Coastwide
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo

USA - New USACE tools improve wetland delineation accuracy and efficiency

The ADS streamline wetland delineation data collection and reporting, facilitating responsible natural resource management and providing a valuable tool for the public.

VICKSBURG, Miss. – Scientists with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Detroit District’s Regulatory staff are streamlining wetland delineation by developing Automated Wetland Determination Data Sheets (ADS).

The ADS streamline wetland delineation data collection and reporting, facilitating responsible natural resource management and providing a valuable tool for the public.

The USACE Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the nation's aquatic resources and navigation capacity, while allowing reasonable development through fair and balanced decision-making. Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, USACE is responsible for evaluating dredged or fill material discharge into U.S. waters, including wetlands.

“Generally, work involving those regulated activities in wetlands or other aquatic resources, like streams and rivers, requires a USACE permit,” said Kyle Gordon, ERDC Wetlands Regulatory Assistance Program manager. “Every year, there are approximately 74,000 USACE Regulatory actions related to wetland and aquatic resource permitting.”

Advances in Regulatory permit evaluations can provide substantial benefits to private industry and the American public.

Historically, environmental consultants and public sector practitioners collect field data, documenting wetland vegetation presence, hydrology and soils on paper forms for submission to USACE for review during the permitting process. USACE regulators then evaluate the forms for accuracy. Technical and clerical errors on data forms submitted for review frequently slow the permitting process.  

Read more.