Drs. Brown and Richter Receive EPA Grant

EKU Department of Biological Sciences receives EPA wetland conservation grant

Doctors Stephen Richter and David Brown received a grant for $383,000 from the Kentucky Division of Water and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a rapid Wetland Assessment Method for Kentucky (WAM).

Much of Kentucky's wetlands have been lost, yet there is no widely accepted state-level method for evaluating the health of wetlands. Wetland mitigation measures ensure wetlands are replaced in at least a 2:1 ratio, but currently this is performed by acreage only and does not consider functions and values of wetlands. The WAM will be designed to assess wetland functions and ecosystem services, and it will be used by state and federal wetland regulators as well as by wetland consultants contracted by the private sector. Potential applications include the evaluation of pre-impact wetland conditions, determination of appropriate mitigation, and measurement of mitigation success. The WAM will also provide baseline data on the current status of wetlands in Kentucky to better evaluate no-net-loss in terms of ecological condition, and to support the development of regulations to protect high-quality wetlands.

Published on June 10, 2011