An Ecological Services Consulting Firm

Wetland Services

Good Ground LLChas more than 25 years experience in wetlands identification, delineation, assessment, restoration and mitigation design.

Good Ground LLC offers comprehensive wetlands services. Wetlands are vegetation-occupied portions of the earth that are shallowly inundated or saturated sufficiently long during the growing season to create oxygen-free conditions in the upper soil layers. Activities within wetlands that result in the deposition of fill material or the significant disturbance of wetland vegetation are usually regulated by federal, state and sometimes municipal regulations. Wetland regulatory programs assume that wetland provide both real and intrinsic functions such as wildlife habitat, stormwater runoff detention, flooding reduction and water purification, to name a few.

Development activities conducted within wetlands often entail obtaining permits. Permits generally require submittals of information about the wetland including its location and extent, the kind of habitat that may exist, what, if any, functions the wetland may be providing and the degree to which those functions are provided within the local landscape setting. Permit issuance often requires some obligatory agreement by the permittee to avoid, restore or mitigate unavoidable impacts. Often regulatory agencies require a separate mitigation plan that details the mitigation procedure and can include designs for new wetland creation, plans for monitoring wetland reestablishment progress, an adaptive management plan and periodic reporting.

Good Ground LLC wetlands services are designed to address and resolve each element of wetlands regulatory activities as stand-alone services or as turn-key projects from delineation, through permit processing and final project release by regulatory agencies.  We can provide preliminary reviews of prospective properties to inform land purchase decisions for desired development activities.  Good Ground LLC can advise on ways to use existing properties and avoid or minimize wetland regulations and permit requirements. Good Ground LLC Personnel have conducted wetlands investigations and permitting activities on more than 150,000 acres of land.

Good Ground LLC provides the following wetlands services:

  • Wetlands Probability of Occurrence Assessment. This is a desktop service that provides a very rapid assessment of the location and approximate area of wetlands on a property of interest using existing mapping and remote sensing data in a GIS format. Summary reports will depict wetlands areas and wetland types.
  • Casual Wetlands Site Assessment. This wetland assessment approach will include a remote sensing assessment but also includes a site visit and walk-over inspection followed by a summary report of the findings.
  • Formal Wetlands Delineation. This is a Clean Water Act jurisdictional and/or Ohio Isolated Wetlands formal delineation to define the boundaries of wetlands that may be subject to protection requirements and permitting activities under CWA Section 404 or state 401 purview should a proposed land use change disturb such areas.  This service includes in the field boundary location (flagging) and GPS location for mapping.  A report will be prepared suitable for accompanying permits applications or planning documents.  The report will include standard wetland delineation forms completed at the site and maps showing the property and wetlands location.  Summary tables will be provided showing wetlands areas and types.
  • Wetland Permit Processing Good Ground LLC can do this for you.  We will fill-out, submit to the appropriate state and federal agencies and follow-up to permit issuance all of the forms and attachments needed to obtain a 404 or 401 permit.
  • Wetland Assessment/Valuation   The kind and magnitude of mitigation required under a wetlands permit is determined by the wetland “value”. Good Ground LLC can employ recognized and appropriate wetland value assessments tools such as the hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM), the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (ORAM), the Ohio  Floristic Quality Index (FQAI) and the Ohio Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI).
  • Wetland Mitigation Planning. Mitigation planning includes negotiation with regulatory agencies for mitigation ratios, preparation of feasibility plans, plans and specification for construction and post-construction monitoring and reporting.
  • Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species Searches Wetland permitting may require surveys for plant and animal species listed by the state or federal governments if occurrence is known or suspected because of the habitat.  Good Ground LLC c an negotiate the extent of species surveys and conduct them in the appropriate season.
  • Biological Integrity Assessments.  This service includes any required bioassessments that may be needed to support permitting such as fish and macroinvertebrate surveys.  Good Ground LLC can implement the various rapid bioassessments protocols required by the  state of Ohio (VIBI, QHEI).
  • Wetland Adaptive Management Plans (AMP) Some wetlands permits require the submittal of adaptive management plans for created and restored wetlands.  Good Ground LLC can prepare needed AMP documents as needed.
  • Habitat Mapping. Permits or owner interest may require habitat mapping.  Good Ground LLC can perform this work using remote sensing and in-field sampling, combining all in a GIS format.
  • Wetland Restoration.  Good Ground LLC  can prepare  designs, plans and specification  for construction of  new or restored wetlands including inlet and outlet control structures, grading, planting and seeding plans.
  • Wetland Monitoring and Reporting.  Most wetland creation, restoration and mitigation projects require some degree of follow-up assessments of success.  Good Ground LLC  can prepare and negotiate a sampling plan, install continuous monitoring plots, collect appropriate data and prepare periodic reports on the wetland progress toward self-sustaining conditions.