Rincon biologists recently completed an assessment of a habitat restoration site along Mission Creek in Santa Barbara, implementing the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) for wetlands. This assessment was completed for the Ortega Bridge Replacement project, for which Rincon has conducted biological monitoring over the past year. Implementation of the CRAM method for the project will provide baseline data on the condition of the restoration site for comparison to future assessments, to monitor the progress of the site over time.
The CRAM method is used to assess wetland condition based on a number of attributes, including buffer and landscape context, hydrology, physical structure, and biological structure. Recent requirements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other resource agencies have necessitated CRAM assessments, in association with wetland boundary delineations, prior to project-related impacts or as an additional monitoring tool for habitat restoration/mitigation projects. One of the other main purposes of the CRAM method is to allow for the comparison of wetland condition status and trends throughout the state. To this end, data collected in the field is uploaded to “eCRAM”, a data entry system that interfaces with the CRAM website.
CRAM assessments must be completed by trained practitioners. Please contact Rincon Consultants if you have any questions regarding CRAM assessments or any other biological services.