Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE)

- Wetland Construction: Principles, Planning and Design

As state and federal wetland mitigation standards evolve away from an acre-for-acre approach to a focus on replacing wetland functions, your understanding of the wetland's 'wet part' has never been more critical. This class serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of functional design and provides the means to rapidly assess the distribution of hydrology on your site and create useable hydrographs for presentation of your wetland design. Featured Topics Hydrogeomorphology: The importance of landscape position and where water is coming from Water Budget Calculation: Water inputs/outputs and TR-55 runoff curves The Thornthwaite Method: One method for calculating evapotranspiration Estimating Stream Flow and Producing Basic Hydrographs: Create useable hydrographs for presentation of your wetland design

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As state and federal wetland mitigation standards evolve away from an acre-for-acre approach to a focus on replacing wetland functions, your understanding of the wetland's 'wet part' has never been more critical.

This class serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of functional design and provides the means to rapidly assess the distribution of hydrology on your site and create useable hydrographs for presentation of your wetland design.

Building on the student's understanding of wetland functions, this course will also guide you through the many factors required to plan and design a functional wetland. Through classroom lessons and field training at a constructed wetland complex, learn 'real world' applications with an emphasis on two key components that drive success: DDT (depth, duration & timing) of site hydrology and the landscape position.

Featured Topics

  • Hydrogeomorphology: The importance of landscape position and where water is coming from

  • Water Budget Calculation: Water inputs/outputs and TR-55 runoff curves

  • The Thornthwaite Method: One method for calculating evapotranspiration

  • Estimating Stream Flow and Producing Basic Hydrographs: Create useable hydrographs for presentation of your wetland design

The course concentrates on the five basic steps in the process of developing a successful wetland construction plan:

1. PLANNING YOUR PROJECT: 
Before developing a wetland construction plan, you must understand the purpose of the wetland and the ultimate goals of the project. Your overall wetland plan must account for location, size, physiognomy, basic hydrologic regime, and current/future land use. The proposed primary function(s) must be specific, measurable, and achievable. The wetland is built by constructing structural elements that support the primary function(s).

2. SELECTING YOUR CONSTRUCTION MODEL: 
You must select appropriate models for construction. The hydrogeomorphic model analyzes suitable water supply and landscape position, while the wetland construction model covers basic methods of wetland construction suited to the nature of the water supply.

3. PREPARING YOUR WATER BUDGET & HYDROGRAPH: 
Water inputs and outputs must be used to prepare water budgets and hydrographs. Successful hydrograph preparation is reliant on data collection and interpretation. Using the results of the modeling facilitates the preparation of the hydrograph.

4. DETERMINING PROPER VEGETATION:
 
Vegetation adaptation, selection, and planting are keys to any successful wetland construction plan. You must verify the adaptive modes of plants suitable for your hydrologic regime, and accurately match these plants with your project. You must locate plants which represent native species assemblages and select proper planting methods.

5. MANIPULATING SOIL: 
Sub-grade soil percolation must be suitable for the hydrogeomorphic model you develop. Substrate soils must prove suitable to support selected vegetation selections both in texture and nutrient composition.

Learner Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to display their proficiency in planning and designing a functional wetland, using the components of successful applications demonstrated during class presentations and field training at a wetland complex.

Why Take Our Wetland Construction Design Course?

The class will introduce you to the fundamentals of functional design and provide you with the means to rapidly assess the distribution of hydrology on your site and create useable hydrographs for presentation of your wetland design.

Rutgers instructors pioneered this functional hydrologic approach to wetland construction and have been teaching it since 1988. We are still one of only two schools in the nation that teach this approach. (Click here for Instructor Mallory Gilbert's bio.) A visit to a constructed wetland complex in central New Jersey will highlight the 'real world' application of functional wetland design. Please dress for fieldwork. 

Who Should Take Our Wetland Construction Courses?

  • Architects
  • Computer Assisted Design (CAD) professionals
  • Design / Civil Engineers
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Field Biologists
  • Wetland Scientists
  • Any environmental professional in the process of obtaining wetland permits!

Additional Resources

Continuing Education Credits

In addition to 2.4 Rutgers CEUs, this wetland training course is approved for the following credits:

NJ Professional Engineers: 12 Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) credits

NJ Certified Public Works Managers: 15 Technical, 3 Management, 3 Government

NY Professional Engineers: 22 PDHs (NOTE: This class may not be used to fulfill the land surveyors continuing education requirement in NYS.)

NJ Landscape Architects: Pending

NY Landscape Architects: 17.75 hr CL; 3.5 hr EA

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) Credits: Pending

Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP) - Wetland Construction: Principles, Planning and Design has been pre-approved for 1.6 equivalent semester hours by the SWSPCP as meeting standards for content and instruction toward SWSPCP Professional Certification or SWSPCP Professional Certification Renewal. Approval per course is calculated based upon 15 hours of contact time per credit. Click here for more information about the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP).

ATTENTION HEALTH OFFICERS AND REGISTERED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS: Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). CEs for Wetland Construction: Principles, Planning and Design are currently pending.

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