Mid-Atlantic Wetlands, Stream and Watershed Restoration
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Restoration is the return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition before it was disturbed. Restoration is typically used as a non-regulatory strategy for improving the environment, although it may be part of compensatory mitigation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Wetland and watershed restoration activities are often done by:
- non-regulatory federal and state programs, and
- non-governmental organizations such as:
The Wetland Science Team provides support for this federal partnership. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Implementation Team – South, co-chaired by the Environmental Assessment and Innovation Division's Deputy Director, is an important component in the Region’s strategy to restore wetlands.
The Coastal America Partnership , which began in 1991, brings together federal and state governments and private corporations to restore wetlands and other aquatic habitats and address our most critical environmental issues. The Wetland Science Team from the EPA mid-Atlantic regional office is a member of this partnership.
What we're doing:
- focusing on Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia
- working with the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers at the National Aquarium at Baltimore, Maryland to educate and involve the public in protecting coastal and ocean ecosystems
- aligning activities with the current EPA mid-Atlantic priorities of Healthy Waters, National Estuary Program and the Chesapeake Bay Action Plan
Legacy sediments are sediments deposited in our streams within the past 200 years. Removing these sediments provides opportunities for wetland, stream and watershed restoration. In the piedmont areas of the mid-Atlantic region (the plateau between the coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains) numerous old mill sites have been abandoned leaving behind entire stream and floodplain systems covered with layers of legacy sediments. Removal of these sediments with relocation of the natural stream channel allows natural wetlands to return and reconnect with the floodplain. Nutrient and sediment reductions and improved wildlife habitats result. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Franklin and Marshall College are partnership leaders in this type of watershed restoration.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture operates a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. Technical and financial support is provided to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts. The goal is to achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat, on every acre enrolled in the program. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection.
Additional Information From the Natural Resources Conservation Service: