NCAEP has asked Eric Kulz of the NC Division of Water Quality to present a talk on the findings of a random sample of stream and wetland mitigation sites which were built and monitored between 1996 and 2006. Social starts at 5:30pm with Dinner at 6:30pm and Speaker at 7pm.
• BB&Y Restaurant, Raleigh, NC
Please register by February 24, 2010.
The North Carolina Division of Water Quality utilized Wetland Program Development Grant funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the regulatory success rates of wetland and stream mitigation projects throughout North Carolina. A probability sampling design was implemented to collect information to facilitate comparison of current statewide mitigation site conditions with regulatory requirements during 2007-2009 using NCDWQ file review (including mitigation plans and mitigation project monitoring report data) and direct observations of site conditions. Statistical analyses of study data were performed using SUDAAN software, and results were weighted by both component counts and mitigation size (i.e. acres of wetlands, linear feet of streams).
Overall mitigation success rates were estimated at 74% for wetlands and 75% for streams in NC. Compared to the results of previous studies, the wetland mitigation success rate has increased dramatically since the mid-1990’s. Bonferroni corrections were utilized to allow comparison of multiple levels within domains of interest. Domains included mitigation provider (mitigation banks, North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program’s design-bid-build and full-delivery programs, North Carolina Department of Transportation and private permittee-responsible mitigation) and method (creation, restoration, enhancement and preservation), as well as project location, age and size.
Continued opportunities for improvement exist in the areas of regulatory record-keeping, understanding the relationship between post-construction establishment and long-term ecological trajectories of stream and wetland restoration projects, incorporation of ecological metrics into mitigation monitoring and success criteria, and adaptation of stream mitigation designs to promote greater success in the Piedmont physiographic region.
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