Wetlands provide a haven for rare and endangered plants, and one-third of all endangered species depend on wetlands for survival. Many wetlands are important fish spawning and nursery areas, as well as nesting, resting and feeding areas for waterfowl. Wetlands have been called "nature's kidneys" because of their ability to filter impurities from water. Sediment settles out of runoff and dissolved contaminants bind to plant surfaces or are transformed, resulting in improved water quality. Wetlands perform other valuable functions including reducing flood flow and shoreline erosion control.
The Wetland Ecology Group performs wetland research with the goal of developing wetland biocriteria and wetland water quality standards for Ohio. Funded largely by U.S. EPA grants awarded to assist states with the development of water quality standards for wetlands, the Wetland Ecology Group's work aids and strengthens the basis for regulatory decisions made by the 401 Water Quality Certification Section.
Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM)
In an effort to be efficient in making and approving wetland category assignments, Ohio EPA has compiled a 10-page Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (ORAM) Version 5.0 form. If filled out completely, the ORAM form will assure we have all information needed for approving wetland category assignments.
The 10-page ORAM form below should be submitted for all wetland characterizations associated with Nationwide Permit, Isolated Wetland Permit and Section 401 Water Quality Certification applications. One form (all 10 pages) should be filled out completely for each wetland the ORAM protocols identify as an individual scoring boundary. See Section 5.0 of the ORAM Version 5.0 Users Manual and the third page of the ORAM form below for scoring boundary protocols and the Scoring Boundary Worksheet, respectively.
For applications with multiple wetlands, as determined by the ORAM protocols, it is permissible to use duplicates for the location maps or drawings and sketches required to complete the first two pages of the ORAM form. However, the first two pages of each form must include all information for the wetland being assessed.
When several wetlands on a site are uniform in size and other characteristics (wetland type, buffer widths, surrounding land uses, hydrology sources, hydrologic regime and level of intactness, habitat quality and level of intactness, plant community composition, maturity, quality and microtopographic features), it is possible to use one ORAM form and have the assessment apply to all of the similar wetlands. When this is the case, the rationale for using one ORAM form should be well documented in the 'Comments' box on the second page of the ORAM form. The appropriateness of using one ORAM form for multiple assessments will be at the sole discretion of Ohio EPA.
Applications must include submittal of the 10-page ORAM form below for each wetland, or the application will be returned as incomplete.
- Click here to view the 10-page Version 5.0 ORAM form (2-1-01)
- Version 5.0 ORAM Users Manual (2-1-01)
- Version 5.0 ORAM Score Calibration (8-15-00) Integrated Wetland Assessment System Reports Reports
|Nutrient Runoff Reduction via Nutrient Reduction Wetlands in an Agricultural Setting a GIS Model||WET/2016-1|
|Intensification of the National Wetland Condition Assessment for Ohio: Final Report||WET/2015-1|
|Integrating Wetland Assessment into Ohio EPA's TMDL Process Part 1: Wetland Assessment of the Middle Scioto.||WET/2013-2A|
|The Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity "Floristic Quality" (VIBI-FQ).||WET/2013-2|
|Scioto Big Run: Assessing the Impacts of Wetlands on an Urban Stream.||WET/2013-1|
|Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity|
|Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) for Wetlands. Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD985875-01. Testing Biological Metrics and Development of Wetland Assessment Techniques Using Reference Sites. Volume 3 (April 24, 2002).|
|Field Manual for the Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity for Wetlands.
|An Ecological and Functional Assessment of Urban Wetlands in Central Ohio|
|Volume 1: Condition of Urban Wetlands Using Rapid (Level 2) and Intensive (Level 3) Assessment Methods.||WET/2007-3A|
|Volume 2: Morphometric Surveys, Depth-Area-Volume Relationships and Flood Storage Function.||WET/2007-3B|
|Volume 3: Comparisons of the Amphibian Communities of Urban and Reference Wetlands Using Level 1, 2 and 3 Assessment Tools.||WET/2008-1|
Mitigation Site Info
|An Inventory of Ohio Wetland Compensatory Mitigation|
|Part 1: Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD97576201-0 (Nov. 4, 2003).||PDF
|Part 2: Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD97576201-0 (March 31, 2005).||PDF
Mitigation Project Assessments
|Assessment of Wetland Mitigation Projects in Ohio|
|Volume 1: An Ecological Assessment of Ohio Individual Wetland Mitigation Projects.||WET/2010-1A|
|Volume 2: Developing a GIS-based Tool to Optimize Vernal Pool Wetland Mitigation Site Selection (Potential Vernal Pool Restoration Sites).||WET/2010-1B|
|Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI)|
|Testing the Floristic Quality Assessment Index as an Indicator of Riparian Wetland Disturbance. Final Report to U.S. EPA (June 1998).||PDF
|Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI) for Vascular Plants and Mosses for the State of Ohio (2004).||Report PDF Appendices XLS or ZIP
|Updated Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI) spreadsheet for the State of Ohio (2014).||HTML|
Integrated Wetland Assessment System Reports
|Integrated Wetland Assessment System|
|Part 1: See the 2001 and 2000 reports in the VIBI section below.|
|Part 2: An Ordination and Classification of Wetlands in the Till and Lake Plains and Allegheny Plateau Regions (2004).||WET/2004-2|
|Part 4: Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) and Tiered Aquatic Life Uses (TALUs) for Ohio Wetlands (2004).
Note: See addendum below.
|Addendum Part 7: Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity for Ohio Wetlands (2006).||WET/2006-2|
|Part 5: Biogeochemical and Hydrological Investigations of Natural and Mitigation Wetlands (2004).||WET/2004-5|
|Part 6: Standardized Monitoring Protocols and Performance Standards for Ohio Mitigation Wetlands (2004).||WET/2004-6|
|Part 7: Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) for Ohio Wetlands (2004).||WET/2004-7|
|Part 7 Addendum: Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity for Ohio Wetlands (2006).||WET/2006-2|
|Part 8: Initial Development of Wetland Invertebrate Community Index for Ohio (2004).||WET/2004-8|
|Addendum Part 8: Initial Development of Wetland Invertebrate Community Index for Ohio (2006). Investigations of Invertebrate Communities in Wetlands in the Huron/Erie Lake Plains Ecoregion and Mitigation Banks.||WET/2006-3|
|Part 9: Field Manual for the Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity for Wetlands v. 1.5.||WET/2015-2|
|Part 9: Field Manual for the Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity for Wetlands v. 1.3 (2004).
Note: Provided for historical purposes only.
|Part 9: ERRATA Corrected Appendix A Field Data Sheets Corrected Appendix B Example Calculations.||PDF PDF|
Mitigation Assessment Reports
|Mitigation and Restoration|
|A Functional Assessment of Mitigation Wetlands in Ohio: Comparisons with Natural Systems. Final Report to U.S. EPA (June 1997).|
|An Ecological Assessment of Ohio Mitigation Banks: Vegetation, Amphibians, Hydrology and Soils (2006).||Webpage||WET/2006-1|
|Characteristic Ohio Plant Species for Wetland Restoration Projects v. 1.0.||WET/2007-1|
|Faunal Aspects of Wetland Creation and Restoration. Dissertation. Deni Porej (2004).||Ohio State University Website|
|Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI)|
|Application of a Vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity for Lake Erie Coastal Marshes in Ohio. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 11:91-104.|
|Automated Spreadsheets for Calculating and Reporting the Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) Metrics and Scores (updated 2016).||ZIP|
|Development Issues with Extending Plant-based IBIs to Forested Wetlands in the Midwestern United States. Wetlands Ecology and Management 17:117-130 (2009).|
|Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) for Wetlands: Ecoregional, Hydrogeomorphic and Plant Community Comparisons with Preliminary Wetland Aquatic Life Use Designations. Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD985875-01. Testing Biological Metrics and Development of Wetland Assessment Techniques Using Reference Sites. Volume 1 (Nov. 9, 2001).|
|Vegetation Indices of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) for Wetlands and Calibration of the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands v. 5.0. Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD985276. Interim Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD985875. Volume 1 (Aug. 1, 2000).|
|Wetland Quality Determinations|
|An Ecological Assessment of Wetlands Using Reference Sites. Volume I: Final Report to U.S. EPA Grant No. CD995761-01-0 (June 1998).|
|Dealing With Sources Of Variation in the Development of Wetland Tiered Aquatic Life Uses.||WET/2007-6|
|Developing a Wetland IBI with Statewide Application after Multiple Testing Iterations. Ecological Indicators 7:864-881.|
|Landscape as a Predictor of Wetland Condition: An Evaluation of the Landscape Development Index (LDI) with a Large Reference Wetland Dataset from Ohio. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 120:221-241.|
|Assessment Of Wetlands in the Cuyahoga River Watershed of Northeast Ohio.||WET/2007-4|
|Density-based Invertebrate Community Index (DICI) of Ohio Wetlands.||WET/2007-5|
|Unpublished dot maps for Dicotyledonae of Ohio Part 1: Acanthaceae through Zygophyllaceae.|
|Boyles, Jeff||Supervisor||(614) 644-2494|
|Lamoreaux, Matt||Wetland Ecologist||(614) 644-2327|