The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, developed a service capacity impairment (SCI) model that provides for comprehensive wetland condition assessment analysis scalable from the individual wetland to the entire state. WetCAT is a state-of-the-art, nationally recognized, spatially specific, online interactive Wetland Condition Assessment Tool. WetCAT provides a water quality and habitat condition assessment for each individually mapped nontidal wetland in Virginia (approximately 196,000 polygons and over 1.2 million acres) and allows VA DEQ staff and others a scientifically-based GIS process for evaluating projects that could impact wetlands. WetCAT also includes tidal marsh and shoreline condition information. The goal of WetCAT is to support decision-making, allow reporting of wetland condition, and provide information for policy development.
- The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized VIMS wetland activities as one of the Nation’s 25 Exemplars of effective wetlands research and management.
- WetCAT was recognized by the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) as an outstanding state initiative that can serve as a model for other states
- Link to WetCAT on DEQ site
- Read more on Wetland and Stream Rapid Assessments