Restoring Wetlands

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Chesapeake Bay Program Indicator Framework
Reporting Level Indicators
Indicator and Data Survey

Note: Completed February 26, 2010 No 2008 VA data available

For each indicator for which you are responsible, please provide the following information.  This information will be made available to the developers of the reports, the reviewers of the reports and by members of the public who may request detailed information about the data used in the reports.  Please refer to the sample for examples of the level of detail that should be provided.
(PLEASE NOTE:  For indicators that do not have data (narrative info only for the March 2006 reports), complete as much of the survey as possible.  If possible, indicate plans for the development of data to be featured in the 2007 Reports.)

A.  Category/Name/Source/Contact

(1) Category of Indicator
___ Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health
 _x   Restoration and Protection Efforts
 ___ Watershed Health
 ___ Bay Health
 
(2) Name of Indicator:  Gain in Wetland Acreage

(3) Data Set Description:  Acres of wetland reestablished or established in Chesapeake Bay

 For what purpose(s) were the data collected? (e.g., tracking, research, or long-term monitoring.) tracking
 Which parameters were measured directly? Which were obtained by calculation?
 Acreage measured directly.
(4) Source(s) of Data: States of MD, VA, PA and District of Columbia

 Is the complete data set accessible, including metadata, data-dictionaries and embedded definitions?  If yes, please indicate where complete dataset can be obtained. No

(5) Custodian of Source Data (and Indicator, if different): Krystal Freeman (Habitat GIT staffer),  Melanie Steinkamp and Kurt Dyroff (WAT co-chairs)

(6) CBPO Contact: Krystal Freeman

B.  Communication Questions

(complete either part 1, 2, or 3)
1.  Restoration and Protection Efforts indicators only
(7a) How much has been completed since 1985 (or baseline year)?  
Between 1998 and 2009, 13613.59 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands were reestablished or established in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. (reporting level) and between 1998 and 2009 nearly 95,933 acres of wetlands were enhanced (diagnostic level indicator data pending for PA, and VA). Note that CBP baseline data for wetland accomplishments starts in 1998.  While we can’t go back to 1985 for accomplishment data, we do have estimates of wetland loss experienced in the watershed in the 1980s, as detailed under the “Wetland Loss” section of the attached Backgrounder.  Specifically, Ralph Tiner’s status and trends analysis for the Bay Program indicated that the watershed experienced a net loss of 20,556 acres of wetland between 1982 and 1989, or 5% of the total wetland losses in the conterminous United States.
How much has been completed since 2000?  (current cumulative total – 1999 cumulative total) =11432.24 acres (for reporting level indicator)
(8a) How much was done last year? 608.71 acres total (340.71 MD, 136 PA, 132 VA, 0 DC) acres Reporting level ONLY
(9a) What is the current status in relation to a goal? ~ 54% achieved as of 2009 (PA an VA data pending)

(10a) What does this indicator tell us? While wetland acreage and functional gains are both important, the CBP will seek a better balance between these types of projects by emphasizing projects that result in wetland acreage gain for the remainder of the decade.  By 2010, CBP partners will have achieved a total of 28,500 acres of wetland acreage gain and 90,000 acres of wetland function gain through non-regulatory programs (i.e. in partnership with landowners and non-government organizations).

(11a) Why is it important to report this information? Wetlands are “nature’s speed bumps”, acting to slow storm surges associated with natural disasters such as hurricanes.  While projects that result in gains in function on existing wetlands are ecologically beneficial, such projects are different than projects that result in the actual gain of wetland acreage and should therefore be tracked separately for purposes of clarity and accuracy.

(12a) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator? (Detail and diagnostic indicators can be spatially-specific, parameter-specific, temporally-specific information, etc.) ?  (1) Gain in wetland function from 1998-2005 (2) Wetland Net Change Via Regulatory Programs

C.  Temporal Considerations

(13) Data Collection Date(s):  2007 accomplishments by Spring 2008 and each year thereafter by December 5.

(14) Planned Update Frequency (e.g. - annual, bi-annual): Annual
 (a) Source Data: 3 signatory States and D.C.
 (b) Indicator: Gain in Wetland Acreage

(15) For annual reporting, month spatial data is available for reporting: December

D.  Spatial Considerations

(16) Type of Geography of Source Data (point, line polygon, other):  seeking HUC 10 watershed scale data. 

(17) Acceptable Level of Spatial Aggregation (e.g. - county, state, major basin, tributary basin, HUC):  HUC 10

(18) Are there geographic areas with missing data?  If so, where?  No

(19) The spatial extent of this indicator best described as:  B
(a) Chesapeake Bay (estuary)
(b) Chesapeake Bay Watershed
(c) Other (please describe): _______________________ 

Please submit any appropriate examples of how this information has been mapped or otherwise portrayed geographically in the past.  Maryland MDE and DNR have GIS tools to target wetland restoration. 

(20) Can appropriate diagnostic indicators be represented geographically?  Currently by State only

E.  Data Analysis and Interpretation

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)
 
(21) Is the conceptual model used to transform these measurements into an indicator widely accepted as a scientifically sound representation of the phenomenon it indicates?  (i.e., how well do the data represent the phenomenon?)  Yes for acreage.  However, the ability of restored acreage to replace lost functions is not well documented through monitoring.  

(22) What is the process by which the raw data is summarized for development and presentation of the indicator?   Practitioners report to state contacts who aggregate and report aggregated totals to Bay Program on an annual basis.    
 
(23) Are any tools required to generate the indicator data (e.g. - Interpolator, watershed model) No

(24) Are the computations widely accepted as a scientifically sound?  Reported acreage is quality controlled by the state. 

(25) Have appropriate statistical methods been used to generalize or portray data beyond the time or spatial locations where measurements were made (e.g., statistical survey inference, no generalization is possible)?  No

(26) Are there established reference points, thresholds or ranges of values for this indicator that unambiguously reflect the desired state of the environment? (health/stressors only) No

F.  Data Quality

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)
 
(27) Were the data collected according to an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Plan?  
If no, complete questions 28a – 28d:  No

(28a) Are the sampling design, monitoring plan and/or tracking system used to collect the data over time and space based on sound scientific principles?  No.  Funding for post restoration monitoring and assessment varies by state. 

(28b) What documentation clearly and completely describes the underlying sampling and analytical procedures used?  EPA Region III has provided grants to individual states to develop wetland monitoring protocols 
 
(28c) Are the sampling and analytical procedures widely accepted as scientifically and technically valid?  Yes

(28d) To what extent are the procedures for quality assurance and quality control of the data documented and accessible?  Pending outcome

(29) Are the descriptions of the study or survey design clear, complete and sufficient to enable the study or survey to be reproduced?  Yes

(30) Were the sampling and analysis methods performed consistently throughout the data record?  In 2005 the Bay Program decided to track enhancement separate via a diagnostic indicator and adopted standard tracking definitions for restoration of projects. 

(31) If datasets from two or more agencies are merged, are their sampling designs and methods comparable?  Yes, due to common definitions adopted per question # 30. 

(32) Are uncertainty measurements or estimates available for the indicator and/or the underlying data set?  No

(33) (Do the uncertainty and variability impact the conclusions that can be inferred from the data and the utility of the indicator?  Possibility of smaller projects not being reported. 

(34) Are there noteworthy limitations or gaps in the data record?  Please explain.  
No

G.  Additional Information

(optional)

(35) Please provide any other information about this indicator you believe is necessary to aid communication and any prevent potential miss-representation.  It is important to note that acreage tracked for this indicator is voluntary restoration and not wetland mitigation required by state or federal regulation.  

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