UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Los Angeles Assessment of Practices and Tool Development to ...

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Los Angeles Assessment of Practices and Tool Development to ...

157 Pages · 2015 · 2.88 MB · English

findings and tools produced here can improve mechanisms and methods of wetland replacement through compensatory mitigation, and thus help To my parents, Bryan and Gail, and my grandmother, Kay. And in memory of my grandparents Harvey, Helen, and . Compensatory mitigation evaluation.

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UCLA UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations Title Assessment of Practices and Tool Development to Improve Compensatory Mitigation in Southern California Permalink https://escholarshiporg/uc/item/9b18607p Author Fong, Lisa Publication Date 2015 Peer reviewed|Thesis/dissertation eScholarshiporg Powered by the California Digital Library University of California UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Los Angeles Assessment of Practices and Tool Development to Improve Compensatory Mitigation in Southern California A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering by Lisa Susan Fong 2015 © Copyright by Lisa Susan Fong 2015 ii ABSTRACT OF THE DISS ERTATION Assessment of Practices and Tool Development to Support Compensatory Mitigation in Southern California by Lisa Susan Fong Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering University of California, Los Angeles, 2015 Professor Richard F Ambrose, Chair Wetland loss due to human impacts is a global concern For certain regulated activities in the United States, the Clean Water Act §404 requires replacement of aquatic functions through compensatory mitigation In spite of the existing mitigation framework and a 2008 Compensatory M itigation Final Rule updating regulatory guidance, concerns exist regarding the effectiveness of the compensatory mitigation program This dissertation contributes to mitigation improvement through three studies First , we evaluate d numbers, sizes, and compensation types of §404 projects permitted before (2002 05) and after (2009 13) the Mitigation Rule to determine how its compensation hierarchy was implemented in southern California Contrary to expectations, the proportion of thi rd party mitigation projects, and of corresponding acres, decreased after the Rule Within permittee responsible mitigation, the proportion of off site iii projects increased, as predicted While is it possible the compensation hierarchy influenced these trend s, external factors , particularly the national economic downturn, may also have contributed to the patterns observed Secondly , we developed chronosequence stream restoration performance curves from projects of different ages to illustrate likely developme ntal trajectories of high performing restored streams The curves, developed using California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) data, predicted the time required for projects to achieve reference level scores for the CRAM index and Hydrology and Biotic Struct ure attributes, but underestimated the time for projects to achieve the Physical Structure attribute reference level CRAM based performance curves could be used to guide standard development, and to predict future project performance Finally , we develope d an aerial imagery assessment method (AIAM) that combines landscape, hydrology, and vegetation observations into one index describing overall ecological condition of non confined streams Verification of AIAM demonstrated sites in good condition (as asses sed on site by CRAM) received high AIAM scores, and select components of AIAM and CRAM were highly correlated AIAM based time series trajectories of three projects revealed they improved in condition after restoration, with the most dynamic change over ti me in vegetation characteristics AIAM has high potential as a n ecological assessment tool to determine restoration status and trajectories , and can be used for restoration management The findings and tools produced here can improve mechanisms and methods of wetland replacement through compensatory mitigation , and thus help combat wetland loss iv The dissertation of Lisa Susan Fong is approved Peggy Fong Thomas Gillespie Philip Rundel Richard F Ambrose, Committee Chair University of California, Los Angeles 2015 v DEDICATION To my parents, Bryan and Gail, and my grandmother, Kay And in memory of my grandparents Harvey, Helen, and Walter vi TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT OF THE DISS ERTATION II DEDICATION V LIST OF TABLES X LIST OF FIGURES XI LIST OF APPE NDICES XII ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS XIII VITA XV CHAPTER ONE: INTRODU CTION 1 THE PROBLEM OF W ETLAND LOSS 1 COMPENSATING FOR W ETLAND LOSS IN THE UNITED STATES 2 CHAPTER TWO: COMPENS ATORY MITIGATION IMP LEMENTATION IN SOUTHERN

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