Wetlands provide
                      habitat and
                      enhance water quality.
Many states and tribes have utilized WPDG funds to develop
one or more aspects of their wetland management program. The
case-studies described here are a few excellent examples. Of
course, building a comprehensive wetland program is progressive
and many WPDG recipients continue to work hard at developing
and incorporating the remaining pieces of a comprehensive
program. This document highlights successful use of WPDGs in
building one or more elements of a wetlands protection program
and serves as examples to others who are  striving to develop
comprehensive programs.
             Wetlands provide
         flood protection and
   stormwater management.
The foundation of any wetland program is an understanding of
the location, extent and condition of the wetland resources. Thus,
improving the ability to monitor and assess wetland condition
has been at the forefront of Clean Water Act activities for the
past several years. Over the past few years many states, tribes
and federal and state work groups have been exploring and
developing wetland assessment methods to build that foundation
of understanding. These efforts have emphasized the need for
a scientifically sound assessment of the chemical, physical and
biological health of wetlands and the need for standardized
approaches to facilitate the ability to track trends and compare
data across geographic areas. Several WPDG recipients have
used the grant program to develop strategies, create and modify
assessment tools and begin forums for sharing information in
order to better characterize and manage their wetland resources.
EPA's WPDGs provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct
projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research,
investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and
studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction,
and elimination of water pollution.

Grants are awarded competitively by each EPA region and
headquarters.  Over 1450 grants have been awarded since the
programs inception in 1990. WPDGs are generally given to projects
that address at least one priority area identified by EPA in each
year's Request for Proposal.

In order to better guide state and tribal efforts in establishing
comprehensive wetland programs, EPA identified six core elements
of a comprehensive wetland program in 1999. These elements,
which provide a framework within which states and tribes can
assess the completeness of their wetland programs, are:

 1) Regulation;
 2) Monitoring and Assessment;
 3) Restoration;
 4) Water Quality Standards;
 5) Public-Private Partnerships; and
 6) Cross-agency Coordination.

WPDGs can also continue to be used by recipients to build and
refine any element of a comprehensive wetland program.  States,
Tribes, local governments, interstate associations, intertribal
consortia, and national non-governmental organizations are eligible
to apply.  Contact your EPA Regional Office for more information. A
list of grant coordinators can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/
For more information about wetland projects funded through the
Wetland Program Development Grants and other EPA wetland
programs, please go to: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/
         U.S. EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
                   http://www. epa. gov/owow/
                                                                         EPA Publication Number: EPA843-F-07-001
Wetland  Program
Development  Grants
                                            Building State and Tribal
                                     Capacity to Protect Wetlands

                                Highlights of advancements made
                                possible through Wetlands Grants.
                            The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) wetland
                            program has a primary goal of increasing the quantity and
                            quality of wetlands in the U.S. through a variety of regulatory
                            and non-regulatory approaches. State and Tribal wetland
                            protection programs play a crucial role in achieving this
                            goal. EPA has sought to build the capacity of state and tribal
                            government to develop effective, comprehensive programs for
                            wetland protection and management.

                            Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) are the
                            primary mechanism through which EPA supports state and
                            tribal efforts to build programs that protect valuable wetland
                            resources.  These grants have enabled and supported
                            successful collaboration among interested parties. This
                            document highlights just a few examples of the progress being
                            made by states and tribes through the use of these funds.

Monitoring Hualapai wetlands to help guide management
plans and restoration activities

The Hualapai Tribe resides on roughly one million
acres of land adjacent to the Colorado River and the
Grand Canyon. Wetlands comprise 956 acres within
the reservation. From 1998 to 2004, with support
from the WPDGs, Hualapai  Department of Natural
Resources began a biomonitoring program to assess
water quality, vegetation, invertebrates, fish and
birds on 18 wetlands on the reservation.  These monitoring efforts, as part
of the tribe's Comprehensive Wetland Strategy, help to guide management
and restoration decisions for the tribe's wetlands. Eleven wetlands on the
reservation have been protected and/or restored through removal of feral
animals, fencing to restrict cattle, and planting  of native vegetation.

Development of a wetland monitoring system to help protect
and restore California's wetlands

The California Resources Agency has relied on WPDG funds to assemble a
multi-organizational team to develop an innovative wetland monitoring and
assessment program in the  state.  Their work is part of California's State
Water Monitoring Strategy.  The core team consists of wetland management
and science professionals from the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI),
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), the California
Coastal Commission and San Jose State University Moss Landing Marine
Laboratory.  The team has produced a wetland assessment system, California
Rapid Wetland Assessment Method - "CRAM" (swww.cramwetlands.org), and a
state-of-the-art Geographical Information System (CIS), Wetland Tracker (www.
wetlandtracker.org). Training programs for CRAM have been organized to
teach regulatory agency staff how the method  can be used in permit review and
mitigation performance evaluation. CRAM will be used to conduct a statewide
survey to report the condition of estuarine wetlands. In addition Wetland
Tracker has been expanded to become an information "warehouse" for wetland
assessment information.  The system will lead to more holistic water resource
protection and restoration program planning.  Wetland data is becoming readily
available for use in the development and implementation of watershed-based
water quality and habitat management plans. The technical transfer of both
CRAM and Wetland Tracker to other interested states is in progress.

Preserving valuable wetland resources in the face of
development demands and increasing population

In response to a 40% population growth rate since 1990 and a concern for the
loss of wetland functions, the Baldwin County, Alabama Advance Identification
Project jump-started wetland protection efforts in the county by locating,
identifying and assessing wetland resources in an area of southern Baldwin
County, located on Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Using WPDG funding,
the county developed the Baldwin County Digital Wetland Layer and validated
it through field assessments of location, wetland determination and digital
photography for 138 randomly selected sites.  In addition, the county developed
the Remote Functional Wetland Assessment Model which identified 260,000
acres as suitable for conservation, 30,000 acres as suitable for enhancement
and approximately 6,000 acres as suitable for restoration. Baldwin County
Commission distributes digital and hard copy data illustrating wetland location,
watershed boundaries, impaired waters, and land usages for areas of interest
to local developers and other stakeholders. As a result of this effort, wetland
and watershed protection ordinances are currently being developed which
advocate increased protection at the county and municipal levels.
Establishing a link to measurable environmental outcomes
through increased monitoring and assessment of wetland projects

Coordinating across several state agencies is a
challenge, yet this coordination can be essential
to leveraging the resources and collaboration
necessary to protect wetland resources.  The
Colorado Wetland Partnership (CWP) was
established  in 1997 in response to a need for
coordinated wetland protection statewide. CWP
is a multi-agency collaborative that has completed
over 600 projects protecting or restoring over
215,000 acres of habitat and over 200 stream miles. In 2002, using a WPDG, CWP
initiated the  Wetlands Monitoring and Evaluation Project (WMEP) to monitor and
assess the ecological impacts from CWP projects. The project had three major
initiatives: 1) project tracking; 2) site assessments; and 3) intensive monitoring.
WMEP has  successfully initiated statewide wetlands monitoring with over 165
site assessments in 10 of 11 Colorado wetland focus areas.  The WMEP provides
managers, biologists, conservation planners and funding agencies with a better
understanding of wetland  restoration  and protection outcomes in Colorado.  This
allows improved decision-making about future restoration and protection projects.
Mapping, classifying and identifying restoration needs for
900,000 acres of wetlands in Adirondack Park
Refining bioassessment methods to preserve the ecological
integrity of Michigan's coastal and inland wetlands

As one of only two states to administer Section
404 of the Clean Water Act, Michigan needed
consistent and scientifically valid techniques for
evaluating wetland quality in order to determine
the state's success in protecting and managing
its wetland resources and the associated
public benefits. The Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (MDEQ)  used a WPDG
to develop Indices of Biological  Integrity (IBI)
for wetlands in the state and the Great Lakes
region. These IBIs are now being implemented by the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland
Consortium, Bird Studies Canada, and by MDEQ through an EPA Environmental
Outcome Wetland Demonstration Pilot program to enhance protection of Michigan's
most exceptional wetlands through monitoring, private stewardship and prioritization
of exceptional coastal wetlands for acquisition.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) in New
York State is entrusted with the very large
task of overseeing private and public land
use practices within New York's Adirondack
Park.  Wetlands cover nearly 900,000 acres
of the Park. A major area of focus for APA
has been to classify and map all wetlands
within the park. Funds through a WPDG
allowed the APA to begin mapping the
Park's wetlands, focusing on the Oswegatchie/Black River Watershed as a
pilot study to utilize infrared and digital technology to increase image quality
and detail. In subsequent years, APA has used other WPDGs to incorporate
additional data  layers about the physical and chemical  properties of the
watershed and  began work in the other major watersheds of the Park by
piloting different mapping technologies.  These grants have allowed APA to
understand linkages between land-use, wetlands and water quality that have
led to more efficient restoration and management of wetland areas in the Park.
                                                                                  A GIS targeting tool helps improve restoration of Virginia's

                                                                                  Gauging which sites will be capable of sustaining the desired wetland
                                                                                  condition overtime is a critical challenge to successfully mitigating wetland
                                                                                  impacts. Using a WPDG, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
                                                                                  addressed this challenge by developing a GIS targeting tool for selecting
                                                                                  sites for wetland mitigation and restoration, using physical characteristics,
                                                                                  land-use management and ecological value. Sites that ranked highest were
                                                                                  agricultural areas that had hydric soils, hydrologic connectivity, were adjacent
                                                                                  to another wetland and close to a conservation area. This tool will be a
                                                                                  very valuable resource for Virginia land use planners and state and local
                                                                                  government officials in making sound decisions on siting wetland mitigation
                                                                                  and restoration.  VIMS is also working with Maryland and Delaware to develop
                                                                                  a regional guidebook for tidal wetlands assessment and with Virginia to
                                                                                  incorporate cumulative impact assessments in the tidal and nontidal wetlands
                                                                                  permit review process.
Engaging Iowa landowners in the Wetland Reserve Program
and increasing participation in wetland restoration

Fremont County, Iowa, was largely affected by extreme flooding in the 1980s
and 1990s.  With WPDG funding, the Two Rivers Wetland Project helped
ease some of the landowners' financial burdens, while directing attention to
and increasing enthusiasm for wetland restoration within the floodplain.  The
goal of the project was to increase farmer enrollment in the Wetland Reserve
Program, a voluntary wetland restoration program administered by the Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore marginal wet farmland to
wetland.  Once interested land owners were identified and restoration potential
was assessed, specific funding opportunities were identified. By the end of
2005, the Two Rivers Wetland Project helped to enroll over 10,000 acres of
marginal agricultural land into wetland restoration programs along the Missouri
and Nishnabotna  Rivers. The Fremont County Soil and Water  Conservation
District is currently working to develop training modules to help landowners
manage their conservation lands.