The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated a two-year regional pilot survey in 2007 to develop, test, and validate tools and approaches to assess the condition of northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) coastal wetlands. Sampling sites were selected from estuarine and palustrine wetland areas with herbaceous, forested, and shrub/scrub habitats delineated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory Status and Trends (NWI S&T) program and contained within northern GOM coastal watersheds. A multi-level, stepwise, iterative survey approach is being applied to multiple wetland classes at 100 probabilistically-selected coastal wetlands sites. Tier 1 provides information at the landscape scale about habitat inventory, land use, and environmental stressors associated with the watershed in which each wetland site is located. Tier 2, a rapid assessment conducted through a combination of office and field work, is based on best professional judgment and on-site evidence. Tier 3, an intensive site assessment, involves on-site collection of vegetation, water, and sediment samples to establish an integrated understanding of current wetland condition and validate methods and findings from Tiers 1 and 2. The results from this survey, along with other similar regional pilots from the Mid-Atlantic, West Coast, and Great Lakes Regions will contribute to a design and implementation approach for the National Wetlands Condition Assessment to be conducted by EPA's Office of Water in 2011. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.
Additional publication details
An integrated approach to assess broad-scale condition of coastal wetlands - The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Wetlands pilot survey