In 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) in response to Louisiana's land loss crisis. From 1990 to 2018 the CWPPRA Program, a joint federal and state effort, has authorized 214 coastal restoration and protection projects. The restoration techniques used include: freshwater and sediment diversion, dredged material placement for marsh creation, shoreline protection, terracing, hydrologic restoration, barrier island restoration, and vegetative planting.
The Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) was designed to monitor the effectiveness of restoration actions at multiple spatial scales from individual projects to the influence of projects on the entire coastal landscape. The CRMS design includes a suite of sites encompassing a range of ecological conditions in swamp habitats and fresh, intermediate, brackish, and salt marshes. Approximately 390 sites are monitored using standardized data collection techniques and fixed sampling schedules. CRMS sites are located within or outside of CWPPRA restoration and protection projects. The CRMS reference network approach allows for comparisons of changing conditions at CRMS sites within and outside of restoration and protection projects.

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