What is the Guidance Manual For Monitoring Plans?
Science-Based Restoration Monitoring of Coastal Habitats, a two volume manual, provides
technical assistance, outlines necessary steps, and provides useful tools for the
development and implementation of sound scientific monitoring of coastal restoration
efforts. Information found in these volumes can help practitioners develop monitoring
programs that can determine if a restoration project is on track and gauge how well
a restoration site is functioning.
Methods and tools are also presented that will
help practitioners coordinate monitoring programs and share results with other restoration
practitioners leading to increases in the consistency and success of future restoration
projects. In addition to post-implementation monitoring, information in these volumes
can also be used to help users evaluate the status of specific coastal habitats
before restoration projects are implemented.
This manual should not be considered a restoration monitoring "cookbook." It does
templates of monitoring plans for specific habitats. Rather, monitoring approaches
should be tailored to different habitats and different restoration project goals.
The interdependence of site-specific factors causes habitat types to vary in physical
and biological structure within and between regions and geographic locations (Kusler
and Kentula 1990). Thus, one method may be appropriate for monitoring juvenile fishes
in a Great Lakes coastal marsh but, due to differences in hydrodynamics, be inappropriate
for use in a marsh on the Atlantic coast.
Habitats Covered in this Manual
The classification of habitats used in this document is loosely based on Cowardin et. al. (1979), Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States, and covers the following:
- Coastal Marshes (Marine, Brackish and Freshwater)
- Deepwater Swamps
- Kelp and Other Macroalgae
- Riverine Forests
- Rock Bottom
- Rocky Shore
- Soft Bottom
- Soft Shoreline
- Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (Marine, Brackish and Freshwater)
- Oyster Reefs
- Water Column
Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of
Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS-79/31, US Fish and
Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.
- Kusler, J. A. and M. E. Kentula. 1990. Executive summary, pp. xvii-xxv. In Kusler,
and M. E. Kentula (eds.), Wetland Creation and Restoration: the Status of the Science.
Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Contents of the Manual - Volume One
A Framework for Monitoring Plans Under the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000
(Public Law 160-457) was released in 2003. It outlines the steps necessary to develop
a monitoring plan for any coastal habitat restoration project. This includes:
- An explanation of the stages of restoration and
- The presentation of a process of developing a
monitoring plan through twelve steps
- An explanation for the basic elements that should
be considered when writing a restoration monitoring plan, and
- Three matrices to help practitioners choose
which habitat characteristics may be most appropriate to monitor
for their project.
Download a summary
of the Restoration Monitoring Project, download the entire report, or download the report in sections:
Contents of the Manual - Volume Two
Tools for Monitoring Coastal Habitats expands
upon the information in Volume One and provides tools
that aid the development and implementation of a plan. Information
provided in Volume Two is designed more for practitioners who may not have
extensive experience in coastal ecology. More
experienced restoration practitioners however, may find the annotated
bibliographies, literature review, and other tools provided useful
as well. Tools provided include:
- Detailed treatment of the characteristics of
each of the habitats and approaches to monitoring in that habitat
- A discussion of how to monitor the human dimensions
of coastal restoration projects
- A review of how to select reference sites or
- A representative index of restoration monitoring
- A list of costs associated with project monitoring,
- A review of Federal legislation relevant to restoration
Some of the following habitat and human dimension chapters exist as a PDF which contains the: introduction, habitat chapter itself, associated appendices, and glossary.
Download the entire report, or download the report in sections: