California Coastal Commission

PROCEDURAL GUIDANCE FOR EVALUATING WETLAND MITIGATION PROJECTS IN CALIFORNIA'S COASTAL ZONE

12. Glossary


Adaptive Management: An iterative approach to managing ecosystems, where the methods of achieving the desired objectives are unknown or uncertain. In the context of wetland mitigation, a formalized process for the interactive management of a mitigation project.

Ecological Assessment: A comprehensive assessment of the entire area potentially affected by development or proposed as a mitigation site. An ecological assessment includes an evaluation of both the biotic and abiotic components of the subject area.

Function: A term used to describe wetland processes. A function refers to what a wetland does, the processes it performs.

Functional Equivalency: An open ended term that describes the desired conditions of the mitigation site relative to the reference sites, or historic conditions. In an ecological context, true functional equivalency occurs when all wetland functions at the mitigation site have become and continue to be indistinguishable from the reference sites.

Goal: In the context of wetland mitigation, a goal describes the overarching purpose of the mitigation project.

Habitat: The place where an animal or plant normally lives, often characterized by a dominant plant form or physical characteristic (i.e., the forest habitat, or the stream habitat).

In-Kind Mitigation: A type of compensatory mitigation in which the adverse impacts to one habitat type are mitigated through the creation, restoration, or enhancement of the same habitat type. (Contrast with out-of-kind mitigation.)

Mitigation Ratio: The ratios of values gained per unit area to values lost per unit area. Although the mitigation ratio is generally expressed in terms of area (e.g., a ratio of 5 to 1 equals five mitigation acres for each acre impacted through development), the ratio calculation should be based on other factors (e.g., appropriate functions and their associated values) in addition to area.

Objective: In the context of wetland mitigation, an objective describes the steps necessary to reach a goal.

Off-Site Mitigation: A mitigation project located away from the adversely affected site. (Contrast with on-site mitigation.)

On-Site Mitigation: A mitigation project at or near the adversely affected site. (Contrast with off-site mitigation.)

Out-of-Kind Mitigation: A type of compensatory mitigation in which the adverse impacts to one habitat type are mitigated through the creation, restoration, or enhancement of another habitat type. (Contrast with in-kind mitigation.)

Partial Credit: In the context of wetland mitigation, partial credit is that portion of full compensatory mitigation credit received for an enhancement activity.

Performance Standard: In the context of wetland mitigation, a performance standard states in quantifiable terms the level and extent of the attribute necessary to reach a goal or objective. Sustainability of the attribute over time should be a part of every performance standard.

Productivity: The transfer of energy and nutrients into living matter over time. Productivity is a function of both the growth rate and biomass of an organism and is expressed as a rate of change. For example, primary productivity is the rate of increase in plant material over a unit area and time, e.g., grams Carbon/m2/yr. Secondary productivity applies to animals and is expressed in the same terms.

Reference Wetland: A wetland that exhibits some or all of the habitat and functional attributes to be mitigated for, and is located in a land use setting similar to the setting of the mitigation site.

Tidal Prism: The volume of water that flows in and out of an area between higher high tide and lower low tide.

Value: Refers to those characteristics resulting from a wetland function that are perceived by society as desirable and worthy of protection, or those characteristics that contribute to the habitat quality of the resident biota.

Water Quality: Most generally described as the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of water.

Wetland Creation: An activity that results in the formation of a new wetland in an upland area.

Wetland Enhancement: An activity that improves the habitats and functions of an existing wetland.

Wetland Restoration: An activity that re-establishes the habitats and functions of a former wetland.


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