More than 80% of the wetlands once found in West Virginia have been lost. They were filled in or drained to grow crops, build towns and roads, and extract minerals. With the loss of our wetlands went the many services they provide. The Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Food Security Act of 1985 aim to stop the net loss of wetlands nationwide. In West Virginia, DEP works with other agencies to protect wetlands through monitoring, assessment, restoration, and regulation.
Wetlands can improve water quality, reduce flood impacts, help streams flow, provide wildlife habitat, and contribute to a healthy environment. Wet Virginia’s wetlands perform these functions in various ways, depending on the plants, soils, hydrology, and stressors in each wetland.
Resources and Tools for Wetland Assessment and Restoration
The Watershed Assessment Branch of DEP has developed a standardized method for rapidly assessing some of the important natural functions of all types of wetlands present in West Virginia. It is called the West Virginia Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (WVWRAM). WVWRAM uses on-site observations and off-site spatial data. This is a regulatory assessment tool for agency staff and environmental professionals. It requires a knowledge of Geographic Information Systems as well as wetland soils, plants, hydrology, and stressors.
WVWRAM Training 2019
West Virginia DEP would like to invite you and your wetland specialist collegues to join us this summer for free training in the new West Virginia Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (WVWRAM). At this moment we are accepting participants that have, at a minimum, the skill level of a wetland delineator.
Restoration Planting Tool
Would you like to restore native plants to your wetland or upland site in West Virginia? The Restoration Planting Tool matches your site with known native plant communities in West Virginia and predicts the species that will thrive and provide great habitat for native birds, butterflies, and other species. It requires Microsoft Office Access software and an Internet connection and is available to the public.
View the functions and values of mapped wetlands in West Virginia.
Wetland Restoration Planning
Find a promising site for wetland restoration using the Water Resources Registry.
Wetland Program Plan
Read West Virginia’s 5-year plan for protecting, restoring, monitoring, and regulating wetlands.
Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants (Draft)
To assist with wetland plant identification in West Virginia, WVDEP is currently preparing a field guid to the 100 most common wetland plants (and their look-alikes) in the state.
Two formats are avalable:
Simple pdf for computer or tablet
Print-ready pdf (for color 2-sided printing; after printing cut the sheets in half, collate, and staple/bind)