For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
Wetland Protection Policy and Procedures
The Wetlands Program is responsible for developing the NPS wetland protection policies and procedures found in Director's Order #77-1: Wetland Protection (2002), Procedural Manual #77-1 (2011), and NPS Management Policies (2006). All are available online. They establish a "no-net-loss of wetlands" policy for the NPS, which requires avoiding, minimizing, and compensating for adverse impacts on wetlands. If a proposed action will have such impacts, then compliance with these policies and procedures must be recorded in a Wetland Statement of Findings (WSOF).
One of the most important program functions is review and certification of WSOFs. During this process, program staff frequently advise parks on ways to avoid or minimize wetland loss, and help identify opportunities for wetland compensation. For 56 WSOFs that WRD has certified since 2001, wetland impacts were limited to 132 acres and commitments to restore damaged or lost wetlands as compensation exceeded 298 acres. This compensation ratio of more than 2:1 helps assure consistency with the NPS no-net-loss of wetlands policy.
Other related program activities include development of NPS wetland mitigation banks, review and comment on proposed federal wetland laws, policies and regulations and participation on interagency committees charged with coordinating wetland technical and policy issues.
Last Updated: January 24, 2012