West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Description
||Explore the definitions and types of wetlands that are found in
West Virginia and discuss their values and needed protection.
||Spade or soil probe, field guides (especially plant).
||The student will gain a basic understanding of
- the general types of wetlands found in West Virginia.
- the value of wetlands to humans and wildlife.
- the three criteria of soil, hydrology, and plants as determinants
of jurisdictional wetlands.
- legal protections for wetlands.
West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Outline
|| WETLAND HABITATS
||3 hours (classroom 1 hour, field 2 hours)
- What is a wetland?
- US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Popular concepts of wetlands
- Natural or ecological community approach
- Three parameters for jurisdictional (legal) definition
- Wetland (hydric) soils
- Wetland hydrology
- Wetland (hydrophytic) plants
- Values of wetlands
- Flood control and groundwater recharge
- High productivity (biomass production)
- Habitat diversity
- Filtration of nutrients
- Recreation and esthetics
- Rare species
- Types of wetlands in West Virginia: characteristics, flora, and fauna
- Wet meadow, marshes
- Sphagnum bogs and fens
- Shrub swamps
- Forested wetlands
- Legal protection for wetlands
- Less than 1% of land surface is wetland in West Virginia
- Historical loss nationwide of 50%, statewide loss 25%
- Clean Water Act (regulates the polluting and filling of the nations
waterways; includes wetlands)
- Corps of Engineers requires permit to fill wetland larger than ½
- Nationwide Permit requirements 1/10th-1/2 acre need permit
to fill, notify COE
- State certification of permits
- Field exercise: Visit 2 or 3 different wetland types
- Identify and discuss some common wetland plants
- Look for aquatic and wetland animals
- Discuss hydrology (where the water comes from)
- Discuss wetland soils and saturated and anaerobic soil conditions