Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

2011

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Marine Environmental Sciences

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Richard E. Spieler

Second Advisor

Curtis M. Burney

Third Advisor

Donald McCorquodale

Abstract

After many decades of being considered useless and often destroyed wetlands have become valued for the many functions they provide. To make informed wetland management decisions biologists have to develop practical, rapid, and inexpensive ways to assess biological conditions and functions. Ideally these assessment methods have to measure more than one attribute of the wetland to represent the overall condition of the biological community. For this project I conducted field assessments at mitigation sites in Pembroke Pines, Florida, to see how the newest method used in the State of Florida, the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM), compared to the older Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure (WRAP), and a Wildlife Survey (WS). The assessments determined at what level the mitigation sites of this study functioned, and were than repeated over a thirteen month period to account for seasonal fluctuations. For each assessment method a worksheet was completed, which along with available background information for the sites, was used to determine the value, and function provided by the wetlands. The three methods were then compared using eleven evaluation criteria I developed. Based on my results UMAM was the best assessment method tested saving the most acreage while integrating risk factors and time lag.

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