Biomonitoring

Wetlands are an important water resource in Capitol Region Watershed District. In addition to removing pollutants from stormwater and absorbing rainfall to prevent flooding, they represent one of the few wildlife habitats in CRWD. Unfortunately, these wetlands are located in a dense, urban area with little or no plant buffers surrounding them to absorb the impacts of stormwater runoff. The size and quality of CRWD wetlands have been degraded reducing their capability to provide benefits for both humans and wildlife. The degree of these impacts is unknown; however the biological community is a good indicator of overall health of a wetland.

In 2007, CRWD initiated a program to assess the quality of, and impacts to, wetlands of CRWD using biological monitoring. CRWD uses an Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) method to monitor wetlands during the summer months, using a survey of aquatic plants and collection of aquatic insects (macroinvertebrates), along with water quality and land-use data. The data are evaluated through metrics and the results provide a rating within the Index.

For detailed results of the wetland assessments, visit our Reports Page.