New wetland map data available
Web posted January 14, 2014
The Department of Natural Resources has released updated wetland map data for 13 counties in east-central Minnesota, encompassing the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The wetlands were originally mapped by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the late 1970s and early 1980s as part of the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI).
Although still widely used for land use planning, wetland permit screening and natural resource management, the original maps have grown increasingly out-of-date due to landscape alterations over the years. The newly-released map data is the first time the NWI has been updated in Minnesota.
The data are available through an interactive mapping application on the DNR’s website. The data can also be downloaded, free of charge, for use in geographic information system applications through the DNR’s data deli.
The new maps reflect the latest technology in remote sensing and mapping including high-resolution aerial imagery and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)data.
“The original NWI maps were quite good considering the imagery and mapping methods of the time, but the new maps are much more accurate, capture more detail and provide more information than the original maps,” said Steve Kloiber, the DNR manager of the NWI update project.
Besides showing the location, size and type of each wetland, the updated map data include information on the wetland’s landscape position and hydrologic characteristics, which can be useful in assessing the benefits provided, such as water quality improvement, flood storage, and fish and wildlife habitat.
The release of the wetland map data for east-central Minnesota marks completion of the first phase of a statewide update of the NWI. New, high resolution aerial imagery has been acquired for the entire state and wetland mapping is currently underway for the southern third of the state and a portion of northeast Minnesota.
The DNR is planning to complete the entire state by 2020. The NWI update project is being funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
The trust fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by Minnesotans to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.
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