Ecological Characterization of Stormwater Detention Ponds in Virginia’s Coastal Plain

The Ecological Characterization of Stormwater Detention Ponds in Virginia’s Coastal Plain project has two main objectives: 1) to develop a database of existing stormwater ponds, both wet and dry, and 2) to characterize these ponds as to their design and their ability to perform the wetland functions of habitat, sediment stabilization and water quality.The wildlife (habitat), sediment stabilization and water quality functional assessments included in Environmental Concern’s Evaluation of Planned Wetlands (EPW) were selected as the evaluation criteria for this project. Some of the criteria were adjusted to be compatible with stormwater pond design. Using these original and altered criteria, a Microsoft Access database was developed to incorporate these assessments as well as stormwater pond location and design information, digital pictures of the plans, site Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates, and digital photographs of the sites. The Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook and the Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds technical report were consulted to obtain the criteria used in the stormwater pond design portion of the database.

The web page opens with a map of Virginia’s Coastal Plain, labeled with counties and prominent cities. Orange dots indicate the location of stormwater ponds that have been evaluated and included in the database. The placement of these markers comes directly from the UTM coordinates collected at the site. To access the data:

  1. Single click on the city or county of interest to bring up a listing of the stormwater pond sites. A checklist of the information that may be available for each site, including Location, Habitat, Sediment Stabilization, Water Quality, Design and Pictures is presented in this list. Information that is available for the site is indicated by the symbol:
  2. Clicking on the in a column for the site of interest will bring up the stormwater pond list for the entire county, but the site of interest is highlighted, scrolling may be required to locate the desired row.
  3. Using the browsers “Back” button will take you back to the initial listing where additional information for the first site can be retrieved or a new site can be selected.

    Click here to view the stormwater ponds map.

    For more information, please review the Final Report for this project and the Stormwater Ponds of Virginia’s Coastal Plain Data Entry Manual.


    Bartoldus, C.C., E.W. Garbisch, and M.L. Kraus. 1994. Evaluation for Planned Wetlands (EPW).  Environmental Concern Inc., St. Michaels, MD. 327 pp. and appendices.

    United States Department of Agriculture. 1986. Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

    Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. 1999. Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook. Richmond, VA.