Creating Indicators of Wetland Status

Creating Indicators - D IVISION OF S CIENCE R ESEARCH A ND T ECHNOLOGY James E McGreevey Department of Environmental Protection Bradley M Campbell

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Unformatted text preview: D IVISION OF S CIENCE , R ESEARCH A ND T ECHNOLOGY James E. McGreevey Department of Environmental Protection Bradley M. Campbell Governor Commissioner P.O. B OX 409 T RENTON , N EW J ERSEY 08625-0409 (609) 984-6071 F AX # (609) 292-7340 March 2002 Dear Reader: Attached is a copy of the report of the research project entitled, “ Creating Indicators of Wetland Status (Quantity and Quality): Freshwater Wetland Mitigation in New Jersey.” The primary objectives of this study were to assess New Jersey’s progress toward wetlands mitigation goals and develop indicators of progress toward these goals. The research was conducted by Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc. (ASGECI), and co-managed by scientists from both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Division of Science, Research and Technology (DSRT) and NJDEP’s wetlands regulatory program (Land Use Regulation Program or LURP). This study was supported by NJDEP’s Water Assessment and Environmental Indicators Research Programs. Relevant NJDEP managers were kept apprised of interim results and a peer review committee of leading state and national wetland scientists provided guidance throughout the duration of the study. Background Approximately 15% of New Jersey’s land is freshwater wetlands, while 4% is tidal wetlands. Wetlands are critical natural resources because they perform a suite of important functions including: improvement of water quality through nutrient cycling; flood attenuation; groundwater recharge; prevention of shoreline erosion; critical habitat for a great diversity of plant and animal species; as well as providing aesthetic and recreational opportunities. It has been estimated that New Jersey lost 39% of its wetlands between the 1870s and 1970s and perhaps 20% between the 1950s and 1970s. The importance of tidal and freshwater wetlands was recognized when the New Jersey Legislature enacted the New Jersey Wetlands Act of 1970 and the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act of 1987 (considered to be one of the most stringent wetland laws in the United States). These state statutes provide additional protection beyond federal law by regulating more than dredge and fill activities, as well as providing protection in buffer areas for freshwater wetlands. Yet, as the most densely populated state in the country, experiencing a population increase of approximately 1% annually over the last 10 years, New Jersey’s wetland resources are subject to increasing stress. Recent data for New Jersey show a loss of approximately 1,755 acres of wetlands per year between 1986 and 1995, a period of time before the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act had become fully operative. Even after that period, the implementation of the Act New Jersey is an Equal Opportunity Employer Recycled Paper has still allowed for the disturbance of approximately 150 acres of freshwater wetlands per year....
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This note was uploaded on 11/06/2011 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Burkhauser during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Creating Indicators - D IVISION OF S CIENCE R ESEARCH A ND T ECHNOLOGY James E McGreevey Department of Environmental Protection Bradley M Campbell

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