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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Design & Performance of Created Wetlands
Project Researcher: Walter Duffy,
Project Manager: Daris Ormesher
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Wetlands that are unavoidably impacted because of construction by the Department are required to be replaced. There are different ways to mitigate wetlands impacted by construction projects. The Department has used three types of compensation:
  1. excavation,

  2. creation of small dams and

  3. restoration of areas that are degraded wetlands.

Different designs for compensation areas have been tried to improve the quality of the created wetlands. The differences in the environment from southeastern South Dakota to northwestern South Dakota could mean that different designs based upon the environment of the area might be needed. Analyses of the designs used by the Department in regard to quality of wetlands created has not been done.

Other states have developed criteria for wetlands design. Guidelines that could point out dos and donts of wetlands compensation and design methods by physiographic regions of the state could ease the problems associated with wetland mitigation.


Research Objectives:
1  To evaluate existing compensation areas to determine the quality of wetlands created.
2  To develop guidelines for design of excavation type (borrow pits) compensation areas.
3  To develop guidelines for design of small dam compensation areas. These areas could include borrow areas in their design.
4  To develop guidelines for restoration of degraded wetlands.
5  To construct a prototype wetland compensation area that uses the guidelines developed in the previous objectives.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Review pertinent literature that can be used to determine methods of judging the quality of created wetlands and in preparing the three guidelines.
3  With advice from the Technical Panel select a statistically valid sample of wetlands created by all three types of compensation methods used by the Department. The representative sample must be done throughout the state. The sample will be used to
4  Evaluate the biological diversity of selected compensation areas. Biological categories that should be studied include, but are not limited to, aquatic invertebrates, fish, hydrophytes, amphibians and reptiles, birds, mammals and threatened and enda
5  Review and summarize the adjoining land use, ownership, proximity to closest wetland, buffer zones, details of construction, etc. of the selected areas.
6  upon the above tasks (Tasks 2 through 5) develop the guidelines for the three types of compensation.
7  Prepare an Interim Report with findings, conclusions, and recommendations and meet with the Technical Panel to discuss the guidelines and the selection of the prototype wetland demonstration. Ideally the prototype would include all three compensatio
8  Evaluate the prototype wetlands area for quality of wetlands using the same procedures used in Task 4 for a period of three years.
9  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
10  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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