• Mark Ryan

A Great WOTUS Mapping Tool

St. Mary's University recently put together a GIS mapping database to look at how different WOTUS definitions would increase or decrease CWA jurisdiction over wetlands. (I was on the advisory committee for the effort.) They looked at three watersheds in three states and considered three scenarios: less restrictive, very restrictive and most restrictive. Very roughly speaking, "less restrictive" approximates the 2015 rule and "very restrictive" is close to the new rule just promulgated. As you advance though the slides in the link below, you can see many wetlands are taken out of jurisdiction by comparing the different scenarios. Impacts are much greater in the arid west. It's a nice tool to visually grasp the impacts of the different policy approaches to wetland protection. The model they created can be adapted to other watersheds if the data are available.

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