Criteria used to consider potential Work Plan projects

The following criteria -Ecology, Policy, and Feasibility- are considered to determine if a project is a good fit for the WRP Work Plan or a Community Wetland Restoration Grant. This ensures that all of our projects are in line with the Regional Strategy and overall goals of the WRP.

Ecological Criteria

Regional Goal 1. Preserve and restore coastal wetland ecosystems.

Regional Goal 2. Preserve and restore stream corridors and wetland ecosystems in coastal watersheds.

Restoration potential/functional gain – How much potential is there to increase the ecological function and/or value of a site, including the amount and quality of habitat or potential habitat for sensitive and important wetland-dependent species? To what extent will the project restore functioning of natural processes (e.g., hydrology, sediment transport)? Will the project result in an increase in wetland acreage?

Connection to transitional/upland areas – To what extent is the wetland site physically and ecologically connected to transitional/upland areas?

Connection to coastal resources – To what extent is the site ecologically or hydrologically connected to coastal resources, including coastal wetlands and nearshore waters? To what extent will the project benefit marine and intertidal resources?

Self-sustainability – Will potential restoration improvements be sustainable through natural wetland functioning? What is the likelihood of future degradation after restoration has occurred? What level of ongoing site management and/or maintenance will be required?

Climate change resiliency – Projects located in areas vulnerable to future sea level rise shall consider a range of sea level rise scenarios in order to assess project vulnerability and, to the extent feasible, reduce expected risks and increase resiliency to sea level rise.

Regional Goal 3. Recover native habitat and species diversity.

Habitat Diversity – Will the project preserve or restore a diversity of a habitat types on site? Will project contribute significantly to regional diversity? What species of concern are known to use the site, or would potentially use the site if restored? Will the project remove exotic species and re-establish native species? Will the project restore habitat linkages and wildlife corridors?

Regional linkage – What is the site’s function and value from a regional perspective, including sensitive species habitat, use by migratory birds, fisheries support, and biodiversity?

Policy Criteria

Regional Goals 1-3.

Threat of future degradation/loss – Could future loss or degradation of the wetland or stream corridor be prevented through Wetlands Recovery Project involvement? How imminent is the threat?

Regional Goal 4. Integrate wetlands recovery with other public objectives.

Multiple objectives – What additional public objectives will the project achieve? Is wetlands recovery the primary objective of the project or a secondary objective?

Regional Goal 5. Promote education and compatible access related to coastal wetlands and watersheds.

Education/access value – Does the project include an education/interpretive element? Will the project provide public access that is compatible with the habitat and functional objectives? Are there education or interpretive programs onsite or nearby that will complement the project.

Regional Goal 6. Advance the science of wetlands restoration and management in Southern California.

Research value – Is wetlands research incorporated into the project? What research questions will the project address?

Feasibility Criteria

Site availability – Is the owner willing to sell the land or participate in a restoration project?

Cost/cost effectiveness – What is the total cost, unit cost, and relative cost effectiveness?

Funding – What funding is available for the project?

Near-term potential – How quickly could a project could be undertaken?

Restoration/enhancement plan – Is there an existing restoration/enhancement plan that is consistent with the Wetlands Recovery Project’s objectives and science-based criteria? Does it include a monitoring plan? Has the plan undergone environmental review?

Technical practicability – Are the planned restoration activities technically and biologically feasible and practicable?

Future management – Is an appropriate future owner and/or manager available for the site? Are sufficient funds available for long-term site management?

Proposed project areas will also be evaluated for the following factors:

    • Contributes significantly to watershed functioning
    • Provides habitat for threatened and endangered species
    • Is not unduly threatened by upstream impacts
    • Faces imminent threat of development