Trees planted at Chino Farms

Restoration Targeting in Maryland's Green Infrastructure


Abstract

Although composed primarily of natural ecosystems, the Green Infrastructure (GI) network contains a variety of environmental conditions, including some areas that are heavily degraded. Land cover "gaps", which are agricultural, mined, cleared, or developed lands within hubs, corridors, and nodes, can be targeted for restoration: converting to wetlands or forests with composition, functions and processes resembling native natural conditions. These human-generated gaps are logical starting points when attempting to identify opportunities for landscape restoration actions. Non-vegetated gaps in the green infrastructure offer a chance to extend or improve the network while at the same time providing water quality or specific habitat improvements. This report describes a methodology for assessing Green Infrastructure gaps and prioritizing them for restoration based on the ecological functions restored or enhanced. It also describes methodologies for assessing and targeting impaired wetlands and streams, acid mine drainage, fish blockages, potential road and railroad underpasses, ditch removal, forest condition and management, invasive exotic species, and other ecological stressors in the GI. The methodologies include a combination of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and field work, and build on the assessment protocols for conservation.

The document available here contains material from Maryland's Green Infrastructure Assessment: A Comprehensive Strategy for Land Conservation and Restoration (Chapter 12), but also contains revisions and additions to this document, especially concerning field assessment.

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