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Wetlands

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 949–963 | Cite as

Using Net Wetland Loss, Current Wetland Condition, and Planned Future Watershed Condition for Wetland Conservation Planning and Prioritization, Tampa Bay Watershed, Florida

  • M. C. Rains
  • S. Landry
  • K. C. Rains
  • V. Seidel
  • T. L. Crisman
Article

Abstract

The Tampa Bay Watershed is emblematic of moderately sized coastal watersheds in the US, particularly along the Gulf Coast: one-third of the wetlands were lost between the 1950s and 2007; numerous wetland remain, though many have been impacted; most of the remaining wetlands are hydrologically connected to downstream wetlands and waterbodies; there are future constraints to wetland conservation; and the spatial complexity of these factors make it difficult to coordinate watershed-scale wetland conservation planning. Therefore, the Tampa Bay Watershed can serve as a model system for studying ways to coordinate watershed-scale wetland conservation planning efforts. The development of a technical framework to support coordinated, watershed-scale wetland conservation planning requires that spatially explicit information be obtained, analyzed, and organized so customizable queries can be run by stakeholder agencies. The approach described herein does so by using readily available data to create a geodatabase organized into a set of screening layers that can be intersected hierarchically to identify areas where wetland preservation and restoration might be best used to accomplish overarching goals. The information and tools described herein were developed in conjunction with stakeholder input and are in the process of being integrated into a watershed master plan for freshwater wetland conservation.

Keywords

Watershed Compensatory mitigation Land use-land cover Landscape development index Geographic information systems 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project was funded through a US Environmental Protection Agency Region IV Regional Wetlands Program Development Grant (Assistance ID # is CD-95415909) by way of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program under the joint project management of Rhonda Evans (US Environmental Protection Agency) and Lindsay Cross and Holly Greening (Tampa Bay Estuary Program). This project could not have been completed without the many participants in four stakeholder workshops: Glenn Bailey (Pinellas County), Lisa Baltus (Pinellas County), Diana Bandlow (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Mark Brown (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Rob Burnes (Pinellas County), Joel Christian (Manatee County), Chris Cooley (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission), Mike Dalsis (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Dick Eckenrod (Tampa Bay Conservancy), Dawn Hart (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission), Brandt Henningsen (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Clark Hull (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Charlie Hunsicker (Manatee County), Amber Jones (Hillsborough County), Charles Kovach (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Eric Lesnett (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission), Martin Montalvo (Hillsborough County), Alissa Powers (Manatee County), Thomas Ries (Scheda Ecological Associates), Stephen Robinson (Pinellas County), Angela Ryan (US Army Corps of Engineers), Mike Thompson (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission), Laura Thorne (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission), Christina Uranowski (Southwest Florida Water Management District), and Cynthia Wood (US Army Corps of Engineers). This manuscript was greatly improved by excellent reviews by the Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers.

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Rains
    • 1
  • S. Landry
    • 2
  • K. C. Rains
    • 3
  • V. Seidel
    • 4
  • T. L. Crisman
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Florida Center for Community Design & ResearchUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Three Parameters Plus, Inc.AnchorageUSA
  4. 4.The Balmoral GroupWinter ParkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Integrative BiologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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