Preserve, create and restore wetland resources and maximize the benefits and functionality of wetlands to the watershed.
The Functional Assessment of Wetlands evaluated 485.8 acres of wetlands in the Gleason Lake Creek subwatershed, of which 121.6 acres were in the Preserve classification (see Table 8 in Section 2.5.4 and Figure 12). There are several wetlands of exceptional and high quality functions and values within this subwatershed. Their conservation is integral to achieving ecological integrity goals, as well as water quality, stormwater management, and floodplain management goals.
A key strategy of this plan is regulation of wetland impacts in accordance with a management classification based on the functions and values findings of the Functional Assessment of Wetlands. Wetlands are assigned to a classification – either Preserve or Manage 1, 2, or 3 – and allowable impacts would be based on that classification. The wetlands with the highest values – those in the Preserve classification – would be allowed minimal impacts. The Manage classifications would be allowed some impacts, such as accepting new stormwater discharges, depending on classification. This strategy would preserve existing high values such as habitat, vegetative diversity, and sensitivity, while also recognizing that wetlands play an important part in managing stormwater. Wetlands provide essential storm and flood water storage.
Wetlands of exceptional or high vegetative diversity or fish or wildlife habitat value have been designated key conservation areas (see Figure 19), as have wetlands that are riparian to streams or channels, have high restoration potential, or that provide key floodplain storage. Except for those in the Preserve classification, which would be managed to an even higher standard, these conservation wetlands would be managed as if they were Manage 1 classification wetlands, with limitations on the amount of new runoff that can be directed to them, and a requirement to pretreat any new discharges to them.
An important part of achieving the goal of no net loss of wetland size, quality, and type will be tracking wetland impacts to assist in identifying future restoration or wetland creation needs.
Equally important to the regulation of wetlands is the restoration of degraded wetlands within the subwatershed. Figure 14 identifies wetlands based on restoration potential. Only a few small wetlands were identified in the FAW as having moderate to high restoration potential. Restoring wetlands increases specific functions and values of the resource within the watershed ranging from management of flows to water quality improvement to enhancement of the overall ecosystem, particularly within identified corridors.
Desired Outcomes: Maintain existing quantity and quality of wetlands throughout subwatershed; improve wetland and surface water quality within Key Conservation Areas.
Maintain existing acreage of wetlands in the subwatershed and achieve no net loss in their size, quality, type, and biological diversity.
Increase the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Gleason Lake subwatershed wetlands through the restoration of impacted wetlands or creation of new wetlands.