Development of a functional assessment method to evaluate the water quality benefits of wetland restoration and designed freshwater and brackish water ecosystems used for water quality treatment
This project will develop a functional assessment method to evaluate the water quality benefits of wetland restoration and designed freshwater and brackish water ecosystems used for water quality treatment. This method would be utilized for evaluating and crediting water quality improvements in Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) to address non-attainment of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). The methodology would be developed in coordination with an interagency “A-Team”. Team members will be brought to an agreed-upon common baseline of knowledge about functional assessment methods. The new method will be developed focusing on biological and physical surrogates for water quality measurements, and then be tested. After calibration, the new method will be retested to assure that the surrogates are applicable. EPA and state, local and private sector practitioners will be invited to test the new method. The new method will then be presented for formal acceptance by the state as one tool in the BMAP arsenal.
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