Rapid Assessment Methods

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Rapid Assessment Methods

The Rapid Assessment Method (RAM) developed and implemented is referred to as MidTRAM, or the Mid Mid-Atlantic Tidal Rapid Assessment. This method can be performed by a team of two individuals in 2 hours once they are on site, and is only to be implemented by trained users. MidTRAM should be assessed at a minimum of 30 sites to characterize a watershed. Briefly, during a MidTRAM assessment, an assessment area is established, and the site is assessed with respect to buffer attributes, hydrology, and plant communities. MidTRAM version 2 included assessment metrics for buffers, hydrology, and habitat. MidTRAM version 3 also includes a shoreline stability metric. Each metric is scored between 3 and 12 and then combined into attribute scores.The overall MidTRAM score is then a weighted average of the Buffer, Hydrology, Habitat, and Shoreline Scores, shown below.




Rapid Assessment Metrics

Attribute Metric Variable Description
Buffer Score Percent of AA with 5 m Buffer B1 Percent of AA perimeter that has at least 5 m of natural or semi-natural condition land cover
Average Buffer Width B2 The average buffer width surrounding the AA that is in natural of semi-natural condition
Surrounding Development B3 Percent of developed land within 250 m from the AA
250 m Landscape Condition B4 Landscape condition within 250 m buffer based on the nativeness of vegetation, disturbance to substrate and extent of human visitation
Barriers to Landward Migration B5 Percent of landward perimeter of wetland within the 250 m buffer that has physical barriers preventing wetland migration
Hydrology Score Ditching and Draining Hyd1 Percent of AA perimeter that has at least 5 m of natural or semi-natural condition land cover
Fill and Fragmentation Hyd2 The average buffer width surrounding the AA that is in natural of semi-natural condition
Diking and Tidal Restrictions Hyd3 Percent of developed land within 250 m from the AA
Point Sources Hyd4 Landscape condition within 250 m buffer based on the nativeness of vegetation, disturbance to substrate and extent of human visitation
Habitat Score Bearing Capacity H1 Soil resistance using a slide hammer
Vegetative Obstruction H2 Visual obstruction by vegetation < 1 m measured with a cover board
Number of Plant Layers H3 Number of plant layers based on plant height
% Co-Dominant Invasive Species H4 Percent of co-dominant invasives species in AA
% Invasive Cover H5 Percent cover of invasive species in the AA
Shoreline Score Shoreline Erosion S1 Shoreline condition at shoreline transect points based on the erosion:accretion ratio
Shoreline Alteration S2 Presence of built structures or non-natural materials along the shorelines at transect points

*The abreviation AA represents the assessment area.