Section 3 - Site Assessment and Evaluation
All wetland restorations depend on a suitable site to meet intended project goals. Successful projects take advantage of unique project characteristics while overcoming identified drawbacks or obstacles. The collection and assessment of site information is important to understanding both the available opportunities, as well as potential limitations for restoration.
This section of the Minnesota Wetland Restoration Guide discusses the process to assess and evaluate a potential wetland restoration project. It includes discussion on the methods and procedures used to investigate and collect important site information and describe the importance of this information to the overall project evaluation. Included are considerations of varying program policies, project goals, scope, legal considerations, and restoration complexity and their effect on the assessment and evaluation process.
Each potential restoration site is unique. Not every component discussed in this section of the Guide needs to be assessed and evaluated at each project site. Conversely, the assessment of additional components not discussed in the Guide may be warranted depending on the project and specific site conditions. Nonetheless, the design and implementation of the pending restoration will rely on the thoroughness of the site assessment and data collection effort. Expending the time and effort to conduct a thorough site assessment will provide for identification of all restoration opportunities and increases the chances for project success. More importantly perhaps, it allows impractical or costly sites to be avoided or at the very least, allows the project manager or owner to proceed with a full understanding of restoration challenges and potential costs.