Using Geographic Information Systems to Select Sites for Wetland Restoration in West Central Ohio's Agricultural Areas
James Amon (Committee Chair), Songlin Cheng (Committee Member), David Goldstein (Other), James Runkle (Committee Member), Joseph Thomas (Other)
Master of Science (MS)
The Mississippi River Basin, includes a major part of Ohio has encountered increasing phosphorus and nitrogen loads from agricultural fields since the 1800's when intensive agriculture moved into the Midwest. Agriculture has drained ninety percent of Ohio's native wetlands. A portion of those drained wetlands can be restored to functional wetlands to intercept excess nutrients from non-productive or low yield agricultural fields to improve overall water quality. Little is known about finding potential restoration sites, partly because of the difficulty in locating sites capable of supporting successful restoration.
This study investigated the utility of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool to improve the process of identifying and selecting sites for wetland restoration throughout Greene and Clark Counties in west central Ohio. Site selection was based on a scoring system that utilizes geographic information data sets available in the public domain. Combined with a scoring system, the suitability of selected sites for potential wetland restorations was quantified. Identification of the appropriate restoration sites was based on the Ohio Wetland Inventory data set properties. Suitability of a site for building wetlands was based on factors, such as: soil type, potential water supply, agricultural land, topography and isolation from development. Each attribute was scored and weighed to predict restoration potential. Sites were prioritized based on those that met necessary wetland restoration criteria and scored high. A methodology utilizing vector data sets was used to narrow the two county searches to show land that has ideal conditions: hydric soils, one kilometer from development, 0-2% slope, agricultural land and shallow depth to water. Land with these characteristics has the potential to be a restored wetland. These GIS methods could be customized for any geographic location, to locate specific wetland types and to locate sites that have the necessary restoration characteristics of hydric soils, land availability and low slopes.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Year Degree Awarded
Copyright 2008, all rights reserved. This open access ETD is published by Wright State University and OhioLINK.