Validation of Wetland Mitigation in Abandoned Borrow Areas

Principal Investigator:

Kurt Johnson, Research Fellow, UMD-Nat Resources Rsrch Inst

Project Summary:

The effects of road construction often impact nearby wetlands, thereby requiring compensatory mitigation. Abandoned borrow areas that have been excavated for road construction materials are one of the few remaining areas that can serve as wetland mitigation sites within the impacted watersheds. In a previous project ("Wetland Mitigation in Abandoned Gravel Pits"), a demonstration site was established to evaluate techniques for creating fresh meadow, shrub swamp, wooded swamp, and bog wetlands in abandoned gravel pits. Preliminary results are encouraging, but continued monitoring is needed to determine long-term success. This project would continue monitoring the existing demonstration site wetlands for an additional three years. The effect of established treatments such as donor soil and seed mixes on native plant cover, species richness, and diversity will be the primary focus, with special attention to monitoring and control of invasive plant species. Additional vegetation monitoring will also be conducted on other mitigation sites within the U.S. Trunk Highway 53 reconstruction corridor to evaluate their progress. The overall goal of this project is to develop cost-effective methods for creating functional mitigation wetlands in abandoned borrow areas that meet regulatory permit requirements.

Sponsor:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 03/2011
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment