Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Determining Wetlands: Facts and Figures

Wetland areas refer to the regions which are drenched by surface or ground water under normal circumstances. These wetlands are usually known as swamps, marshes or bogs and support a lot of vegetation. As they are waterlogged for a longer period, plants are able to live in saturated soil conditions during their growing season. While wetlands remain wet throughout the year, some of them become dry during some months.

Studying Wetlands
As per Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, a person interested in depositing dredged into wetlands, need to receive authorization. Some of the activities in wetlands which require permission are

Placement of fill material
Mechanized land clearing and land leveling
Construction of road, dam and Levee

How Can Wetlands Be Recognized?
While determining the wetland, vegetation, soil, and hydrology of the area should be considered. Wetland indicators of all these three features should be present during some portion of the growing season for an area to be a wetland.

Vegetation Indicators
Wetlands in United States produce almost 6000 types of plants. Known as hydrophytic vegetation, these plants are mentioned in regional publications of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Soil Indicators
Almost 2500 types of soils are found in the wetlands of U.S. Soil which is permanently or seasonally saturated by water may result anaerobic condition. This type of soil is usually known as Hydric soil. Plants growing in hydric soils often have internal spaces in stems which help them to breathe. These plants are categorized as hydrophytic vegetation.

Hydrology Indicators
Wetland hydrology is the second wetland parameter which refers to the occurrence of water above the soil surface for vegetation and soils in the area for an adequate period of the year. The hydrologic processes control the formation, persistence, size, and function of wetlands. While the groundwater well data provides the most reliable evidence of wetland hydrology, such information needs analysis by trained individuals.

In The End
In order to place a region under the category of Wetland, an indicator of wetland vegetation, hydric soil and wetland hydrology should be present. Wetland inspection studies these three indicators or characteristics. If you observe definite indicators of any of the three characteristics in your state, you should seek assistance from Wetland Inspections New Jersey.

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