The Wetlands-At-Risk Protection Tool, or WARPT, is a process for local governments and watershed groups that acknowledges the role of wetlands as an important part of their community infrastructure, and is used to develop a plan for protecting at-risk wetlands and their functions. The basic steps of the process include quantifying the extent of at-risk wetlands, documenting the benefits they provide at various scales, and using the results to select the most effective protection mechanisms. Click here to download a short brochure about the WARPT.
A free webcast was conducted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 to provide an overview of the WARPT. Click on the links below to access the archived version of the webcast and resources sheet.
WARPT webcast with audio (File size is approximately 19 MB. After clicking on the link, select the option to save the file to your computer for better performance.)
To begin using the WARPT, complete this quick characterization of wetlands in your community. Not a wetland expert? Don't worry, the characterization is simple to complete, and should help determine which portions of the WARPT are right for your community or watershed. Most of the WARPT steps require some expertise in mapping and/or wetland science, and these may be completed in-house if the expertise is available or by contracting with a wetland expert. The Washington State Department of Ecology provide some excellent tips for hiring a qualified wetland professional, as do the Association of State Wetland Managers in their document How to Hire the Right Wetlands Consultant, and the EPA provides information on federal and state funding sources for wetlands protection and restoration that may be used to fund implementation of the WARPT in your community. For more information on when, where and why to use the WARPT, click on the links below. To learn how to use the WARPT, click on the steps in the graphic to learn more.
What are Wetlands at Risk?Wetlands-at-risk are those that are vulnerable to impacts from development or other land use activities and that have little protection from these impacts through federal, state or local measures.
Who Should Use the WARPT?
The WARPT is recommended for all local governments (counties, cities, towns, boroughs, townships) because these entities have control over land use practices that ultimately determine the extent of indirect impacts to wetlands. The WARPT can also be used by watershed groups as a tool to help identify, protect, and restore wetlands in their watershed.
What Scale is Appropriate for the WARPT?
The WARPT can be completed at three different scales, depending on community needs, interest and available resources, as described below.
Why do the WARPT?
Each step of the WARPT process provides a unique result that addresses one aspect of a comprehensive wetland protection strategy and may also help to meet other community objectives.