Coastal Wetlands Initiative:
                                                          antic Keview
                                          U ited States
                                          En ironmental Protec ion
National Picture
    Coastal wetlands provide important ecosystem services that
    are vital to the health and well-being of our nation. They
serve as buffers, protecting coastal areas from storm damage
and sea level rise. They are vital to the health of commercially
and recreationally important fisheries resources, providing
food and essential fish and shellfish habitat. Wetlands also
serve as nesting and foraging habitat for birds and other
wildlife. As "living filters," wetlands improve water quality by
removing pollutants, nutrients, and sediments. Furthermore,
coastal wetlands provide direct value to people in other ways,
such as minimizing erosion of upland,  protecting infrastruc-
ture and supporting the tourism, hunting, and fishing sectors
of the economy.

There are a number of threats to coastal areas, in particular
wetland habitats. The most significant threats include conver-
sion of wetlands to other land uses and climate change, in
particular, sea level rise and increases in hurricane intensity
and frequency. In some regions wetlands are being converted
to open water due to land subsidence.

Numerous recent reports have examined coastal wetland loss
and potential strategies to address threats like climate change.
The Association of State Wetland Managers  (ASWM, 2009)
recommended a national wetland and climate change initia-
tive. The report contains measures to reduce impacts and
adapt coastal/estuarine wetlands to climate change. The U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) both pub-
lished frameworks to guide how they will consider impacts
of climate change and sea level rise as they implement resto-
ration activities, including those in coastal wetlands (Army
Corps, 2009; NOAA,  201 Oa).

NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
analyzed the status and trends of wetland acreage along the
Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes to provide
an estimate of losses or gains that occurred in those coastal
watersheds. Their report, released in 2008, found that 361,000
acres of coastal wetlands were lost in the Eastern United States
alone between 1998 and 2004 (Stedman and Dahl, 2008). This
amounts to an average net decrease of 59,000 acres each year.
The vast majority of the loss (82 percent) occurred in freshwa-
ter wetlands, both tidal and non-tidal. Nearly 60 percent of the
total loss of coastal freshwater wetlands is attributed to "other
development," which includes
conversion of wetlands to
unknown or undetermined land
uses (Figure 1). There were also
losses of saltwater tidal wetlands
to open water (deeper than
2 meters), particularly in the
Mid-Atlantic region. The 2008
NOAA and USFWS Status and
Trends report did not examine
the loss of wetland condition  or
In response to these reports,
EPA established a two-part Coastal Wetlands Initiative. The
first part is the Coastal Wetlands Team, which is a joint effort
between EPA's Wetlands Division and the Oceans and Coastal
Protection Division. The team's goals are: 1) confirming
wetland loss and better understanding contributing stressors;
2) identifying and disseminating tools, strategies, policies, and
information to protect and restore coastal wetland resources;
and 3) raising awareness of the functions and values of coastal
wetlands, threats to these resources, and opportunities to
protect and restore coastal wetlands.

To achieve its goals, the Coastal Wetlands Team met with stake-
holders in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico,
and North Atlantic regions (see Figure 2). For each of these
                                         Urban and Rural
 Figure 1. Wetland loss and changes in land cover, 1998-2004: Atlantic, Gulf of
 Mexico, and Great Lakes. Source: Stedman and Da hi, 2008.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

         Coastal Wetlands Review Regions
Coastal Wetland Reviews (CWRs), the team identified key
stressors; examined regulatory and voluntary efforts at the fed-
eral, regional, state, and local level to reduce or reverse coastal
wetland loss; and assessed whether successful strategies can be
replicated elsewhere. The information from the reviews could
be used to help inform policy decisions, influence program
direction, and develop projects to reduce or reverse coastal wet-
land loss nationally The results of these CWRs are provided in
a report distributed to the respective participants, and will also
be posted on EPA's website. This document is  the CWR report
for the South Atlantic region.

The second part of the Coastal Wetlands Initiative is the
federal Interagency Coastal Wetlands Workgroup, which is
composed of members from EPA, NOAA, USFWS, the U.S.
Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Natural Resources Conservation Service, the  Army Corps,
and the Federal Highway Administration. The Interagency
Coastal Wetlands Workgroup serves in an advisory capacity
to EPA's  Coastal Wetlands Team by helping to identify CWR
watersheds, participating in the  CWR on-site discussions, and
providing input on the reports.

EPA Coastal Wetland Regional Reviews
EPA conducted these CWRs to  identify and  better under-
stand the stressors on coastal wetlands and the strategies
needed to protect and restore them. EPA's Coastal Wetlands
Team is interested in identifying the cause(s)  of losses in the
areal extent of wetlands, as well  as examining losses in wetland
function and/or ecological integrity. Though  quantifiable data
on functional loss are limited in availability, EPA recognizes
                                                                              Consistent with other federal
                                                                              agencies, EPA is defining "coastal
                                                                              wetlands"as saltwater and
                                                                              freshwater wetlands* within HUC-8
                                                                              watersheds that drain to the Atlantic,
                                                                              Pacific, or Gulf of Mexico. "Coastal
                                                                              wetland loss" is defined as "a decline
                                                                              in the areal extent and/or  ecological
                                                                              integrity** of wetlands in  coastal
                                                                              watersheds" (Figure 2).
               Figure 2. Coastal wetlands regions identified in
               EPA's Coastal Wetlands Initiative.
that it is an issue in many watersheds and included qualitative
information to reflect this concern where appropriate. EPA
coordinated with the Interagency Coastal Wetlands Work-
group and stakeholders to gather information on available
tools and  strategies used to address wetland function and
condition within the region(s) of interest. The CWRs and the
subsequent regional  reports will not be used to evaluate spe-
cific wetland assessment tools or methodologies, but rather to
describe which tools are being used and discuss participants'
views on their experiences and relative success with such tools.

The purpose of the CWRs was to facilitate dialogue among
stakeholders who share a vested interest in  coastal wetland
resource protection such that continued local, regional, and
national efforts to stem coastal wetland losses can be increas-
ingly effective. They are not considered a commitment of
future resources to address issues identified during the review
process. Each CWR is intended to provide information on a
particular focal watershed or region and should not be consid-
ered a final assessment of the study area.  Instead, each review
should be considered a baseline reconnaissance to aid in mov-
ing the entire Coastal Wetlands Initiative forward.

This report contains points raised during the course of the
discussions with stakeholder groups. EPA affords participants
an opportunity to comment on CWR notes and draft reports
in order to provide the broadest perspective possible. EPA also
endeavors to supplement these perspectives with documenta-
tion (e.g., relevant references, citations), but it is not possible
to do so for every comment provided.  Thus, the information
presented in this report cannot be considered the definitive and
most comprehensive presentation of issues within the region or
* For the purposes of this initiative, "wetlands" means those areas meeting the definition of wetlands in: Cowardin, L., et al. 1979. Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater
Habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS 79/31. 131 pp
** EPA recognizes that there are limited quantifiable data currently available regarding loss of wetland ecological integrity.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

within specific focal watersheds. Instead, it can serve as a start-
ing point for identifying priority stressors, tools and strategies
to address them, and key information and data gaps that need
to be filled in order to reduce wetland loss in the future.

The process for the CWRs was intended to be flexible and
encouraged participation from a diverse and representative
group of stakeholders in each of the focal watersheds. Four
steps were followed for each CWR:

1. Identify focal watersheds.
USFWS identified candidate watersheds for the CWRs based
on observed wetland loss in the USFWS/NOAA Status and
Trends report. These are generally areas where the most
wetland loss has occurred, due to development, other human
actions, or where losses were attributed to inundation or other
coastal processes.

The Coastal Wetlands Team further refined this larger candi-
date watershed to focus in on specific eight-digit HUC water-
sheds ("HUC 8 watersheds"). The focal watersheds selected for
analysis are based on existing wetland conditions assessments,
available data, a variety of efforts to protect and restore coastal
wetlands, and the willingness of local stakeholders to participate.

The HUC 8 watersheds identified may correspond directly to
National Estuary Program (NEP) study areas (the geographic
boundary in which the NEPs work to  improve  estuary
health). In other words, the CWRs often occur in the same
watersheds as the NEP study areas or a sub-set thereof.

NEPs provide an effective mechanism to assist the CWRs
in a few important ways. They consist of broad-based stake-
holder groups that work in close partnership to protect and
restore habitats in their study area. These groups represent a
wide range of interests and expertise at local, state, and federal
levels (e.g., general public, state natural resource agencies,
academics, local governments, watershed groups). EPA uses
stakeholder lists from the NEPs along with contacts provided
by the  Interagency Coastal Wetlands Workgroup to invite
participants to attend the CWRs.

NEPs and their partners create and implement a management
plan that is based on scientific characterization of the study
area, and contains actions to address habitat loss and modifica-
tion. This  characterization is a collection of scientific informa-
tion that includes an assessment of extent and condition of
habitats such as wetlands. These data can help provide key
information for the CWR assessments  and reports.

2. Conduct a review of current, readily available information.
For the selected review area, the Coastal Wetlands Team gath-
ered more specific existing information on coastal wetland
loss, stressors contributing to coastal wetland loss, tools and
    National Estuary Programs (NEPs) are already
    employing a variety of efforts to protect and
    restore wetlands. NEPs can assist by: 1) conven-
    ing the appropriate stakeholders to participate in
    the CWRs, 2) providing scientific data on wetland
    conditions in their study areas, and 3) providing
    a strong platform and scientific understanding to
    support the CWRs.
strategies used to protect and restore coastal wetlands, and
key information gaps that, if addressed, could help reverse
the trend of wetland loss. Information was gathered from the
Internet, reports provided by the "host" organization, and
CWR invitees or participants in advance of the local stake-
holders discussions. In addition, to estimate coastal wetlands
loss, the Coastal Wetlands Team consulted with NOAA's
Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP), which uses satel-
lite imagery to measure land cover change in coastal areas. The
Team also requested permit data from the Army Corps and
state agencies, where applicable, in order to quantify autho-
rized losses and associated mitigation gains for wetlands under
the jurisdiction of Section 404 of the federal Clean Water
Act (CWA) or similar state programs. When made available
by the relevant agency, these data were provided in the CWR
report. Due to database limitations, permit data provided by
the Army Corps did not cover  the same time frame as C-CAP
(1996-2006)  and therefore it was not possible to compare the
magnitude of losses identified by each. See Appendices C and
D for more information on the CWA Section 404 program
and C-CAP, respectively.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Questions posed during stakeholder discussions:
   1.  What are the root causes of coastal wetland loss in your
       area? Are there differences between fresh and saltwater
       stressors? Which are the top three stressors?
   2.  What are the current regulatory and non-regulatory
       protection and restoration tools being used to adapt to or
       mitigate wetland loss in your area?
   3.  What are the successful strategies being employed to
       protect and restore coastal wetlands in your area?
   4.  What information gaps would be most helpful to address
       loss, and how can these gaps be addressed?
3. Conduct stakeholder discussions.
EPA sought an entity to serve as the "host" of each review and
to help identify a broad range of local stakeholders to par-
ticipate in the discussions. The host organization (such as an
NEP) helped to arrange the meeting logistics and used their
partnerships to invite all the appropriate participants to that
dialogue. Invited participants included a broad cross-section of
business, environmental, academic, and government repre-
sentatives. Invitee lists were collected from the organization
hosting the event, as well as suggestions from the Interagency
Coastal Workgroup (which includes their regional representa-
tives) .

The Coastal Wetlands Team convened a stakeholder forum
of the invitees in each selected focal watershed. These one- or
two-day facilitated dialogues provided additional insights about
on-the-ground (existing) condition of coastal wetlands within
the focal watershed and growing pressures within the region; i.e.,
issues often best identified by those with the most vested interest
in the outcome of such efforts. Attendees were asked to provide
information on threats to coastal wetlands (including reduction
in acreage as well as function and conditions) and tools and
techniques used locally to reduce or reverse wetland loss. The
term "stressor" was not defined for participants in advance of
the reviews. While stressors are traditionally limited to "physical,
chemical, or biological entities, or processes that adversely affect
the ecological condition of a natural ecosystem" stakeholders
in every CWR also identified programmatic issues as stressors
related to loss or degradation of coastal wetlands. While state
and federal regulatory programs are tools for wetland protection,
limits to regulation are captured in the report under the "Stress-
ors" sections in accordance with commonly expressed stake-
holder input. EPA acted as a neutral facilitator and captured the
discussion in meeting notes. While there may be disagreements
among parties regarding the validity of the data presented or
provided, EPA considered all documented sources of informa-
tion. EPA also recognized that reference documents will not be
available for all points raised by participants in the discussion.

To coincide with the stakeholder discussions, EPA scheduled
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
a visit to nearby wetland protection, restoration, or mitigation
projects when feasible. This enabled EPA to obtain a first-
hand view of local stressors or approaches being employed to
address wetland loss in that watershed. Collection and analysis
of raw field data is outside the scope of these field visits.

4. Assemble a coastal wetland  regional review summary.
Once the notes from the stakeholder discussions were vetted
with the participants,  they were combined with the available
data collected in Step  2 to form the basis of a regional report.
Although these reports are not exhaustive and only reflect
readily available, existing documentation and the viewpoints of
participating stakeholders, EPA believes they are a good indica-
tor or snapshot of wetland issues in the focal watersheds.

The results of the South Atlantic review are summarized
below, and are also presented in Tables 1 and 2 and the
"Conclusion" section  of this report.
» Major stressors:
  » Development.
  » Hydrologic alterations.
  » Limitations of regulations.
  » Sea level rise and  climate change.
• Major tools and strategies:
  » Wetland mitigation banking programs.
  » Restoration of impounded  or converted wetlands.
  » Integrated management practices  with the potential for
    multiple benefits.
  » State wetlands regulatory programs.
  » Voluntary programs.
• Major gaps:
  » Adequate staffing and wetlands program funding.
  » Lack of accurate coastal wetland loss  characterization/


                                 South Atlantic Study Area
                            Lower & Middle Neuse River Watersheds
                            ^^g Lower Neuse
                            \^] Middle Neuse
                            Indian River Watersheds
                              pH Cape Canaveral
                               | Qaytona - St.Augustine
                                Vero Beach
                                       NOAA HUC 9 Watersheds
                                     — Major Rivers
                                     ^| States
                                           Projected in Albers EqualAre;
                                             Source NOAA.ESRI
Figure 3. South Atlantic focal watersheds.

  » A complete and centralized repository or database of
    wetland-related data and metrics to enable comparison of
    data for the tracking of wetland impacts.
  » Methods to streamline permitting and document wetland
    impacts outside of wetland regulatory programs.

  » Information regarding predicted climate change impacts
    on coastal wetlands.

  » Improved collaboration between state and federal regula-
    tory agencies and external partners.

  » Increased public and stakeholder education and outreach.

South Atlantic Review
The South Atlantic region stretches from North Carolina to the
southern tip of the Atlantic-facing coast of Florida. Within this
region, two  focal watersheds were chosen by the Interagency
Workgroup  for review: the Indian River Lagoon Estuary water-
shed in Florida and the Middle and Lower Neuse River water-
sheds within the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound in North Carolina
(Figure 3). Both of these watersheds are within the geographic
scope of National Estuary Programs and enjoy an active and
engaged constituency. These watersheds are also important
from an ecological perspective, have a rich array of tools and
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
strategies employed to protect and restore their coastal wetland
resources, and serve as good examples of the region.

The South Atlantic region has the highest wetland density of
the entire East Coast (Stedman and Dahl, 2008) (Figure 4) and
hosts a variety of coastal wetlands not found in other parts of
the United States, including pocosins, Carolina bay wetlands,
cypress swamps, and mangrove forests (Dahl, 1999). These
coastal wetlands are vital to maintaining the health of coastal
and marine ecosystems supporting vibrant commercial and
recreational fishing industries, as well as coastal tourism and
recreation industries. Commercially important species, includ-
ing shrimp, flounder, blue crab, and menhaden are highly
dependent on the wetlands of this region (Lellis-Dibble et al.,
2008). From 2000 to 2008, commercial landings in the South
Atlantic  totaled almost $1.5 billion, with estuarine-dependent
species accounting for a majority of that total (NMFS, 2010).

When considered individually, each state in the South Atlantic
region contributes uniquely to this ecological diversity. For
example, although Florida has lost more wetland acres than
any other state, it  is still home to more than 10 percent of the
remaining wetlands in the conterminous United States—more
than 11  million acres (EPA, 1996). Georgia contains the short-
est coastline in the South Atlantic region, yet it is home to over
one-third of the Atlantic coast's remaining coastal marshland
(GA DNR and NOAA, 1997). The coastal wetlands of South
Carolina provide critical nursery habitat for many commercially
important species, such as shrimp and blue crab (Boylan and
Wenner, 1993; Wenner et al., 1990). North Carolina boasts
the very  rich and diverse Albemarle-Pamlico sound, the second
largest lagoonal estuary in the United States, on which over
90 percent of commercial fisheries landings in North Carolina
depend (Street et al., 2005).

South Atlantic Coastal Wetland Stressors
Historically, coastal wetland losses in this region have been
primarily due to forestry, agriculture, and hydrologic modifica-
tions (ditching, draining, and diversions) for mosquito control
                                   Estimated Wetland Density
                                        Very Hi;!.

 Figure 4. South Atlantic estimated coastal wetland density. Source: Stedman
 and Dahl, 2008.

impoundments and flood control. While agriculture and
forestry remain significant stressors on coastal wetlands, recent
losses are increasingly due to development pressures along the
coast. Among the four South Atlantic states, Florida and North
Carolina have experienced the greatest wetland losses. Florida
lost 46 percent of its wetlands and North Carolina lost almost
half (49 percent) of its total wetlands by the 1980s (Mitsch and
Gosselink, 1993). A USFWS study (1999) of South Carolina's
wetlands showed an average annual net loss of nearly 3,000
acres from 1982 to 1989- Most of these wetland losses occurred
in freshwater forested wetlands, and most were due to forestry
(31 percent), agriculture (28 percent) and urbanization (22
percent). The remaining 19 percent of losses were attributed to
conversion to open water and rural development (Dahl, 1999).
A status and trends study of Florida (Dahl, 2005) showed an
average annual loss of 5,000 acres of wetlands from 1985 to
1996 (compared to  an average annual loss of 26,000 acres the
previous decade), the vast majority of which have occurred in
freshwater wetlands. Only about  500 acres of intertidal wet-
lands were lost during the study's 1985—1996 period. Overall,
losses were attributed to agriculture (28 percent), rural develop-
ment (44 percent) and urbanization (28 percent).

The above data show that although the rate of wetland acre-
age loss is slowing, losses nonetheless continue to occur and
the majority of the losses occur in freshwater wetlands. For
the purpose of this report, it is important to examine all types
of coastal wetland losses occurring within the watershed. This
includes both freshwater and saltwater, and tidal and non-tidal

In addition to data available in studies, data from NOAA's
C-CAP were used to estimate acreage losses of coastal wet-
lands for the South Atlantic Region from 1996 to 2006 (see
Appendix D for more information on C-CAP methodology).
C-CAP examines overall land use
change, including wetlands  (excluding
submerged aquatic vegetation), for the
coastal regions of the United States.
The data set currently reports changes
in wetland acreage only and does not
measure change in wetland  function.
The C-CAP data was used in order to
be consistent across  all regions when
comparing wetland  loss. According
to C-CAP, approximately 128,000
acres were lost in the region during the
10-year period, for an annual average
loss of approximately 12,800 acres. The
majority (72 percent) of all  the wetland
losses were attributed to conversion to
agriculture and development (Figure
5). Almost 33 percent of changes to
developed land for the region occurred
in Biscayne Bay, Florida, where nearly
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
Figure 5. Wetland loss and changes in land covet, 1996-2006: South Atlantic
Region. Source: NOAA, 20/05.

17,000 acres were converted during the study period.

Based on the literature reviewed (Appendix B), several wet-
land stressors were identified in the region:

•  Hydrologic alterations, including ditching and diking for
  mosquito control and flood control diversions.

«  Residential and commercial development.

«  Infrastructure impacts, including stormwater and water

•  Agricultural and forestry practices.

•  Sea level rise leading to conversion of wetlands to open
  water; salt-water intrusion and changes in salinity.

»  Storm events causing shoreline and beach erosion.

•  Invasive vegetation.

In both of the focal watershed reviews, hydrologic alterations
                       were identified as major stressors.
                       These alterations come in the form
                       of draining for mosquito control,
                       agriculture, and forestry, as well
                       as  impoundments for waterfowl,
                       mosquito control, and flood  control.
                       Studies in North Carolina (Poulter
                       et  al., 2008)  identified ditching of
                       wetlands as possible conduits for
                       saltwater intrusion, especially with ris-
                       ing sea levels. In Florida, much of the
                       state's salt marsh was impounded by
                       the early 1970s to control mosquito
                       populations  (Brockmeyer et al., 1997).
                       More recently, Florida has begun to
                       restore the natural hydrology of these
                       impoundments and has implemented
                       integrated management practices
                       to  optimize the wetlands' multiple

human and ecological benefits, including fishing, invasive veg-
etation control, birding, mosquito control, and flood control.

Coastal development was cited as another dominant stressor
in the South Atlantic region. Over the past few decades, the
region has become a destination for job-seekers and retirees,
thereby increasing demand for residential development and
associated commercial and recreational uses. From  1995 to
2000, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina experienced the
highest levels of in-migration in the United States (Franklin,
2003). From 1980 to 2003, the coastal population density in
the region increased by 70 percent, and while the economic
downturn has recently occurred, regional growth is expected
to continue. Coastal development was identified in both focal
watershed reviews as a serious threat to coastal wetlands due to
impacts from residential and commercial development, associ-
ated recreational development (e.g., golf courses, marinas), and
infrastructure such as shoreline armoring, roads,  and utilities.

South AtlanticTools and Strategies
The South Atlantic states manage the  above stressors on coastal
wetlands using a range of tools and strategies. Regulatory
programs in the region include local, state, and federal wetland
permitting programs, which  include mitigation requirements,
compliance monitoring, and enforcement. Also important are
non-regulatory programs: land acquisition and conservation,
public education and outreach, and wetland restoration, moni-
toring, assessment, and mapping.

The four South Atlantic states use their regulatory tools in
slightly different ways. Wetland mitigation  is an example of
a regulatory tool that has been used in different capacities
across the South Atlantic region. North Carolina and Florida
have state-level wetland mitigation programs with established
methods and protocol for addressing wetland impacts. Florida
focuses on wetland function in its mitigation program, while
North Carolina tracks wetland  impacts in terms of acreage
(though it is moving toward a functional wetland assessment
methodology). North Carolina's Ecosystem Enhancement
Program provides in-lieu fee mitigation and has been recog-
nized as one of the most innovative government programs in
the country due to its proactive, watershed-based approach. A
number of mitigation banks are also present in North Caro-
lina. South Carolina and Georgia address mitigation on a
case-by-case basis, working closely with the Army Corps.

Of particular note are strategies under development within
the region to address threats of coastal erosion, storm surges,
and sea level rise. In order for the region to begin addressing
projections for sea level rise over the next century, alterna-
tives to hardening such as conservation or rolling easements
are gaining more traction (Titus, 1998; CCSP, 2009; Climate
Ready Estuaries website,  2010). Allowing wetlands to migrate
inland is a method of sea level rise adaptation, which ensures
that coastal wetlands are  maintained. Inland migration of wet-
lands can be accomplished through setbacks, density restric-
tions, and land acquisition. Regulatory rolling easements refer
to a broad range of legal  mechanism used to prevent property
owners from armoring their shoreline while allowing other
uses of the  property.  Rolling easements work by automatically
moving or  "rolling" the restriction landward with rising sea
level.  This allows sediment transport to move inland and wet-
lands to migrate naturally. Rolling easements prevent armor-
ing of the shoreline regardless of how threatened the structure
is by rising sea level.  If erosion threatens the structure, the
owner has two choices: either relocate the building or allow it
to succumb to the encroaching sea (Titus, 1998). EPA's Cli-
mate  Ready Estuaries program has developed a "Rolling Ease-
ments Primer" which identifies regulatory and non regulatory
options for implementing rolling easements (Titus,  2011).

The use of natural approaches to shoreline protection is grow-
ing in popularity in the South Atlantic states, particularly in
North Carolina. Instead of constructing seawalls and other hard
structures to prevent erosion of estuarine and ocean shores,
states and nonprofit organizations are encouraging the use
of "Living Shorelines." This science-based method evaluates
the erosion potential of a  given shoreline area and employs a
combination of the most  environmentally compatible materi-
als to  maximize stability and the natural buffering capacity of
vegetated shorelines. It has been promoted as an effective way
to protect against the effects of sea level rise and storm events
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

and restore water quality and wildlife habitat (NCCF, 2004).

South Atlantic Gaps and Needs
In addition to identifying tools and strategies, the Coastal
Wetlands Team gathered baseline information related to needs
and gaps to improve coastal wetland protection in this region.
In general, there appeared to be a need for:

• Increasing resources (staffing and funding) to administer
  regulatory programs, conduct monitoring and assessment,
  ensure accurate wetland mapping, and conduct effective
  outreach programs.
• Developing a comprehensive, central repository for wet-
  land-related data as well as a common set of metrics to
  allow standardization and comparison of data.

• Evaluating regulatory programs to determine  and address
  gaps in protection while identifying ways to streamline the
  permitting process.

Tables 1 and 2 summarize key stressors, tools, and strategies
to address them, and gaps and needs for both focal watersheds
in the South Atlantic region:
           Table 1. Stressors, Tools and Strategies, and Gaps Identified by Participants During the Indian River Lagoon CWR
Hydrologic modifications
Population growth and coastal
Wetland mitigation limitations
Invasive vegetation
Climate change and sea level rise
Tools and Strategies
Mosquito impoundment restoration
• Low-impact development and stormwater
• Local ordinances (buffers, smart growth, etc.)
• Mitigation banking and mitigation assessment
• Unified Mitigation Assessment Method
• Invasive species control programs, including
volunteer-based efforts
• Coordination between agencies
• Collaboration between governmental and non-
governmental groups
• Rolling easements
Gaps and Needs
• Data and data management tools (ecological
services data, rapid assessment methods, central
database, predictive tools, etc.)
• Consistent wetland regulation interpretation
Evaluate permitting rules
Additional research and training on functional
wetland assessment methodologies
• Transfer invasive species management programs
to private lands
• Funding and staff
        Table 2. Stressors,Tools and Strategies, and Gaps Identified by Participants During the Lower and Middle Neuse CWR
Limitations of regulations
Population growth and coastal
Cumulative Impacts
Forestry impacts
Agricultural impacts
Climate change and sea level rise
Tools and Strategies
Interagency collaboration
• Monitoring, assessment, and mapping
• Low-impact development
• Monitoring, assessment, mapping
• Forestry best management practices
• Restoration of prior converted croplands
• Watershed-based nutrient management strate-
• Living shorelines
• Public education and outreach
Gaps and Needs
• Funding and staff
Central repository for wetland information and
• Marketing and incentives for living shorelines and
low-impact development
Central repository for wetland information and
• Monitoring all wetland restoration projects;
examine whether forestry practices are changing
drainage patterns and altering wetlands
• Nutrient management plans for all land uses
• Higher-resolution mapping
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida
  The Indian River Lagoon (HUCs 03080201, 03080202,
  03080103) is a low-lying estuarine system along the Atlan-
  tic coast of Florida. Three sub-watersheds make up the
  greater Indian River Lagoon watershed: the Cape Canaveral
  watershed, the Daytona—St. Augustine watershed, and the
  Vero Beach watershed (Figure 6). These three watersheds
  straddle about 200 miles of Florida's east coast, from the
  southern boundary of Duval County, south to Jupiter Inlet
  in Palm Beach County. The estuary system contains three
  water bodies: Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and Indian
  River Lagoon.

  The Indian River Lagoon is the most diverse estuary in
  America, with over 4,300 species of plants and animals,
  including over 50 federally endangered or threatened  spe-
  cies (SJRWMD, 2007). Nearly one-third of the nation's
  endangered manatee population depends on the lagoon
  (SJRWMD, 2007). It should come as no surprise that this
  incredible natural resource was designated as an estuary
  of national importance in 1990 and admitted into the
  National Estuary Program (NEP).

  In preparation for the focal watershed review, the EPA
  Coastal Wetlands Team worked with the NOAA Coastal
  Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) to develop a general
  characterization of wetland changes in the Indian River
  Lagoon watersheds between  1996 and 2006.

  The NOAA C-CAP program examines overall land use
  change, including wetlands, for the coastal regions of the
  United States. The C-CAP tool was used in order to be
  consistent across focal watersheds when comparing wetland
  loss. The data set  currently reports changes in wetland acre-
  age only and  does not measure changes in wetland function.

  Table 3 and the accompanying pie chart displaying
  NOAA's C-CAP1 data (Figure 7) are based on the area of
  the three 8-digit HUCs that were the focus of the coastal
  wetland review in the Indian River Lagoon watersheds.
  According to the  C-CAP analysis, the vast majority (over
  12,000 acres  or about 90 percent) of wetlands lost in  the
  focal watersheds between 1996 and 2006 were  non-tidal,
  with the greatest impacts occurring from conversion of
  wetlands to development.

  The Indian River Lagoon watershed is a prime  example
  of an area that has undergone significant anthropogenic

  1   A more detailed description of the C-CAP data set is available in  Appendix D.
                           Indian River Lagoon Watersheds
                            ^ Cape Canaveral Watershed
                            | Daytona - St. Augustine Watershed
                          |    | Vero Beach Watershed
                              8-digft HUCs

      •>Qi s'
 Jijlndian River Lagoon Watersheds
                                Ptopcttd n HAD 1327 Alter* Equ»
Figure 6. Indian River Lagoon watersheds. Data Source: NOAA.

   Figure 7: Wetland loss and changes in land cover, 1996-2006: Indian
   River Lagoon watersheds. Source: NOAA, 20/05.

manipulation over the years. The watershed has experi-
enced and continues to experience a variety of stressors that
contribute to loss of coastal wetlands. Discussion at the
Indian River CWR focused on the following key con-
tributors to coastal wetland loss and confirmed, as well as
added to, the list of stressors identified during the literature
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
          Table 3. Change in Wetland Land Use Type (Acres) From 1996 to 2006, HUCs 03080201,03080202, and 03080103
Wetland Types*
Palustrine forested
Palustrine scrub
Palustrine emergent
Estuarine forested
Estuarine scrub
Estuarine emergent
Unconsolidated shore


Bare Land
Open Water
    * See Appendix D for wetland classification descriptions.
    **The estuarine emergent losses to open water are actually a misclassification in one of the dates of C-CAP data and should be ignored (they are unconsolidated bottom
       areas that were called marsh in one data and water in another).
  Hydrologic modifications. Mosquito control impound-
  ments are an example of a historical stressor (see the
  "Highlight" box on the next page) that has significantly
  affected coastal wetlands in the Indian River Lagoon water-
  sheds. Past mosquito control practices involved the use of
  large excavators called draglines to cut ditches through the
  marshes (Figure 8). These dragline ditches were intended
  to interrupt the life cycles of mosquitoes, but also had
  the unintended consequence of significantly altering the
  wetland ecosystem. Mosquito control projects impounded
  nearly 70 percent of coastal wetlands, affecting more than
  40,000 acres of salt marsh and mangrove habitat in the
  Indian River Lagoon watershed (Rey and Kain, 1989).
  These impoundments resulted in severe impairment of the
  condition and function of the affected coastal wetlands,
  resulting in loss of habitat, invasion of non-native species,
  and decline in ecological productivity. Recognition of these
  negative impacts has  resulted in the restoration of over 70
  percent of the historical mosquito control impoundments,
  and progress is being made  on restoring or managing
  remaining impoundments.

  Population growth and coastal development. Population
  growth and associated development have been dramatic in
  Florida, causing major changes to the landscape and natural
  ecosystems. Participants identified coastal development as
  an over-arching stressor that is the root cause of most other
  stressors in the watershed. CWR participants observed that
  large-scale private development projects, as well as public
  projects, are having significant impacts on coastal wetlands.
  Increasing development in coastal areas results in water
  quality and hydrologic impacts from stormwater runoff;
  It should be noted that the information below is based on
  the opinions and observations of participants, who provided
  feedback on draft versions of this document and supplemented
  statements with documentation, where available.

altered hydrology and salinity levels from drinking water
withdrawals and flood control projects; increases in boat-
ing and fishing pressure; and the direct physical alteration
of the coastal wetland ecosystem, including impacts to fish
communities, shoreline habitats, and benthic communities.

• Shoreline hardening. Shoreline stabilization using sea-
  walls and other man-made structures can have significant
  impacts on coastal wetlands. Shoreline hardening results
  in loss of wildlife habitat,  reduced water quality, and
  further erosion of adjacent coastal wetlands. Shoreline
  hardening also prevents inland  migration of wetlands
  and directly impacts submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV)
  by changing wave energies and water depths thereby
  decreasing SAV recruitment and growth (Sime, 2005).

• Water management projects. According to participants,
  the water release schedule of Lake Okeechobee has sig-
  nificant impacts on Indian River Lagoon. The ecology of
  the St. Lucie Estuary, which feeds into the  Indian River
  Lagoon,  is negatively affected by the water  discharged
  from Lake Okeechobee, which is managed for competing
  objectives including fisheries, recreation, flood control,
  potable water, and irrigation. Regulated releases from
  the lake cause water quality degradation during the dry
  season, when approximately 80 percent of the flow comes
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)

                            Highlight: Historical Context of Mosquito Control in Indian River Lagoon
        Mosquito control in Florida began
        with the spraying of DDT in Brevard
        County in 1943.Ten years later, DDT-
        resistant mosquitoes presented a
        new problem and the County, with
        over 50,000 acres of high marsh
        available to breeding mosquitoes,
        began flooding high marshes to
        prevent the deposition of larvae. By
        the 1960s, mosquitoes were posing
        a threat to NASA operations at  Cape
        Canaveral and an agreement with
        County Mosquito Control allowed
        for mosquito control on over 11,500
        acres. The following decades saw
        many of the dikes breached due to
        lack of maintenance or a purposeful
        return to the natural flow. In 1989,
        192 impoundments covering nearly
        40,000 acres remained in use. Over
        two-thirds of the impoundments were in Merritt Island National Wildlife Sanctuary (26,923 acres), which surrounds the Kennedy
        Space Center.The remaining impoundments were distributed between Brevard (3527), Indian River (2,769), Volusia (1,578), Martin
        (625), and Flagler (300) counties. By 1989,81 percent of these acres were public lands (Patterson, 2004).
Figure 8. Historical mosquito control practice of using draglines to cut ditches through marsh areas.
Source: Volusia County Mosquito Control.
     from the lake and 20 percent comes from the Indian
     River Lagoon watershed (during the wet season the flow
     distribution between these two sources is about equal).

     »  Human manipulation of water resources alters the
       natural variation in water levels. Since many species
       have adapted to the naturally occurring wet and dry
       seasons, artificial changes to the hydrologic regime
       can negatively impact wildlife that relies on the water
       body for feeding, nesting, and habitat. Hydrologic
       modifications can also negatively impact emergent and
       submerged vegetation and can create opportunities for
       invasive vegetation to compete against indigenous spe-
       cies.  During the dry years, negative ecological impacts
       include changes in the vegetation community and soil
                        Stormwater runoff. Discharges from urban (as well
                        as agricultural) runoff contain nutrients, sediments,
                        pesticides, and other contaminants that degrade water
                        quality. These discharges can result in changes in turbid-
                        ity, changes in salinity, smothering of benthic organ-
                        isms, changes to aquatic food webs, changes in wetland
                        composition, and eutrophication (FL DEP, 2010; Sime,
                        2005). These changes have both direct  and indirect
                        impacts on coastal wetland condition and function. It
                        is difficult to precisely determine the impact of runoff
                        on coastal wetlands, and to address each source, because
                        runoff is a diffuse, nonpoint source of pollution.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
   Limitations of wetland mitigation. While generally embrac-
   ing the concept of wetland mitigation and wetland bank-
   ing (see Appendix C), CWR participants voiced differing
   opinions about the effectiveness of mitigation in assuring
   no net loss of wetlands.

   •  The Florida mitigation program emphasizes wetland
     function. Therefore, several acres of low-quality wetlands
     could be mitigated with a  few acres of higher-quality wet-
     lands within a mitigation bank. Some participants fear
     that insufficient data are available to adequately assess the
     functional value of a wetland area. The lack of adequate
     data makes it difficult to determine appropriate compen-
     satory mitigation for balancing the loss of wetland area
     against the gain in the function of coastal wetlands.2

   •  Concern was expressed over the lack of effective  mitiga-
     tion requirements for isolated wetlands, which, as of
     November 2010, were protected throughout the state.
     However, some private, single-family residences may alter
     an isolated wetland without any mitigation if designed
     and constructed in accordance with the noticed general
     environmental resource permits (Florida Administra-
     tive Code, Chapter 62-341.475[l][f]).3 When the state
     processes individual permits for activities in isolated wet-
     lands less than a half-acre in size, evaluation criteria are
     limited to effects on water quality  (FL DEP and  North-
     west Florida Water Management District, 2010, Section These potential  small, unmitigated acreage
     losses of isolated wetlands  can add up to significant losses
     over time.

   Invasive vegetation. Although participants attending the
   review agreed that invasive species are currently one of
   the best-managed stressors in the  Indian River Lagoon
   watersheds, invasive vegetation continues to be a main
   cause of coastal wetland functional loss, requiring con-
   tinued vigilance and attention. These losses are associated
   with loss of species diversity, structural changes in the
   vegetation community, changes in nutrient cycling, and
   habitat changes along the coast. The degree of infestation
   is proportional to the impact that invasive vegetation can
   have on coastal wetlands. For example, in the Indian River
   Lagoon, broad-leaved paper  bark  (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
   has minimal impacts at low levels of coverage (10 to 25
   percent), but at higher coverage levels (65 percent), nega-
   tive impacts increase greatly. Some participants suggested
that developers or private landowners may have an incen-
tive to allow invasive infiltration into wetlands, since infil-
tration means loss of function, which means less mitigation
required for development in the wetland area.

Climate change and sea level rise. The impacts of climate
change are already becoming apparent in the Indian River
Lagoon watersheds and these impacts will be compounded by
the presence of historical and current stressors. Some of the
issues likely to be exacerbated by climate change and sea level
rise include erosion, salt water intrusion, changes in salinity
regimes, and changes in species composition and distribution.
Sea level rise and increasing intensity and frequency of storm
events are two projected threats  to coastal wetlands. How-
ever, other impacts such as changes in precipitation patterns,
timing and delivery of water and sediments, increases in
atmospheric carbon dioxide, and higher temperatures could
also affect these resources (Scavia et al., 2002). The extent of
these impacts on coastal wetlands will depend on their ability
to adapt to change and the degree to which human activities
impair these natural adaptive capacities  (Scavia et al., 2002).
For example, inland migration is one means wetlands have
of adapting to rising sea levels. However, shoreline hardening
can prevent wetlands from migrating and therefore results in
acreage loss of wetlands due to inundation. Wetland response
to climate change and sea level rise will vary and will depend
upon the interactions of various processes and the magnitude
of the changes.

• Storm frequency and intensity.  Climate change will
  impact the frequency and intensity of storm events in the
  future. One potential result of more frequent and intense
  storms is worsening of sand overwash after hurricanes,
  which leads to smothering of mangrove wetlands. Storms
  also put low-salinity wetlands at risk, causing salt  burn
  from  salt water intrusion, and eroding organic marsh
  substrates (Scavia et al., 2002).

• Sea level rise. Sea level rise is another stressor for Florida
  coastal wetlands including those in the Indian River
  Lagoon. Research suggests that over the past 70 years the
  sea level has risen approximately nine inches in Florida,
  contributing to coastal erosion and inundation (Haus-
  erman, 2006). In addition, sea level  rise contributes to
  change in wetland type (e.g., conversion of high marsh
  to high-low marsh hybrid). Florida's coastal wetlands
  will be highly susceptible to sea level rise in the future,
    2  The Army Corps'Jacksonville District contends that, under Section 404 permitting regulations, an appropriate level of mitigation is reguired.
    3  Prior to 2010, the Northwest Water Management District (managing the Florida "Panhandle") did not claim jurisdiction over isolated wetlands that were not connected
       via wetlands, surface waters, or manmade waterbodies to other waters (see Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 62-340, for detailed definition).
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
    which is predicted to range from 7 to 23 inches in the
    next century (IPCC, 2007)- A sea level rise of 15 inches
    would inundate approximately 50 percent of salt marsh
    and 84 percent of tidal flats statewide. In the Indian
    River Lagoon watersheds, a 15-inch rise would lead to
    a loss of 49 percent of the area's ocean beach and an 11
    percent loss of hardwood swamp (Click and Clough,
    2006; Figure 9).

  Tools and Strategies
  A number of effective tools and strategies exist or are under
  development in the Indian River Lagoon watersheds to
  address the above stressors. The focal watershed session
  highlighted the following:

  Tools for restoring natural hydrology of altered coastal
  wetlands. As mentioned in the "Stressors" section, hydro-
  logic modifications in the Indian River Lagoon watersheds
  have occurred for over 50 years. Review participants men-
  tioned ongoing strategies to move away from historical
  practices and manage mosquito control projects for
  multiple benefits:

  • Integrated management practices. St. Lucie County is
    applying integrated management practices to restore
    previously impounded wetlands and manage them for
    multiples uses (see the "Highlight" box).

    These practices are being implemented to restore
    and enhance wetland function and manage mosquito
    control projects for multiple uses by attempting to
    restore more natural hydrology. Participants  submit-
    ted studies that investigate how impounded mangrove
    swamps compare to open mangrove swamps. While
    there is not uniform agreement regarding the wetland
    values of "managed" mangroves, the restoration meth-
    ods  for reconnecting formerly impounded coastal
    wetlands are generally viewed as a positive restoration
    strategy (Harrington and Harrington, 1961, 1982;
    Middleton et al.,  2008; Rey et al., 2009; McKee et
    al., 2009).

  • Dragline ditch wetland restoration. In addition to
    management of impounded wetlands, efforts are
    underway to fully restore previously impacted
    wetlands in Volusia County. The USFWS National
    Coastal Wetlands Grant Program awarded the
    County half a million dollars in 2009 to restore 600
    acres of dragline ditch wetlands. Volusia County
    Mosquito Control is responsible for implementing
Projected Effects of a 15-inch Rise in Sea Level for Indian River Lagoon by 2100
                              * Significant increase of saltmarsh,
                                brackish marsh and tidal flats.
Figure 9. Projected effects of sea level rise in Indian River Lagoon. Source:
Click and dough, 2006.

           Highlight: St. Lucie County Mosquito
          Impoundment Integrated Management
  Current mosquito control practices still rely on impoundments, but
  incorporate more adaptive management strategies to help man-
  age areas for multiple uses. St. Lucie County's Mosquito Control
  District has won several state and national awards for its manage-
  ment approach.The county contains approximately 4,000 acres of
  coastal mosquito impoundments and 41 miles of dikes and perim-
  eter canals. Unlike historical impoundments, these impoundments
  are open to natural tides most of the year but are kept flooded
  (partly closed, with constant water exchange) during the summer
  breeding season to minimize the amount of exposed mud avail-
  able for mosquito egg laying, a procedure known as rotational
  impoundment management (
  quito/).The Mosquito Control District's land acquisition/mitigation/
  donation program is a critical component of its impoundment
  management effort and
  has included acquisition
  ary,Vitolo Family Park,
  Blind Creek Park (ocean
  to river), Ocean Bay,
  Queens Island, Kings
  Island, IndrioBlueway,
  Harbor Branch Preserve,
  and Wildcat Cove. Bear
and federal-approved
mitigation bankthathas
been selling credits since
                       r        .,,....
                       Figure 10. Bear Point impoundment
                       and mjtjgatjon bgnK ft pjera, F|orjda
                       Source: Google Maps.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
    the project and is using amphibious low-bearing weight
    machinery particularly suited for working in submerged
    areas. Phase I of the project is currently underway; in
    early 2010, approximately 120 acres of formerly ditched
    wetlands were restored (SJRWMD, 2010). Dragline
    ditch restoration sites throughout the St. Johns River
    Water Management District have been monitored by the
    University of Central Florida over the last several years
    for signs of native vegetation and  restored wetland
    functions (SJRWMD, 2010).

  Tools to address stormwater. Both regulatory and non-reg-
  ulatory programs addressing stormwater were mentioned
  during the review. Low-impact development (LID) stan-
  dards and Florida's draft stormwater rules are two  notewor-
  thy regulatory tools. Non-regulatory programs include:

    Retrofitting. Retrofitting stormwater outfalls by redesign-
    ing them or installing pollution control devices helps
    implement Total Maximum Daily Loads  (TMDLs) for
    restoring water quality. Counties are using grant monies
    to implement stormwater retrofits. The Army Corps has
    also allowed retrofitting stormwater outfalls as part of its
    mitigation for submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to
    help reduce toxins, hydrocarbons, and sediment discharg-
    ing into SAV beds in the Indian River Lagoon. These
    pollutant reductions can lead to better coastal wetland
    condition and function by improving water quality.

  • Best management practices (BMPs). BMPs to improve
    stormwater quality include silt fencing, turbidity barri-
    ers, staked hay bales, vegetated swales, and infiltration
    methods. Improved stormwater management, includ-
    ing retrofitting existing infrastructure, helps maintain
    wetland hydrology and helps reduce pollutant loading to
    wetlands, thereby improving their overall function.

  • Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
    As part of the CERP, the IRL-South Restoration Proj-
    ect is designed to reverse some of the damage inflicted
    by stormwater runoff and unnaturally large freshwater
    discharges into the lagoon.  Project features include water
    storage reservoirs, stormwater treatment areas, natural
    storage and water treatment areas, diversions of existing
    watershed flows (from reservoirs and stormwater treat-
    ment areas) and muck remediation (U.S.  Army Corps of
    Engineers, 2010).

  Tools to address population growth and development.
  Review participants noted several regulatory programs they
  viewed as successful:
         Impoundment Reconnection
 Figure 11. This illustration shows how previously diked wetlands are recon-
 nected to the estuary by constructing a system of culverts, pumps, and spill-
 ways to regulate flow between the wetlands and receiving waters. Flow is
 monitored and regulated to optimize management for multiple uses, includ-
 ing mosquito control. Source: University ofTexas, Center for Space Research.

 Local ordinances. Some counties have enacted their own
 wetland minimum standards, and some cities/towns
 within those counties have as stringent or more stringent
 ordinances in place. For example, mitigation for wetland
 acreage losses may be required at the county level even if
 federal and state governments do  not.

 Buffers. Some counties are using buffer requirements in
 order to protect sensitive aquatic areas. For example, St.
 Lucie and Volusla Counties have established minimum
 25 foot buffer areas around wetlands. Also in Volusia
 County, aquatic preserves, Outstanding Florida Waters,
 and Natural Resource Management Areas have minimum
 buffers of 50 feet to provide even  greater protection for
 these specially designated  areas.

• Smart growth. Volusia County uses smart growth prin-
 ciples and incentives to cluster development away from
 sensitive natural areas such as  wetlands. St. Lucie County
 has been a leader in sustainable development. The County
 passed a bond referendum in  1994 to acquire and manage
 environmentally significant lands and has protected over
 7,000 acres to date. The County has also implemented a
 variety of sustainable land use programs and policies. The
 2002 update of the County's Comprehensive Plan incor-
 porated smart growth policies and, in 2006, the County
 approved new regulations  for  sustainable development in
 the North County area, called Towns, Villages and the
 Countryside (TVC). TheTVC overlay district incorpo-
 rates development criteria consistent with smart growth
 and sustainable development practices, including transect-
 based neighborhood planning with grid transportation
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
    networks, interconnected greenways and blueways, and
    LID standards. Plans for development of a new village
    must identify specific transect zones ranging from urban
    cores at the center of the village to countryside around
    the perimeter (St. Lucie County Land Development
    Code, 2006). Although these types of ordinances do not
    target wetlands, there are potentially indirect benefits for
    wetlands by having lower nutrient loads in the runoff as a
    result of these planning principles. For more information,

    Environmental Resources Permit (ERP) program.
    Florida's state wetlands protection laws are implemented
    through the ERP program. While the Florida Depart-
    ment of Environmental Protection (DEP) issues certain
    permits, most state wetland permitting is done by Water
    Management Districts.  Key components of the ERP
    program include wetland mitigation requirements, a
    statewide system of wetland banks, and a compliance
    program, discussed below.

    Wetland mitigation. Despite the critiques of mitigation
    noted in the  "Stressors" section, participants also recog-
    nized that mitigation can be a tool for protecting coastal
    wetlands and articulated some of the strengths of the pro-
    gram. In their experience, preservation, restoration, and
    enhancement are the most common forms of mitigation
    in Florida, and  creation is the least common type used to
    satisfy the Florida DEP's mitigation requirements. State-
    federal coordination on mitigation requirements is strong
    between ERP and the federal 404 program. Mitigation
    banks are the Army Corps' preferred form of mitigation
    because they are generally considered environmentally
    preferable. Mitigation banks cover large areas  and they
    have lower risk and uncertainty than mitigation for which
    permittees are responsible. Additionally, restoration and
    enhancement are preferred over creation due to their
    higher success rate compared to creation.

    » Participants felt that mitigation banks, which are wide-
      spread throughout Florida (Figure 12), tend to receive
      more compliance/enforcement oversight than other
      wetlands mitigation projects because of their high
      public visibility.

    » The Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method
      (UMAM)  is a statewide method to determine the
      amount of mitigation required to offset wetland
      impacts. The method includes formulas for determin-
      ing the loss of function of a wetland (e.g., for fish and
   wildlife habitat) that would result from a proposed
   impact, and includes formulas for calculating how
   much proposed mitigation would be needed to offset
   the impacts.

 >  "Ecological lift" is a term that is used to describe
   improved wetland function when rehabilitation steps
   are undertaken (see  Florida Administrative Code,
   Chapter 62-345). Ecological lift can be quantified and
   given credit toward  a mitigation project. Some partici-
   pants cited it as an innovative way to improve wetland
   function, providing incentives for wetland manage-
   ment activities such as invasive species removal.

 Compliance. Participants identified compliance and enforce-
 ment programs as important tools with insufficient resources
 (see the "What's Needed? What's Missing?" section). Budget
 and staffing resources have always been an issue for the
 enforcement program,  but with increasing budget cuts con-
 cerns were expressed that the limitations of enforcement and
 compliance programs will worsen.

 » Compliance concerns were expressed regarding wetlands
   protected via conservation easements. One specific area
   of concern noted by participants was that easement
   landowners commonly believe they can clear, fill, and
   mow on their property,  resulting in numerous violations.
Figure 12. Florida wetland mitigation bank sites. Source: FL DEP, 2010.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
     » Wetland mitigation proposals for mitigation banks
       and in-lieu-fee programs (see Appendix C) go through
       a state/federal mitigation review (by the Interagency
       Review Team) and are held to standards laid out in the
       Federal Mitigation Rule.4 Mitigation banks must have
       an "instrument" approved by the Interagency Review
       Team that lays out exactly what milestones must be
       achieved in order to receive credits. There is a monetary
       consequence for noncompliance (outside civil penalties
       for traditional noncompliance). Because Army Corps
       and state staff are very limited, they must be highly
       selective in choosing sites to spend time on to get the
       biggest environmental return for their effort;  mitiga-
       tion banks provide that.

     Coordination. Coordinating permitting and compliance
     was cited as an important tool that allows for shared
     expertise and a more efficient regulatory process.

     Example of interagency compliance coordination:

       Compliance with Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Con-
       servation consultation requirements. The Magnuson-
       Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
       requires National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
       and regional  Fishery Management Councils to iden-
       tify and protect important marine and anadromous
       fish habitat. Rules finalized in 2002 (50 CFR Sections
       600.805-600.930) establish procedures to promote the
       protection of EFH through interagency coordination.
       Federal agencies are required to consult with NMFS
       regarding projects that fund, permit, or implement
       activities that may adversely affect EFH. Consultations
       are required for federally funded projects  or projects
       requiring a federal permit. A standard operating plan
       establishes a process for collecting pre- and post-
       construction information to determine if EFH con-
       servation recommendations provided by NMFS and
       implemented by federal action agencies have  resulted
       in  sufficient protection of EFH. EFH  conservation rec-
       ommendations  are evaluated to develop the knowledge
    necessary to improve the conservation recommenda-

   Examples of interagency permitting coordination:

  » The Efficient Transportation Decision-Making Team is a
    group of individuals located across Florida state agencies
    brought together by the Florida Department ofTrans-
    portation to work on transportation projects. The team,
    throughout the planning and permitting process, pays
    attention to potential environmental consequences. The
    team's efforts lead to a more streamlined permitting pro-
    cess with fewer consequences for the natural environment.

  » The South Florida Water Management District's (SFW-
    MD's) Water Resources Advisory Commission serves as
    an advisory body to the SFWMD Governing Board and
    the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to
    improve public participation and decision-making about
    water resources in the region (

Tools to address invasive vegetation. Managed lands
such as state and local parks have invasive species control
programs in place that monitor and employ mitigation
strategies to control the spread of invasive plants.

• Nationwide Permit 27. The Army Corps is an active
  partner in programs to address invasive vegetation. The
  Army Corps uses Nationwide Permit 27 for wetland
  restoration, which streamlines the permitting  process for
  invasive vegetation removal projects.5

  USFWS wetland grant program. In 2006,  and again in
  2008, funding was provided by this program (authorized
  under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act)
  to eradicate the Brazilian pepper tree  from  prime migra-
  tory bird  habitat in the Indian River Lagoon, portions of
  the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Sebas-
  tian Inlet State Park. The project includes 20 acres of
  mangroves and 15  acres of other coastal wetlands in the
  lagoon. As part of the project, 3,000 red mangrove sap-
  lings will  be planted along the shoreline of the  lagoon
       4   73 FR19670, April 10,2008. Available at httpy/
       5   Nationwide Permit 27 includes activities associated with the restoration, enhancement, and establishment of tidal and non-tidal wetlands and riparian areas and
          the restoration and enhancement of non-tidal streams and other non-tidal open waters, provided those activities result in net increases in aquatic resource func-
          tions and services. Activities authorized by this nationwide permit include, but are not limited to: the removal of accumulated sediments; the installation, removal,
          and maintenance of small water control structures, dikes, and berms; the installation of current deflectors; the enhancement, restoration, or establishment of riffle
          and pool stream structure; the placement of in-stream habitat structures; modifications of the stream bed and/or banks to restore or establish stream meanders;
          the backfilling of artificial channels and drainage ditches; the removal of existing drainage structures; the construction of small nesting islands; the construction of
          open water areas; the construction of oyster habitat over unvegetated bottom in tidal waters; shellfish seeding; activities needed to reestablish vegetation, includ-
          ing plowing or disking for seed bed preparation and the planting of appropriate wetland species; mechanized land clearing to remove non- native invasive, exotic,
          or nuisance vegetation; and other related activities. Only native plant species should be planted at the site.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
     (http ://www. fws. gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Small/).

   •  Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). This inter-
     agency team identifies invasive plants and develops strate-
     gies for eradication. Some plants are prohibited by the
     state for sale and distribution. Local governments may also
     use the FLEPPC list to prohibit, exempt, or otherwise reg-
     ulate the installment or removal or FLEPPC-listed plants.
     Pest plants identified and categorized (by invasive proper-
     ties) by the FLEPPC are  used in the regulatory arena (e.g.,
     the presence of these plants determines wetland function
     in UMAM scoring and their removal is considered mitiga-
     tion for addressing wetland function loss).

   Tools to address multiple wetland stressors.

   •  Land acquisition and conservation. Protection of coastal
     wetlands by acquiring wetland areas was noted as a suc-
     cessful tool. Two notable programs were mentioned:

     » The USFWS National Coastal Wetlands Grant Pro-
      gram provides funding for projects benefitting fish and
      wildlife in coastal habitats  (see, for example, "Tools for
      restoring natural hydrology of altered coastal wetlands").

     » The Florida Forever Program (operated by the Florida
      DEP) has acquired more than 650,000 acres since the
      program's inception in 2001, including 276,070 acres of
      functional wetlands. The Florida state legislature allo-
      cates funds to Florida Forever, which then distributes the
      money to various state agencies and programs to purchase
      public lands. For example, the St. Johns River Water Man-
      agement District has purchased nearly 53,000 acres of
      environmentally sensitive land, including coastal wetlands
      within the Indian River Lagoon watershed (http://www.

   •  Public education. Review participants felt that educating
     the public was an important strategy in fostering volun-
     teerism and individual actions to protect wetland resources.
     Wetland education occurs through school programs and
     living shoreline workshops. Some highlights include:

     » School environmental programs to raise awareness.
      Volusia County targets K—12 students through the
      St. John's River Water  Management District Legacy
      Program. There are  18 schools currently participating:
      seven elementary, six middle, and five high schools
      reaching 4,200 students per year.

     » Living shorelines workshops. Workshops sponsored
      by NOAA and USFWS  have been held in Port Orange
      and Volusia County. These workshops were intended to
  aid in development of standard permit plans for living
  shoreline approaches, which contractors currently view
  as more difficult to permit than seawall construction.

Volunteer programs. Volusia County and the Indian
River Lagoon National Estuary Program—as well as
other entities—are conducting a very impressive and
wide range of volunteer efforts in the Indian River
Lagoon watersheds. Volunteers participate in invasive
species removal, water quality sampling and monitoring,
and restoration activities including:

  The Brevard County Pepper-Busting Campaign (i.e.,
  removal of Brazilian pepper trees).

» Volusia County's adopt-an-estuary program, which will
  include voluntary  monitoring of estuarine wetlands
  (program is currently in development).

Collaboration.  Participants  felt that one of the Indian
River Lagoon's  most remarkable assets is the very strong
culture of collaboration between all levels of govern-
ment and non-governmental entities. This collaborative
culture has been a large contributor to successful coastal
wetland protection and has  given rise to numerous
volunteer groups working hand-in-hand with govern-
ment agency staff. Positive,  long-term working relation-
ships are a distinctive characteristic of the Indian River

             Highlight: Volusia County's CIA
 Volusia County has a volunteer-based invasive plant removal team
 called the Counter Invasive Agents (CIA). The program educates the
 public on how to remove exotic species through pilot plant-removal
 projects in local parks.These projects then allow the public to transfer
 their exotic plant-removing techniques to their own backyards.
 Interested members of the public can sign up on Volusia County's

Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
     Lagoon watershed. Strong partnerships have fostered a
     shared work ethic and strong professional network. Many
     people have been working together in the area for over
     30 years, which has led to a very strong community spirit
     centered on protection of the Indian River Lagoon. Some
     examples of successful collaboration include:

     »  National Estuary Program. The Indian River Lagoon
       National Estuary Program (NEP) was mentioned as a
       good example of the many interagency collaboration
       efforts underway in the lagoon (see the "Highlight"
       box). The NEP is currently working with the city of
       Satellite Beach (in Brevard County) to assess munici-
       pal vulnerability to sea level rise and identify critical
       municipal assets, with results to date summarized in a
       report by RWParkinson Consulting  (2010). The work
       is being funded by a $25,000 grant from EPA's Climate
       Ready Estuaries Program (EPA, 2009).

     »  Planning. State and local authorities collaborate through
       existing programs and planning groups (the Surface
       Water Improvement and Management Program, the
       Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan,
       and Aquatic Resources Plans) to ensure that the plans are
       compatible and implementable  by all involved agencies.

     »  Florida Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control.
       The Council is composed of academics, district repre-
       sentatives, and local/state/federal officials. The techni-
       cal advisory committee meets quarterly, conducts site
       visits, and develops adaptive management strategies for
       specific wetlands through multi-agency participation.

  What's Needed? What's Missing?
  Despite the above  array of tools and strategies to address
  stressors to coastal wetlands in the Indian River Lagoon
  watersheds, participants identified several gaps in resources
  and regulations. They expressed the need to address  these
  gaps to enable more effective application of tools and strat-
  egies to protect and restore the watersheds' wetlands. Most
  gaps applied to all coastal wetland programs.

  Gaps in data sharing and information on ecological
  services. A shared, comprehensive database would bol-
  ster existing  collaboration efforts between state agencies,
  federal agencies, and the public. It would provide infor-
  mation needed to identify key issues and help managers
  address them in a systematic, science-based approach. The
  data would serve to track wetland changes, identify spe-
  cific stressors, and  evaluate program success. Participants
  noted that it would be very helpful to have a specific tool
     Highlight: Indian River Lagoon NEP Partnerships
        Indian River Lagoon NEP Wetland-Related Efforts
          / 0,468.32 Acres Protected and Restored 2007-2009
                                        Barrier Island - 530.94
                                     Mangrove - 489.67
                                  Soft Bottom/mud - 231
                                Riparian - 76.34
  NEP works with many partners on impounded wetland restoration,
  drag-line ditched wetland restoration and shoreline and fringing
  mangrove restoration, including:
  • St. John's River Water Management District
  • Volusia County Mosquito Control USFWS/Merritt Island National Wildlife
  • National Park Service/Canaveral National Seashore
  • St. Lucie County Mosguito Control
  • Brevard County Mosguito Control
  • Indian River County Mosguito Control
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection—
   S.E. Aguatic Preserve Program
  Source: SJRWMD, 2011
to measure, classify, and assess coastal wetlands in order
to gain a better understanding of how they are being

• A statewide database is needed with a CIS interface in
  order to spatially assess cumulative wetland impacts.
  Information should include state and federal permitting
  data, mitigation sites, water quality data, hydrologic data,
  etc. Such a centralized wetland information system would
  allow watershed-based monitoring of wetland status and
  trends to help set priorities  for wetland protection and
  restoration. The system would enable an assessment of
  wetland acreage loss/gain, wetland function, and wetland
  restoration. Water quality data, TMDLs of pollutants,
  and NPDES information on surface water discharge
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
permits could support better assessments of water quality
impacts on wetland function, and a better understand-
ing of the effects of agricultural and urban runoff and the
effectiveness of mitigation and restoration efforts.

This system could build on  a University of Miami/DEP
pilot database for central and southeast Florida, which
will include permit information and wetland loss data.
The pilot should be evaluated to identify and resolve
issues over transferability, data entry responsibilities and
details on QA/QC process.  Ideally, the system would
be developed with a format that could be shared among
agencies to aid in interagency collaboration.

Participants identified the need for more information on
ecological services provided by wetlands to enable more
accurate assessments of project impacts.

» Functional assessment techniques should be based on
  adequate science to quantify ecological functions.

» Rapid assessment methodology (uniform and repli-
  cable) should be developed and implemented for field

» Predictive tools based on  ecological function of wet-
  lands could facilitate assessment of stormwater man-
  agement systems, mosquito impoundment projects,
  and shoreline hardening;  evaluate the impact of nutri-
  ents on flora and fauna; perform economic valuation of
  wetlands; and support statewide ecological goods and
  services survey (potentially scaled down to regional/
  local level).
                                                            Gaps in resources to protect coastal wetlands. Both per-
                                                            sonnel and funding are needed to address the loss of coastal
                                                            wetlands and employ strategies to protect and restore them.

                                                            •  Staff. Review attendees were concerned about lim-
                                                              ited regulatory staff resources. Limited regulatory staff
                                                              resources make enforcement of permit conditions and
                                                              enforcement of unpermitted actions difficult.

                                                            •  Funding. Additional monies are needed for educa-
                                                              tion and outreach to target youth and land developers.
                                                              Research money for evaluating techniques to  help deter-
                                                              mine best practices is also lacking. Another important
                                                              source of funding, the state Wetland Grant Program, has
                                                              not been increased despite growing demands, contribut-
                                                              ing  to further resource limitations.

                                                            Gaps in coordinating federal, state, and local wetland
                                                            regulations.  Participants felt that federal, state,  and local
                                                            governments should more closely coordinate wetland regu-
                                                            lations to avoid redundancy and ensure consistent interpre-
                                                            tation. Each  level of government has similar project review
                                                            processes,  but different  rules, policies, and regulations. This
                                                            may result in redundant processes  and different outcomes
                                                            for permit applicants.

                                                            Gaps in evaluating permitting rules. Review of the Florida
                                                            DEP's ERP rules would allow state officials to evaluate
                                                            program effectiveness and help determine ways  of making
                                                            sure that best practices are being implemented. For exam-
                                                            ple, it would be important to ensure that rules are designed
                                                            to permit new, innovative techniques such as progressive
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Indian River Lagoon, Florida (continued)
  stormwater management projects and living shorelines
  projects. Other suggestions for improved permitting

  • Holding periodic meetings between state, federal, and
    county officials to share information and strengthen rela-
    tionships. This would help to expand upon the collabora-
    tion and coordination efforts that are already noted as
    important tools  (see the "Tools and Strategies" section).

  • Creating a step-by-step process for integrated permitting
    that would enable simultaneous review of all permits
    needed for a project to ensure cross-program coordina-
    tion and avoid the pressure some agencies feel when
    impacts not allowable under their regulations have been
    approved under previously obtained permits.

  • More cross-training for wetland assessment should occur
    between federal, state, and local agencies to improve
    consistency in how the UMAM is used.

  Gaps in wetland mitigation. More information and
  research is needed on the relationship between wetland
  function and acreage  in order to ensure that sufficient miti-
  gation is being done to compensate for wetland losses.

  • Mitigation banks. Concerns were expressed that the
    widespread availability of mitigation banks may provide a
    disincentive to "avoid and minimize" impacts. Some par-
    ticipants questioned how agencies determine sufficient
    "avoidance and minimization," prior to allowing the
    use of wetland mitigation banking credits. Stakeholders
    presented this as a concern despite the  recognition that,
    regardless of the presence or absence of any permittee-
    responsible or third party mitigation option(s), pursuant
    to the CWA404(b)(l) guidelines, impacts must first be
    avoided and minimized to the maximum extent practica-
    ble before compensation for unavoidable impacts is con-
    sidered. In accordance with the Compensatory Mitiga-
    tion Rule (see Appendix C), mitigation banks are the first
    mitigation alternative in the preference hierarchy because
    banks, along with in-lieu-fee programs, usually involve
    consolidation of compensatory mitigation projects where
    ecologically appropriate, reduce temporal losses of func-
    tions, and reduce uncertainty about project success.

  • Effectiveness. Participants questioned whether the
    performance of mitigation sites was being adequately
    assessed to determine full compensation of function and
    value. In addition, within this region no mitigation is
    required for certain activities that generate losses of SAV,
  an important fisheries habitat composed of underwater
  plants often found in the intertidal zone adjacent to
  coastal wetlands.

• Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method. Despite being
  a practical tool to address mitigation, some have sug-
  gested that UMAM needs to be improved to increase its
  effectiveness in protecting wetlands. Some participants
  provided literature (Costanza et al.,  1997; Brown and
  Lant, 1999; Robertson, 2003) supporting their concerns
  about UMAM's reliability in fully characterizing wetland
  function, calculating mitigation accurately, and ensur-
  ing that tradeoffs  truly result in no net loss of wetlands.
  Specific concerns:

    Although SFWMD holds UMAM training and work-
    shops, UMAM has not been peer-reviewed or validated
    as a model.

  » The potential for onsite "ecological lift" (the degree of
    wetland improvement in function)  is not adequately
    assessed. Some participants voiced reservations about
    allowing ecological lift as compensation for loss of acreage
    because it is difficult to determine the added functional
    or qualitative value compared to quantitative area! loss.

  » While Chapter 62-345 of the Florida Administrative
    Code has guidelines for scoring wetland mitigation,
    professional judgment is often used in determining the
    scores. Small variations in scoring could result in less
    mitigation. Concerns were expressed that applicants
    might be "gaming the system" by  trying to under-assess
    the value and functions of impact areas and over-assess
    the value and function of the mitigation areas, to
    reduce mitigation requirements. However, it was also
    noted that the project manager reviewing the project
    has the final say in the scoring, not the  applicant.

Gaps in transferring strategies from public  to private land
to increase effectiveness of invasive species management.
Invasive species control strategies need to be applied on pri-
vate as well as public land. Currently, most  of the invasive
plant programs are implanted on public lands, and partici-
pants cited the need to transfer those successful public land
management practices to the private sector  for more effec-
tive, comprehensive invasive species control throughout
the watershed. More programs like Volusia  County's CIA
will help increase the awareness of the public in removing
exotic species from their own properties (see the "Tools and
Strategies" section).
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed
   North Carolina's approximately 5,000 miles of estuarine
   shoreline and over 300 miles of ocean shoreline are host to
   a variety of wetland types—marsh, swamps, forested wet-
   lands and pocosins, to name a few. Unfortunately, North
   Carolina has lost 50 percent of its original 11.1 million
   acres of wetlands. Between 1950 and 1980, wetland  con-
   version6 in the North Carolina coastal plain was due largely
   to forestry (52.8 percent of total area altered), followed by
   agriculture (42.2 percent)  and development, such as  urban-
   ization (5 percent) (Cashin et al., 1992). Despite these
   losses, the majority of the  remaining wetland is located in
   the coastal plain (Dorney et al., 2004; Street et al., 2005).

   The northern portion of North Carolina's coastal zone is
   distinguished by a long strand of barrier islands (the Outer
   Banks). With only a few inlets, these barrier islands have
   created the largest lagoonal estuarine system in the United
   States (EPA, 2007). The coastal wetlands in the region are
   a critical resource for the state's commercial fishing, recre-
   ational fishing, and tourism industries. Jobs and businesses
   in the region depend on a healthy coastal wetland ecosystem.

   The Neuse is one of six river basins that drain into the Albe-
   marle-Pamlico Sound (Figure 13). The Neuse River, which
   flows 250 miles starting in the North Carolina Piedmont,
   has experienced water quality degradation over the last few
   decades due to a variety of factors, including agricultural
   runoff. By the mid-1980s, the Neuse estuary saw an increase
   in excessive levels of nutrients, harmful algal blooms,  low
   oxygen levels, fish kills, and other symptoms of stress in the
   aquatic biota (NC DWQ,  n.d.). In the mid-1990s, expan-
   sions of concentrated animal feeding operations contributed
   further to nutrient loading in the river. More recently, the
   explosion of development in the Piedmont and inner-
   coastal areas has exacerbated already serious water quality
   issues. This combination ofstressors prompted American
   Rivers to name the Neuse one of the nation's 10 most
   endangered rivers in 2007  (American Rivers, 2007).

   In preparation for the focal watershed review, the  EPA
   Coastal Wetlands Team worked with the North Carolina
   Division of Water Quality  (NC DWQ) and NOAA C-CAP
   to develop a general characterization of wetland changes in
   the Middle and Lower Neuse over the past 10 or so years, as
 Coastal Wetland Review Watersheds
 Middle and Lower Neuse USGS 3-dlglt HUCs
Figure 13. Albemarle-Pamlico Sound and the mid-and lower Neuse River
watersheds (cross-hatched).
reported by both agencies. NOAA C-CAP examines overall
land use change, including wetlands, for the coastal regions
of the United States. The NC DWQ program tracks site-
specific impacts to wetlands regulated under the 401 Water
Quality Certification program, which is closely coordinated
with the 404 permitting program administered by the
Army Corps. Because of differences in scale, timeframe, and
geographical boundaries, the two data sets are not directly
comparable. NOAA C-CAP does not differentiate between
permitted wetland losses and losses occurring outside the
permitting programs. It provides a general, "high-level"
snapshot of the nature and scope of wetlands changes from
an analysis of 30-meter-resolution imagery from Landsat (a
form of remote sensing). NC DWQ tracks the extent of wet-
land losses that are permitted and mitigated through the state
wetland permitting program, which requires at least 1:1 miti-
gation, and most commonly 2:1  mitigation. Both state and
federal data sets currently report changes in wetland acreage
only and do not measure changes in wetland function.

Table 4 displays Middle and Lower Neuse (HUCs
03020202, 03020204) wetland impacts and mitigation data
for 2000 to 2009 provided by NC DWQ. The data were
assembled using county boundaries and therefore do not
reflect the focal watershed review area exactly. The calcula-
tions do not include impacts associated with 404 nation-
wide permits (NWP) 12, 27,  and 33, or any impacts that
may be occurring outside the  regulatory programs.7 The
  6   For purposes of the CWR effort, conversion is defined to not only include those scenarios where wetlands are converted to non-wetlands, but also scenarios where
      conversion takes place from one wetland type to another wetland type.
  7   The Army Corps'Wilmington District tracks all permits, and documents Clean Water Act Section 404 violations as well as all compensatory mitigation by wetland type
      using the Corps'Operation and Maintenance business information link, Regulatory Module (ORM) system. A preliminary review of Army Corps'Wilmington District data
      shows that in 2000-2004 approximately 60 acres of mostly non-riparian wetlands were impacted within the counties containing the Neuse River study area. Approxi-
      mately 135 acres of wetland mitigation was reguired to compensate for these impacts.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
   "Total Compensatory Mitigation" values include total
   wetland acres preserved, enhanced, created, and restored.
   The numbers for the Middle and Lower Neuse reveal the
   majority of mitigation in the last decade has been in the
   form of restoration and creation as compared to preserva-
   tion and enhancement. Based on these numbers, there has
   been a small net gain in wetland acres in the study area
   from 2000 to 2009- The total number of acres mitigated is
   higher than the total number of acres impacted because the
   state's mitigation ratios for preservation and enhancement
   are higher than those for restoration and creation (e.g., the
   ratio of acres preserved to acres impacted is 5:1).
Table 5 and the accompanying pie chart displaying NOAA's
C-CAP8 data (Figure 14) are based on the area of the two
8-digit HUCs that were the focus of the CWR in the Mid-
dle and Lower Neuse watersheds. According to the C-CAP
analysis, over 98 percent of wetlands lost in the focal water-
sheds between 1996 and 2006 were non-tidal, with the
greatest impacts occurring from  conversion to agriculture.9
As mentioned earlier, however, there are several factors
making the NC DWQ and NOAA wetland impact data
difficult to compare. This type of variation represents one
of the  biggest challenges for understanding  and addressing
coastal wetland loss. Determining the scope of quantitative
and qualitative wetland loss is valuable information that
             Table 4. Lower and Middle Neuse Impacts and Mitigati
Restoration and
Creation (acres)
                                                                                   Figure 14: Wetland loss and changes in
                                                                                   land cover, 1996-2006: Middle and Lower
                                                                                   Neuse watersheds. Source: NOAA, 201 Ob.
                 Table 5. Change in Wetland Land Use Type (Acres) From 1996 to 2006, HUCs 03020202, 03020204
Wetland types*
Palustrine forested
Palustrine scrub
Palustrine emergent
Estuarine scrub
Estuarine emergent
Unconsolidated shore


Bare land
Open water
    Source: NOAA, 20] Ob.
    * See Appendix D for wetland classification descriptions.
    8  A more detailed description of the C-CAP data set is available in Appendix D.
    9  According to the Army Corps'Wilmington District, converting wetland areas to agricultural production would reguire a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit. Over the past 10
       years, no major permits (greater than 1 acre) have been issued for conversion of wetlands to agricultural production within the Neuse River study area.

Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
    It should be noted that the information
    below is based on the opinions and
    observations of participants, who pro-
    vided feed back on draft versions of this
    document and supplemented statements
    with documentation, where available.

  can inform  and potentially improve
  decision-making. While both data sets
  acknowledge wetland loss, the differ-
  ences between the two highlight the
  difficulty in obtaining and comparing
  high-quality wetland data sets when
  data is collected for different reasons
  using different parameters. These two
  datasets, although not directly com-
  parable, help identify where more
  information and data may be needed,
  and helps to inform the discussion with
  participants about these data challenges
  and about losses  that may be occurring
  outside the purview of permitting programs.

  Participants at the review discussed key issues contributing
  to coastal wetland loss. They focused on the following key
  issues contributing to coastal wetland loss and confirmed,
  as well as added, to the stressors identified during the
  literature review. The two most important coastal stressors
  identified by participants during the review are listed first,
  followed by (in no particular order) other top stressors.

  Increased coastal development. From 2000 to 2010, the
  population  in North Carolina increased by 18.5 percent
  (U.S. Census  Bureau, 2012). In coastal communities,
  seasonal populations increased by more than 50 percent
  from 1990-2000. Over that same timeframe populations
  in the Neuse River Basin increased by 40 percent (Street et
  al., 2005).

  • Residential development. Population growth in the area has
    driven the demand for residential development. In addi-
    tion to residential development projects, there are associ-
    ated development activities that contribute to acreage losses
    and/or degradation of coastal wetlands such as shoreline
    armoring for storm/erosion protection, increased boating
    activity and boating infrastructure, shopping centers, and
    golf courses.
Not Modified
Figure 15. Map of shoreline hardening along the trunk of the Neuse River Estuary in December 2007.
Source: Corbett et al., 2008.
                     Small wetland impacts. Several review participants
                     expressed the view that unauthorized private land conver-
                     sion of less than 1/1 Oth of an acre were occurring and
                     would continue to lead to larger cumulative impacts
                     unless detected and regulated. Impacts of less than
                     l/10th of an acre  are covered by nationwide permit #18
                     and are regulated  under Section 404 of the Clean Water
                     Act.10 However, the Army Corps noted that for wetland
                     losses of 1/1 Oth acre or less that require pre-construction
                     notification their District Engineer may determine on
                     a case-by-case basis that compensatory mitigation is
                     required to ensure that the activity results in  minimal
                     adverse effects on  the aquatic environment. According
                     to the Army Corps' Wilmington District, of 45 general
                     permits issued  in the Lower and Middle Neuse water-
                     sheds in 2006—2008, approximately 30 were for impacts
                     less than  1/1 Oth of an acre (amounting to a total impact
                     of approximately  1.7 acres, and approximately 8 acres

                     Shoreline hardening. Shoreline stabilization structures
                     such as seawalls and bulkheads are permitted along the
                     estuarine shoreline in North Carolina. Mapping efforts
                     in 2007 identified over 30 percent of the  shoreline of
                     the Neuse River as hardened via bulkhead, rip-rap, or a
                     combination (Figure 15; Corbett et  al., 2008). Hardened
                     structures along the shore may exacerbate erosion and
                     prevent landward  migration of coastal wetlands.
    10  Additionally activities covered under this nationwide permit are limited to 25 cubic yards (cy) of material below the ordinary high water mark or high tide line.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
   • Limited areas for mitigation sites. Some areas (e.g., upper
    Piedmont HUCs of the Cape Fear basin) may be difficult
    to identify suitable watershed-based mitigation sites.
    There are a number of factors that contribute to this
    difficulty in locating suitable mitigation sites, including
    terrain, soils, or overdevelopment. This could be a
    problem in the Neuse watershed in the future, should
    development pressures continue to increase.

   Limitations of regulations. Issues regarding jurisdiction as
   well as non-compliance  due to lack of consistent enforce-
   ment were identified by participants as stressors.

   * Jurisdiction. A number of jurisdictional issues may be
    contributing to coastal wetland loss:

    » Field delineations of non-tidal wetlands performed by
      private consultants are valid for five years. Concerns
      were expressed about the accuracy and consistency
      of some of those delineations and the possibility that
      wetland areas may be underestimated. It was noted,
      however, that the Army Corps regularly conducts field
      checks of the delineations done by private consultants
      before signing off on the delineations.11 Stakeholders
      suggested that they  had a higher level of confidence in
      the accuracy of tidal wetlands delineations.

    » Participants  at the Neuse River Coastal Wetland
      Review noted that the Army Corps is constrained  by
      jurisdictional limitations imposed by the Rapanos
      Supreme Court decision. However, although the Army
      Corps' Wilmington District would agree that the
                                                              "burden" of documenting jurisdiction has increased,
                                                              they see no evidence that the Rapanos decision has
                                                              significantly changed exerted limits of waters of the
                                                              United States within the area of review.  It was further
                                                              noted by other Neuse River CWR participants, that
                                                              few sites have been determined not subject to Clean
                                                              Water Act Section 404 jurisdiction and, in most
                                                              instances, North Carolina's isolated wetland rule would
                                                              provide NC DWQwith jurisdiction over these wet-

                                                          -  Enforcement. Some review participants believed that
                                                            low and infrequently collected penalties for violations of
                                                            wetland regulations were contributing to noncompliance
                                                            by not deterring violators.12

                                                          Cumulative impacts. Concern was expressed that small,
                                                          incremental wetland impacts may be untracked and dif-
                                                          ficult to characterize. They may result from  inaccurate
                                                          wetland delineations, unauthorized wetland impacts,  or
                                                          water quality degradation of wetlands. These small, dispa-
                                                          rate impacts result in substantial cumulative acreage losses
                                                          when considered in total.

                                                          Agricultural impacts. In addition to the historic filling and
                                                          draining of wetlands for agricultural uses, ongoing and
                                                          expanding agricultural activities can impact the function
                                                          and condition of coastal wetlands by increasing nutrient
                                                          and sediment input. Review participants identified row
                                                          crops, livestock, and poultry as having impacts on wetlands
                                                          in the Neuse watershed.

                                                          • Nutrient runoff. Despite reductions in nitrogen loads
                                                            mandated by the Neuse  River Basin Water Quality
                                                            Plan,  it was noted that water  quality data so far do
                                                            not indicate any significant decrease in actual nutrient
                                                            levels  in the estuary. This is the case despite the agricul-
                                                            tural community's approximate 45 percent reduction
                                                            in nitrogen loss from cropland and pastureland (NC
                                                            DWQ, 2009). Additionally, the  Neuse River TMDL
                                                            estimated the nitrogen impact of over  500 hog farms
                                                            at zero, yet there has been an increase of leachate and
                                                            airborne nitrogen into the estuary  (Burkholder et  al.,
                                                            2007). This type of divergent information exemplifies
                                                            the challenges of determining impacts from nonpoint
                                                            sources of pollution.
                                                          • Ditching. Ditching is a method to drain wetlands for

11  Based on a review by the Army Corps'Wilmington District on their delineation data, the District has verified approximately 50-75% of their wetland delineations during
   the 2000-201 Otimeframe.
12  According to the Army Corps'Wilmington District, typically enforcement actions are resolved either by after-the-fact (ATF) permitting, restoration, or a combination of
   the two. If the unauthorized activity is permitted ATF, all appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation should be provided. In the case of restoration, the District
   typically reguires a detailed restoration plan and monitoring of the area.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
    agriculture and development. Along the coast, ditches
    may act as conduits for saltwater intrusion, in particular
    during storms and with rising sea levels. Saltwater intru-
    sion has been shown to have a potentially negative effect
    on regeneration of marshes (Middleton, 2009).

  • Poultry. Comparison of poultry production information
    from NC Agriculture Statistics  for individual counties
    in the Neuse River Basin from  1996 to 2006 indicates
    that turkey production has decreased from 27,200,000
    to 19,230,000, broiler production has increased from
    77,000,000 to 80,700,000,  and other poultry (layers,
    etc.) has decreased from 3,820,000 to 3,005,700 (per-
    sonal communication, Vernon  Cox, NC Department of
    Agriculture and Consumer Services). Review participants
    expressed concern over the lack of information on farm
    location and the potential for these farms to be located
    adjacent to wetlands where runoff could lead to water
    quality degradation and impaired wetland function.

  Forestry impacts. Participants had differing opinions
  about the impacts of forestry practices on wetlands. Some
  believed that forestry exemptions and the lack of enforce-
  able BMPs were contributing to impacts to coastal wet-
  land. Others disputed this claim,  citing the lack of current
  wetlands mapping and land use data.

  • Stream crossings. Skid trail stream crossings have been
    documented as the most frequent forestry activity trig-
    gering a violation of North Carolina's Forest Practices
    Guidelines Related to Water Quality (Figure 16).

    Minor drainage. Minor drainage is an allowable forestry
    activity that is exempted from permitting under Section
    404(f) of the Clean Water Act. However, participants
    still had questions as to what constitutes "minor" drain-
    age versus more significant drainage.

  » Harvesting methods and timing. In recent years, con-
    cerns have arisen about the timing of timber harvests
    in certain wetland areas, related to the availability of
    natural seed or stump sprouts to regenerate the harvested
    wetland in a relatively short period of time after harvest.
    Additionally, some review participants believed that
    skidders used for harvesting can create small ditches in
    the landscape, which, when subject to forces of erosion,
    can widen ditches into channels that can drain wetlands.
    Another issue was raised about  harvesting determina-
    tions: the difficulty of establishing the appropriate
    setback rules. Harvesting setback rules for tidal areas are
           FPG Violations Over Ten Years*
                 (7-1-99 to 6-30-09)
57  70    !	1	g-
   §  1200
  1   900
  •|   600
  19   300
  I     «
 * Average of 2 violations on each tract that was not in FPG complianc
Figure 16. Data on statewide Forest Practices Guidelines (FPG) violations,
1999-2009. Source: NCDFR, 2009.
 Figure 17. Dark blue shading represents land that is predicted to be under
 water with a 1 -meter rise in sea level, expected in 65 to 200 years. Source:

  determined at the high-water mark, a difficult criterion
  in a tidal estuary. In non-tidal areas (largely freshwater),
  the setback mark may be set at the lowest (dry period)
  mark  which allows for wetland harvesting of cypress and
  tupelo species.

Climate change impacts. Although not yet attracting a
great deal of attention, participants noted that studies  have
shown that coastal wetlands are likely to be seriously altered
by predicted rates of sea level  rise (Figure 17).
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
  Tools and Strategies
  A number of effective tools and strategies exist or are under
  development in the Middle and Lower Neuse watersheds
  to address the above stressors. The focal watershed session
  identified the following as "tools and strategies."

  Tools to address coastal development impacts.

  • Living shorelines. Living shorelines is a management
    practice that addresses shoreline erosion through the
    strategic placement of vegetation, stone, sand, and other
    structural and organic materials (see Figure 18). The
    living shorelines methodology considers parameters such
    as fetch, water depth, vegetation, height of bank, and
    existing erosion condition, and produces the most
    effective shoreline stabilization  method given a site's
    characteristics. The Division of Coastal Management
     (NC DCM)  provides guidance on implementing living
    shorelines projects and has hosted training workshops
    and site visits to promote the practice. The North
    Carolina Division of Soil and Water provides a cost-share
    of up to 70 percent for living shoreline projects along the
    estuarine shore. Despite the potential of living shorelines,
    several limitations have slowed  more widespread  utiliza-
    tion of this technique. The state of North Carolina has
    had a ban on the construction of permanent erosion
    control structures since 2003 (House Bill 1028/S.L.
    2003-427). However, in 2011,  the state passed Senate
    Bill 110/S.L. 2011-387, which allows the Coastal
    Resources Commission to permit the construction of
    four terminal groins along  the coastline.
Permitting. Though not currently in practice, partici-
pants believe streamlined permitting would encourage
increased use of living shorelines. The permitting system
is more streamlined for hardened structures such as
bulkheads and seawalls as compared to living shoreline
alternatives. A Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA)
General Permit exists for rock sills (rock or oyster shell
sills are often part of living shorelines projects in order to
protect marsh plantings), but for some applications, the
Army Corps' Wilmington District requires an individual
permit for case-specific review. Primary concerns of the
District that warrant requiring case-specific reviews for
these activities include potential impacts to public safety
and navigation, potential impacts to EFH, and impacts
to submerged aquatic vegetation and shallow water habi-
tat. In contrast, installing a bulkhead or seawall along
the estuarine shore can be approved with a significantly
less-intensive general permit review.

Education. Public and contractor education  is an impor-
tant part of a living shorelines strategy; however, there
are social issues that are also important to consider in the
education strategy. For example, it was noted that some
landowners prefer the "clean" look of a bulkhead. Land-
owner decisions are also strongly influenced  by whether
neighbors have already installed bulkheads, leading to
continuation of the practice.

Mapping. NC DCM is tracking estuarine shoreline status
and is in the process of mapping hardened structures.
                    Figure 18. Example of living shoreline, Beaufort, N.C. (Photo Courtesy of ArleenO'Donnell, ERG)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
  • Low-impact development. LID, similar to living shore-
    lines, presents an alternative approach to traditional
    stormwater management practices that can reduce
    impacts on wetlands from development by simulating
    more natural hydrology of a particular site. LID meth-
    ods include grassed swales and other vegetated features
    (instead of culverts), pervious pavement, infiltration
    devices, reducing impervious surfaces, and recharging
    as much on-site stormwater as possible. Stormwater
    permitting requirements have become more stringent,
    and BMPs to manage stormwater in accordance with
    these requirements have led to LID. Local communities
    (e.g., the city of Wilmington, Brunswick County, New
    Hanover County) have adopted LID resolutions.

    To promote LID and other  means of sustainable develop-
    ment, the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water
    has an award program for sustainable building,  and the
    North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is work-
    ing on developing a wildlife-friendly green development
    certification. Some participants felt that the economic
    base of an area will determine how viable  green devel-
    opment programs will be. Sustainable development is
    happening more and more  on the coast, but not broadly
    within the Neuse Basin yet. Craven County has adopted
    a "Green Craven" development protocol in order to pro-
    mote better development and planning practices.

  Tools to increase effectiveness of regulatory programs.

  • Interagency collaboration. Participants in the review
    felt that collaboration is  particularly strong among NC
DCM, the Division of Marine Fisheries, the Army Corps,
and NC DWQon the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.
Other collaboration occurs through an interagency review
team, which reviews Ecosystem Enhancement Program
projects and other mitigation projects. Project develop-
ment teams are used for projects that require an Environ-
mental Impact Statement such as beach renourishment
projects. Reviewers believed that the Army Corps' Wilm-
ington District, NC DWQ, NC DCM, Division of Land
Resources, Division of Forest Resources, and the Natu-
ral Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have good
working relationships and knowledge of one another's
programs, which allows for a high level of cooperation in
alerting the appropriate agency to unauthorized activi-
ties as well as collaboration on some enforcement matters
where multiple agencies have jurisdiction.

Monitoring, assessment, and mapping.

>  Wetlands Assessment Method. This rapid assessment
  method, when implemented, will allow a functional
  assessment on any impacted wetland so that mitigation
  can be based on function in addition to areal extent.
  Information on the method is available at http://portal.

» National assessment. The state is working with EPA
  on a national wetland condition assessment to help
  determine coastal wetland indicators. Several sample
  plots throughout the state will be used to develop the
  national protocol. The same methodology may be used
  on mitigation sites in the future.

» Impact  mitigation mapping. NC DWQ will be under-
  taking a mapping project documenting Section 401
  and 404 permitted impacts  and mitigation, as well as
  Ecosystem Enhancement Program mitigation state-
  wide. The maps generated will aid the state in deter-
  mining  where mitigation and impacts are occurring
  (e.g., rural or urban areas) and whether mitigation is
  actually accounting for impacts within each watershed.

  Determination of the success of mitigation. NC
  DWQ is completing a study on the success rates of
  wetland and stream  mitigation based on a statewide,
  random sample. Once this study is complete, these
  data will be used to improve wetland mitigation prac-
  tices in the state.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
     »  North Carolina Coastal Region
       Evaluation of Wetland Significance
       (NC-CREWS). The wetland func-
       tional assessment model used by NC
       DCM assesses the function of wet-
       lands on a watershed basis.

  Tools to address agricultural impacts.

  *  Wetland restoration. Review participants
     identified  a growing focus on restoring
     prior converted croplands back to their
     original wetland state as a good example
     of strategies to address agricultural
     impacts to coastal wetlands in general
     and for improving water quality in the
     estuary, in particular. Restoration efforts
     in the Neuse have emphasized recreating
     wetland function in addition to acreage
     (see the "Highlight" box at right).

  •  Funding. An important component of
     all restoration efforts is securing funding
     for the project. Some examples of fund-
     ing sources used in the Neuse watersheds
     are the Farm Bill and Conservation
     Reserve Enhancement Program. Farm
     Bill funds the Wetlands Reserve Program
     to pay for acquisition, easements, and
     restoration of prior converted lands.
     Conservation Reserve  Enhancement
     Program money is also available for prior
     converted land restoration within the
     Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary river basins.

  Tools to address forestry impacts.

  •  Forest Practices Guidelines. The North
     Carolina Sedimentation Pollution Con-
     trol Act of 1989 regulates the impact
     of forestry on water quality through
     the development of "Forest Practices
     Guidelines (FPGs)  Related to Water
     Quality." The FPGs are nine manda-
     tory performance standards outlined in
     North Carolina Administrative Code
     regulations, which went into effect in
     1990. The FPGs  are most effectively
     met through the implementation of
     BMPs  (Figure 20).  The state's Forestry
     Best Management Practices Manual
     to Protect Water Quality, amended in
                     Highlight: North River Farms
North River Farms is a 6,000-acre restoration site in Carteret County, managed by
the North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF) (Figure 19). It is one of several large-
scale restoration sites in the state. Negotiations over the property began in 1998,
when NCCF acquired 1991 acres at the rear of the property with the help of a $1
million grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund. At the
time, approximately 808 acres were being used as farmland with the remainder
designated prior converted  cropland. Through a partnership with the Ecosystem
Enhancement Program (see below for more on the Program) and North Carolina
State University, as well as funding from EPA, NOAA, and USFWS, the entire area
was restored at a cost of approximately $1,100 per acre. A few years later, in 2000,
a private mitigation banking company (Restoration Systems LLC) purchased 400
acres adjacent to the NCCF property while NCCF negotiated the purchase of
the remaining farm acreage (3,568 acres) for around $1,400 per acre. NCCF was
approached by 1804 Wildlife Partners, a  private hunting club, for purchase of 1,400
of the 3,568 acres. NCCF agreed in return for 1804 Wildlife Partners'commitment to
enroll the acres in NRCS's Wetland Restoration Program (WRP). With the partner-
ship in place,  NCCF applied for, and was successful in receiving $3 million from the
Clean Water Management Trust Fund to make the purchase in 2002. Part of the
second acquisition included a farm lease on 2,100 of the acres through 2012 and
NCCF has just begun mapping out the restoration strategy for the area. Meanwhile
1804 Wildlife Partners has successfully enrolled in the WRP and completed restora-
tion of its 1,400 acres. Restoration Systems has also enrolled in the WRP. In a few
years'time, the entire farm will be restored to wetlands (NCCF website; personal
communication,Todd Miller).
The project has been supported financially  by numerous agencies, partnerships,
and organizations including the Clean Water ManagementTrust Fund, the Eco-
system Enhancement Program, NCAA's Community-Based Restoration Program,
Restore America's Estuaries, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Fish
America  Foundation, the North Carolina Attorney  General's Office Environmental
Enhancement Grant, USFWS, the National Fish and Wildlife  Foundation, 1804
Wildlife Partners, Restoration Systems, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, the
North Carolina Natural Heritage Program,The Nature Conservancy, and Open
Grounds Farm. North River Farms has also acted as a public education  tool, helping
the North Carolina coastal agricultural community gain a better  understanding of
restoration as an option for their land.
  Figure 19. North River Farms restoration project Source: North Carolina Coastal Federation.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
    September 2006, is available online at http://www.dfr. The Division
    of Forest Resources is the lead agency that monitors
    compliance with these regulations. Enforcement of
    FPG violations are administered by four state agencies,
    including the Division of Forest Resources, depending
    on the nature of the violation.

    Recent monitoring and surveys of BMP implementation
    have indicated that BMP usage rates are currently in the
    mid-80-percent range along the coastal plain region of
    North Carolina and overall compliance with the FPG
    regulations exceed 97 percent (Raval, 2005). In addition,
    an ongoing watershed study is evaluating the effectiveness
    of forestry BMPs and the Neuse riparian buffer rule will
    add to the base of knowledge on how forestry practices
    may (or may not) influence water quality. Implementa-
    tion and monitoring survey data are being updated.
    Future BMP surveys are planned as an ongoing assessment
    of forestry harvests and the usage of BMPs. (see "What's
    Needed? What's  Missing?").

  • Mandatory riparian buffers. Forestry activities are
    additionally regulated within a 50-foot zone alongside
    designated streams, water channels, and bodies of water
    within the Neuse River basin in accordance with state
    regulations commonly called the "riparian buffer rules"
    (specifically Administrative Code 15 A NCAC 02B
    .0233). These riparian buffer rules are supplemental
    to the required streamside management zone buffers
    as defined within the FPGs. The Neuse  River riparian
    buffer rule went into effect in 2000. An ongoing paired-
    watershed study in the upper Neuse River basin led by
    the Division of Forest Resources is currently evaluating
    the effectiveness of the riparian buffer rule for forest
    harvest activities.

  • Stream crossings. Continued efforts to promote the use of
    portable bridge mats and thorough pre-harvest planning
    remain vital tools to educate and inform landowners,
    loggers, and timber buyers about the issues related to
    crossing streams.

  Watershed-based  nutrient and sediment management
  strategies. North Carolina is a leader in watershed plan-
  ning. The state wetland in-lieu fee program (the Ecosystem
  Enhancement Program) is watershed-based, and has a very
  high rate of compliance (99-76 percent for riparian wet-
  lands, 98.64 percent for non-riparian wetlands, and 100
  percent for coastal marsh) (NC DENR, 2009).
Figure 20. Photo of a forested wetland swamp in Craven County, six years
after a clearcut timber harvest. The harvest was done in 2004 and was in
compliance with FPGs and the Neuse riparian buffer rule. Photo: North Carolina
Division of Forest Resources.
 Figure 21 .Vegetated filter strips in the Neuse River Basin help trap sedi-
 ments and decrease nitrogen loads to the river.
 Neuse River Management Strategy (1997) (Figure 21).
 The Neuse was the first river basin with mandatory
 point and nonpoint nitrogen reduction targets. The
 target was 30 percent nitrogen reduction from 1991
 to 1995- By 2007, a 39 percent reduction had been
 achieved at a  cost of $12 million (EPA, 2005; Neuse
 Agricultural Basin Oversight Committee, 2007) through
 a combination of strategies including implementation of
 BMPs and installation of riparian buffer strips. Wetland
 buffers are particularly valuable for nutrient reduction.
 Researchers in North Carolina (Evans et al., 1996) have
 estimated that that movement of agricultural runoff
 through riparian wetlands reduced the nitrate-nitrogen
 content of the runoff nearly 85 percent annually. They
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

  Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
    also estimated that 85 to 90 percent of the sediment
    remained trapped in forested wetlands adjacent to the
    farm fields and never reached receiving waters. Partners
    involved in funding and implementing the strategy
    include EPA, NRCS, the North Carolina Department of
    Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), the
    North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Soil and
    Water Conservation, the Neuse River Foundation, and
    Duke University.

  Public education and outreach. All participants noted
  public education and outreach as critical to the success of
  the coastal wetland protection program, components that
  complement and strengthen regulatory programs. They
  will become increasingly important in the future as ways to
  help inform the public about the impacts of climate change
  and sea level rise (see the "Stressors" and "What's Needed?
  What's Missing?" sections). Work by Carteret Catch, NC
  Sea Grant, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program,
  and National Estuarine Research Reserves (Rachel Carson,
  Currituck Banks, Zeke's Island, Masonboro Island) was
  mentioned during the review as prime examples of effective
  public outreach.

    Sturgeon City. Located in Jacksonville, Sturgeon City
    is an environmental education center located in an old
    wastewater treatment plant that used to discharge into
    Wilson Bay, former habitat to the native sturgeon. Stur-
    geon City is working to  restore habitat in Wilson Bay for
    the fish as well as host educational programs for youth
    and adults.

  • Carteret Catch. Carteret Catch is a marketing program
    developed to try and sustain the livelihood and heritage
    of the Carteret County fishing industry. The program
    educates the public on local seafood and helps market it
    to local restaurants, ensuring the continued existence of
    county fishermen.

  Tools to address impacts of sea level rise. Although
  it has received little attention to date (see "Stressors,"
  above), a state sea level rise forum was held in January
  2010 where participants agreed on a rate of rise for deci-
  sion-making purposes (1  meter by 2100).  Participants
  in that forum also agreed that the most immediate need
  was education of the public because currently the science
  is ahead of public awareness. It is expected that more
  activity around  this issue will occur within the coming
  months, as the public  is made aware of the threats to
  coastal wetlands.
What's Needed? What's Missing?

The following major gaps and needs were identified by
review participants:

Gaps in addressing coastal development impacts.
Although they noted public outreach as an important tool,
participants acknowledged that more targeted audience
outreach efforts are needed. A high priority should be tar-
geting landowners to educate them about living shorelines,
wetland functions and values, and wetland regulations to
encourage compliance and better development practices.
Outreach and education related to regulatory programs and
planning should target developers, consultants, and prop-
erty owners (especially home buyers). Direct interaction
approaches, such as public tours of projects or sites, were
viewed as most effective. Other examples included:

  Marketing of LID and living shorelines. No central-
  ized effort currently exists for marketing  LID, living
  shorelines, or sustainable development principles. The
  long-term economics of these practices could also help
  promote them. For example, living shoreline projects
  often have higher start-up costs compared to hardened
  structures, but in the long term they tend to last longer
  and have lower maintenance costs.

• Incentives. More incentives need to be offered to sustain
  the types of voluntary programs mentioned in the "Tools
  and Strategies" section.

• Ecosystem services. Communication to the public regard-
  ing ecosystem  services has been insufficient. While local
  outreach is important, statewide outreach is critical in
  order to emphasize the connectivity of ecosystems—i.e.,
  getting the public to understand that impacts upstream
  can have negative ramifications in coastal areas.

• Dissemination. The university system should be used to
  help with research and disseminating information. For
  example, participants noted that USDA has already estab-
  lished a strong relationship with the university system and
  EPA and other federal agencies could consider using these
  or other channels for information dissemination.

  Living shorelines. There is the potential for resolving
  issues with living shoreline permitting between Army
  Corps and state agencies. At the next nationwide permit
  reauthorization, there is an opportunity for EPA and
  other federal agencies working with the Corps to revisit
  the nationwide permits for bulkheads and to consider
  providing incentives for living shorelines methods.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

   Focal Watershed Review: Middle and Lower Neuse River Watershed (continued)
  Gaps in regulations.

  • Stronger nutrient management plans/nutrient plans for
    other land uses. While significant progress was noted in
    the implementation of the Neuse nutrient management
    plan, participants thought that more aggressive reduc-
    tions are necessary (including, possibly, revising TMDLs)
    to realize water quality improvements at the mouth of
    the river, and that controls are needed to comprehen-
    sively address all contaminant sources impacting the
    Neuse River Basin.

  • LID retrofits. LID is being used in both developed areas
    (retrofitting) and new development, however participants
    noted that more needs to  be done to promote retrofitting
    of existing development in order to realize more signifi-
    cant water quality benefits.

  More staffing. Lack of sufficient staffing hinders the state's
  ability to enforce and monitor wetland regulations and
  permit conditions.

    Enforcement. Reviewers were concerned that resource
    limitations translate into reduced field presence, compli-
    ance checks, and enforcement. Concern was expressed
    that NC DENR only has  five or six wetland compliance
    and enforcement staff to cover the entire state.

  Gaps in addressing forestry and agricultural impacts. Wet-
  land impacts that fall outside of the wetland regulatory sys-
  tem complicate the determination of wetland impacts and
  acreage loss. Lack of current wetland mapping and land
  use data was cited as one current limitation to the ability to
  evaluate impacts of forestry  and agricultural practices.

    Forestry. Additional documentation of what happens
    to areas that are clear-cut and how they regenerate is
    needed, as well as the impact of forestry practices on wet-
    lands. Opportunities should be explored for developing
    online tools to provide public access to information such
  as aerial photos and other information and data regarding
  forestry activities. In addition, a more thorough compila-
  tion of data regarding the over 20 years of forestry site
  inspections would allow more analysis of trends observed
  regarding compliance. Sustained staffing is needed to
  continue the intensive BMP surveys and BMP effective-
  ness study.

• Monitoring wetland restoration and prior converted
  cropland. State oversight of wetland restoration is quite
  thorough, but monitoring of community-based wetland
  restoration projects should be improved. Participants
  also noted that improvements should be made in track-
  ing of prior converted croplands. In some cases the land
  has reverted back to wetland communities, and exhibits
  wetland characteristics, but is still considered "prior con-
  verted" land (determination made by NRCS). A benefit
  of tracking prior converted cropland would help identify
  potential wetland restoration opportunities.

Gaps in data and mapping.

• Water quality data. There are a lot of people collecting
  water quality data but no central repository for easily
  accessing and analyzing the data. Additionally, consistent
  data standards and protocols are needed for data collec-
  tion and analysis.

• Mapping. Participants acknowledged that better mapping
  is needed to capture wetland loss. National Wetlands
  Inventory data were viewed as inadequate due to their
  low resolution. Newer LiDAR data have a higher resolu-
  tion, with single pixels representing  30 to 100 square
  feet. Higher-resolution data create the potential for
  developing models to identify and classify wetlands and
  to develop statistical algorithms capable of detecting even
  small  cumulative impact wetland areas. LiDAR will also
  provide an  opportunity to more easily resolve jurisdic-
  tional issues and predict impacts from sea level rise.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

      The South Atlantic coastal wetland review is the second
      in a series that the EPA Coastal Wetlands Team con-
   ducted. The team has been able to gain a greater under-
   standing of coastal wetland loss in the region, including
   important insights into the causes of these losses. Several
   common themes have emerged from the focal watershed

   « Development pressures are a growing  concern for
     directly and indirectly causing coastal  wetland acreage
     loss and degradation.

   • Hydrologic alterations including water diversions,
     mosquito impoundments, and ditching and draining
     for agriculture and forestry are important historic and
     current stressors.

   • The limitations of regulations and lack of accurate char-
     acterization of coastal wetland losses are important issues
     that hinder the protection of coastal wetlands.

   • The impact of sea level rise and other climate change
     issues were raised in both focal watershed reviews as stres-
     sors of concern; participants noted that more information
     is needed to assess the impacts of climate change stressors.

   A number of tools and strategies were suggested that could
   effectively address the major stressors discussed on the previ-
   ous pages, and could be transferred to other watersheds and

   • Both North Carolina and Florida have extensive wetland
     mitigation banking programs—Florida's is based on
     functional mitigation, while North Carolina's has been
     based on wetland area. North  Carolina is moving toward
     a functional assessment methodology to supplement its
     existing program.

   • Restoring wetlands that were impounded or converted to
     other land uses is another practice that could be transferred
     to  other regions with similar impacts. Significant projects
  are occurring in Florida and North Carolina to restore
  wetlands previously impounded for mosquito control or
  previously converted for agricultural use. These restora-
  tion efforts introduce integrated management practices
  that can result in multiple benefits to wetlands historically
  modified for a single purpose (e.g., mosquito control).

The participants identified key gaps that need to be filled
to reduce the stressors and more effectively use these tools
and strategies. Most commonly, they cited the following:

• Resources (staffing and funding) are needed to adminis-
  ter regulatory programs, conduct monitoring and assess-
  ment, ensure accurate wetland mapping, and conduct
  effective outreach programs.

» A comprehensive central repository or database for
  wetland-related data, as well as a common set of met-
  rics to allow standardization and comparison of data, is
  needed to better track wetland impacts.

• An evaluation should be conducted to  determine and
  address gaps in protection while  identifying ways to
  streamline the permitting process and better document
  wetland impacts that occur outside wetland regulatory
  programs. Examples include assessing the effectiveness of
  forestry best management practices to minimize wetland
  impacts and assessing the effectiveness of mitigation

• While some information is available  on predicted cli-
  mate change impacts on coastal  wetlands, it would  be
  helpful to have a better sense of how to use new as well
  as existing information to set priorities  for land acquisi-
  tion, design restoration projects, and implement such
  practices as living shorelines.

* Increased interagency and external partner collabora-
  tion and coordination is needed, as well as increased and
  targeted public/stakeholder outreach to increase overall
  awareness and effectiveness of coastal wetland protection.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

         Many people contributed to this effort. We would like
         to thank all of the participants who took time out
   of their busy schedules to provide us with this valuable
   feedback. In particular, we wish to thank Troy Rice, Direc-
   tor of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program,
   for hosting the Indian River Lagoon watershed session and
   providing valuable information and assistance. Thanks also
   to Tammy Dabu, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jack-
   sonville District; Jim David, St. Lucie County Mosquito
   Control Department; Eric Hughes, U.S. Environmental
   Protection Agency; and Donna Devlin,  Florida Atlantic
   University,  for providing valuable information.

   For the Neuse River coastal wetland review, we wish to
   thank Ron  Sechler, Donald Field, and Carolyn Currin of
   the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration for
       hosting the Neuse River watershed session and Bill Crow-
       ell, Director of the Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary
       Program, for providing participant lists and background
       information. Particular thanks go to Amanda Mueller and
       John Dorney, North Carolina Department of Environ-
       ment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality,
       who provided wetland permitting  information and data on
       the Neuse River watersheds. Thanks also to Jim Stanfill,
       North  Carolina Department of Environment and Natural
       Resources,  Ecosystem Enhancement Program, for provid-
       ing information on the state's wetland mitigation program.
       Lastly,  thanks go to Todd Miller of the North Carolina
       Coastal Federation for organizing the Neuse session field
       trip and providing valuable information included in this
       report. Without the support and contributions of these
       individuals, these reviews would not have been possible.
              For more information on the
          Coastal Wetlands Initiative, contact:

                     Jennifer Linn
                     Nancy Laurson
DISCLAIMER: The work reported in this document was funded by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) underwork Assignment B-04 of Contract No. EP-C-09-020 to
Eastern Research Group, Inc. EPA, through its Office of Coastal Protection Division, man-
aged and collaborated in the assessment described herein.This document is not based on
new research or fieldwork conducted by the Agency or its contractor. It contains readily
available existing information and that provided by stakeholders.This document will be
subjected to the Agency's review. Neither the U.S. government nor any of its employees,
contractors, subcontractors, or their employees make any warrant, expressed or implied,
or assume responsibility for any third party's use of, or the results of, such use of any
information, product, or process discussed in this report, or represents that its use by
such party would not infringe on privately owned rights. Any opinions expressed in this
report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency;
therefore, no official endorsement should be inferred. Any mention of trade names or
commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

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Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix A: Lower and Middle Neuse River Watershed and Indian River Lagoon Participant Lists
Lower and Middle Neuse Participants
Larry Baldwin, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper
Gail Bledsoe, N.C. Division of Forest Resources
Mark Brinson, East Carolina University
Dean Carpenter, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary
   Program (APNEP)
Colleen Charles, USGS
Lisa Cowert, NOAA
Vernon Cox, N.C. Department of Agriculture
   and Consumer Services
Carolyn Currin, NOAA
Thomas Dahl, USFWS
Molly Ellwood, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Donald Field, NOAA
Tom Gerow, N.C. Division of Forest Resources
John Jacobson, Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation
Jimmy Johnson, representing Bill Crowell, APNEP
David Jones, N.C. Division of Forest Resources
Sarah King, N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund
Scott McLendon, Army Corps, Wilmington District
Todd Miller, North Carolina Coastal Federation
Amanda Mueller, representing John Dorney
   N.C. Division of Water Quality
Jessie O'Neal, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
Charles Peterson, University of North Carolina
Gloria Putnam, North Carolina Sea Grant,
   N.C. State University
Dennis Register, N.C. Division of Forest Resources,
   New Bern District Water Quality Forester
Lisa Schiavinato, North Carolina Sea Grant
Ron Sechler, NOAA
Susan Marie Stedman, NOAA
Jack Thigpen,  North Carolina Sea Grant,
   N.C. State University
Christina Voss, University of North Carolina
Tom Walker, Army Corps, Wilmington District
Loren Wehmeyer, USGS North Carolina Water Science
Indian River Lagoon Participants
Linda Anderson, FL Department of Transportation (DOT)
Jeff Beal, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tara Boujoulian, Volusia County
Ronald Brockmeyer, St. Johns River Water Management District

Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
Tony Cabbedge, St. Johns County
Tamy Dabu, Army Corps Jacksonville District
Jim David, St. Lucie County Mosquito Control
Jennifer Derby, US EPA
Donna Devlin, Florida Atlantic University
Jessica Dostal, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Kimberly Eisele, FL DEP
Warren Falls, ORCA
Aphidalin Fancon, City of Titusville
Erin Gawera, USFWS Jacksonville
Rick Gleeson, Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR
Steve Gornak, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Kurtis Gregg, South Florida Water Management District
Boyd Gunsalus, South Florida Water Management District
David Gunter, Indian River Farms WCD
Paul Haydt, St. Johns River Water Management District
Hannah Hernandez, FL DOT D5
Kathy Hill, St. Johns River Water Management District
   - IRL Program
Brandon Howard, NOAA Fisheries WPB
Stan Howarter, USFWS/Merritt Island NWR
Eric Hughes, US EPA
Charles Kelso, USFWS
Drew Kendall, US EPA Region 4
Linda Knoeck, Army Corps Palm Beach
Nicole Love, FL DEP/CAMA/Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR
Nicole Martin, FL DEP
Beth McMillen, Marine Resources Council
Mark Mercadante, NASA
Sean Meehan, NOAA
Erik Neugaard, RS&H/FL DOT D4
Bruce Peery, Indian River Mosquito Control District
Lynne Phillips, NASA
Lisa Prather, FL DEP
Troy Rice, IRL NEP
John Shaffer, NASA
Erik Shilling, National Council for Air and Stream
   Improvement, Inc.
Lauren Staly, FL DEP
Susan-Marie Stedman, NOAA
John Tucker, St. Lucie County
Georgia Zerin, Volusia County

Appendix B: Background Documents
Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Independent Scientific Review of the Indian River Lagoon —
Rehabilitation of Impounded Estuarine Wetlands by Hydrologic
Reconnection to the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (USA)
Fact Sheet: Florida Waters
Florida's Wetlands: An Update on Status and Trends 1985 to
Emerging Issues in Wetland Loss Mitigation
State Wetland Program Evaluation: Phase II
Measuring the Benefits of Federal Wetland Programs,
National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report - Chapter 4:
Southeast National Estuary Program Coastal Condition, Indian
River Lagoon National Estuary Program
Threats to Wetlands Fact Sheet
Florida Coastal and Ocean Policy Report Card
Florida Numeric Nutrient Criteria History and Status
Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) and Sovereign Sub-
merged Lands (SSL) Rules - Statewide Stormwater Treatment
Rule Development Background
Summary of the Wetland and Other Surface Water Regulatory
and Proprietary Programs in FL
CZMA Section 319 Final Assessment and Strategies FY 2006 -
FACT Florida Assessment of Coastal Trends 2000
Florida State of the Coast Report 1998
Indian River - Malabar to Vero Beach Aquatic Preserve
Preparing for a Sea of Change in Florida — A Strategy to Cope
with the Impacts of Global Warming on the State's Coastal and
Marine Systems
Florida Numeric Nutrient Criteria History and Status Summary
Florida's Aquatic Preserves — Protecting Our Most Valued Re-
sources: A Program Overview
Bartell, S.M., JJ. Burns, D.G. Fontane, WH. McAnally,
L.H. Motz, R.R. Twilley (2004)
Brockmeyer, R.E., J.R. Rey, R.W Virnstein, R.G.
Gilmore, L. Earnest (1997)
Clean Water Network (Undated)
Dahl, Thomas USFWS, (2005)
Duke University, Nicholas School, Tamara Hill (2006)
Environmental Law Institute (2003)
Scodari, P. (Environmental Law Institute) (1997)
EPA OWOW (2007)
EPA OWOW (2001)
Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition (2009)
FLDEP (2009)
FLDEP (2008)
FLDEP (2007)
FLDEP, FL Coastal Management Program (2006)
FLDEP, FL Coastal Management Program (2000)
FLDEP, FL Coastal Management Program (Prepared by:
Apalachee Regional Planning Council 1998)
FLDEP (Undated)
Florida Ocean and Coastal Commission (2008)
FLDEP (2009)
FLDEP, Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Florida's Aquatic Preserves — Management Review Process website
1990 Coastal Population in Florida — A Report to Florida's
Coastal Managers
South Atlantic Regional Research Project: Developing Research
Priorities: Process and Partnerships and South Atlantic Regional
Research Plan
Marsh Dieback Workshop Proceedings
U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card 2007
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Impacts - Presentation
Shoreline Protection Program [website]
Restoration of Coastal Wetlands in Southeastern Florida
The Nature Conservancy Indian River Lagoon Preserve Overview
Minimum Flows and Levels Method of the St. Johns River Water
Management District, Florida, USA
Indian River Lagoon Newsletter Quarterly Update
Mapping the Distribution and Abundance of Macroalgae in the
Indian River Lagoon
Mapping the Distribution and Vertical Extent of Muck in the
Indian River Lagoon
The Canal 1 Rediversion Project (Fact sheet)
Update to the Indian River Lagoon CCMP
Petition to Designate Florida Outstanding Waters — Matanzas
River Basin
Indian River Lagoon Economic Assessment and Update
Indian River Lagoon — An Introduction to a National Treasure
Indian River Lagoon Surface Water Improvement and Manage-
ment (SWIM) Plan
Historical Imagery Inventory and Sea Grass Assessment Indian
River Lagoon
Loading Assessment of the Indian River Lagoon
FLDEP Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas
FL State University, Institute of Science and Public Af-
fairs (1998)
Alber and Laporte, GA Coastal Research Council,
GA Coastal Research Council (2004)
Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (2007)
Leatherman, S., International Hurricane Center, Florida
International University (Date unknown)
Marine Resources Council (2007)
Milano, G.R., Miami-Dade Department of Environ-
mental Resources (1999)
Nature Conservancy (Undated)
Neubauer, C.P, G.B. Hall, E.F. Lowe, C.P Robison,
R.B. Hupalo, L. W Keenan (2008)
SJWMD (Quarterly 2007, 2008, 2009)
SJWMD, Prepared by Nova Southeast University
Oceanographic Center (2009)
SJWMD, Prepared by Nova Southeast University
Oceanographic Center (2009)
SJWMD (2009)
SJWMD Indian River Lagoon NEP (2008)
SJWMD Memorandum From Tara Boonstra, Assistant
General Counsel (2008)
SJWD (2008)
SJWMD (2007)
SJWMD and SFWMD (2002)
SJWMD, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Pro-
gram, Prepared by Woodward Clyde Consultants, Mar-
shall McCully Associates and Natural Systems Analysts,
Inc, (1994)
SJWMD, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Pro-
gram, Prepared by Woodward Clyde Consultants, Mar-
shall McCully Associates and Natural Systems Analysts,
Inc, (1994)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Non-Governmental and Governmental Programs for the Indian
River Lagoon
Status and Trends Summary for the Indian River Lagoon
Indian River Lagoon CCMP
St. John's River District Water Management Plan
Aquatic Grasses Fact Sheet
Minimum Flows and Levels Fact Sheet
Maps of Lands Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise: Modeled Elevations
along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
Coastal Wetlands of the Indian River Lagoon
Florida's Wetland Threats and Loss
Florida's Wetlands — Education Programs
Final Report: Coastal Wetland Indicators
Indian River Lagoon - South (Fact sheet)
Central and Southern Florida Project Indian River Lagoon —
South Final Integrated Project Implementation Report and Envi-
ronmental Impact Statement
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan List of Projects
Historical Trends in Wetlands Loss and Efforts to Intervene (Pre-
Southern Forest Resource Assessment
South Carolina's Wetlands: Status and Trends, 1982-1989
Wetlands Inventory Status and Trends [website]
Florida's Wetlands Fact Sheet
Global Climate Impacts in the US; Regional Climate Impacts in
Southeast US
Wetland Losses in the US: Scope, Causes, Impacts, and Future
SJWMD, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Pro-
gram, Prepared by Woodward Clyde Consultants, Mar-
shall McCully Associates and Natural Systems Analysts,
Inc, (1994)
SJWMD, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Pro-
gram, Prepared by Woodward Clyde Consultants, Mar-
shall McCully Associates and Natural Systems Analysts,
Inc, (1994)
SJWMD Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Pro-
gram, 2008 Update (2008)
SWJMD (2005)
SJWMD (2003)
SJWMD (2001)
Titus, J. G. and C. Richman (originally published in
Climate Research (2001)
University of Florida - IFAS (2009)
University of Florida IFAS Extension
University of Florida IFAS Extension (Undated)
Morris, J. T et al., University of South Carolina, Marine
Biological Laboratory (2006)
Army Corps (2008)
Army Corps Jacksonville District and South Florida
Water Management District (2004)
Army Corps and SFWMD (2010)
US Forest Service T. Leininger and P. Hamel (2007)
US Forest Service Southern Region (2003)
USFWS (1999)
USFWS (Undated)
US Geological Survey Marine and Coastal Geology
Program (1996)
USGCRP (2009)
USGCRP Seminar (1997)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Critical Areas Chapter Pamlico Sound Summary
Revised Framework for Mitigation Review in NC - April 22,
Wetlands Mitigation Map
Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact State-
ment for the Neuse River Basin, North Carolina
An Estuary of National Significance [website]
Soundings Newsletter
Soundings Newsletter
Work Plan for the Cooperative Agreement Between The US
Environmental Protection Agency and NC Department of En-
vironment and Natural Resources — Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary
Program October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program Outreach and
Communication Strategy 2008-2010
Clean Water for the 21st Century — Fact Sheet
Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System — Technical Analysis of
Status and Trends
Proceedings of the Workshop on Remote Sensing and GIS for
Use in Managing AP Sound
Recommendation for Appropriate Shoreline Stabilization Meth-
ods for the Different North Carolina Estuarine Shoreline Types
Impacts of Global Climate Change on North Carolina's Coastal
Economy Poster
Hydrology and nutrient gradients in North Carolina peatlands
Global climate change and sea-level rise: estimating the potential
for submergence of coastal wetlands
Factors affecting coastal wetland loss and restoration: synthesis of
U.S. Geological Survey science for the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem
and implications for environmental management
Wetland alteration trends on the North Carolina coastal plain
Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlan-
tic Region. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Pro-
gram and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
The Ecology of Albemarle Sound, North Carolina: An Estuarine
Albemarle-Pamlico Summary
Adams, D. (NC State Univ.) et al.
Army Corps (2008)
Army Corps (2010)
Army Corps (2005)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (2009)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (January,
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (July,
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (2008)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (Undated)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (Undated)
Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Program (1991)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (1987)
Bendell, B.M et al.
Bin O, et al. (2007)
Bridgham, S. D., and C.J., Richardson (1993)
Cahoon, D.R., J.W Day, R.S. Young and D.J. Reed
Cahoon, D.R. (2007)
Cashin, G. E., J. R. Dorney, and C.J. Richardson (1992)
Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) (2009)
Copeland, B.J., R.G. Hodson, S.R. Riggs, and J.E. Eas-
leyjr, (1983)
Copeland, B.J. NC State University (Undated)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Shoreline change within the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Sys-
tem, North Carolina. East Carolina University
Survey of State Freshwater Wetland Protection Programs
Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in re-
sponse to accelerated sea-level rise
State Wetland Programs: North Carolina
The puzzle of global sea level rise
Coastal Pollution from Septic Tank Drainfields
Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30
State Wetland Program Evaluation: Phase I
Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program Success Story: North
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) Case Studies
National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report, Chapter 4:
Southeast National Estuary Program Coastal Condition, Albe-
marle-Pamlico National Estuary Program
Ecosystem Enhancement Program Update Presentation at the
10th Annual Mitigation and conservation Banking Conference
Water-Quality Trends in the Neuse River Basin, North Carolina,
Water-quality trends and basin activities and characteristics for
the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system, North Carolina and
Duke set to give N.C. coast $1 million
Summary for policymakers: Contribution of working group I to
the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change
Stormwater Success Along the Neuse
A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolu-
North Carolina statistical data [Web site]
Water-Quality Assessment of the Albemarle-Pamlico Drainage
Basin, North Carolina and Virginia — Environmental Setting and
Water-Quality Issues
Response of wetlands to rising sea level in the lower coastal plain
of North Carolina
Presentation of NC Coastal Wetland Regulations
Corbett, D.R., et al.
Christy, D. (Undated)
Donnelly, J.P and M.D. Bertness (2001)
Dorney, J., D. Hugget, and R. Ferrell (2004)
Douglas, B.C. and E.R. Peltier (2002)
Duda, A.M. and K.D. Cromartie (1982)
Emanuel, K. (2005)
Environmental Law Institute (2005)
EPA, Office of Water (2006)
EPA (undated)
EPA (2007)
Gilmore, W 2007
Harned, D. (2003)
Harned D., and M.S. Davenport (1990)
Henderson, B. (March 3, 2009)
IPCC (2007)
Loughner, L. (Nov-Dec 2004)
Kirwan, M.L. and A.B. Murray (2007)
Log in to North Carolina (2009)
McMahon, G. and O. Lloyd (1995)
Moorehead, K.K. and M.M. Brinson (1995)
Moye, D.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Billion Dollar Climate and Weather Related Disasters (1980-
Make a Tide Prediction, State and Region Listing: North Caro-
Barrier Island Ecology of Cape Lookout National Seashore and
Vicinity, North Carolina
Annual Progress Report on the Neuse Agricultural Rule
Living Shorelines Project [Web site] & Living Shorelines Fact
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund Fact Sheet
North River Farms Fact Sheet
State of the Coast Report 2009
Beaufort County Joint CAMA Land Use Plan 2006 Update
Agricultural Statistics - Summary of Commodities by County
Ecosystem Enhancement Program, 2009 Annual Report
Ecosystem Enhancement Program, 2009 Quarterly Report April-
June 2009
North Carolina Coastal Region Evaluation of Wetland Signifi-
Guide to the North Carolina Wetlands Restoration Program's
Wetlands: Restoration [website]
Summary of DCM's Wetland Mapping Products
A Guide to Implementing Neuse River Basin and Tar-Pamlico
River Basin Riparian Buffer Rules for Forest Management Activi-
Neuse River Basinwide Water Quality Plan
Neuse River Basinwide Water Quality Plan Executive Summary
NC Wetland Assessment Method — A new world for wetland
permitting and mitigation - Presentation
Nonpoint Source Management Program: Tar-Pamlico Nutrient
Strategy [website]
Isolated Wetlands Permitting Effective April 1 2003
1 5A NCAC Subchapter 7H- State Guidelines for Areas of En-
vironmental Concern section .0100 — Introduction and General
National Climatic Data Center (2009)
NOAA (2008)
NPS (2004)
Neuse Agricultural Basin Oversight Committee (2007)
North Carolina Coastal Federation (2004)
North Carolina Coastal Federation (2004)
North Carolina Coastal Federation (2004)
North Carolina Coastal Federation (2009)
North Carolina Coastal Management Program (2008)
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Con-
sumer Services (2009)
NC DENR (2009)
NC DENR (2009)
NC DCM (1999)
NCDENR (2001)
NC DCM (2008)
NC DCM (2003)
NC DFR (2009)
NC DWQ (2009)
NC DWQ (2009)
NC DWQ (2009)
NC DWQ (2009)
North Carolina General Assembly (2003)
North Carolina General Assembly (1974)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
SECTION .0200 - The Estuarine and Oceans System Manage-
ment Program
SECTION .1300 - Discharges to Isolated Wetlands and Isolated
Developing a Management Strategy for North Carolina's Coastal
Ocean: Draft Report for Public Comment
Executive Order 122 — Establishment of a Program Office in Sup-
port of the Albemarle-Pamlico NEP
Neuse Riverkeepers Annual Meeting Report 2009
Neuse River Stressors
Rivernotes August 2007
Rivernotes Fall 2009
Agriculture Riparian Buffers
Agriculture and the Neuse River Basin
Kinematic Constraints on Glacier Contributions to 21st-century
Sea-Level Rise
Sea Level Rise Research and Dialogue in North Carolina: Creat-
ing Windows for Policy Change
Applications of network analysis for adaptive management of
artificial drainage systems in landscapes vulnerable to sea level rise
Raster modeling of coastal flooding from sea-level rise
North Carolina's Coasts in Crisis: A Vision for the Future
Effect of Storms on Barrier Island Dynamics, Core Banks, Cape
Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina
Drowning the North Carolina Coast: Sea-level Rise and Estuarine
Influence of inherited geologic framework on barrier shoreface
morphology and dynamics
Habitat Connections: Wetlands, Fisheries and Economics
Wetland development trends in coastal North Carolina, USA,
from 1970 to 1984
North Carolina Coastal Habitat Protection Plan
Wetlands Protection in the Face of Sea-level Rise: Developing a
Local Land Use Tool Kit — Presentation
State of the Beach Report — North Carolina
DCM wetland mapping in coastal North Carolina
North Carolina General Assembly (1998)
North Carolina General Assembly (2003)
NC Ocean Policy Steering Committee (2009)
Governor Easley, State of North Carolina (2007)
Neuse Riverkeeper (2009)
NRDC (1998)
NRF (2007)
NRF (2009)
Osmond, D.L. (Undated)
Osmond, D.L., D. Hardy, L.H. Johnson, WG. Lord,
R.H. Pleasants, M.E. Regans (Undated)
Pfeffer, WT (2008)
Poulter, B, et al. (2009)
Poulter, B., J.L. Goodall, PN. Halpin (2008)
Poulter, B. and PN. Halpin (2007)
Riggs, S.R. et al.
Riggs, S.R. and D.V. Ames (2007)
Riggs, S.R. and D.V. Ames (2003)
Riggs, S.R., WJ. Cleary and S.W Snyder (1995)
Stedman, S. and J. Hanson (Undated)
Stockton, M., B. and C.J. Richardson (1987)
Street, M.W, A.S. Deaton, WS. Chappell and PD.
Mooreside (2005)
Stiles, S. (2008)
Surfrider website (Undated)
Sutler, L. (1999)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Document/Study Title
Author (Date)
Greenhouse effect, sea level rise, and coastal wetlands (EPA 230-
Maps of land vulnerable to sea level rise: modeled elevations along
the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
Maps of Lands Close to Sea Level along the Middle Atlantic
Coast of the United States: An Elevation Data Set to Use While
Waiting for LIDAR. Section 1.1 in: Background Documents
Supporting Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and As-
sessment Product 4.1.
Coastal Wetlands and Coastal Change
Environmental Injustice in North Carolina's Hog Industry
Model for Geospatial Vegetation, Impervious Surfaces, Soils, and
Topographic Analysis (VISSTA)
Titus, J.G. (ed.) (1988)
Titus, J.G. and C. Richman (2001)
Titus J.G. and J. Wang (2008)
USGS (1997)
Wing, S., D. Cole and G. Grant (2000)
Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environ-
mental Technology (CICEET) (2008)
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix C: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Overview: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act establishes a
permit program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill
material into waters of the United States, including wetlands.
Activities in waters of the United States regulated under this
program include fill for associated with development, water
resource projects (such as dams and levees that are not part of
the construction of federal projects specifically authorized by
Congress), infrastructure development (such as highways and
airports) and mining projects.

Under a rule promulgated pursuant to Section 404(b)(l) of
the Clean Water Act, no discharge of dredged or fill material
may be permitted if:  (1) a practicable alternative exists that
is less damaging to the aquatic environment so long as that
alternative does not have other significant adverse environ-
mental consequences or (2) the nation's waters would be
significantly degraded. Section 404 permitting ensures that
dredge and fill projects only proceed if an applicant first has
shown that steps have been taken to avoid impacts to wet-
lands, streams, and other aquatic resources; that potential
impacts have been minimized; and — only after the first two
measures have been taken — that compensation is provided
for all remaining unavoidable impacts.

Permits: Proposed activities are regulated through a permit
review process. An individual permit is required for projects
with more than minimal adverse effects. Individual permits
are reviewed by the Army Corps, which evaluates applications
under a public interest review, as well as the environmental
criteria set forth in the Section 404(b)(l) Guidelines promul-
gated by EPA in conjunction with the Army Corps. How-
ever, for most discharges that will have only minimal adverse
effects, a general permit may be suitable. General permits are
issued on a nationwide, regional, or state basis for particular
categories of activities. The general permit process eliminates
individual review and allows certain activities to proceed with
little or no delay, provided that the general, regional, and any
special conditions for the general permit are met. For exam-
ple, minor road activities, utility line backfill, and bedding
are activities that can be considered for a general permit. For
more information, see:
ance/cwa/dredgdis/ and

Jurisdiction: Though a number of activities may impact
the nation's waters, Section 404 applies to dredge and fill
activities only (Section 402 of the Clean Water Act regu-
lates point source discharges of pollutants into waters of the
United States). Additionally, the Clean Water Act only applies
to "waters of the United States." EPA and the Army Corps
have issued regulatory definitions of "waters of the United
States" to include waters that are: traditionally navigable;

Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
interstate; could affect interstate commerce if used, degraded,
or destroyed; territorial seas; impoundments of jurisdictional
waters; tributaries of jurisdictional waters; and wetlands adja-
cent to jurisdictional waters. The agencies'  regulatory defini-
tion of "waters of the United States" provides exclusions for
waste treatment systems and prior converted cropland. U.S.
Supreme Court decisions in Solid Waste Agency of Northern
Cook County v.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v.
United States and subsequent agency guidance have provided
further interpretation of which waterbodies are protected by
the Clean Water Act. For the most recent guidance on Clean
Water Act geographic jurisdiction, see:
lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm. Lastly, the
regulatory definition of wetlands, "areas that are inundated
or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and
duration sufficient to support, and that under normal cir-
cumstances do support,  a prevalence of vegetation typically
adapted for life in saturated soil conditions,"  may exclude
some areas which are defined as wetlands for other purposes
(e.g., under the Cowardin classification system).

Exemptions: In general, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
requires permits for the discharge of dredged or  fill mate-
rial into waters  of the United States, including wetlands.
However, certain activities are exempt from permit require-
ments under Section 404(f). These include dredge and fill
activities related to established (ongoing) farming, silvicul-
ture, or ranching practices; certain temporary activities; and
certain maintenance activities (e.g., of drainage ditches, farm
ponds, or stock ponds).  The exemptions are limited in their
application. For example, a permit must be obtained for an
activity whose purpose is to convert an  area of the waters of
the United States into a use to which it was not  previously
subject, where the flow or circulation of waters of the United
States may be impaired, or the reach of such waters reduced
(33 CFR 323-4). Some projects are also  required to imple-
ment Best Management Practices in order to remain exempt.
for more information regarding Section 404 exemptions.

Mitigation: Compensatory mitigation involves actions taken
to offset unavoidable adverse impacts to wetlands, streams,
and other aquatic resources authorized by Section 404 per-
mits and other Department of the Army permits. Compen-
satory mitigation can be carried out through four methods:
the restoration of a previously existing or degraded wetland
or other aquatic site, the enhancement of an existing aquatic
site's functions, the establishment (i.e., creation) of a new
aquatic site, or the preservation of an existing aquatic site. For
impacts authorized under Section 404,  compensatory mitiga-
tion is not considered until after all appropriate  and practi-
cable steps have been taken to first avoid and then minimize

Appendix C: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
adverse impacts to the aquatic ecosystem. For more informa-
tion, see:

  Compensatory Mitigation Rule: In 2008, the Army Corps
  and EPA issued regulations governing compensatory
  mitigation for activities authorized by permits issued by the
  Department of the Army (see
  lands_mitigation_final_rule_4_10_08.pdf)- The regulations
  establish performance standards and criteria for the use of
  permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, mitigation
  banks, and in-lieu programs to improve the quality and
  success of compensatory mitigation projects for permitted
  activities. This rule improves the planning, implementation,
  and management of compensatory mitigation projects by
  emphasizing a watershed approach in selecting compensa-
  tory mitigation project locations, requiring measurable,
  enforceable ecological performance standards and regular
  monitoring for all types of compensation, and specify-
  ing the components of a complete compensatory mitiga-
  tion plan, including assurances of long-term protection of
  compensation sites, financial assurances, and identification
  of the parties responsible for specific project tasks. Since a
  mitigation bank must have an approved mitigation plan
  and other assurance in place before any of its credits can be
  used to offset impacts, this rule establishes a preference for
  the use of mitigation bank credits, which reduces  some of
  the risks and uncertainties associated with compensatory

  Mitigation Bank: Mitigation banking involves off-site
  compensation activities generally conducted by a third-
  party mitigation bank sponsor. A mitigation bank is a site,
  or suite of sites, where aquatic resources (e.g., wetlands,
  streams, riparian areas) are restored, established, enhanced,
  and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensa-
  tory mitigation for impacts authorized by Department
  of the Army permits. In general, a mitigation bank sells
  compensatory mitigation credits to permittees to meet
  their requirements for compensatory mitigation. The value
  of these "credits" is determined by quantifying the aquatic
  resource functions  or acres restored or created. The bank
  sponsor is ultimately responsible for the success of the proj-

  In-lieu Fee Mitigation: In-lieu fee mitigation involves off-
  site compensation activities generally conducted by a third
  party in-lieu fee program sponsor. Through an in-lieu fee
  program, a governmental or non-profit natural resources
  management entity collects funds from multiple permittees
  in order to pool the financial resources necessary to build

Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
  and maintain the mitigation site or suite of sites. The in-lieu
  fee sponsor is responsible for the success of the mitigation.
  In-lieu fee mitigation typically occurs after the permitted

  Permittee-Responsible Mitigation: Permittee-responsible
  mitigation is the restoration, establishment, enhancement,
  or preservation of aquatic resources undertaken by a per-
  mittee in order to compensate for impacts resulting from
  a specific project. The permittee performs the mitigation
  after the permit is issued and is ultimately responsible for
  implementation  and success of the mitigation. Permittee-
  responsible mitigation may occur at the site of the per-
  mitted impacts or at an off-site location within the same

Roles & Responsibilities:

  Federal Agencies: The roles and responsibilities of the
  federal resource agencies differ in scope. The Army Corps
  administers the day-to-day aspects of the program, makes
  individual and general permit decisions, and makes deter-
  minations regarding the extent and location of jurisdic-
  tional waters of the United States. The Army Corps and
  EPA jointly develop policy and guidance, such as the
  environmental criteria used in evaluating permit applica-
  tions. EPA determines the scope of geographic jurisdiction
  and applicability of exemptions; approves and oversees state
  and tribal assumption; reviews and comments on individual
  permit applications; has authority to prohibit, deny, or
  restrict the use of any defined area as a disposal site; and can
  elevate specific cases under Section 404(q). In addition to
  jointly implementing the Section 404 program, EPA and
  the Army Corps  share Section 404 enforcement authority,
  which is delineated in a 1989 Memorandum of Agreement.
  The Army Corps acts as the lead enforcement agency for all
  violations of Corps-issued permits. The Army Corps also
  acts as the lead enforcement agency for unpermitted dis-
  charge violations that do not meet the criteria for forward-
  ing to EPA. EPA acts as the lead enforcement agency when
  an unpermitted activity involves repeat violator(s), flagrant
  violation(s), where EPA requests a class of cases or a par-
  ticular case, or the Army Corps recommends that an EPA
  administrative penalty action  may be warranted.

  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA's
  National Marine Fisheries Service evaluate impacts on fish
  and wildlife of all new federal projects and federally permit-
  ted projects, including projects subject to the requirements
  of Section 404 (pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Coordi-
  nation Act), and can elevate specific cases or policy issues
  pursuant to Section 404(q).

Appendix C: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
  States and Tribes: States and tribes also have a role in Sec-
  tion 404 decisions, through state program general permits,
  water quality certification, or program assumption. Under
  Section 401  of the Clean Water Act, a federal agency may
  not issue a permit or license for an activity that may  result
  in a discharge to waters of the United States until the state
  or tribe where the discharge would originate has granted or
  waived Section 401  certification. Pursuant to Section 401,
  a state or tribe may grant, grant with conditions, deny or
  waive 401 certification. States and tribes make their deci-
  sions to deny, certify, or condition permits or licenses based
  in part on the proposed project's  compliance with EPA-
  approved water quality standards. Through 401 certifica-
  tions, states and tribes can limit dredge and fill activities or
  require additional protective requirements.

  State programmatic general permits  (SPGPs) may be issued
  by the Army Corps in coordination with states or tribes to
  allow a state or tribe to review Section 404 permit applica-
  tions and verify activities without additional Army Corps
  review, provided the activities have no more than minimal
  adverse effects individually and cumulatively. SPGPs are
  often limited to specific activities, geographic areas, resource
  types, and/or sizes of impacts and can provide a more
  streamlined permitting process for these activities.

  In addition,  the Clean Water Act gives states and tribes the
  option of assuming administration of the federal Section
  404 permit program in certain waters within state or tribal
  jurisdiction. State/tribal assumed programs must be at least
  as comprehensive as the federal program.

  Furthermore, more than a dozen  states have developed their
  own permit programs, which they operate in coordination
  with the federal program. In some cases, state programs may
  protect a greater number of aquatic resources than fall under
  federal jurisdiction as waters of the United States. States
  may also have their own wetland  mitigation, enforcement,
  and monitoring programs.
Data & Information:

  Public Notice: The Army Corps issues public notices to alert
  the public to new applications for Section 404 permits.
  Contained in this notice is a project description including
  the location, the activity, the estimated impacted acres, and
  details on the conceptual mitigation plan. Subsequent to
  the release of a public notice, the Army Corps initiates a
  comment period, usually lasting about 30 days, where the
  public can submit written comments or request a public
  hearing. Public notices are posted on the website of the issu-
  ing Army Corps District.

  Permits: Permit records can be used to summarize and track
  wetland losses and gains in an area of interest, and to con-
  firm the compliance of a particular dredge and fill project.
  For this reason, final Section 404 permit information is
  stored in  a database operated by the Army Corps ("Opera-
  tion and Maintenance Information Business Link Regula-
  tory Module 2," or ORM2). ORM2 has been in operation
  since 2007- Some states with permit programs operate simi-
  lar databases which can supplement federal permit informa-

  Mitigation: The "Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Infor-
  mation Tracking System" (RIBITS) is an online database
  developed by the Army Corps with support from  EPA and
  USFWS to provide better information on mitigation and
  conservation banking and in-lieu fee programs across the
  country. RIBITS allows users to access information  on the
  types and numbers of mitigation and conservation bank
  and in-lieu fee program sites, associated documents, mitiga-
  tion credit availability, service areas, as well as information
  on national and local policies and procedures that affect
  mitigation and conservation bank and in-lieu fee program
  development and operation. For access, see: http://geo.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix D: NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program
The Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) produces
a nationally standardized database of land cover and land
change information for the coastal regions of the United
States. C-CAP products provide inventories of coastal inter-
tidal areas, wetlands, and adjacent uplands, with the goal of
monitoring  these habitats by updating the land cover maps
every five years.

C-CAP products are developed using multiple dates of Land-
sat  (30-meter resolution) imagery and consist of raster based
land cover maps for each date of analysis, as well as a file that
highlights what changes have occurred between these dates
and where the changes were located. C-CAP land cover is
produced through documented, repeatable procedures using
standard data sources, and includes extensive field sampling,
validation, and standard quality control review procedures. It
provides the "coastal expression" of the National Land Cover
Database, a  contribution to  the Earth Cover layer of the
National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

C-CAP data sets are not jurisdictional or intended for use in
litigation. While efforts have been made to ensure that these
data are accurate and reliable within the limits of current
technology,  NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages
or misrepresentations caused by inaccuracies in the data, or as
a result of the data to be used on a particular system. NOAA
makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of
distribution constitute such a warranty.

The intended use is in identifying regional landscape patterns
and major functional niches (habitat), and for environmental
impact assessment, urban planning, and zoning applica-
tions. C-CAP data will not identify individual species. This
is a national and regional data set that should be used only
as a screening tool for very local or site specific management
decisions. Small features and changes should be verified with a
higher resolution data source.

C-CAP Wetland Classifications
Wetlands are areas dominated by saturated soils and often
standing water. Their vegetation is adapted to withstand
long-term immersion and saturated, oxygen-depleted soils.
Wetlands are divided into two salinity regimes: palustrine for
freshwater wetlands and estuarine for saltwater wetlands; they
are  further divided into forested, shrub/scrub, and emergent
wetlands. Unconsolidated shores are also included as wet-
Palustrine forested wetland: Includes all tidal and non-tidal
wetlands dominated by woody vegetation at least 5 meters
in height, as well as all such wetlands in tidal areas in which
salinity due to ocean-derived salts is below 0.5 percent. Total
vegetation coverage is greater than 20 percent.

Characteristic species: Tupelo (Nyssa), cottonwood (Populus
deltoides), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), American elm
(Ulmus americana), ash (Fraxinus), and tamarack.

Palustrine scrub/shrub wetland: Includes all tidal and non-
tidal wetlands dominated by woody vegetation less than 5
meters in height, as well as all such wetlands in tidal areas in
which salinity due to ocean-derived salts is below 0.5 percent.
Total vegetation coverage is greater than 20 percent. The spe-
cies present could be true shrubs, young trees and shrubs, or
trees that are small or stunted due  to environmental condi-

Characteristic species: Alders (Alnus spp.), willows (Salix spp.),
buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentals), red osier dogwood
(Cornus stolonifera), honeycup (Zenobia pulverenta), spirea
(Spiraea douglassii), bog birch (Betulapumila), and young
trees such as red maple (Acer rubrum) and black spruce (Picea

Palustrine emergent wetland (persistent): Includes all tidal
and non-tidal wetlands dominated by persistent emergent
vascular plants, emergent mosses, or lichens, as well as all such
wetlands in  tidal areas in which salinity due to ocean-derived
salts is below 0.5 percent.  Plants generally remain standing
until the next growing season. Total vegetation cover is greater
than 80 percent.

Characteristic species: Cattails (Typha spp.), sedges (Carex spp.),
bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), rushes (Juncus spp.), saw grass (Cla-
     jamaicaense), and reed (Phragmites australis).
Estuarine forested wetland: Includes all tidal wetlands domi-
nated by woody vegetation at least 5 meters in height, and all
such wetlands that occur in tidal areas in which salinity due
to ocean-derived salts is equal to or greater than 0.5 percent.
Total vegetation coverage is greater than 20 percent.

Characteristic species: red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black
mangrove (Avicennia germinans), and white mangrove (Lan-
guncularia racemosa).
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review
                                                             1  Reference: Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. Laroe. 1979.
                                                             Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. FWS/
                                                             OBS-79/31. U. S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.

Appendix D: NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program
Estuarine scrub/shrub wetland: Includes all tidal wetlands
dominated by woody vegetation less than 5 meters in height,
and all such wetlands that occur in tidal areas in which salin-
ity due to ocean-derived salts is equal to or greater than 0.5
percent. Total vegetation coverage is greater than 20 percent.

Characteristic species: Sea-myrtle (Baccharis halimifolia) and
marsh elder (Ivafrutescens).

Estuarine emergent wetland: Includes all tidal wetlands
dominated by erect, rooted, herbaceous hydrophytes (exclud-
ing mosses and lichens), and all such wetlands that occur in
tidal areas in which salinity due to ocean-derived salts is at
least 0.5 percent and that are present for most of the growing
season in most years. Perennial plants usually dominate these
wetlands. Total vegetation cover is greater than 80 percent.

Characteristic species: Cordgrass (Spartina spp.),  needlerush
(Juncus roemerianus), narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angus-
tifolia), southern wild rice (Zizaniopsis miliacea), common
pickleweed (Salicornia  virginica), sea blite (Suaeda californica),
and arrow grass (Triglochin martimum).

Unconsolidated shore: Unconsolidated material such as silt,
sand, or gravel that is subject to inundation and redistribu-
tion  due to the action of water. Characterized by substrates
lacking vegetation except for pioneering plants  that become
established during brief periods when growing conditions
are favorable. Erosion and deposition by waves and currents
produce a number of landforms representing this  class.

Characteristic land cover features: Beaches, bars,  and flats.

Barren land: Barren areas of bedrock, desert pavement, scarps,
talus, slides, volcanic material, glacial debris, sand dunes, strip
mines, gravel pits, and  other accumulations of earth material.
Generally, vegetation accounts for less than 10 percent of total

Characteristic land cover features: Quarries, strip mines, gravel
pits,  dunes, beaches above the high-water line, sandy areas
other than beaches, deserts and arid riverbeds, and exposed
Open water: All areas of open water, generally with less than
25 percent cover of vegetation or soil.

Characteristic land cover features: Lakes, rivers, reservoirs,
streams, ponds, and ocean.

Palustrine aquatic bed: Includes tidal and non-tidal wetlands
and deepwater habitats in which salinity due to ocean-derived
salts is below 0.5 percent and which are dominated by plants
that grow and form a continuous cover principally on or at
the surface of the water. These include algal mats, detached
floating mats, and  rooted vascular plant assemblages. Total
vegetation cover is greater than 80 percent.

Characteristic vascular species: Pondweed, horned pondweed
(Zannichellia palustris), ditch grass (Ruppia), wild celery,
waterweed (Elodea), riverweed (Podostemum ceratophyllum),
water lilies (Nymphea, Nuphar),  floating-leaf pondweed (Pota-
mogeton natans), water shield (Brasenia schreberi), and water
smartweed (Polygonum amphibium).

Floating surface species: Duckweeds (Lemna, Spirodela), water
lettuce (Pista stratiotes), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crasspies),
water nut (Trapa natans), water fern (Salvinia spp.), and mos-
quito ferns (Azolla).

Floating below-surface species: Bladderworts (Utricularia),
coontails (Ceratophyllum), and watermeals (Wolffia).

Estuarine aquatic  bed: Includes tidal wetlands and deepwater
habitats in which salinity due to ocean-derived salts is equal
to or greater than 0.5 percent and which are dominated by
plants that grow and form a continuous cover principally on
or at the surface of the water. These include algal mats, kelp
beds,  and rooted vascular plant assemblages. Total vegetation
cover is greater than 80 percent.

Characteristic species: Kelp (Macrocystis and Laminaria), rock-
weeds (FucusandAscophyllum), red  algae (Laurencia),  green
algae  (Halimeda and Penicillus,  Caulerpa, Enteromorpha and
Ulva), stonewort (Chara), turtle grass (Thalassia  testudinum),
shoal  grass (Halodule wrightii), manatee grasses (Cymodo-
ceafiliformis),  widgeon grass (Ruppia maritime),  sea grasses
(Halophila spp.), and wild celery (Vallisneria americana).
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Clean Water
State Revolving
CWSRF programs fund water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-
point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management via low-interest
loans. SRF fundable projects include wetland protection and restoration, as well as cre-
ation of constructed wetlands for stormwater or wastewater treatment (which can include
adequate capacity to ensure habitat values as well as treatment of effluents). ts_funding/cwf/cwsrf_index.cfm
The Ecological Research Program in EPA's Office of Research and Development is studying
ecosystem services to gain a better understanding of how to enhance, protect, and restore
the services of nature. Scientists are providing the methods, models, and tools needed by
policy decision-makers to make clear how our choices affect the type, quality, and mag-
nitude of the services we receive from ecosystems. The primary objective in the wetland
research focus area is to document the range and quantity of wetland services and deter-
mine how their position on the landscape alters the provision of ecosystem services.
Five Star
The purpose of the program is to support community-based efforts to restore wetlands,
river streams/corridors, and coastal habitat; build diverse partnerships within the commu-
nity; and foster local stewardship of resources through education, outreach, and training
This program works to restore and maintain the water quality and ecological integrity of
estuaries of national significance. EPA provides funding and technical assistance to NEPs
to create and implement a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)
to address problems facing their estuary and surrounding watershed. NEPs involve com-
munity members and other key federal, state, and local partners/stakeholders to articulate
goals and actions to address the wide range of issues in their CCMP. Key CCMP focus
areas include protecting and restoring habitats such as wetlands. There are 28 NEPs along
the  coasts each guided by a director and staff.
Grants (Section
319 Grants)
Nonpoint source management grants support states, territories, and Indian tribes with
a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education,
training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring to assess the success
of specific nonpoint source implementation projects, some of which include coastal wet-
land restoration projects. A state/territory/tribe's Nonpoint Source Management Program
serves as the basis for how funds are spent.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
The Wetlands Program Development Grants give 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. While WPDGs can be
used by recipients to build and refine any element of a comprehensive wetland program,
priority will be given to funding projects that address the three priority areas identified by
EPA: developing a comprehensive monitoring and assessment program; improving the
effectiveness of compensatory mitigation; and refining the protection of vulnerable wetlands
and aquatic resources. States, tribes, local governments, interstate associations, intertribal
consortia, and national nonprofit, non-governmental organizations are eligible to apply ts_funding/wetlands/grantguidelines/index.cfm
Project Funds
All federal highway projects require mitigation for unavoidable wetland impacts. FHWA
mitigation regulations require a net gain of wetland acres for new project impacts as well as
retroactive for past project impacts.
and Planning
STEP is a federally administered research program authorized in the "Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" (SAFETEA-LU). It
improves the understanding of the relationship between surface transportation, environ-
ment and planning. STEP implements a national research agenda reflecting national pri-
orities based on input and feedback from partners and stakeholders. STEP funds identify,
address, and reassess national research priorities for environment, planning and realty, and
develop tools to support these areas. STEP environmental emphasis areas include air qual-
ity and global climate change; and water/wetlands/vegetation/wildlife habitat/brownfields.
Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities offer funding opportunities to help expand
transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through 12 eligible TE
activities related to surface transportation, including landscaping and scenic beautification
and environmental mitigation.
Coastal Barrier
Act (CBRA)/
Coastal Barrier
System (CBRS)
CBRA discourages development on 3-1 million acres of coastal barrier and associated
aquatic habitat by prohibiting most federal expenditures (e.g., flood insurance, road con-
struction, new channel dredging). These areas are designated on maps adopted by Congress
as the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System. In addition to providing a level of
protection to 3-1 million acres, CBRA is estimated to have saved taxpayers over $1 billion.
Voluntary partnership program to protect, restore, and enhance priority coastal habitat that
benefits federal trust species on public and private lands. It provides technical and financial
assistance through partnerships with federal, state, local governments; tribes; organizations;
academic institutions; and private landowners. The program is delivered through a network
of field staff in 23 priority coastal watersheds around the country. Assistance instruments are
primarily cooperative agreements but grant agreements and wildlife extension agreements
are also used. Decisions regarding partnerships are made at the landscape level. Since 1994,
the Coastal Program has executed over 2,000 agreements to restore 295,000 acres of coastal
habitat and 1,700 stream miles, and protect close to 2 million acres of coastal habitat.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF; Section 6 of the
Endangered Species Act) is the component of the FWS Endangered Species program that
provides grant funding to states and territories for species and habitat conservation actions
on non-federal lands, including habitat acquisition, conservation planning, habitat resto-
ration, status surveys, captive propagation and reintroduction, research, and education.
Many of these grants involve coastal areas and wetland habitat.
Provides financial assistance to states and territories to implement conservation projects for
listed species and at-risk species. Funded activities include habitat restoration, species status
surveys, public education and outreach, captive propagation and reintroduction, nesting
surveys, genetic studies, and development of management plans.
HCP Land
Provides funding to states and territories to acquire land associated with approved Habi-
tat Conservation Plans (HCP). Grants do not fund the mitigation required of an HCP
permittee; instead, they support conservation actions by the state or local governments that
complement mitigation.
The Endangered Species Program conserves imperiled plant and animal species and the
ecosystems upon which they depend, while promoting the voluntary conservation of other
vulnerable wildlife and their habitat. The program strives to ensure a strong scientific
basis for decisions on threatened and endangered species, facilitate large-scale planning to
accommodate land use and wildlife habitat, and promote innovative public/private part-
nerships. Components of the program include technical assistance, outreach and educa-
tion, grant assistance, and regulatory actions. Many activities involve efforts to conserve
coastal areas and wetlands provide important habitat for threatened or endangered species,
species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered.
Recovery Land
Provides funds to states and territories for acquisition of habitat for endangered and threat-
ened species in support of draft and approved recovery plans. Acquisition of habitat to
secure long-term protection is often an essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort
for a listed species.
Migratory Bird
Provides the DOI with financing for the acquisition of migratory bird habitat, including
wetlands. Decisions regarding purchases of land and water areas by FWS are made by the
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission based on recommendations from the Service.
The Small Wetland Program allows the proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps to
be used to protect waterfowl habitat in perpetuity through fee-title acquisition or easement.
The habitat protected consists of small wetlands, and surrounding grassland habitat in the
Prairie Pothole Region. Since its creation 50 years ago, the program has protected nearly 3
million acres of habitat.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Grant Program
Authorized by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act of 1990.
Co-administered by the Coastal Program and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration
Program. Annually provides grants of up to $1 million to coastal states, including Great
Lakes states, to acquire and restore coastal wetlands. Coastal states are eligible applicants.
Program requires cost share of between 50 and 75 percent of the grant request depending
on whether the state has an open-space conservation program. Ineligible activities include
planning, research, monitoring, and construction or repair of structures for recreational
purposes. A national ranking panel made up of FWS biologists recommends a list of proj-
ects for funding to the Director.
Fish Passage
Voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to fish passage barrier
removal or bypass projects. The goal of the program is to restore native fishes and other
aquatic species to self-sustaining levels by reconnecting habitat that has been fragmented
by barriers. Project applications are reviewed and prioritized on a regional basis. Finan-
cial assistance is delivered through the regional and local Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Offices. The program strives to achieve a 50 percent match overall, including in-kind
contributions. Non-federal funds are typically leveraged  at a 3:1  ratio. The program uses
the National Fish Passage Decision Support System, which catalogues fish passage barri-
ers nationally. Fish passage projects are not eligible for funding if they are eligible for any
federal or state compensatory mitigation or if fish passage is a condition provided by exist-
ing federal or state regulatory programs. Since 1999, the program has worked with over
700 different partners to remove 749 barriers, and reopen 11,249 miles of river and 80,556
acres to fish  passage, benefitting over 85 federal trust fish and other aquatic species.

http ://www. fws. gov/fisheries/fwco/fishpassage
Provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of U.S. wetlands and deep-
water habitats and other wildlife habitats. NWI produces periodic reports on the status and
trends of wetlands in the conterminous U.S., which is used for policymaking, assessment,
and monitoring. NWI has developed a series of topical maps to show wetlands and deep-
water habitats. This geospatial information is used by Congress; federal, state, and local
agencies; academic institutions; and the private sector to inform natural resource planning,
management, and project development. The NWI website provides a portal to the Wet-
lands Geodatabase and the Wetlands Mapper, which provide technological tools that allow
the integration of large relational databases with spatial information and map-like displays.
The Service's wetland data forms a layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
Refuge System
180 of the 552 refuges in the NWRS manage 121 million acres of marine or coastal
habitat. Approximately one-quarter of the 150 million-acre NWRS consists of wetlands.
The NWRS protects, restores, maintains, and conducts research on these wetlands. The
NWRS sustains wetlands to support healthy populations of federal trust species, including
threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, interjurisdictional fish, some marine
mammals, and many plants. Wetlands in the NWRS provide opportunities for research
and outdoor recreational pursuits for the American public.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Assessment and
The NRDAR program restores wetland acres that have been harmed by the release of con-
taminants from hazardous waste sites, and oil and chemical spills. Where possible, FWS
partners with other federal agencies, other FWS programs, states, tribes, or non-govern-
mental organizations to enlarge these restoration efforts, which enhances the value of the
restoration to fish and wildlife. In FY 2009, the NRDAR program was responsible for the
restoration and enhancement of over 23,000 wetland acres and for the protection of nearly
41,000 wetland acres. In addition, the program restored or enhanced 186 riparian stream
miles and managed or protected 383 riparian stream miles. The Division of Environmental
Quality provides approximately $1.5 million in toxicology, ecology, and habitat restoration
expertise to EPA and other federal and state partners to minimize impacts to wetlands dur-
ing the cleanup of contaminated areas.
Collaborative, regionally based partnership of U.S. and Canadian agencies, nonprofit orga-
nizations, corporations, tribes, or individuals that conserves habitat for priority bird species
within a specific geographic area. Designed to achieve the regional conservation goals iden-
tified in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. 18 habitat joint ventures and
three species specific joint ventures. Activities include biological planning, conservation
design, and prioritization; project development and implementation; monitoring, evalu-
ation, applied research; communications, education, and outreach; funding support for
projects. To date, joint ventures have invested $4.5 billion to conserve 15-7 million acres of
waterfowl habitat.
Supports activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an interna-
tional agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and asso-
ciated upland habitats needed by waterfowl and other wetland-associated migratory birds
in North America. Provides competitive grants to non-governmental organizations, states,
local governments, tribes, and individuals to carry out wetland conservation projects in the
United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetland-associated migratory birds
and other wildlife. Projects must provide long-term protection, restoration, and enhance-
ment of wetlands and associated upland habitats. Mexican partnerships may also develop
training, educational, and management programs and conduct sustainable-use studies.
Standard grants:  From FY 1990 to June 2010, some 3,850 partners in 1,518 projects have
received more than $1.03 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.06 billion in
matching funds to affect 25-5 million acres  of habitat and $1.14 billion in non-matching
funds to affect 230,900 acres of habitat. Small grants: From FY1990 to FY 2009, some
1,160 partners in 455 projects have received more than $22.9 million in grants. They have
contributed another $101 million in matching funds to affect 172,600 acres of habitat and
$57-4 million in non-matching funds to affect 7,400 acres of habitat.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Partners for
Fish and
Voluntary partnership program to restore and enhance priority fish and wildlife habitat on
private lands. Provides technical and financial assistance through partnerships with land-
owners. Delivered through locally based field biologists in each state. Assistance instru-
ments are primarily cooperative agreements. Decisions regarding partnerships are made at
the landscape level. Since 1987 the Program has worked with over 42,000 private landown-
ers and restored 975,000 acres of wetlands, 3,000,000 acres of uplands, and 8,700 miles of
stream habitat. Statutory authority: Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act of 2006.
Coastal and
Estuarine Land
CELCP, part of the Coastal Zone Management Program, was established in 2002 to pro-
tect coastal and estuarine lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, rec-
reational, historical or aesthetic values. The NOAA Ocean Service program provides state
and local governments with matching funds to purchase significant coastal and estuarine
lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers. Lands or conservation
easements acquired with CELCP funds are protected in perpetuity so that they may be
enjoyed by future generations.
Coastal Zone
The Coastal Zone Management Program supports state planning and programs to protect
coastal resources, including wetlands. The NOAA Ocean Service program is a voluntary
partnership between the federal government and U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states that
takes a comprehensive approach to coastal resource management by balancing the often
competing and occasionally conflicting demands of coastal resources use, economic devel-
opment, and conservation.
Coastal Zone
Section 309)
The Coastal Zone Enhancement Program, a part of the NOAA Ocean Service Coastal
Zone Management Program, is designed to encourage states and territories to develop
program changes in one or more of the nine coastal zone enhancement areas of national
significance, including wetlands. Every five years, state coastal management programs
conduct self-assessments of their programs' activities within the nine enhancement areas to
help target the Section 309 funds toward program needs.
Coastal Zone
Section 6217)
The Coastal Zone Nonpoint Pollution Program, a part of the NOAA Ocean Service Coastal
Zone Management Program, establishes a set of management measures for states to use
in controlling polluted runoff from six main sources, including wetlands and vegetated
shorelines. State policies and actions to develop coastal nonpoint pollution control programs
ensure implementation of the program at the state level.
based Restora-
tion Program
The Community-based Restoration Program, a part of the NOAA Fisheries Habitat Con-
servation Program, invests funding and technical expertise in high-priority habitat restora-
tion projects that instill strong conservation values and engage citizens in hands-on activi-
ties. Through the program, NOAA, its partners, and thousands of volunteers are actively
restoring coastal, marine, and migratory fish habitat across the nation. http://www.habitat.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
The NOAA Ocean Service Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program
collaborates with other agencies, industry, and citizens to protect and restore coastal and
marine resources threatened or injured by oil spills, releases of hazardous substances, and
vessel groundings. The program provides permanent expertise within NOAA to assess and
restore natural resources injured by release of oil and hazardous substances, as well as by
physical impacts such as vessel groundings in National Marine Sanctuaries.
Essential Fish
Habitat (EFH)
provisions of
the Magnuson-
Stevens Act
Marine fish depend on healthy habitats to survive and reproduce. Throughout their lives
fish use many types of habitats including seagrass, salt marsh, coral reefs, kelp forests, and
rocky intertidal areas among others. Various activities on land and in the water constantly
threaten to alter, damage, or destroy these habitats. NOAA Fisheries, regional Fishery Man-
agement Councils, and federal and state agencies work together to address these threats
by identifying EFH for each federally managed fish species and developing conservation
measures to protect and enhance these habitats.
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program, a part of the NOAA Fisheries Habitat
Conservation Program, plans, implements, and funds coastal habitat restoration projects
throughout the Great Lakes region. The program works to protect and restore coastal
habitats through recovery of damages from natural resource damage claims, which are used
to implement community-based restoration efforts. Much of NOAA's work in the region
is focused on supporting community-identified restoration priorities in Areas of Concern,
environmentally degraded areas within the Great Lakes basin.
The Habitat Conservation Program, composed of the Habitat Protection Division, a Res-
toration Center, and the Chesapeake Bay Office, protects, restores, and promotes steward-
ship of coastal and marine habitat to support our nation's fisheries and preserve our coastal
communities for future generations. The Program carries out various management and
research efforts to develop national and regional policies, programs, and science to conserve
Reserve System
The NERRS is a network of 28 areas representing different biogeographic regions of the
United States that are protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, educa-
tion, and coastal stewardship. Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972,
as amended, the reserve system is a partnership program between NOAA and the coastal
states. NOAA's Ocean Service provides funding, national guidance, and technical assis-
tance. Each reserve is managed  on a daily basis by a lead state agency or university, with
input from local partners. Reserve staff work with local communities and regional groups
to address natural resource management issues, such as non-point source pollution, habitat
restoration and  invasive species. Through integrated research and education, the reserves
help communities develop strategies to deal successfully with these coastal resource issues.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Pacific Coastal
Recovery Fund
The PCSRF was established by Congress in FY 2000 to protect, restore, and conserve
Pacific salmon and steelhead populations and their habitats. Under the PCSRF, NOAA
Fisheries manages a program to provide funding to states and tribes of the Pacific Coast
 Army Corps
Clean Water
Act 404
Army Corps manages the nation's wetlands through a regulatory program requiring per-
mits for the discharge of dredged and fill material into jurisdictional water of the United
States. This important regulatory program helps maintain the wetland base so other federal
programs can achieve gains. EPA shares regulatory responsibility with Army Corps under
this program.
 Army Corps
Program (CAP)
Standing Authorities to study/build water resource projects for specific purposes and with
specified federal spending limits and cost share requirement. CAP project funding varies by
program and purpose. There are 10 commonly referenced nationwide programs. Three of
these specifically involve ecosystem improvement: the 206 Program is for aquatic ecosys-
tem restoration, the 1135 Program is for project modifications for improvement of the
environment, and the 204 Program is for beneficial uses of dredged material. There are also
several geographically restricted Regional Programs that relate to environmental infrastruc-
ture projects.
 Army Corps
Research and
The Wetlands Research and Technology Center (WRTC) consolidates administrative,
technological, and research skills in the area of wetland science and engineering that are
available at the ERDC. The ERDC has long been recognized as a center for wetland exper-
tise, conducting extensive environmental research in wetland systems. The WRTC provides
a single point of contact for wetland research and development, guidance, support, and
technology transfer. The WRTC provides access to an array of technical specialists and
interdisciplinary teams in research areas that emphasize the interrelationships of biologi-
cal, physical, and chemical environments in order to provide fundamental understanding
of ecological processes and dynamics in wetland ecosystems. The WRTC serves the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, other Department of Defense agencies, other government agen-
cies, academia, industry and the general public.

http://el.erdc.usace. html#wrtc
 Army Corps
Studies for project authorization that are undertaken in response to either a study-specific
authority or a general authority; these are typically larger, complex projects. The reconnais-
sance phase is 100 percent federally funded, the feasibility phase is cost-shared 50/50, the
preconstruction engineering and design phase is cost-shared 75/25, and the construction/
implementation for Ecosystem Restoration Projects  is cost-shared 65/35- The maximum
cost limit per project is set for each phase. Major projects include the Florida Everglades
Restoration, the Upper Mississippi River Restoration, the Louisiana Coastal Area project,
the Missouri River Recovery, and the Lower Columbia River and Tillamook Bay Ecosys-
tem Restoration.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Program (CRP)
CRP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address
soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally
beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program is funded through the Commodity
Credit Corporation. CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), with NRCS
providing technical land eligibility determinations, conservation planning and practice
implementation. CRP reduces soil erosion, protects the nation's ability to produce food
and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes
wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to
convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative
cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian buf-
fers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract.  Cost
sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.

Through conservation technical assistance, NRCS and its partners help land users address
opportunities, concerns, and problems related to the use of natural resources and make
sound natural resource management decisions on private, tribal, and other non-federal
lands. This assistance may be in the form of resource assessment, practice design, resource
monitoring, or follow-up of installed practices. Although the CTA program does not
include financial or cost-share assistance, clients may develop conservation plans, which
may serve as a springboard for those interested in participating in USDA financial assis-
tance programs. CTA planning can also  serve as a door to financial assistance and easement
conservation programs provided by other federal, state, and local programs.

The purpose of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program is to undertake
emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements for runoff retardation
and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the
products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood, or any other natural occurrence
is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed.

EQIP provides a voluntary conservation program for farmers, ranchers, and owners of
private, non-industrial forest land that promotes agricultural production, forest manage-
ment, and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and
technical assistance to help eligible producers install or implement conservation practices
on eligible agricultural land. EQIP offers contracts with a minimum term that ends one
year after the implementation of the last scheduled  practice(s) and a maximum term of 10
years. Owners of land in agricultural production or persons who are engaged in livestock
or agricultural production on eligible land may participate in the EQIP program. Pro-
gram practices and activities are carried out according to a plan of operations, developed
in conjunction with the producer, that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or
measures needed to address identified  natural resource concerns. The practices are subject
to NRCS technical standards adapted  for local conditions. EQIP may provide payments up
to 75 percent of the estimated incurred costs and income foregone of certain conservation
practices and conservation activity plans.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Farm and
FRPP provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive
farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA part-
ners with state, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire
conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up
to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement. To qualify,
farmland must be part of a pending offer from a state, tribe, or local farmland protection
program; be privately owned; have a conservation plan for highly erodible land; be large
enough to sustain agricultural production; be accessible to markets for what the land pro-
duces; have adequate infrastructure and agricultural support services; and have surrounding
parcels of land that can support long-term agricultural production. Depending on funding
availability, proposals  must be submitted by the eligible entities to the appropriate NRCS
State Office during the application window.

GRP is a voluntary conservation program that emphasizes support for working grazing
operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland
under threat of conversion to other uses. Participants voluntarily limit future develop-
ment and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing
practices and operations related to the production of forage  and seeding, subject to certain
restrictions during nesting seasons of bird species that are in significant decline or are  pro-
tected under federal or state law. A grazing management plan is required for participants.

The Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Compliance provi-
sions (Swampbuster) were introduced in the 1985 Farm Bill, with amendments in 1990,
1996, and 2002. The purpose of the provisions is to remove certain incentives to produce
agricultural commodities on converted wetlands or highly erodible land, unless the highly
erodible land is protected from excessive soil erosion. It withholds federal farm program
benefits from any person who converts a wetland by clearing, drainage, dredging, leveling,
or any other means for the purpose of making agricultural commodity production possible,
or who plants a commodity on a converted wetland.

WREP is a voluntary conservation program which is a component of WRP Under WREP,
NRCS enters into agreements with eligible partners (states and local units of govern-
ment, Indian tribes, and non-governmental organizations) to help enhance conservation
outcomes on wetlands and adjacent lands. WREP targets and leverages resources to carry
out high-priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities and improve
wildlife habitat. Once NRCS selects a partner's proposal, landowners within the selected
project area may submit an application directly to NRCS for participation in WRP.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
This voluntary program restores and protects wetlands on private lands to cost-effectively
maximize wildlife benefits and wetland functions and values that have been degraded or
impacted as a result of the production of food and fiber. Since 1992, WRP has restored
approximately 2.2 million acres on 11,758 properties. WRP enrollment options include
permanent easement, 30-year easement,  restoration agreement, 30-year contract on tribal
lands, and reserve grazing rights pilot. The perpetual easement option pays landowners 100
percent of the WRP easement value and  100 percent of the costs to restore the wetlands
and associated habitats on the land. The  30-year easement and 30-year contracts options
provide 75 percent of the easement values and restoration costs. The restoration agreement
only option provides 75 percent of the restoration  costs and requires the restored habitat to
be maintained for a period of 10 years.

WHIP is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop
and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and
Indian land. NRCS  administers WHIP to provide both technical assistance and up to 75
percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP
cost-share agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from one year after
the last conservation practice is implemented but not more than 10 years from the date the
agreement is signed.
The National Wetlands Research Center is a source and clearinghouse of science informa-
tion about wetlands in the United States and the world for fellow agencies, private entities,
academia, and the public at large. Staff members obtain and provide this information by
performing original scientific research and developing research results  into literature and
technological tools. They then disseminate that information through a variety of means.
The Center solves wetland-related problems and conducts status and trends inventories of
wetland habitats, evaluates wetland problems, and conducts field and laboratory research
on wetland issues. Center research includes a broad array of projects on wetland ecology,
values, management, restoration and creation, plus research on the ecology of a wide vari-
ety of plant and animal species and communities that are found  in wetlands.
USGS also conducts scientific studies on other areas related to wetland health, includ-
ing carbon sequestration, long shore transport processes, water level fluctuations, climate
change,  and sea level rise.
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review

Appendix E: Federal Agency Programs That Support Coastal Wetland Protection,
Restoration, and Management
Army Corps
Army Corps
Protection and
Act (CWP
Act (ERA)
CWPPRA is funded by the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which was established in 1 990
and is authorized until 2019- The fund is created from excise taxes on fishing equipment
and on motorboat and small engine fuels. The Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation
and Restoration Task Force receives 70 percent of the funds; the North American Wet-
lands Conservation Act Program and the National Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
receive 15 percent each. Funding distributed to the Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conser-
vation and Restoration Task Force is used to design and construct projects to preserve,
re-establish, and enhance Louisiana's coastal landscape.
The purpose of ERA is to promote the restoration of estuary habitat; to provide federal
assistance for estuary habitat restoration projects; to develop a national Estuary Habitat
Restoration Strategy for creating and maintaining effective partnerships within the federal
government and with the private sector; and to develop and enhance monitoring, data
sharing, and research capabilities. Under ERA, NOAA developed and maintains a res-
toration project database, the National Estuaries Restoration Inventory, and established
standards for restoration monitoring.
http ://www. era. no aa. gov/
Coastal Wetlands Initiative: South Atlantic Review