Wetland Program Plan (WPP)
The Department of Ecology received a
Development Grant (WPDG) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a statewide plan for wetland resources of the
state. This plan reflected on what has been accomplished in past statewide
planning efforts (State Wetland Integration Strategy (1994),
Mitigation that Works Forum report (2008),
Puget Sound Action Agenda
(2008 and 2012-2013)), and identifies continuing and new strategies to help
restore and protect wetland resources.
This effort is part of the
EPA’s “Enhancing State and Tribal Programs” Effort. This initiative has 5 main parts:
- Clearly define the core elements of a State/Tribal wetlands program
- Increase the
dialogue between States/Tribes and EPA Regional offices
- Provide targeted
technical assistance to States and Tribes
- Align the WPDGs with a framework
that incorporates more clearly defined core elements
- Track programmatic
The wetland program plan is a
strategic tool to articulate what the state strives to accomplish in the near to
midterm. The plan is organized using
EPA’s Core Element Framework. The
outlines four areas of focus:
- Monitoring and assessment
- Voluntary restoration
- Water quality standards for wetlands.
Washington’s plan does not address water quality standards for wetlands at
this time. But it does address outreach and education and sustainable
financing as approaches to overall wetland resource management
The overall goal for wetland resource management in the state is “...to
achieve no overall net loss in acreage and function of Washington's remaining
wetlands base. It is further the long-term goal to increase the quantity and
quality of Washington's wetlands resource base” (Executive
Order 89-10). This goal is
designed to avoid loss of overall wetland habitat, function and condition, and
to improve these features over time through restoration and mitigation
Each core element in the WPP has a goal, objectives; and actions and activities
those objectives and goal. The state's goals for each core element
- Regulation: To increase protection at the landscape and site
scale by avoiding, minimizing, and where there are unavoidable adverse
impacts, ensuring compensation for wetland loss.
- Voluntary Restoration and Protection: Using a watershed
perspective, increase the quantity, condition, and function of wetlands and their
ecosystems through voluntary restoration and protection.
- Monitoring and Assessment:
- Goal 1 - To establish the extent and types of
wetlands, their level of function or condition, to detect changes and
stressors, and to characterize trends over time to inform better decision
- Goal 2 - To evaluate the effectiveness of each of the six core elements
and the effectiveness of the Wetland Program Plan as a whole.
- Outreach and Education: Directly engage with identified key
stakeholders to foster Washington State citizens who understand the role
that wetlands play in the landscape, and as a result, value and protect
- Sustainable Financing: To provide stable and consistent funding
for implementation of the wetland plan.
- A more strategic approach to managing, protecting, and restoring wetland
resources in Washington State.
- Increased coordination amongst state resource agencies on wetland
- A 6-year planning and visioning document outlining goals; and actions
and activities to achieve those goals.
Plan Development Timeline
- March 2013 to February 2014:
Convened state interagency committee and developed draft plan.
- March to June 2014: Sent
draft plan for input to Washington tribal nations and tribal nations outside
the state who have usual and accustomed areas in the state.
- July to October 2014:
Sent draft plan for review to state and federal agencies, local governments,
and conservations districts. Revised plan based on feedback and
submitted the draft plan to EPA for preliminary approval.
- December 2014:
Released draft plan for public review and comment.
- January to March 2015 : Revised plan based on feedback
and submitted the plan to EPA for final approval.
- March 2015: Received final
approval of the plan by the EPA.
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