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  • 1.SOIL SCIENTISTS PERFORMING WETLAND DELINEATIONS
    Mark S. McClain
    October 19, 2009

2. Objective
The objective of this lecture is to examine the importance of having an adequate knowledge of soil science to be able to perform wetland delineations.
A brief history of the regulations relative to jurisdictional waters, wetlands, and delineation procedures will be covered.
A Florida case study will be presented showing the importance of soil knowledge in wetland delineations.
2009 Mark S. McClain
3. Why was the topic of wetland delineations selected?
Wetland delineations are an important application of environmental soil science.
Wetland delineations are a meaningful opportunity that soil scientists should take advantage of as a part of their careers.
2009 Mark S. McClain
4. The Clean Water Act
The Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 is commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. The "Clean Water Act" became the Act's common name with amendments in 1977.
2009 Mark S. McClain
5. The Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.
33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. (1972)
2009 Mark S. McClain
6. The Clean Water Act 404(b)(1) Guidelines
Under section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), theseGuidelines are applicable to the specification of disposal sites for discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
2009 Mark S. McClain
7. What are Waters of the U.S.?
All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.
All interstate waters including interstate wetlands.
2009 Mark S. McClain
8. What are Waters of the U.S.?
All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent and ephemeral streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters.
2009 Mark S. McClain
9. Wetland Delineation Manual
The US Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual became effective in 1987 with revisions made in 1991, 1992, and 1997.
The US Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual is used as the legal and technical means of evaluating and delineating wetlands in the field.
2009 Mark S. McClain
10. Baseline Information
Aerial Photographs
USGS Topographic Map
USFWS Wetland Inventory Map
USDA-NRCS Soil Survey Map
Soil Data Mart Hydric Soils List
Develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) from this information and later add GPS locations of the wetland delineation and sampling points.
2009 Mark S. McClain
11. Jurisdictional Wetlands
Jurisdictional wetlands must have all three criteria:
Hydrophytic Vegetation
Hydric Soils
Wetland Hydrology
2009 Mark S. McClain
12. Hydrophytic Vegetation
Hydrophytic vegetation is defined herein as the sum total of macrophytic plant life that occurs in areas where the frequency and duration of inundation or soil saturation produce permanently or periodically saturated soils of sufficient duration to exert a controlling influence on the plant species present.
2009 Mark S. McClain
13. Wetland Indicator Categories
2009 Mark S. McClain
14. Hydric Soils
Definition: Hydric soils are those soils that are saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season for the development of anaerobic conditions in the upper part. The anaerobic conditions in a hydric soil favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation.
2009 Mark S. McClain
15. Hydric Soils
Must have conditions suitable for the formation of redoximorphic features.The soil conditions necessary for reduction are:
Soil
Water
Anaerobic conditions
Microorganisms
Energy Source (i.e., organic matter)
c 2009 Mark S. McClain
16. Guide for Hydric Soil Determinations
Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States (Hurt and Vasilas, 2006)
2009 Mark S. McClain
17. Wetland Hydrology
Periodically inundated or have soils saturated to the surface at some time during the growing season for sufficient duration to develop hydric soils and support vegetation typically adapted for life in periodically anaerobic soil conditions.
The presence of water has an overriding influence on characteristics of vegetation and soils due to anaerobic and reducing conditions.
2009 Mark S. McClain
18. Jurisdictional Wetlands
A jurisdictional wetland must have all three criteria:
Hydrophytic Vegetation
Hydric Soils
Wetland Hydrology
2009 Mark S. McClain
19. Three Criteria for Wetland Delineations
2009 Mark S. McClain
20. Delineation Boundaries by Soil Scientists and Biologists
2009 Mark S. McClain
21. Delineation Boundaries by Soil Scientists and Biologists
2009 Mark S. McClain
Biologists emphasize the extent and taxonomy of plants and the presence of indicator plants.
Soil Scientists emphasize the geomorphic landform, soil morphology, soil classification, soil hydrology, and plant identification.
22. Florida Case Study
Cecil Field (Old Navy Base) in Duval County, Florida
Soil transect and wetland delineation of sandy poorly drained soils (somewhat poorly drained inclusions mapped as Albany fine sand) to very poorly drained muck soils
2009 Mark S. McClain
23. 2009 Mark S. McClain
Duval County, Florida
24. Longitudinal Cross-Section of Landform
2009 Mark S. McClain
g
g
25. Site #1 Vegetation
2009 Mark S. McClain

  • There is >60% hydrophytic vegetation, therefore the criterion is met.

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