The Wetlands and Coastal Ecology Branch conducts field and laboratory investigations on biotic and abiotic resources in wetlands and coastal systems and develops product/systems supporting assessment, restoration, and management of wetlands and coastal ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on the interrelationships of these resources with their biological, physical, and chemical environments, fundamental understanding of ecological processes and dynamics in wetland and coastal ecosystems, and on the effects of natural and man-induced activities. Research is conducted to understand the trophic-dynamic relationships of organisms in order to predict impacts, mitigate losses, restore habitat, and assess ecosystem functions and ecological relationships.
- Develop and evaluate methodologies and guidance for delineation, identification, and characterization of wetlands for regulatory purposes.
- Conduct research and development on beneficial uses of dredged material for wetland creation and estuarine and coastal habitat mitigation and restoration.
- Develop and evaluate wetland plant propagation and planting techniques, and wetland mitigation banking.
- Conduct basic and applied research related to wetland soils, vegetation, and hydrology and develop tools to evaluate functions and values of specific wetlands systems.
- Carry out studies on critical processes and functions in wetland systems, addressing groundwater, nutrient cycling, wildlife habitat, transition/buffer zones, plant community structure, and energy supply to adjacent/downstream ecosystems.
- Develop capabilities to monitor soil structural development and hydrologic regime in wetland systems.
- Develop, refine, and field validate the hydrogeomorphic (HGM) approach to wetland assessment.
- Develop and evaluate techniques to assess benthic and fisheries habitat values in coastal and estuarine systems.
- Evaluate the impacts of dredging and disposal management, coastal structures, and various coastal projects on fish and shellfish movement, and the effects of channel deepening and freshwater diversion on estuarine biota.
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Questions about the Wetlands and Coastal Ecology Branch?
Contact: Kristy Luckett