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 Coalition was formed in 1992 with 14

Counties (now 19) in NY and PA  Total area - 7,500 sq. mi.  Headwaters of the Susquehanna River

 All USC counties signed a memorandum of

understanding to “work on water quality projects of mutual interest”

Definition. The CE (Federal Register 1982) and the EPA (Federal Register 1980) jointly define wetlands as: Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

Wetland Benefits - Flood Water Detention - Water Quality Improvements

- Diverse Habitat - Decrease in Stream bank Erosion

The 10% Solution 1.00













Novitski, R.P: Hydrologic characteristics of Wisconsin's wetlands and their influence on floods, stream flow, and sediment. American Water Resources Association, 1978.

Wildlife Nearly half of all endangered and threatened species in the United States depend on wetlands for some portion of their life-cycle.

ď‚— USC Wetland program is a vertically integrated

program that incorporates wetland restoration, protection, education, and outreach with staff that implement every stage of the process. ď‚— In 2002 the USC Wetland program expanded to include Vernal Pools, eventually targeting VP Mapping, Education, Construction, and Monitoring.

…Since 2002


 Shortly after entering the world of vernal pools we began

constructing pools for habitat and evaluation purposes.  Between 2002 and 2009 we constructed over 400 pools. These pools are located throughout the watershed in many different landscape settings, landuse cover types, soil types, and were built using different construction techniques to address different issues.  We consider Vernal Pool

Construction an excellent educational tool, and find poolownership promotes Vernal Pool appreciation more than any other outreach efforts.

…Since 2002


 We began outreach efforts to watershed residents

through various forms of media and printed publications as well as group outreach to targeted organizations.  We created resources including signs, brochures, posters and an interactive website with a VP Field Guide

‌Since 2002  We built a database of


over 500 pools that provide habitat to vernal pool obligate species. ď‚— Recent updates to the mapping program include an online google-based map and web-form that allow users to pan to their vernal pool or road crossing site, acquire lat-long coordinates, and submit to our database with a click.

‌Since 2002


ď‚— We developed a series of mapping and monitoring

data collection forms that feed an ArcGIS geodatabase. ď‚— This database combines and catalogues the best surface hydrological data available with any number of user-entered fields.

Geodatabase at a glance

71 pools constructed in two arrays 32 pools to evaluate pool-level design criteria • surface area: 5 vs. 10 m diameter • basin depth: 0.25 vs. 0.50 m deep • organic matter amendment: added vs. not • canopy cover: deciduous forest vs. open field

39 pools to evaluate landscape-level effects • cluster size: 1, 3 or 9 pools per hexagon; three replicates of each cluster size • pools vary with regard to size, depth, shape • distance from known breeding sites of wood frogs and spotted salamanders

N 250 m

hydroperiod gradient

canopy cover gradient

 Keep the water on the

land  Don’t build wetlands on top of a wetland  Slow the water down  Promote plant diversity  Establish wildlife habitat

 Remove drainage

features  Create a berm to hold the water on the land  Excavate “potholes” and compact the bottom to keep water from infiltrating

 Breeds- March- June  Habitat- Damp

deciduous forests. Migrate to vernal pools to breed then return to forest  ID- Dark gray, brown, or black on dorsal and lighter on anterior. Range in size from 1118cm

 Breeds-March to

June  Habitat- Damp Deciduous forests. Migrate to vernal pools for breeding.  ID- Can reach 10in long and has yellow spots on back

Profile for Melissa Yearick

USC Wetland Guide  

Guide to wetland issues and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition Wetland Program

USC Wetland Guide  

Guide to wetland issues and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition Wetland Program