Skip to content
wetland management

Wetland Management and Riparian Area Management

Wetland and riparian ecosystems are vital components of landscapes worldwide. Wetlands are areas where the land is saturated with water, either seasonally or permanently, creating specific hydrological conditions that support unique plant and animal communities. Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as water purification, ground-water recharge, floodwater retention, surface-flow regulation, wildlife habitat and erosion control. Wetlands also play a role in carbon sequestration, capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the growth of vegetation and organic matter. Riparian areas are transitional areas that are found between uplands and open-water habitats, typically found along the banks of rivers, streams, lakes or other water bodies. Both riparian areas and wetlands are essential components of healthy ecosystems, providing ecological, economic and social benefits to communities.

Wetlands are regulated at the federal level by the Army Corps of Engineers and may also be regulated by local municipalities.  According to the Army Corps of Engineers, wetlands are “areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation that is typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.”   A graphic depicting typical wetland regulatory process is provided below.

Wetland Management

Wetland and riparian ecosystems are vital components of landscapes worldwide. These ecosystems are areas where the land is saturated with water, either seasonally or permanently, creating specific hydrological conditions that support unique plant and animal communities. They provide valuable ecosystem services such as water purification, ground-water recharge, floodwater retention, surface-flow regulation, wildlife habitat and erosion control.

Wetlands also play a role in carbon sequestration, capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the growth of vegetation and organic matter. Riparian areas are transitional areas that are found between uplands and open-water habitats, typically found along the banks of rivers, streams, lakes or other water bodies. Both riparian areas and wetlands are essential components of healthy ecosystems, providing ecological, economic and social benefits to communities.

Wetlands are regulated at the federal level by the Army Corps of Engineers and may also be regulated by local municipalities.  According to the Army Corps of Engineers, wetlands are “areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation that is typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.”   A graphic depicting typical wetland regulatory process is provided below.

We can help with wetland delineations, wetland permitting, riparian functional assessments, ecological restoration and more.  Wetland and riparian ecological services:

  • S. Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) Wetland Delineations, Reporting and Permitting *
  • FACWET Analysis (Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands)
  • County and City Wetland Delineations and Compliance
  • Watershed Assessments
  • Federal Emergency Management Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR)
  • Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessments
  • Fisheries Habitat Assessments
  • Rosgen (Geomorphological) Channel Evaluations
  • Stream Visual Assessments
  • Stream Flow Duration Assessments
  • Bank Stabilization Plans
  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plans
  • Stormwater Management
  • Flood Plain Management
  • Wildlife Management Planning
  • Impact Assessments
  • Riparian Restoration Planning
  • GIS Mapping*

 

Technical Guidance and Resources:

  • S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)’s National Wetland Inventory (NWI)
  • Natural Stream Channel Design Using Rosgen Geomorphic Approach
  • Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands (FACWet)
  • S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (USACOE, 1987)
  • BLM Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessment Method (BLM TR 1737)
  • BLM Level III Aquatic Habitat Inventory and Monitoring Handbook 6720-1
  • NRCS Conservation Practice Standards: Wetland Creation (658), Wetland Enhancement (659), and Wetland Restoration (657)
  • NRCS Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP)
  • FEMA Guidelines and Standards for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping
  • FEMA Conditional Letter of Map Revision Requirements (CLOMR)
  • Colorado Department of Health and Environment Storm Water Management Requirements

Example Projects in Wetland Management

Slide 1
Bryce Valley Watershed Assessment

Blue Mountain was contracted by the Natural Resource Conservation Service to conduct a watershed assessment. The intent of the effort was to gather resource information about the physical structure and biological function of five rivers, to prioritize treatment areas and to develop management recommendations.

Slide 1
I-25 Interchange Wetlands Study

The City of Fort Collins hire Blue Mountain to conduct an Ecological Characterization Study, determining the hydrology, soils, and vegetationfor a variety of complex wetlands.

Slide 1
Centennial Valley State Wildlife Area Wetland Delineation

Blue Mountain Environmental was contracted by Ducks Unlimited to delineate 35 acres of atypical riverine wetlands along the South Platte River.

Slide 1
Wyoming Ranch Wetland Management
Plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted Blue Mountain to complete a wetland management plan for a 500-acre ranch with extensive wetlands, including a large fen.

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow