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Mapping Flood Protection Benefits from Restored Wetlands at the Urban-Suburban Interface
Hychka, K., W. Berry, AND M. Mazzotta. Mapping Flood Protection Benefits from Restored Wetlands at the Urban-Suburban Interface. Presented at Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), Duluth, MN, June 02 - 06, 2013.
Urbanization exacerbates flooding by increasing runoff and decreasing surface water storage. Restoring wetlands can enhance flood protection while providing a suite of co-benefits such as temperature regulation and access to open space. Spatial modeling of the delivery of flood protection from wetlands can inform decision making regarding the placement of restoration projects by identifying sites with the potential to provide flood protection to multiple beneficiaries. However accurate modeling can be difficult in an urban watershed due to piping and other land alterations. Given these limitations, we conducted an analysis of flood protection delivery that can be performed on a state or regional extent. In the Woonasquatucket River watershed, an urbanizing watershed with its terminus in Providence, RI, we build upon an existing functional assessment of riparian wetlands to develop a complementary assessment of the provisioning and delivery of a suite of ecosystem benefits. To estimate the extent of the market for the benefit of flood protection, we trace its delivery in the watershed by linking upstream wetlands with the downstream flood-prone areas through flow path analysis. This spatial modeling of flood protection delivery can explicitly link communities to wetlands that provide benefits and can be used to identify restoration sites that serve areas in need of flood protection.
The approach being developed to help prioritze restoration efforts should be helpful to a broad range of regional, state, and local decision makers. Specifically mapping potential restoration sites relative to downstream floodprone areas they can protect can be directly useful in discussing the benefits of wetland ecosystems with the public.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH