Sws Josselyn Presentation

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Discussion of wetland restoration techniques used over the past 30 years in California

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Sws Josselyn Presentation

  1. 1. Notes from the Field Michael Josselyn, PhD, PWS
  2. 2. PhD in Botany 1978 Professor at San Francisco State University 1978-2000 Initiated research on tidal wetland restoration Founded company focused on restoration and mitigation projects
  3. 3. It is easy to create a marsh; it is hard to create a wetland system Restoration is not just a science or an art; it is the practical application of knowledge Mitigation is a regulatory outcome; its success is a function of policy decisions Time is your friend; as long as it doesn’t run out
  4. 4. Clean Water Act Wetlands defined by presence of obligate wetland plants Focus on tidal marsh restoration using dredged materials Spartina was king Little interest in drier end wetlands
  5. 5. Placement of dredged materials critical • Too high: acid soil conditions • Too low: no vegetation establishment Focused on vegetation establishment as primary criteria
  6. 6. Tidal channels improve habitat function Tidal energy necessary to form channels High marsh areas have slower channel formation
  7. 7. Muzzi Marsh after 20 years—natural revegetation by cordgrass after sedimentation occurred also gives rise of natural channel configuration Williams and Faber (2001)
  8. 8. Most marsh species found above 60% exposed Pickleweed marsh found 80% or greater
  9. 9. Development and use of tidal gates can provide the same exposure frequencies so that vegetated marshes can be established in subsided lands behind levees
  10. 10. FWS wetland inventory and “community profiles” of wetland types • Recognizes seasonal hydrology subtypes Corps adopts 87 Delineation Manual • 5-12 % of the growing season for wetland hydrology Mitigation becomes an essential element of permitting “Nothing is working” • Race (1983) 90% of the restoration sites are failures • Kusler et al (1989) compliance vs functional success
  11. 11. • Vernal pools, diked wetlands; seasonal wetlands • Mitigation needs to reflect new hydrology standard • Most previous projects focused only on obligate wetland species
  12. 12. Josselyn et al 1990
  13. 13. Mitigation for drier wetlands needs to consider saturation over 3 month period in growing season ( development of anaerobic conditions takes longer than 7 days)
  14. 14. Kusler and Kentula (1990) • Partial failures common • Success varies by type of wetland and functions • Short and long-term success different • Multidiscplinary expertise required • Clear and specific goals for mitigation projects National Research Council (1991) • Strive to restore self sustaining systems • Develop innovative methods to accelerate restoration • Support experimental research in restoration
  15. 15. No net loss policy initiated by federal and state agencies • Mitigation ratios increase Assessment methods to evaluate wetland success on functional basis Complex ecosystems being designed as mitigation Vernal pool restoration technology improving
  16. 16. Permits issued between 1988-1994 by Corps in California total over 3100 Most required wetland mitigation/restoration Most required 5 year monitoring
  17. 17. In-kind mitigation Creation given highest priority More acreage than impacted Success in 5 years Complete at low cost
  18. 18. National Research Council 2001 Percent Successful
  19. 19. Mitigation for Port Fill [650 acres mitigation] Restoration of tidal inlet Dredging of fine sediments Creation of shorebird nesting islands Planting of emergent and submerged vegetation Courtesy: Merkel and Associates, 2009
  20. 20. Fears that Port was destroying existing habitat for shorebirds Dredging project was too big and would be destructive to existing coastal vegetated wetland and endangered species Federal and State Courts ruled against ESA and CEQA challenges
  21. 21. Revegetation successful Cordgrass and eelgrass increase unexpected Decline in intertidal mudflats Courtesy: Merkel and Associates, 2009
  22. 22. COMPARED TO OTHER FISH SPECIES NUMBER LAGOONS N um ber o f Fish Species W ith in Bat iquit o s Lagoo n 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1984 1994 1996 1997 1998 1999 2001 2003 2005 2006 Courtesy: Merkel and Associates, 2009
  23. 23. Shorebirds Light footed clapper rail Photo: Monte Stinnett Courtesy: Merkel and Associates, 2009
  24. 24. Courtesy: Merkel and Associates, 2009
  25. 25. Restoring entire ecosystems requires patience and acceptance that habitats will evolve. Change is inevitable and management needs to be flexible.
  26. 26. Mitigation for commercial development in Fremont, CA Degraded seasonal wetlands on former agricultural lands Required restoration of natural vernal pool landscape
  27. 27. Development next to US FWS Refuge Two listed species with restricted distribution • VPTS and CC Goldfields Focused attention by conservation groups
  28. 28. Demonstrate feasibility of establishing tadpole shrimp habitat Strict performance standards for hydrology and vegetation Implement grazing program
  29. 29. INCREASED VP PLANT SPECIES IMPROVED OVER TIME
  30. 30. Threshold requirements as performance standards do not recognize natural variability. Cows are your friends.
  31. 31. Corps adopts compensatory mitigation policies Mitigation banks become of age Stormwater and LID wetlands Climate change affects everything
  32. 32. Issued by Corps of Engineers: April 2008 • Sets forth regulations for mitigation compliance Mitigation banking given preference • Followed by in-lieu fee and permittee- responsible mitigation Sets forth 12 fundamental components for mitigation plans Emphasis replacement in watershed Provides for functional assessment
  33. 33. BEFORE AFTER
  34. 34. Our knowledge of wetland systems including plants, soils, and hydrology is providing the basis for a sophisticated design and public use of wetland systems in the urban environment
  35. 35. Wetland restoration can achieve successful outcomes but usually not as expected Linkage between hydrology, soils, and plants is better known and allows for more sophisticated designs of drier wetlands Wetland restoration will necessarily become more complex as our demand on wetland performance increases
  36. 36. Time is of the essence Pressure on wetlands is increasing Need for large scale restoration is unprecedented and immediate

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