Under the state's Growth Management Act, local governments are required to use the best available science when reviewing and revising their policies and regulations on wetlands. However, there was no comprehensive synthesis or interpretation of the science for wetlands, and most local governments lack the resources to tackle such an undertaking.
The state departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife, with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, initiated a project to develop a comprehensive synthesis of the science for wetlands. They hired Sheldon and Associates, Inc. and called on staff from the two agencies to produce a two-volume document on the science currently available on wetlands, their functions and management.
Volume 1 is the synthesis of the science regarding freshwater wetlands. Volume 2 translates the science synthesized in Volume 1 into guidance for local governments protecting and managing wetlands. Although the primary audience is local governments, both volumes are also valuable to any who have an interest in the protection and management of wetlands.
This is the first part of a two-part document. This volume contains a summary and synthesis of the literature relevant to the science and management of freshwater wetlands. The draft of Freshwater Wetlands in Washington State Volume 1: A Synthesis of the Science was reviewed by peer experts and the public.
Volume 2 translates the science into guidance for protecting and managing wetlands at the local level. To develop the guidance, the departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife worked with the Core Team that oversaw the project and whose members developed Volume 1. In addition, an advisory team of wetlands and planning staff from an assortment of local governments provided feedback on the guidance. Ecology also met with members of various organizations from the business and environmental communities. As with the synthesis of the science, Volume 2 underwent peer and public review so all those interested in the protection and management of wetlands had the opportunity to give feedback on the draft.
Focus sheet: August 2004
Guidance on Mitigation - Ecology updated its guidance on mitigation in 2006 to reflect changes in our understanding of wetland science and management.
Mitigation Resources - Ecology has developed updated guidance on several mitigation topics, including site selection and use of alternative mitigation options (in-lieu fees, mitigation banks, and advance permittee-responsible mitigation).
Ecology's wetlands staff are available to work with local jurisdictions to develop effective wetland protection programs that include the best available science.
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