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GIS and Technical Support Section

Assessing Cumulative Impacts to Wetland Systems

Working Definition of Cumulative Impact*:
"The sum of the impacts within a basin
minus mitigation."  - or -

"The residual impacts within a basin after
the direct and secondary impacts have
been mitigated."

Initial workgroup meeting, January, 1999

Assessing wetland functions and the degree of functional impairment due to human activity and identifying areas of opportunity for restoring the ecological integrity of these systems are central to managing water resources including surface waters, wetlands and open waters. Critical to assessing impairment and subsequent restoration is the capability to evaluate cumulative impacts to these water resources. Currently, The Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Facilities/Bureau of Submerged Lands and Environmental Resources is focusing on developing and implementing a distributed GIS system and supporting applications to assist in the review of applications for Environmental Resources Permits covering wetlands and the movement of surface water in non-wetland areas. This effort is being conducted in conjunction with an EPA/COE/WMD effort to share a common set of information about regulatory permits and enforcement cases for water resources. Development of the GIS preceded programmatic procedures for analyzing cumulative and secondary effects of permitting activities affecting Florida’s wetland and water resources. This project will determine the appropriate information for assessing cumulative impact and develop and integrate this capability into the current ERP GIS. The information and GIS tool needs will be developed in coordination with water resource and wetland protection staff from the EPA, the COE and WMDs.

Last updated: September 21, 2011

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