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Tidal Wetlands Assessment Protocol – York River Watershed

As part of the Chesapeake 2000 agreement, the Commonwealth of Virginia pledged to a wetland policy of no net-loss. Virginia's non-tidal and tidal wetland permit programs, administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) respectfully, are committed to this goal. In order to assist these agencies in realizing no-net loss of wetlands, baseline data are essential in defining our existing wetland resources and are the basis from which future status and trends analysis can be conducted as well as assessing the effectiveness of permitting and management programs. In addition, these data provide valuable information in identifying wetland restoration opportunities, evaluating appropriate mitigation ratios, and determining cumulative impacts within a watershed.

This study, “Development of a Tidal Wetland Inventory and Assessment for the York River, Virginia Watershed” provides the basis upon which a multi-level (Level I, II and III) assessment is currently being developed for the Mid-Atlantic region (EPA #CD-973252-01). The tidal segments of the York River and its two main tributaries, the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers (14-digit HUCs F-13, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27) were utilized as the prototype watershed in the development of this Level I tidal wetland assessment. A total of 2,188 tidal wetlands have been assessed in the York River watershed. This study allows DEQ and VMRC to begin reporting on the extent and condition of tidal wetlands within this specific watershed. By design, our approach in developing this tidal wetland inventory and assessment method is similar, yet unique, to that employed in the development of Virginia's non-tidal wetland assessment (EPA #CD-983380-01 and #BG-983925-01). The Level I methodology developed here thus provides the framework by which comprehensive reporting on the extent and condition of tidal and non-tidal wetlands within other Virginia watersheds can be achieved. It is our intention that the protocols developed under this study are transferable to other tidal watersheds in Virginia and beyond to other states of the Mid-Atlantic region.


The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) provides these data with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from the data set are the sole responsibility of the user. Every attempt has been made to ensure that these data and the documentation are reliable and accurate. Neither CCRM, nor the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) assume liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in the data or documentation, or as a result of failure of the data to perform in a particular manner. CCRM and VIMS make no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or utility of this information, nor does the fact of distribution constitute a warranty.

Individuals who download these data agree to the following, and understand the limitations defined. Integration of these data into other products requires proper citation. Proper citation for this dataset is:

O'Brien, D.L., Rudnicky, T., Berman, M.R., Hershner, C.H., and K. Havens, 2006. Development of a Tidal Wetlands Inventory and Assessment for York River, Virginia Watershed, Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, final report: Wetland Program Development Grant #CD-973079-01, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3, Philadelphia, PA.

Use of these data in map publications, either digital or hardcopy, requires proper citation, and inclusion of the CCRM. CCRM is not responsible for misuse of these data. CCRM does not oversee or assume responsibility for alterations to this product by users. CCRM may not address specific questions from users who received the data through another party. Distribution of these data is not restricted. CCRM, however, recommends metadata file(s) always remain with the data. CCRM encourages noticeable errors be reported to CCRM contact person identified in the metadata file.