The environmental assessment process is a cornerstone of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of the United States, and part of that policy of environmental conservation includes protection of the nation's wetland resources. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) has jurisdiction over the federal permit required by the Clean Water Act concerning wetland impacts (Section 404). As a consequence, the Regulatory Division of the USACOE New England Division promulgated a highway methodology to guide the preparation of assessments required as part of its permit process in New England. The methodology emphasizes the function and value of wetlands. That determination can be most efficiently accomplished by using computer-aided drafting and design and geographic information systems, although neither of these computer techniques is essential to the procedure. It is adapted to help describe complex wetland systems and their interrelationships without bias because it does not weight functions. Such weighting of functions by other methods has created difficulty in assessing wetlands as resources in light of other cultural, natural, and socioeconomic issues that are also considered by the NEPA process. The present methodology is consistent with NEPA, recognizing sensitivity to habitat preservation on the one hand and socioeconomic development, on the other. It has been used to clarify impacts associated with large and small transportation related projects in New England. Examples of resource mapping and checklist and forms to guide wetland function and value assessment are based on projects in which the authors have participated individually or collectively.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 123-132
  • Monograph Title: Environmental issues: energy, water, noise, waste, and natural resources
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00711771
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 030906113X
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 18 1995 12:00AM