs from wetlands greatly exceed ter-
restrial outputs.
F.	The amount of carbon exported from wetlands via hydro-
logic outflow is extremely high when compared to
terrestrial systems.
G.	Wetlands are often better transformers of nutrients than
annual net retainers.
Global implications—the amount of carbon stored in wetlands
and the potential magnitude of the carbon flux from these
ecosystems as a result of drainage suggests that the role of
wetlands in global carbon cycling has been underestimated.

Summary of; Sather, J.H. and P.J.R. Stuber, tech. coords.
1984. Proceedings of the National Wetland Values Assessment
Workshop. U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv., Western Energy and Land
Use team. FWS/OBS-84/12. 100 pp.
Objective of paper: Provides a general appraisal,
recommendations and observations relative to the FHWA's wetland
assessment methodology (WET, Adamus 1983).
The Water Quality Function of Wetlands—Research Priorities
A.	Cumulative impacts of the addition of nutrients, sediments
and anthropogenic substances
1.	effect on ecosystem stability and resilience
2.	effect on seasonal changes and other cycles in wetlands,
e.g., climatological factors (frost depth, snow depth)
vs ability to process substances throughout the year
B.	Water-sediment processes
1.	inputs-outputs, water budget
2.	flow processes vs nutrient retention (geochemistry of
surface water, the runoff process)
3.	generation of detritus and its relation to material
processing and retention
C.	Microbiology of the system
D.	Retention and processing of anthropogenic substances, i.e.,
heavy metals, toxic chemicals, pathogens, pesticides and
other agricultural chemicals
1.	aspects of adsorption and possible transport with the
sediment particle
2.	connections with the activities of man in and around the
wetland (garbage disposals, mining, agriculture)
3.	turnover time, input-output (sinks and sources),
threshold loadings
4.	processes involved in transformation and modification of
E. Recommend long-term studies in "type" localities

Summary of; Whigham,
dynamics in freshwater
John Wiley.
Obtained from; Dennis Whigham, Smithsonian Environmental
Research Center, Smithsonian Institute, Edgewater, MD 21037.
Date of manuscript: 1984.
Summarized by: J. Zedler.
Objective of paper: To determine whether existing procedures
can assess "the values of alternative uses and impacts that
result from wetland development" and if "adequate models [are]
available to assist in the management process."
This paper reviews 95 references.
A. Wetland values.
Ten functions used in the Adamus procedure are defined:
Ground water recharge and discharge
Flood storage and desynchronization
Shoreline anchoring and dissipation of erosive
Sediment trapping
Nutrient retention and removal
Food chain support
Habitat for fisheries
Habitat for wildlife
Active recreation
Passive recreation and heritage value
Concludes that "assigning wetland process into
functional categories is a much easier task than assigning
values to those processes."
D.F. and M.M. Brinson. In press.
In: S. Jorgenson (ed.), Ecosystem
wetlands and shallow bodies of water.
B. Issues of time and space.
Points out that "societal values tend to change over
much shorter time scales than some of the processes that are
responsible for wetland formation and the persistence of
Wetland evaluation systems must specify the "boundary
conditions" within which the method is being applied—local,

regional,...global." Methods should be "robust enough" for used
at any level or scale.
C. Wetland evaluation systems.
There are three types of proposed systems
1)	qualitative (e.g., P. Adamus' WET)
WET considers all important wetland functions
2)	economic
None considers all wetland functions
3)	energy analysis (e.g., H.T. Odum)
These integrate almost all important wetland
Advantage over economic mehtods is inclusion
of "externalities"
Problems with all evaluation systems:
ecological data are insufficient
"impacts of modification can't be predicted
D.	Application of methods in resource allocation
Basic problem is that wetlands are in private
ownership, while their resource values are considered public.
E.	Conclusions (The Problems).
Value assessment systems are available, but they don't
predict impacts of proposed modifications.
At most, we are able to predict local impacts;
resolution is lost in attempts, to test large-scale effects of
wetland alteration.
No models exist to assess impacts of numerous
small-scale changes.
F.	Recommendations were brief, and differed for developed
and developing countries.
"In developed countries, red flag features should be the
first consideration in evaluating any particular wetland or
group of wetlands." [A list of 11 such features was indentified
by Larson (1976).]
"In developing countries, models are desperately needed
because development decisions are not made at the local

Hollis H. Allen, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Mark Brinson, East Carolina University
Mark Brown, University of Florida
Virginia Carter, U.S. Geological Survey
John Day, Louisiana State University
Armando de la Cruz, University of Mississippi
Ed W. Garbisch, Environmental Concern, Inc.
Ralph Good, Rutgers University
Larry Harris, University of Florida
Michael Josselyn, San Francisco State University
Wiley Kitchens, University of Florida
Jon Kusler, J. Kusler Associates
Phil Larsen, EPA, Corvallis-ERL
Lyndon Lee, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
Chester Martin, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Eric Metz, National Audubon Society
Scott Nixon, University of Rhode Island
Richard Novitzke, U.S. Geological Survey
Bill Odum, University of Virginia
Curt Richardson, Duke University
Rebecca Sharitz, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
Safa Shirazi, EPA, Corvallis-ERL
Will Schroeder, University of Alabama
Jerry Schubel, State University of New York
Gordon W. Thayer, National Marine Fisheries Service
R. Eugene Turner, Louisiana State University
Dennis Whigham, Smithsonian Institute
Gary Witmer, Argonne Laboratory
Dan Willard, Indiana University

A workshop was held on October 9, 1985 in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina to review a preliminary draft of this research plan.
Those participating were:
Joy Zedler
San Diego State University
Mary Kentula
EPA, Corvallis-ERL
Bill Sipple
EPA, Office of Federal
Hal Kibby
EPA, Corvallis-ERL
Curt Richardson
Duke University
Mark Brinson
East Carolina University
Jerry Walsh
EPA, Gulf Breeze-ERL
Mark Brown
University of Florida
Jon Kusler
Assoc. of State Wetland
Bill Odum
University of Virginia
Dan Willard
Indiana University
Larry Burns
EPA, Athens-ERL
Carl Brunner
EPA, Cincinnati
Ed Kuenzler
University of North

The response from those reviewing the plan was extremely
valuable in refining the final version. It was obvious that the
reviewers made a substantial committment of time. The effort to
make a contribution to the overall quality of the plan was
The reviews represent a number of perspectives and are a
important source of information in addition to what could be
incorporated into the plan. Since it is important that this
resource be available for future reference, the reviews have
been placed on file with Spencer Peterson, Chief, Hazardous
Waste/Water Branch, Environmental Research Laboratory,
Corvallis, Oregon.
Jack H. Berryman, International Association of Fish and Wildlife
Hugh C. Black, Wildlife and Fisheries Division, U.S. Forest
James Chambers, National Marine Fisheries Service
Dr. Heyward Hamilton, Office of Health & Environmental Research,
Department of Energy
Walter Prybyla, Office of Environment & Energy, Department of
Housing & Urban Development
Carl Thomas, Soil Conservation Service
William D. Barnard, Office of Technology Assessment, United
States Congress
Paul Adamus, consultant to Federal Highway Administration on
wetland assessment
Ellis J. Clairain, Jr., U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment

Bill Wilen, National Wetlands Inventory, Fish and Wildlife
Thomas Dahl, National Wetlands Inventory, Fish and Wildlife
John Clark, National Park Service
R. Terry Huffman, Huffman Technologies
Joseph Larson, The Environmental Institute, University of
Orie Loucks, Holcomb Research Institute, Butler University
Ariel E. Lugo, Southern Forest Experimental Station, Institute
of Tropical Forestry
J. Henry Sather, Interagency Wetland Coordinating Committee
Arnold van der Valk, Department of Botany, Iowa State University
Milton W. Weller, Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Texas
A & M University
Eugene P. Odum, Center for Ecology, University of Georgia
Richard Novitzki, U.S. Geological Survey
William H. Patrick, Jr., Boyd Professor of Marine Sciences,
Louisiana State University
William A. Niering, Biology Department, Connecticut College
Joy Zedler, Department of Biology, San Diego State University
For list of participants see Appendix VI.

Doug Thompson, Region 1
Dennis Suskoski, Region 2
Randy Pompanio, Region 3
Bill Kruczynski, Region 4
Elmer Shannon, Region 5
Norman Thomas, Region 6
Robert Koke, Region 7
Gene Reetz, Region 8
Tom Yochem, Region 9
Marsha Lagerloef, Region 10
Herb Quinn
Water and Land Division
Charles Jeter
Planning, Policy and Evaluation
Dave Davis
Office of Federal Activities
Bob Bastain
Office of Water Programs
Vic Biermann
Norbert Jaworski
David Flemer
Water and Land Division
John Wilson
Policy, Planning & Eval.
John Meagher
Aquatic Resource Division
Allan Hirsch
Office of Fed. Activities
Victor Lambou
Las Vegas Laboratory
Glen Yager
Region 7
Rebecca Sharitz
Savannah River Ecology Lab
Dennis Whigham
Smithsonian Environmental
Research Center
Gary Mayer
NOAA Sea Grant College
Scott Nixon
University of Rhode
Lee Ischinger
Western Energy and Land
Use Team, FWS
Alan Wentz
National Wildlife

N. Jay Bassin
Environmental Management
Barbara Bedford
Cornell University
John Day
Louisiana State University
Ed Pendleton
Sharon Lockhart
Millicent Quammen

The prairie pothole region of North Dakota, South Dakota
and Minnesota contains some of the most valuable waterfowl
habitat in North America. Although comprising only some 10% of
the continent's waterfowl breeding area, the pothole area
produces some 50% of the nation's duck crop, as well as
providing habitat for a large variety of other birds and
mammals. While accurate estimates of pothole wetland losses are
not available, it is estimated that less than 40% of the
original habitat remains today. Destruction has been primarily
due to drainage to increase agricultural acreage and
sedimentation from agricultural tillage.
Although the wildlife and associated social values of
prairie pothole wetlands have been well documented, little
information is available which quantifies their possible water
quality improvement functions such as nutrient, chemical, and
organic waste removal.
In 1965 The Bureau of Reclamation was authorized to
construct a large irrigation project in North Dakota known as
the Garrison Diversion Unit. This plan would have resulted in
the destruction of some 85,000 acres of prairie potholes and
subsequently became the subject of intense controversy. Since
it was authorized a number of modifications have been made to
the project to reduce environmental impacts and still provide
the desired agricultural benefits.
The most recent effort to reach an acceptable comprise is
described in a report by the congressionally authorized Garrison
Diversion Unit Commission (December 20, 1984). Among the
recommendations is an acre-for-acre replacement policy to offset
the loss of an estimated 14,212 acres of wetlands (mainly
prairie potholes). Replacement is to be accomplished through
use of wildlife lands already acquired, purchasing other land
tracts and then reestablishing previously drained wetlands, and
enhancing existing wetlands through improved wildlife
management. The primary objective is to replace the lost lands
with lands that are ecologically equivalent.

In developing the wetlands replacement plan, EPA, FWS and
the Bureau of Reclamation need to address a number of concerns.
Those that are relevant to the EPA research plan are:
1)	How to establish the relative non-habitat value of
enhancing existing wetlands to be credited toward
acre-for-acre replacement,
2)	How to evaluate the "ecological equivalency" of the
proposed replacements, and
3)	How to enhance existing wetlands and create others
in a manner which optimizes all wetland values.
The mitigation efforts associated with construction of the
Garrison Diversion Unit present some unique research
opportunities. For example, existing and previously drained
wetlands will be purchased, and restored or enchanced on a large
scale. Since the mitigation effort will be carried out over a
long time period (at least 12 years) an opportunity exists to
try various mitigation techniques and adjust future actions
based upon the measured results. Finally, the national
importance of the prairie pothole area, as well as the need for
research on the non-habitat values of these wetlands, has been
clearly established.
[Information supplied by: Dale Vodehnal, Chief, Environmental
Assessment Branch, EPA, Region 8.]
The Rainwater Basin area covers parts of seventeen
south-central Nebraska counties—some 4200 square miles. Nearly
260 different species of birds use the habitat provided by
Rainwater Basin wetlands. Of these, 92 species nest and rear
their broods in the basins. As many as 300,000 white-fronted
geese, 90% of the midcontinent population, stop during their
annual migration. The endangered whooping crane also stops in
the area during its biannual migration. In addition, many
species of furbearers and birds are permanent residents in the
area. Furbearing animals such as muskrat, fox and striped skunk
are abundant, as are game species, such as mourning dove,
ringneck pheasant, bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer and a wide
variety of waterfowl.
Soil survey maps from early in this century indicated the
Rainwater Basin contained nearly 4000 marshes totalling about

94,000 acres, typically ranging in size from one to 40 acres,
but with some as large as 1000 acres. By 1981, these wetlands
had dwindled to 400 basins and 21,000 acres.
With the decrease in wetland acreage the waterfowl have
been concentrated in the remaining areas. Fowl cholera
epidemics, caused primarily by overcrowding, have been a problem
in the Rainwater Basin since 1975. Nearly 200,000 ducks and
geese have been killed by this disease in the past ten years.
In 1980, 5% of the continental population of white-fronted geese
were killed. The Rainwater Basin may be thought of a a
"bottleneck" in the migratory flyway, through which increasingly
fewer migrating waterfowl are able to pass.
On March 1, 1984, EPA sent a letter to the Nebraska
Department of Environment Control (NDEC), FWS, and Nebraska
Department of Game and Parks (NGP) expressing a concern about
unregulated filling activity in the Rainwater Basin, and
soliciting their views. Responses back from FWS, NDEC, and NGP
confirmed that some type of action is needed to protect these
wetland resources, and offered assistance and support.
Various actions are being considered which would promote
the protection of the existing wetland resources. A community
involvement and education program has been planned. There are
aspects to the program that are relevant to the EPA research
In this part of the United States fields are typically
irrigated using a central-pivot system. This creates the
landscape of green "dots" seen from the air. The corners and
sometimes wedges of the "dots" will be left uncultivated. This
unused land could be converted back to wetlands, if the public
could be convinced of the worth of the project and if the
techniques to create such wetlands were available.
[Information supplied by Glen Yager, Region 7.]
Wetlands Research, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation
affiliated with the Open Lands Project (a local organization),
is undertaking an ambitious wetlands restoration project along
the Des Plaines River in Illinois.
The Des Plaines River flows directly through the project
site, draining a 210-square-mile watershed, 80 percent of which

Is agricultural. The river is channelized, the wildlife habitat
highly disturbed, water quality degraded, and flood damages
occur downstream.
The project involves reconstructing a wetland where one
once stood. Masses of earth will be moved to reconfigure 2.8
miles of stream bed and 450 acres of adjacent land, including
three abandoned gravel pits. The polluted streamfow will be
pumped to the perimeter of the site and returned to the river,
regulated by water level controls. Spawning areas will be
created, plant communities introduced, and a regime employed to
minimize water level fluctuation and eliminate unwanted weedy
The project's immediate objective is to rehabilitate the
river environment. The long-term objectives are research and
demonstration, and the ulimate goals are to:
1)	Demonstrate the benefit of non-structured management
strategies for wildlife, water quality and weed
2)	Formulate and test rehabilitation procedures for
wetlands and rivers,
3)	Redirect existing environmental investment strategies
and management programs, and
4)	Foster the creation of better urban and rural
During the course of the project, many questions will be
addressed. Can water quality be restored by filtering water
through a single small wetland? What is the appropriate scale?
To what extent can flood stages be reduced to prevent downstream
damages? What is the most efficient location for storage? How
rich and stable will the created wildlife habitats be? Will the
sites attract migrating water foul?
The Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project is
being partially funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. The Atlantic Richfield Foundation, as well as other
corporations, and the State of Illinois are also contributing
funds. The Lake County (Illinois) Forest Preserve District has
contributed the land. Approximately 1.3 million dollars has
been raised to fund the creation of the wetland in the spring of
1986. There may be opportunities for EPA to sponsor associated
research projects.
[Information on the details of the project was exerpted from an
article printed in the National Wetlands Newsletter with

the permission of the publisher, the Environmental Law
Institute. The complete citation is: Hey, D.L. 1985. Wetlands:
a strategic national resource. National Wetlands Newsletter
In North Carolina, White Tail Farms, an existing peat
mining project, could be selected as a prototype to determine
the cumulative impacts associated with wetland losses due to the
activities of the industry. The owners of this private business
will be developing 200 to 500 acres per year for peat mining.
They have already agreed to allow research on their farm. EPA
research costs would be greatly reduced, since funds would only
be needed for monitoring and analysis. Mitigation research
could also be conducted and the data utilized to set guidelines
for the entire southeastern peatland ecosystem.
[Information supplied by Curt Richardson, Duke University.]
The Kissimmee River Restoration Phase 1 Demonstration
Project is one component of an overall State of Florida strategy
to restore the natural values of the Kissimmee River. With
channelization of the river in 1971, a 98-mile serpentine
channel with an average depth of four feet was turned into a
48-mile canal, which is 30 feet deep and averages 200 feet in
width. Seventy to eighty percent of the basin's original 40,600
acres of woody shrub, broadleaf marsh, and wet prairie wetlands
were destroyed, resulting in the loss of highly valuable fish
and wildlife habitat.
In 1984, the South Florida Water Management District
began a demonstration project to field test methods for
reestablishing a more natural water regime in the Kissimmee
River Valley. The project, being conducted on a 12-mile stretch
of the Kissimmee, is designed to divert water back into historic
oxbows and former marshlands, and fluctuate water levels to
correspond more closely to the natural wet and dry cycles
typical of an Everglades hydroperiod. It should recreate
approximately 1,300 acres of floodplain aquatic grasses and
broadleaf marsh.

The $3.52 million project includes construction of weirs,
culverts, and berms in the canal to divert the water back into
the original river bed; construction of baffle blocks to improve
the structural integrity of the existing structures; and
acquisition of the floodplain which will be flooded by the
project. Most of the project construction has been completed,
and water has begun to flow into the old river oxbows; the
remaining work should be finished by March 1986. For at least
three years, state agencies will continue to monitor water
quality; hydrology and hydraulics; and fish, wildlife and
Other components of the State's Kissimmee River Restoration
Strategy include:
*	Monitoring the Phase 1 Demonstration Project
*	Completing the Water Management District's acquisition
of 50,000 acres of the Kissimmee River floodplain
*	Creating additional wetlands habitat by restoring
Paradise Run (1985-1986) and by fluctuating water
levels (1987-1988),
*	Expanding the existing best management practices
program for the Taylor Creek-Nubbin Slough basin to
include the lower Kissimmee River and thus further
prevent and reduce nonpoint source pollution
*	Investigating the feasibility of having COE's Waterways
Experiment Station develop a physical model to
determine the effects of dechannelizing the canal by
placing fill in it (1985-1986),
and, upon completion of the Phase 1 Demonstration Project and
*	Implementing the final restoration phase, with
development of a specific restoration design based
upon the monitoring and modeling information from the
demonstration project.
Although not yet designed, the final restoration phase
could include an attempt to restore much of the meandering river
and floodplain to its original hydrology, while still
maintaining acceptable flood control levels for the upper
Kissimmee basin and part of the lower basin. Twenty-one miles of
the canal, about 43 percent of its length, would be backfilled

to reclaim approximately 42 miles, or two-thirds, of the
original river length. It is estimated that the project would
recreate 17,500 to 20,000 acres of aquatic grasses and broadleaf
marsh wetlands, depending upon actual rainfall and development
of an appropriate water management schedule in the upper
Kissimmee chain of lakes.
Cost estimates for the above strategy range from 97 to 134
million dollars. The project is expected to take a number of
years to complete. EPA could possibly sponsor associated
[Information supplied by Mollie Palmer, Department of
Environmental Regulation of the State of Florida.]