Concurrent Session: Effective wetland restoration and management techniques
1:30 PM - 2:50 PM Wed
CO-AUTHOR: Amy Kendig, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
TITLE: Monitoring hydrology of Minnesota's reference condition wetlands
ABSTRACT: Effective wetland management and restoration requires a fundamental understanding of the frequency, timing, duration, and depth of water level fluctuations in different types of wetlands: the hydrologic regime. This effort to monitor hydrology in Minnesota wetlands is driven by a legislative directive to establish impact thresholds for wetlands. Because wetlands are frequently connected to and dependent on groundwater, understanding wetland hydrology can better inform regulatory groundwater management. The hydrology of lakes and streams has been systematically monitored for decades, yet there have been few comprehensive programs to monitor wetland hydrology. To address this lack of foundational data, we are building a network of 60 sites across 7 different wetland types in Minnesota to monitor hydrology. Through 2022, we installed monitoring stations at 25 of the 60 sites have been installed. Sites are within reference (minimally disturbed) wetlands on public lands. At each wetland site, we have conducted a vegetation survey and begun collecting hydrological data. During the initial years of the wetland hydrological monitoring network, we identified key lessons to help sustain long-term data collection, including monitoring equipment components and placement. For example, we have discovered that some data loggers are able to stay in the well year-round to capture spring thaw and early winter water levels. These lessons and initial results can help guide other efforts to monitor wetland hydrology as well as lay the groundwork for foundational data from Minnesota’s reference wetlands.
BIO: Jennie Skancke received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Water Resources from the University of New Mexico. She spent 5 years working for the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in California prior to returning to Minnesota. She has been at the Minnesota DNR for 11 years and the Wetlands Program Coordinator for the last 3 years.