Development of a Virginia Nontidal Wetlands Database This tool uses GIS to target sites in the landscape suitable for wetland creation. It has application for wetland restoration or mitigation projects. The tool outputs selected sites based on five suitability parameters: presence of hydric soils, presence of hydrology, adjacency to existing wetlands, existing landuse and the opportunity for landscape conversion, and proximity to designated conservation areas.
Development of an Inventory and Multi-level Assessment Method for Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetlands This project is designed to provide the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of the Environment with the ability to report the current extent and condition of estuarine wetlands within three major river systems of the Delmarva. CCRM will develop a Level I, Level II and Level III tidal wetland inventory and assessment methodology for the Delmarva using the estuarine segments of the York River, Virginia, Nanticoke River, Maryland and the Indian River, Delaware as our subject watersheds. Level I involves the GIS based analysis of remotely sensed data while the Level II protocol will be derived from data collection techniques established by the VIMS Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program (CCI) for mapping shoreline condition. Level III will produce a reference domain for mid-Atlantic estuarine wetlands using a combination of published literature, existing data and field data collection. Reference sites selected for this tier will be representative of the disturbance and ecological variability within the target watersheds. It is hoped that the development and implementation of a multi-level approach to tidal wetland inventory and assessment along with the utilization of these data by the aforementioned state environmental programs will serve as a prototype for expanded investigations across these states in the future.
Development of HGM Models for Wetlands Management in Virginia This project initiated the development of HGM models in Virginia by 1) a planning exercise to identify and prioritize the needs for HGM model development in Virginia; 2) an initial effort to develop a Hardwood Mineral Flat model; 3) initial data collection on potential reference sites for other models; 4) a program to integrate remote sensing into HGM based wetland assessments; and 5) a protocol program to validate regional HGM models.
Development of Nontidal Wetlands Inventory, Functional Assessment, and Monitoring Strategy for Virginia This project develops and implements a three level assessment protocol for nontidal wetlands in Virginia. This is the first phase of a series of projects which are intended to provide assessments across all of Virginia. In this project a level I – GIS based assessment will be completed on all wetlands mapped by the National Wetlands Inventory in Virginia. Level II assessments involving field assessments of stressors will be initiated in the coastal plain of Virginia. Level III assessments will involve detailed analysis of habitat and water quality functions on selected sites.
Draft Woody Depression Wetland HGM Model for the Coastal Plain of Virginia The Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) method for modeling and assessing wetlands is an emerging standard for many federal and state agencies. Implementation of this approach in Virginia is currently hampered by a lack of appropriate models. This project developed a draft Woody
Depressional Wetland HGM model for the coastal plain of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Enhancement of Virginia’s Nontidal Wetlands Regulatory Program This project concludes the work on developing protocols for the nontidal wetlands program, by revising the protocols based on preliminary tests, and working with the Department of Environmental Quality staff to move the protocols into regular implementation.
Field Inventory of Phragmites The delineation of Phragmites along tidal shorelines is being collected in conjunction with data for the Shoreline Situation Reports. Analysis of status and trends in distribution will be used in managementand policy recommendations.
Geographic Information Support to Chesapeake Bay Erosion Feasibility Study, Maryland This project determines the risk to natural habitat (beaches and marshes), and socio-economic resources that can be attributed to shoreline erosion. The project also looks at the influence boat wake activity has on shoreline erosion in protected embayments. The degree of vulnerability will be determined using a GIS based spatial model. The output will be displayed in an interactive map environment.
Initiating Development of a Forested Headwater Wetland HGM Model for Wetlands Management in Virginia The Forested Headwater Wetland Subclass is unique in that it is partially defined in law by the average current flow (or lack thereof) continued in the associated stream. This project initiates the development of an HGM model for the Forested Headwater Wetland subclass by determining the extent of these wetlands systems as related to annual average stream flow. The final report will include development of a preliminary definition of Forested Headwater Wetlands for HGM model development and preliminary data collection of potential HGM variables.
Intermediate Development of a Forested Headwater Wetland HGM Model for Wetlands Management in Virginia The Forested Headwater Wetland Subclass is unique in that it is partially defined in law by the average current flow (or lack thereof) in the associated stream. This project continues the development of an HGM model for the Forested Headwater Wetland subclass by determining the extent of these wetlands systems as related to annual average stream flow. The final report will include development of a preliminary definition of Forested Headwater Wetlands for HGM model development and preliminary data collection of potential HGM variables.
Marine Science Teaching Marsh Funding was provided for improvements to the VIMS Teaching Marsh via improved signage and informational kiosks, updated video cameras, and modifications to the educational website. The website will describe wetland plant species found within the VIMS Teaching Marsh as well as general marsh properties and function. Website information will also include learning activities for children.
Monitoring of Thin-Layer Placement of Material Dredged from Bogues Bay Channel in Virginia This project involves assessment of the impacts of spray dredging with disposal onto intertidal salt marshes in the Chincoteague Bay area. Plant communities and dredged material placement will be monitored over several years to develop management guidance for potential wider use of this disposal method. This project is the first phase of the study and incorporates the preliminary survey work and the initial post dredging followup.
Monitoring the Active Replenishment of Subsiding Habitat (MARSH) project This project is an ongoing study of the Lee, Hill, and Sweet Hall marshes in the Pamunkey River. The study focuses on the documentation of the relationship between marsh surface elevation and the marsh plant community. The project includes experimental manipulation of the study sites involving a variety of methods for raising the elevation of the marsh. Evaluation of the potential for controlling the composition of the marsh plant community by incremental additions of material to the marsh surface is underway. Other studies include the community structure of birds, fish, insects, and benthos as well as detailed water quality and elevation monitoring. An interim report can be found at http://ccrm.vims.edu/MarshNewsletter.pdf
On-going Development of Nontidal Wetland Inventory, Functional Assessment, and Monitoring Strategy for Virginia This project develops and implements a three level assessment protocol for nontidal wetlands in Virginia. This is the first phase of a series of projects which are intended to provide assessments across all of Virginia. In this project a level I – GIS based assessment will be completed on all wetlands mapped by the National Wetlands Inventory in Virginia. Level II assessments involving field assessments of stressors will be initiated in the coastal plain of Virginia. Level III assessments will involve detailed analysis of habitat and water quality functions on selected sites. Preliminary site selection in the coastal plain will be undertaken in this project phase.
Pamunkey Marshes This project evaluated several methods to preserve the character of valuable tidal freshwater wetlands in the face of increasing relative sea level, by controlled additions to marsh surface elevations.
Refinement and validation of a multi-level assessment method for Mid-Atlantic tidal wetlands This project will build upon work conducted under the “Development of an Inventory and Multi-Level Assessment Method for Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Tidal Wetlands” project currently being conducted by CCRM and collaborative partners from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Level III assessment protocol developed under this ongoing effort will be utilized in this study to sample approximately 20 additional estuarine tidal wetland sites within the York River, Virginia and Indian River, Delaware watersheds. Additional data collected at these sites will be used to help validate the Level I and Level II condition assessment models developed under previous research efforts. We hope that the development, refinement and validation of a multi-level assessment model will result in its implementation by state and local environmental management and regulatory agencies across the Delmarva region.
Development of Forested Depressional Wetland HGM model for wetlands management in Virginia The Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) method for modeling and assessing wetlands is an
emerging standard for many federal and state agencies. Implementation of this approach in Virginia is currently hampered by a lack of appropriate models. This project initiated the preliminary development of a Forested (Woody) Depressional Wetland HGM model in the coastal plain of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
MARSH Project Newsletter Scientists at VIMS are studying the effect of spray dredging a thin layer of material on the marsh surface in three locations. At the same time, other smaller scale experiments involving Koir logs and mesh were installed to test sediment trapping effectiveness.
Development of Tidal Wetland Inventory and Assessment for York River, Virginia Watershed The objective of this project is to provide VMRC and DEQ the ability to report status and trends of estuarine wetlands along with cumulative impacts to this resource within the York River watershed. CCRM will utilize unique data sets obtained over the past 30 +/- years to provide a GIS-based analysis. In addition to the remotely sensed data outlined above, data previously collected by CCRM’s Comprehensive Coastal Inventory (CCI) will be incorporated into this assessment.
Maritime Forest Project The purpose of this project were to use remote sensing techniques to delineate existing coastal maritime forests, as well as compute, on a county-by-county basis, the amount of maritime forest cover present in each coastal locality, and the extent of maritime forests located within conservation lands.
Chesapeake BayWatch with Dr. Kirk Havens Chesapeake Bay Watch is a continuing program designed to engage the public in issues regarding the living resources and natural history of the Bay. Topics range from current issues to plant and animal species to seasonal changes in the Bay and other topics of general interest.
Garden Club of America Scholarship The Center manages the annual advertisement, review, and selection of recipients for the Garden Club of America Scholarship for Wetland Studies. Each year the Center advertises and responds to inquiries regarding the award. In February it receives, reviews, and ranks applicants and makes a recommendation to the GCA for that years awards. Awards are open to any graduate student undertaking a field oriented study of wetlands at an American university. For more information, please see http://ccrm.vims.edu/garden_club.html
1375 Greate Road
P.O. Box 1346
Gloucester Point, VA 23062