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Wetland Protection Policy and Procedures

The Wetlands Program is responsible for developing the NPS wetland protection policies and procedures found in Director's Order #77-1: Wetland Protection (2002), Procedural Manual #77-1 (2012), and NPS Management Policies (2006). They establish a "no-net-loss of wetlands" policy for the NPS, which requires avoiding, minimizing, and compensating for adverse impacts on wetlands. If a proposed action will have such impacts, then compliance with these policies and procedures must be recorded in a Wetland Statement of Findings (WSOF).

One of the most important program functions is review and certification of WSOFs. During this process, program staff frequently advise parks on ways to avoid or minimize wetland loss, and help identify opportunities for wetland compensation. For 70 WSOFs that WRD has certified since 2001, wetland impacts were limited to 213 acres and commitments to restore damaged or lost wetlands as compensation exceeded 425 acres. This 2:1 compensation ratio helps ensure consistency with the NPS no-net-loss of wetlands policy. Other related program activities include development of NPS wetland mitigation banks, review and comment on proposed federal wetland laws, policies and regulations, and participation on interagency committees charged with coordinating wetland technical and policy issues.

Last Updated: January 30, 2015