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 (GIS), wetland soils, plants, hydrology, and stressors.
WVWRAM has two components: (1) GIS tool for preliminary scoring and off-site metrics, and (2) rapid field method for
final scoring. Both components are required for regulatory use, but the GIS tool can be used as a stand-alone for
A WV Rapid Assessment Methodology Public Meeting was held on February 12th, 2020 from 1pm to 3pm at the WV DEP
Charleston Headquarters Office. The meeting focused on topics discussed in the public notice. Click on the link
below to view the public notice.
Documents and Links
- WVWRAM Introduction
- Description: PowerPoint presentation on introduction to WV Wetland Rapid Assessment Method.
- WVWRAM User Manual
- Description: The West Virginia Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (WVWRAM) is a standardized
protocol for rapidly assessing the functions, services, values, and condition of wetlands.
- WVWRAM Reference Manual
- Description: This technical document describes the data analysis and formulas behind
the two-part wetland assessment method, which consists of a rapid field assessment and GIS assessment.
- WVWRAM GIS
- Description: GIS tool for preliminary scoring and off-site metrics.
- Statewide Map of Preliminary WVWRAM Scores
- Description: View mapped wetlands in West Virginia, including wetland types and preliminary
wetland function (WVWRAM) scores. Note that West Virginia's wetland maps are based on the National Wetland
Inventory, which was mapped in the early 1980's in our area. Many wetlands are only approximately mapped.
Smaller, drier, or forested wetlands are often missing from this map. WVDEP hopes to be able to update the
wetland maps after LiDAR imagery becomes available for the state.