APPENDIX A
SPACIAL DATA AND WETLANDS

INTRODUCTION

What, typically, could be done better or more efficiently if the content, accuracy, organization, and control of spatial data were different? As spatial data concerning wetlands are collected in several federal agencies, state and local governments, and private institutions, the MSC believed that a study focused on wetlands would provide an example of the needs and challenges facing the development and implementation of a robust NSDI. With respect to wetland data, a number of questions arise. For example, should a digital version of the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) be used to replace the wetland symbols on the 1:24,000 USGS series? Is it to be a distributed layer to be used as a graphic or digital overlay to the 1:24,000 NWI series or integrated within the new federally proposed 1:12,000 orthophoto program (SCS, ASCS, and USGS), or is it to be a distributed responsibility where each federal, state, and local agency provides its part in a coordinated and integrated form? An example of the latter is the joint effort between Maryland's digital orthophoto quarter quad (1:12,000) mapping and wetland inventory program and the FWS's NWI program. These are important questions in need of answers.

To assist in clarifying these questions, this appendix focuses on the current roles of various institutional entities in the use and sharing of geographic information pertaining to the nation's wetlands. It comments on the impediments that exist that prevent these groups from acquiring knowledge, sharing data, making decisions, or performing the duties expected of them that depend on the timely availability and easy access to an organized body of geographic information about wetlands.



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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation APPENDIX A SPACIAL DATA AND WETLANDS INTRODUCTION What, typically, could be done better or more efficiently if the content, accuracy, organization, and control of spatial data were different? As spatial data concerning wetlands are collected in several federal agencies, state and local governments, and private institutions, the MSC believed that a study focused on wetlands would provide an example of the needs and challenges facing the development and implementation of a robust NSDI. With respect to wetland data, a number of questions arise. For example, should a digital version of the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) be used to replace the wetland symbols on the 1:24,000 USGS series? Is it to be a distributed layer to be used as a graphic or digital overlay to the 1:24,000 NWI series or integrated within the new federally proposed 1:12,000 orthophoto program (SCS, ASCS, and USGS), or is it to be a distributed responsibility where each federal, state, and local agency provides its part in a coordinated and integrated form? An example of the latter is the joint effort between Maryland's digital orthophoto quarter quad (1:12,000) mapping and wetland inventory program and the FWS's NWI program. These are important questions in need of answers. To assist in clarifying these questions, this appendix focuses on the current roles of various institutional entities in the use and sharing of geographic information pertaining to the nation's wetlands. It comments on the impediments that exist that prevent these groups from acquiring knowledge, sharing data, making decisions, or performing the duties expected of them that depend on the timely availability and easy access to an organized body of geographic information about wetlands.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Initially the MSC wanted to study the technical problems associated with an uncoordinated NSDI relating to wetland data. However, when we began to study the problem, an even larger set of problems emerged. Therefore this case study has the following three goals: to determine the feasibility of establishing a national system that delineates and records the conditions of all regulated and nonregulated U.S. wetlands; to describe the impediments (if any) that limit this nation from delineating and recording the condition of its regulated and nonregulated wetlands; and to consider the extent to which these impediments are indicative of other natural phenomena of national consequence requiring delineation, monitoring, and eventual regulation. Wetlands were chosen as an example because they reflect environmental and physical phenomena that need to be measured, depicted, and analyzed differently than discrete objects, such as building footprints or street centerlines and associated street addresses. Wetlands were also chosen because they are of national concern and interest. They are indicative of how our nation goes about administering and managing natural resources. Wetlands also illustrate how the scientific community goes about the identification, classification, and delineation process in contrast to how a society goes about the difficult process of deciding on the subset it is willing to regulate. Similar examples of national interest could be the geographic distribution and condition of endangered species habitat or species ranges or a national assessment and monitoring of biodiverse land areas. If these two examples were to become issues of national interest what could be learned from this nation's attempts to map, monitor, and regulate its wetlands? This appendix introduces the issues regarding wetlands that make them possible to measure scientifically but difficult to regulate as a natural resource. Wetlands are excellent examples of informational needs about other natural phenomena. Next are described the technical, legislative, institutional, and economic impediments that limit the ability to assess and monitor the state and condition of its wetlands. This appendix also provides a conceptual information diffusion model that attempts to explain the issues that restrict the diffusion of wetland information. It concludes with a summary with recommendations.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation THE NATURE OF WETLANDS What Are Wetlands? The term wetlands applies to a variety of low-lying areas where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, soils are saturated or covered by water during parts of the year, and there is a predominance of hydrophytic plants (CEQ, 1999). In a more practical sense, the term wetland is a misnomer: many are dry at times; some are dry twice a day, for example, coastal wetlands that are flooded, inundated, and influenced by daily tides. Wetlands include many different types of environments: tidal marshes, swamp forests, peat bogs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, and similar transitional areas between aquatic and terrestrial environments. Wetlands were long considered insect-ridden, unattractive, and dangerous areas. Recently this outlook has changed dramatically because the vital ecological roles that wetlands serve have been documented and thus have in this century begun to be recognized as important places with a rich and exciting variety of plant and animal life (Niering, 1986). What is the Value of Wetlands? Wetlands are among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. Net primary production of plants in salt marshes and freshwater wetlands (Figure A. 1) rivals that of tropical rain forests and the most productive agricultural land (CEQ, 1989). For example, many types of animals depend on wetlands for at least part of their life cycle (e.g., it has been estimated that more than 50 percent of the saltwater fish and shellfish are dependent on wetlands). Of the 10 to 20 million waterfowl that nest in the conterminous 48 states, 50 percent or more reproduce in the prairie pothole wetlands of the Midwest (CEQ, 1989). The wetlands of the United States are also important for other reasons. They produce oxygen and play a significant role in converting atmospheric nitrogen, for they naturally trap and remove nutrients and sediments and help maintain or improve water quality (Ducks Unlimited, 1992). Wetlands associated with estuaries, rivers, and streams, as well as some isolated wetlands and lakes, provide flood protection by slowing and storing floodwaters and reducing flood peaks. Wetlands anchor shorelines and provide erosion control (CEQ, 1989).

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Figure A. 1. Net Primary Productivity of Selected Ecosystems (g/m2/yr) (from Tiner 1984). Wetlands also provide many economic and social benefits to the nation. Fishing, waterfowl hunting, and traditional gathering of food, such as wild rice, are among the contemporary uses, Wetlands occur in every state in the nation (Figure A.2) but exist in a variety of sizes, shapes, and types as a result of regional differences in climate, vegetation, soils, and hydrology. Also, and very important to many, is that wetlands are some of the last remaining wilderness areas in the nation (CEQ, 1989).

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Figure A.2 (a) Wetland distribution circa 1780s; (b) wetland distribution circa 1980s (from Dahl, 1990).

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation TABLE A.1. Examples of Wetland Losses in Various States (after Dahl, 1990). State or Region Wetlands 1780s (acres) Wetlands 1980s (acres) Percentage of Wetlands Lost Iowa's natural marshes 4,000,000 421,900 89 California 5,000,000 450,000 91 Nebraska's Rainwater Basin 94,000 8,460 91 Mississippi alluvial plain 24,000,000 5,200,000 78 Michigan 11,200,000 5,583,400 50 North Dakota 4,927,500 2,490,000 51 Minnesota 15,070,000 8,700,000 42 Louisiana's forested wetlands 11,300,000 5,635,000 50 Connecticut's coastal marshes 30,000 15,000 50 North Carolina's pocosins 2,500,000 1,503,000* 40 * Only 695,000 acres of Pocosins remain undisturbed; the rest are partially drained, developed, or planned for development. STATE AND CONDITION OF WETLANDS Wetlands are generally classified as estuarine or freshwater systems (CEQ, 1989). In the mid-1980s, there were an estimated 103.3 million acres of wetlands in the conterminous United States, most of which (about 75 percent) were private (Dahl and Johnson, 1991). Wetlands account for roughly 5 percent of the total land surface cover in the conterminous 48 states. The amount of wetlands in the conterminous United States when settlement occurred in the early seventeenth century is estimated to have been 215 million acres (Dahl, 1990). On the basis of this

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation TABLE A.2. Examples of Wetland Loss Rates (after Tiner, 1984). State or Region Loss Rate (acres/year) Lower Mississippi alluvial plain 165,000 Louisiana's forested wetlands 87,000 North Carolina's pocosins 43,500 Prairie pothole region 33,000 Louisiana's coastal marshes 25,000 Great Lakes basin 20,000 Wisconsin 20,000 Michigan 6,500 Kentucky 3,600 New Jersey's coastal marshes 3,084   50* Palm Beach County, Florida 3,055 Maryland's coastal wetlands 1,000   20* New York's estuarine marshes 740 Delaware's coastal marshes 444   20* * Loss rate after passage of state coastal wetland protection laws. figure (which is considered a reliable estimate of the original wetland area), 53 percent of the original wetlands was lost by the mid-1980s (Dahl, 1990). Table A.1 shows a selected state and regional view of wetland losses. The reasons for these wetland losses are many and varied and both natural and human. However, most of the wetland losses are attributable to human activities. Agricultural activities were responsible for 54 percent

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation and urban development accounted for 5 percent of the total wetland loss (Dahl, 1990). Wetland losses have affected certain wetland types more than others (Table A.2). By the mid-1950s it was estimated that more than 50 percent of the wetlands in the prairie pothole region had been lost since settlement. Most of this reduction was caused by agricultural conversion (CEQ, 1989). Between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s net acreage of freshwater marsh loss had stabilized (Dahl, 1991). Wetland losses also occurred in estuarine vegetated wetlands (estuarine intertidal vegetated). Of the net loss of 372,000 acres between the mid-1950s and 1970, most occurred in estuary marshes along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. Urban development and conversion to open water habitat were responsible for most of these losses (CEQ, 1989). PROTECTION OF WETLANDS State interest in protection of wetlands began in the east. For example, Massachusetts' regulation of wetlands includes coastal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, swamps, wet meadows, marshes and bogs, and a 100-foot buffer protection zone. In Massachusetts judicial interest began in 1965 (Commissioner of Natural Resources v. Volpe and Co.); 27 states now have some type of wetland law (Want, 1991). Federal interest in the protection of the nation's wetlands began in the mid-1970s. Various conservation groups and the scientific community began convincing federal agencies and Congress of their value in preventing floods, filtering waters, and providing critical wildlife habitat. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (often called the Clean Water Act) was amended in 1977 to prohibit the discharge of dredge or fill material into wetlands without a permit. Federal wetland law is still the backbone of wetland protection (Want, 1991). Expanding on this federal interest, President Bush in 1988 adopted a platform supporting the goal that there should be no net loss of the remaining wetlands (103.3 million acres) (Conservation Foundation, 1988; Seligmann and Hager, 1991). This position, however, has raised the significant question of what subset of all wetlands should be included. This issue of whether all wetlands or subsets should be regulated is a major reason why it is so difficult to bring about a national system for wetland information. Wetlands occur in all 50 states and vary in type, size, and function.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Despite this variation, they all have two things in common: they have a soil that is at least periodically saturated or covered with water and they contain plants that can tolerate such conditions (Urban Land Institute, 1985). These wetland conditions are measurable by three criteria: the presence of hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology. Making these conditions into operational definitions for regulations, administration, and biological mapping is another matter. If FWS's national wetland maps (begun some 14 years ago) are an example, the mapping function has been relatively straightforward. Table A.3 illustrates this problem for land owners affected by regulations including various federal and state definitions. Biologically or scientifically, they are very similar except that Connecticut's definition includes all poorly drained soils. Only in the legal process can any real difference between these definitions be found (Urban Land Institute, 1985). As part of the 1977 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, the EPA and the COE became responsible for implementing the new wetland provisions in Section 404 of the Act. This legal complexity is represented by the treatise entitled Law of Wetland Regulation (Want, 1991). It includes 13 chapters, 152 pages on federal wetland law and procedures, and 196 pages devoted to state wetland law. Much of the book cites judicial opinions, associated procedural permitting, and mapping requirements. The presenting of cases before the Supreme Court further confuses this issue (Want, 1991). However, because the Clean Water Act did not include an explicit definition or procedure for field identification of wetlands, a team of wetland biologists from the FWS, COE, EPA, and SCS in 1989 established common field procedures. The collaborative group combined the best procedures from existing manuals and developed some new procedures to assist in identifying the upland edge of wetlands. These new procedures were designed to include (1) all wetlands regulated by COE and EPA under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; (2) all wetlands administered under the Food and Security Act of 1985 (Swampbuster); and (3) wetlands mapped by the FWS's NWI. These criteria include a range of (a) permanently flooded to seldomly flooded, (b) aquatic systems to terrestrial systems, or (c) areas where water dominates to where upland dominates. Somewhere along that gradient, science and society say ''That's a wetland" (Seligmann and Hager, 1991). At the federal level, the issue remains: Where does one draw the line? What is or what is not a wetland?

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation TABLE A.3. Seven Examples of Wetlands Definitions Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (PL. 99-645) The term wetland means land that has a predominance of hydric soils and that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Swampbuster Provision, Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L.99-198) The term wetland, except when such term is part of the term converted wetland, means land that has a predominance of hydric soils and that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. US. Fish and Wildlife Service (Cowardin et al., 1979; adopted 1980) Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For purposes of this classification, wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: (1) at least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes, (2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil, and (3) the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of each year. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR 230.3, Federal Register, 1980) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (33 CFR 328.3, Federal Register, 1982) Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. State of Wisconsin (NR 115.03 WAC) Those areas where water is at, near, or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and that have soils indicative of wet conditions.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation State of Connecticut (22a-38 Connecticut General Statutes) Wetlands means land, including submerged land, which consists of any of the soil types designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial or flood plain by the National Cooperative Soils Survey, as may be amended from time to time by the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State of California (California Coastal Act of 1976, Section 30121) Lands within the coastal zone that may be covered periodically or permanently with shallow water and include saltwater marshes, freshwater marshes, open or closed brackish marshes, swamps, mudflats, and fens. As noted earlier, before this federal interest some states assumed responsibility for the regulation of wetlands. By the mid-1970s additional states also became interested in the protection of wetlands. Even though federal law imposes national consistency, wetland protection has been increasingly augmented by state law (Want, 1991). At present, 27 states have some form of wetland law: explicit wetland regulations, regulationsincluded in coastal zone management, or regulations included in other natural resource management provisions, such as shoreline, beach, and sand protection (Want, 1991). Regulation of wetlands and their associated definitional requirements has become a complex regulatory arena with numerous judicial decisions interpreting these regulations. This has occurred at all levels of government (Want, 1991). As part of this process of regulation and protection, attorneys, environmentalists, realtors, corporate professionals, scientists, and planners have become involved in the definition, regulation, management, alteration, and restoration of wetlands. INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS What are the Information Requirements? Obviously the requirements for a wetland information system depend on how wetlands are defined. This definitional task is a scientific, social, legal, and political task. Definitions need to be agreed upon in both the

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation   Elimination System (40 CFR Part 122.2) and Section 404 program (40 CFR Parts 230.3 and 232.2) (Maxted, 1990). As mentioned earlier, states have also taken responsibility for wetland protection associated with their public trust responsibilities. For example, in 1980 Wisconsin as part of its Wisconsin Shoreland Management Program (N.R. 115) extended its land-use zoning authority to include wetlands associated with its streams, rivers, and lakes. The information associated with this stage is initially ordinal in that wetlands are now legislatively different from other lands (e.g., uplands). To assist in the policy formulation phase, status and trends of the nation's wetlands are now being tracked by the FWS and reported to Congress on a 10-year cycle. This initiation of a systematic sample of wetland environments established the ability to conduct statistical manipulations of the data base.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation TABLE A.9 Evaluation of Information Technology Diffusion   Awareness Building Stage Policy Formulation Stage Definitional Formulation Stage Planning Management and Analysis Stage Private Land Regulation Stage Types of information Data Trends (legislation) Rules (administrative) Entities (small scale) Entities (large Scale) Types of measurement and analysis Descriptive Classification Statistical Case by case entity mapping prediction Case by case entity mapping prediction Level of analysis Nominal Ordinal Ordinal Interval Ordinal Interval Ordinal Interval Ratio Type of information technology used Maps Photography Computer aided drafting functionality Relatinal functionality Relational functionality GIS functinality Land information system (LIS) functionality

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Definitional Formulation Stage The regulatory definitional stage requires the establishment of administrative rules and the formulation of reliably measurable definitions. The results of this process have a major impact on the data and information content required to implement the states' public policy. Examples of this definitional process includes Classification of Wetlands & Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin et al., 1979); Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (Wetlands Research Program, 1987); Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual (Environmental Protection Agency, 1987), and the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands (Federal Interagency Committee for Wetland Delineation, 1989). Trend analysis continues to help refine the information available on the status and trends of the nation's wetlands and to continue policy debate. Planning, Management, and Analysis Stage The implementation of legislative and Congressional intent and the associated data requirements is the focus of the planning, management, and analysis stage. Mapping of wetland entities becomes a useful means by which to communicate the location and distribution of these regulated and nonregulated wetlands. Examples include entity mapping such as the NWI and continued authority for trend analysis as part of the EWRA of 1986 (P.L.99–645, Title IV, Wetlands Inventory and Trend Analysis, Sec. 401 National Wetlands Inventory Project). Also in this stage, land-holding agencies are assessing and managing wetlands according to their individual mandates. These include state departments of natural resources, local government interests, and federal agencies such as the USFS, the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service. Use of GIS technology becomes a major analytical and management tool during this stage. From the viewpoint of planning, management, and analysis, these trend and entity data collected by the FWS as part of the EWRA are used to establish the base line for determining the actual abundance or scarcity and the rate of conversion of wetlands (Tiner, 1984). Consequently, this analysis of trends forms the basis for much of the public debate over wetlands. For example, the trends data were the predominant source used by the Council of Environmental Quality in its Environmental Trends Report on wetlands and wildlife (CEQ, 1989). Because of the value of the

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation data, the monitoring cycle and the reporting cycle to Congress as mandated by the EWRA needs to be reduced (e.g., 5 years versus 10 years) through reconciliation with the agencies involved in statistical trend and status analysis. It would also be valuable to intensify the national sampling and to produce statistically significant regional estimates on the status and trends of wetlands. Private Land Regulation Stage This final stage, private land regulation, is that of imposing stated public policy on privately held lands. Information requirements become more specific and more demanding. Entity mapping becomes integrated with other data such as property. GIS technology and automated land records integration become important factors. Increased analytical capability is expected. This evolution of wetland information diffusion is in a state of flux (Figure A.5). As the definitional process affects the land development rights on privately held land, the public debate accelerates. This interaction, even though troublesome to the information community, in reality constitutes the implementation process, that process being the difference between the policy of no net loss and the political process of what society and private land owners are willing to endure. It is important that the information diffusion process be understood so that consistent and durable policy leading to an enhanced NSDI be formulated. Although there have been extensive efforts to define the critical properties associated with wetlands, a politically agreeable decision on the subset to be regulated remains at the center of the wetland controversy. This issue of what is a wetland has become a major public debate because it concerns private land. This controversy is further fueled by the administration's stated goal of no net loss. Where the line from wet to dry is drawn has a major impact on how much wetland exists, how much needs protection, and what constitutes no net loss. This issue is further compounded by those who assert that wetlands serve different functions and that only the most important functions need attention. This is even further compounded by the issue of inherent wetland biological and botanical quality. For example, some wetlands have been invaded by exotic wetland plants, such as Purple Loosestrife. Examples of the debate are represented by the following quotes from a selection of newspapers and magazines.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation FIGURE A.5 Proposed model for diffusion of wetland information. 'The changes being proposed are political changes not based on good science.' said South Carolina Wildlife Federation executive director . . . (C. Pope,  The State, August 27, 1991) A draft of the new document given to the Associated Press by a member of the administration says the previous definition (Interagency Wetlands Manual, Maron, 1990) 'grossly exaggerated' the country's real wetlands mostly by not requiring that they be very wet. The current definition (March, 1990) says water must come within 18 inches of the surface for at least 7 days of the growing season (this is when chemically soils become hydric in composition and can support hydric vegetation). . . The draft (EPA's) would be stricter, requiring that land be inundated or saturated all the way to the surface for at least 14 consecutive days in the growing season (The State, [Columbia, S.C.] May 15, 1991).

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation William Reilly (EPA Chief) thought he had a deal—the Council on Competitiveness (CC)—had agreed that any piece of land that was flooded or saturated for 15 consecutive days a year would constitute a 'wetland' and deserved protection from private development. Within days the council (CC) hatched a new plan, narrowing the definition of 'wetness' by six extra days, satisfying a powerful coalition of farmers and builders and reducing America's wetlands by as much as 30 million acres. (M. Duffy, Time, November 4, 1991). Once the definitional process deviated from agreed-upon measures in the federal manual, the status and condition of wetlands changed, if the national view is limited to those described as jurisdictional. If this limits the national view, then the usefulness of the NWI trends data base as a measure of wetland status becomes questionable. If the perceived national definition remains substantially different from the NWI sample definitions, a new sample design and scheme would be required beginning with the more limited definition. Reconciliation of these issues requires use of a different process to diffuse wetland information. Such a process would need to be responsive to wetland policy and regulatory functions (see Figure A.5). Until we as a nation can agree on the subset of federal wetlands to be regulated, we cannot inventory them or determine whether they are increasing or decreasing. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that the need for a common federal view on the location, status, and trends of wetlands and the subset of those of national interest remains as the primary impediment to broad public and private support. This need also impedes the defining of criteria for spatial data about wetlands. For example, the owners of wetlands say ''that protection efforts have gone too far" (Zinn and Copeland, 1992). A similar concern was reported in USA Today when President Bush was quoted as saying: "We ought to stay with our objective of 'no net loss' ... but we don't want to overdefine what a wetland is." The debate over wetlands has now moved from a question of whether wetlands should be protected to a question of how much protection should be afforded the remaining wetland resource (Zinn and Copeland, 1992).

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation A major debate is under way between wetland protection advocates and private land owners. The environmental and wetland advocates have concluded that "a major impediment in maintaining, enhancing, and restoring wetland resources is the lack of a coordinated, consistent approach among federal, state and local governments" (Zinn and Copeland, 1992). This lack of a coordinated and consistent inventory mapping and analysis capability is at the crux of public debate. As pointed out by the Executive Director of the Association of Wetland Managers: . . . in contrast (to the COE) virtually all state and local governments map wetlands as part of the regulatory process, . . . this lack of a consistent map base results in a federal program subject to varying interpretation by individual regulators. As a result, . . . the regulatory process is difficult and time consuming.... Moreover, both delineating a wetland and applying for a permit are costly" (Kusler, 1992, pp. 29–30). (Niemann, 1992, estimated an annual cost of about $100 million.) Without the reconciliation and interaction of the NWI, the FSA, and jurisdictional wetlands, and Congressional and public support for a composite federal view, the incorporation of spatial data and information about the nation's wetlands into an NSDI remains problematical. The FGDC, through its Subcommittee on Wetlands, needs to reconcile the definitional and technical issues that impede our nation's ability to efficiently and effectively map, assess, monitor, and automate wetland information. To accomplish this reconciliation, the FGDC needs to exercise its coordination authority (given in OMB revised Circular A-16) and to develop and implement a wetland information-diffusion model that is responsive to both policy and regulatory requirements. In pursuing this conclusion, the following reconciliation tasks require immediate attention: Reconcile what information gathering technologies and combinations are most efficient and effective for completing a national and automated view of the NWI, the FSA, and, eventually, jurisdictional wetlands (i.e., the integration of on-site determinations, aerial photographic interpretation, and satellite imagery detection). Reconcile classification and interpretation differences between NWI and FSA wetland delineations (i.e., require that all discernable wetlands are

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation included in both farmed and nonfarmed regions to ensure the implementation of a composite and scientifically based national wetland data base). Reconcile the classification and mapping procedure by which jurisdictional wetland definitions can be nested within the integrated NWI and FSA system (e.g., a separate graphic entity, an attribute to a NWI/FSA wetlands, etc.). Reconcile different digital mapping and attribute standards between the NWI, the FSA, and jurisdictional wetlands. Reconcile classification and sampling differences between the various statistical status and trends effects being conducted and planned by FWS, SCS, and EPA. Reconcile and more precisely define the nature and products of what would constitute a robust national wetland data and information resource (e.g., will it be a traditional NWI cartographic product of 1:24,000? What will be the cartographic representation of wetland entities, polygons, points, or symbols? What will be the cartographic and digital products of the 1:12,000 National Orthophoto Program (e.g., digital or paper products)? Will it be (1) a central automated data base, (2) a distributed digital layer for use by FSA, SCS, EPA, etc., other state and local agencies, private interests such as Ducks Unlimited, or (3) a distributed within-layer data base where every entity provides its part? Reconcile how state, local, and federal agencies can provide and gain access to wetland data. REFERENCES BEST/WSTB (1992). Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP): Interim Report, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) and Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB), National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 25 pp. Burgess, W. S. (1992). Maryland's Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quad Mapping and Wetlands Inventory Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Water Resources Administration. Conservation Foundation (1988). Protecting America's Wetlands: An Action Agenda, The Conservation Foundation, Washington D.C. Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (1989). Environmental Trends , Co-sponsored by the Interagency Committee on Environmental Trends, Washington D.C.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Cowardin, L. M. (1982). Wetlands and deepwater habitats: A new classification, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe (1979). Classification of Wetlands & Deepwater Habitats of the United States , Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Dahl, T. E. (1990). Wetland Losses in the United States 1780's to 1980's, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Dahl, T. E. (1992). Wetland Status and Trends—The Link to Remote Sensing, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, St. Petersburg, Florida. Dahl, T. E., and C. E. Johnson (1991). Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States, Mid-1970's to mid-1980's, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. DOI Office of Inspector General (1992). Audit Report: National Wetlands Inventory Mapping Activities, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Report No. 92-I-790, Washington, D.C., 54 pp. Ducks Unlimited (1992). Wetland Bacteria Removes Nitrates, Improve Water Quality, Ducks Unlimited 1992 (January/February). Duffy, M. (1991). Need friends in high places? Time, November 4, 1991. Environmental Protection Agency (1987). Wetland Identification and Delineation Manual-Volume I Rationale, Wetland Parameters, and Overview of Jurisdictional Approach, Washington D.C. FGDC (1991). A National Geographic Information Resource: The Spatial Foundation of the Information-Based Society, FGDC First Annual Report to the Director of OMB. FGDC (1992). Subcommittee on Wetlands working document—Application of satellite data for mapping and monitoring wetlands, Washington, D.C. Federal Interagency Committee for Wetland Delineation (1989). Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Kusler, J. A. (1983). Our National Wetland Heritage Handbook: A Protection Guidebook, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. Kusler, J., (1992). Wetland delineation: An issue of science or politics, Environment 34 (2). Maxted, J. R. (1990). Wetland mapping supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Coastal Wetland Mapping Programs, Biological Report 90 (18), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington D.C. Nelson, E. H., K. H. Hughes, and R. O. Morgenweek (1990). Memorandum to E.S. Goldstein-Report on the Wetlands Inventory Workshop, dated December 11, 1990), U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service National Oceanographic Data Center, Washington D.C.

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Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation Niemann, B. J., Jr. (1992). Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Technology: Modernizing the Wetland Permitting Process, CRSS Architects, Inc. , Houston Texas. Niering, W. A. (1986). Wetlands, The Audubon Society, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. Office of Technology Assessment (1984). Wetlands: Their Use & Regulation , U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. Pope, C. (1991). Wetlands definition blasted, The State (Columbia, S.C.), Aug. 27, 1991. SCS (1992). Remote Sensing Wetland Recertification Project: Interim Report, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, D.C., 6 pp. Seligmann, J., and M. Hager (1991). What on Earth is a Wetland? The White House Seeks a New Definition, Newsweek, Aug. 26, 1991. The State (1991). Proposed "Wetlands" definition draws fire, The State (Columbia, S.C.) May 15, 1991. Tiner, R. W. (1984). Wetlands of the United States: Current Status and Trends, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Survey, Washington D.C. Urban Land Institute (1985). Wetlands: Mitigating and Regulating Development Impacts, Urban Land Institute. Want, W. L. (1991). Law of Wetlands Regulation, Clark Boardman Co., Ltd., New York. Wetlands Research Program (1987). Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, Technical Report Y87-1, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station, Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Wilen, B. O., and H. R. Pywell (1992). Remote Sensing the Nation's Wetlands—The National Wetlands Inventory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Zinn, J., and C. Copeland (1992). Wetland Issues in the 102nd Congress, CRS Issue Brief, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

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