California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW)

WRAMP Framework | Studies/Reports/Presentations | Training | Membership | Meetings | More Information

Welcome Prop 1 Applicants!
For guidance on the WRAMP framework for monitoring and assessment, visit our WRAMP webpage...

The California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup's mission is to improve the monitoring and assessment of wetland and riparian resources by developing a comprehensive stream, wetland, and riparian area monitoring plan for California and through increasing coordination and cooperation among local, state, and federal agencies, tribes, and non-governmental organizations. The workgroup reviews technical and policy aspects of wetland monitoring tool development, implementation and use of data to improve wetland management in California.


WRAMP Framework

What is WRAMP?

The Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP) is a plan for comprehensive monitoring and assessment of aquatic resources using a watershed or landscape context. WRAMP, like U.S.EPA's three-tier monitoring and assessment framework, includes three levels of assessment and analysis, and provides the framework for making these three levels of assessment work together in the analysis of the overall condition and viability of aquatic resources within a watershed. Although WRAMP has been applied to support a watershed approach to wetland and stream protection in California, the framework can be adjusted to generally support ecosystem and habitat planning, assessment, monitoring, and reporting.

  • Level 1 assessments consist of map-based inventories of aquatic resources, including: rivers, streams, and riparian areas, plus related projects that have a direct effect on the distribution and abundance of aquatic resources. Level 1 maps may serve as the basis for landscape and watershed profiles and be used as a framework for Level 2 and 3 assessments.
  • Level 2 assessments are rapid, field based assessments that provide data on overall aquatic resource condition.  In California, the California Rapid Assessment Method is the baseline for level 2 data collection. Other level 2 assessments exist and may also be used when needed. 
  • Level 3 assessments are usually site-specific measures of specific resources. Plant species composition, nesting bird surveys, spawning success, and groundwater recharge rates are examples of level 3 data types.  Types of level 3 assessments will vary from site to site.

The WRAMP toolset continues to grow with ongoing guidance from the user community. It’s unlikely that anyone will use all three levels all the time.  Project planners should apply the parts that fit best for the project, using the guidance provided by CWMW.

A thorough explanation of the WRAMP's framework can be found on our WRAMP web page.

CWMW Studies, Reports, and Presentations

  • NEW! Updated CRAM Technical Bulletin - The CWMW Technical Bulletin, Using CRAM (California Rapid Assessment Method) to Assess Wetland Projects as an Element of Regulatory and Management Programs, has been revised with new, more detailed guidance and advice on how to use CRAM data.
  • Demonstrating the California Wetland Status and Trends Program: A Probabilistic Approach for Estimating Statewide Aquatic Resource Extent, Distribution and Change over Time
    The goal of this pilot demonstration was to provide an initial template for program implementation that can be refined and expanded over time. This document summarizes the outcomes of the demonstration project by providing an overview of preliminary findings, recommendations for transitioning to program implementation, and suggested revisions/clarifications to the Standard Operating Procedures previously developed (CWMW 2014.)
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Collection of Macroinvertebrates, Benthic Algae, and Associated Physical Habitat Data in California Depressional Wetlands
    These are SOPs for sampling the biological, chemical, and physical condition of freshwater wetlands in California. The procedures include detailed instructions on how to sample macroinvertebrates and algae assemblages, water and sediment chemistry, and physical habitat within and adjacent to the wetland. Additionally, the Wetland Bioassessment Field Data Sheet is a field data sheet associated with the collection of habitat data in California Depressional Wetlands. (February 2015)
  • Compliance & Effectiveness Monitoring Framework for Water Quality Control and Habitat Conservation: Assessing the Performance of Public Policies, Programs, Plans and Projects
    Delta Science Program Brown Bag Seminar presentation by Josh Collins of the San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center (January 12, 2015)
  • Implementation of a Status and Trends Program to Evaluate Extent and Distribution of Aquatic Resources in California
    This document discusses initial implementation of S&T Program that will allow the evaluation of progress towards achieving California’s “no net loss” goals. This program will help to develop the tools and capacity to assess net change in wetland extent and distribution and to report on wetland status and trends over time. Implementation involves a number of state agencies and joint ventures that would use this data to fulfill policy and program objectives; technical design for the program; study design recommendations; tasks and budget associated with implementation; startup costs and funding options for ongoing implementation; challenges and potential solutions for implementation. (October 31, 2014)
  • Santa Rosa Plain Wetlands Profile: A Demonstration of the California Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan
    A WRAMP demonstration was conducted for the Santa Rosa Plain during 2013-2014, in Sonoma County, CA. The demonstration answered the following question: What are the abundance, diversity, and condition of wetlands on the Santa Rosa Plain? This report is the result of the applied Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP) toolset and framework, designed for the development and organization of information to protect, design, manage and assess wetlands and other surface waters.
  • California Aquatic Resources Status and Trends Program: Mapping and Methodology
    This document provides mapping standards and methodology for assessing net wetland change in California. The ability to track changes in wetland area is a foundational element of California’s wetland monitoring and assessment programs, assessing the Federal and State “no net loss” policies in terms of wetland quantity and evaluating the effectiveness of current regulatory and management programs. Also, monitoring trends and tracking net change of California’s wetlands can aid in monitoring the long term effects of climate change as well as effects from other natural disturbances, such as fires, flood or drought.
  • California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI) 
    A standardized statewide map of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas. This Geographic Information System (GIS) dataset provides accurate and detailed information about wetland and riparian distribution and abundance for management, planning, and research of the State's aquatic resources. CARI is designed to answer the basic question: Where are the wetlands and streams?  
  • Wetland Status and Trends Assessment Plan (Wetlands S&T)
    Probabilistic mapping can provide a cost-effective alternative for monitoring aquatic resource extent and distribution. Recommendations for a probabilistic monitoring design for California’s aquatic resource S&T have been developed. Goals are to: report extent (status) and changes in extent (trends) at regular intervals; include estimates for all surface waters; and support regional intensification through design flexibility.
  • California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM)
    A cost-effective and scientifically defensible rapid assessment method for monitoring the conditions of wetlands, streams and riparian areas. Its design allows for the assessment of ambient conditions within watersheds, regions, and throughout the state based on standardized visual indicators. It is also used to assess the performance of compensatory mitigation and restoration projects.
  • California EcoAtlas 
    Helps to answer the question, "Where Are Our Wetlands and How are they doing?" EcoAtlas is a free online service for accessing, visualizing, and summarizing information about the distribution, abundance, diversity, location, and condition of California wetlands, streams, and riparian areas. The Landscape Profile Tool of Ecoatlas enables users to summarize existing information into standardized reports for any user-defined area of the State.
  • The National Water Quality Monitoring Council's 2014 National Monitoring Conference
  • The California Wetland Portal and EcoAtlas
    Two new web-based wetland information tools, developed by Wetland Monitoring work Group of the Monitoring Council, to connect decision makers and the public with water quality and ecosystem health information:
  • 5-Year Coordinated Work Plan for Wetlands Conservation Program Development
    Developed by staff of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Water Resources Control Board to carry out each agency's directives regarding wetland conservation program development in accordance with their respective agency's guidance and policies. (The previous plan is archived here).
  • Technical Bulletin - October 13, 2009
    Using CRAM (California Rapid Assessment Method) to Assess Wetland Projects as an Element of Regulatory and Management Programs
  • Technical Bulletin - December 2008
    California’s Wetland Demonstration Program Pilot - A Final Draft Project Report for Review by the California Resources Agency. SCCWRP Technical Report 572
  • Technical Bulletin Update - January 2010
    A Brief Update on California’s Wetland Demonstration Program Pilot

Training Opportunities


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo State Water Resources Control Board logo California Department of Fish & Wildlife logo
San Francisco Estuary Institute logo Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy logo California State Parks logo
California Coastal Commission logo California Department of Water Resources logo
California Department of Transportation logo California Natural Resources Agency logo
Natural Resources Conservation Service logo National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logo U.S. Army Corp of Engineers logo
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo Moss Landing Marine Laboratories logo Southern California Coastal Water Research Project logo


  • Paul Hann (State)
    State Water Resources Control Board
  • Melissa Scianni (Federal)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Josh Collins (NGO)
    San Francisco Estuary Institute

Participating State Agencies

Participating Federal Agencies

Other Agencies and Entities

CWMW Meetings and Minutes

More Information

  • For additional information on the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup, please email Paul Hann or phone: (916) 341-5726.

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