USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment
CCWG assisted the USEPA in conducting the field data collection portion of the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) in California. The NWCA is one in a series of statistically-valid National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to provide the public with a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the Nation’s waters. In addition to wetlands, the NARS will also focus on coastal waters, lakes, and flowing waters in a revolving sequence.
USEPA collaborated with state, tribal, federal, and other partners to implement the NWCA to meet three goals:
- Produce a report that describes the ecological condition of the Nation’s wetlands.
- Assist states and tribes in the implementation of wetland monitoring and assessment programs that will guide policy development and aid project decision-making.
- Advance the science of wetlands monitoring and assessment to support management needs.
The field work for NWCA involved 4 staff members traveling all over the state visiting 43 sites over a 5 month period. Each site took a full day to assess, as tasks included a complete vegetation survey of five 100m2 plots, four soil pits dug 60cm deep and one sampled down to 125cm, water and algae sampling, buffer information and two rapid assessments. Additionally, some of the sites had obstacles such as deep channels, poison oak, arrundo thickets and occasionally cattle!