City of Boulder Wetland Assessment and Mapping
The City of Boulder regulates wetlands within its boundaries. The City’s wetlands were inventoried in 1988, but had not been comprehensively remapped since, even though changes in land use, wetland science and mapping technology – and the discovery of new wetlands – had occurred.
In need of accurate wetland maps and updated functional assessments to implement its regulatory program, the City called on Biohabitats to update boundaries, perform functional evaluations, and describe salient characteristics of each of its wetlands.
Biohabitats team members surveyed the perimeter of every wetland, collected environmental and vegetation data, and mapped wetland boundaries on color aerial photographs. Biohabitats also conducted in-field functional evaluations, which included groundwater recharge and discharge, flood storage or alteration, sediment trapping, shoreline anchoring (erosion control), nutrient retention, food chain support, aquatic and wildlife habitat, and recreation and heritage values. In all, 93 wetlands covering a total area of 931 acres were mapped within City limits. Biohabitats provided the City with a report summarizing the results of the assessment, along with GIS shapefiles and a database containing detailed information about each wetland. Armed with this information, the City of Boulder is able to make better informed land use decisions now and in the future.