Presenter/Author Information

Wei (Wayne) Ji
Rima A. Wahab
Jia (Jane) Ma

Keywords

decision support gis, decision modelling, aquatic ecosystems, potential human impact, environmental permit review

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act is the primary federal statute of the United States that regulates the discharge of dredged or fill materials into lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The Section 404 permit review process involves comprehensive assessments of physical, biological, ecological, and socioeconomic impacts of potential human alterations on aquatic ecosystems across spatial scales. Such assessments require the integration of management decision-making with innovative data handling techniques and assessment methodology. The Section 404-permit process is often hindered by the lack of well-developed scientific information and the technical tools for efficient data analysis. The individual permit review frequently becomes an intensive, time consuming evaluation process. To address the needs of supporting technical methods for the permit review, a pilot decision-support GIS for permit review is under development. The system is able to implement geospatial information analyses that integrate landscape features and identify the relationships among the essential environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic elements. Decision models for evaluating the vulnerability of waters under potential human impacts were conceptually designed. The large volumes of geospatial data were compiled from the existing state and federal monitoring and assessment programs. Remote sensing images were used to delineate riparian land use and land cover types of the pilot assessment area. The system is under development based on the commercial ArcGIS platform of which the customized user interface facilitates the information query, data management and visualization, and decision model implementation. The permit decision support GIS can be a useful analytical tool that allows efficient and scientifically sound decision-making for the conservation of important aquatic ecosystems.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A Decision Support GIS for the Clean Water Act Permit Review Analysis

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act is the primary federal statute of the United States that regulates the discharge of dredged or fill materials into lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The Section 404 permit review process involves comprehensive assessments of physical, biological, ecological, and socioeconomic impacts of potential human alterations on aquatic ecosystems across spatial scales. Such assessments require the integration of management decision-making with innovative data handling techniques and assessment methodology. The Section 404-permit process is often hindered by the lack of well-developed scientific information and the technical tools for efficient data analysis. The individual permit review frequently becomes an intensive, time consuming evaluation process. To address the needs of supporting technical methods for the permit review, a pilot decision-support GIS for permit review is under development. The system is able to implement geospatial information analyses that integrate landscape features and identify the relationships among the essential environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic elements. Decision models for evaluating the vulnerability of waters under potential human impacts were conceptually designed. The large volumes of geospatial data were compiled from the existing state and federal monitoring and assessment programs. Remote sensing images were used to delineate riparian land use and land cover types of the pilot assessment area. The system is under development based on the commercial ArcGIS platform of which the customized user interface facilitates the information query, data management and visualization, and decision model implementation. The permit decision support GIS can be a useful analytical tool that allows efficient and scientifically sound decision-making for the conservation of important aquatic ecosystems.