Section 404 wetland mitigation and permit success criteria in Pennsylvania, USA, 1986-1999

Charles Andrew Cole, Deborah Shafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twenty-three Section 404 permits in central Pennsylvania (covering a wetland age range of 1-14 years) were examined to determine the type of mitigation wetland permitted, how the sites were built, and what success criteria were used for evaluation. Most permits allowed for mitigation out-of-kind, either vegetatively or through hydrogeomorphic class. The mitigation process has resulted in a shift from impacted wetlands dominated by woody species to less vegetated mitigation wetlands, a trend that appears to be occurring nationwide. An estimate of the percent cover of emergent vegetation was the only success criterion specified in the majority of permits. About 60% of the mitigation wetlands were judged as meeting their originally defined success criteria, some after more than 10 years. The permit process appears to have resulted in a net gain of almost 0.05 ha of wetlands per mitigation project. However, due to the replacement of emergent, scrub-shrub, and forested wetlands with open water ponds or uplands, mitigation practices probably led to a net loss of vegetated wetlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-515
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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