San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Sharing an Innovative Tool for Monitoring Natural and Mitigation Wetlands

June 29, 2016 12:00pm to June 29, 2016 14:00pm

Abstract: This webinar will focus on Ohio's “Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity – Floristic Quality” (VIBI-FQ) as a tool for monitoring natural and mitigation wetlands in Ohio. This assessment methodology represents a streamlined approach for evaluating the diversity and sensitivity of the plant community. The development of the VIBI-FQ occurred over the course of many years. Ohio EPA shares that it’s development was only made possible “by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Ohio EPA has thoroughly tested this procedure using our historical database of several hundred reference wetlands located throughout the state, as well as a random selection of 50 wetlands monitored as part of the Ohio Intensification of the National Wetland Condition Assessment. Several case studies demonstrating the utility of the VIBI-FQ as a tool for determining the ecological success of wetland restoration projects will be discussed, including those associated with brownfield remediation, 401/404 mitigation, and 319 funding.

Presenter: Brian Gara is a Wetland Ecologist with the Ohio EPA, specializing in the study of native hydrophytic plants and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to enhance the quantity and quality of Ohio's wetland resources. He has worked on numerous research projects to better understand these important aquatic resources.

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