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Delineation Toolbox

Tools, Forms, Guidance, and Links for Wetland Delineators

This page contains technical information useful for wetland delineations and assessments.

Delineation Methods: Approved for Washington State

Delineation Data Forms: 

WSDOT uses the following customized fill-in data forms:

Washington Wetland Rating Systems: Washington State Department of Ecology

Rating Data Forms*:

*WSDOT adapted these forms into a Microsoft Excel 2010 format for use in Windows 7.  Others may freely use the forms, however, WSDOT does not guarantee they will work with your computer and software, and will not provide support if they do not.

WSDOT Delineation Guidance

Other Guidance for Washington

Vegetation Tools

  • National Wetland Plant List web page (NWPL)
  • For plants commonly found in Washington, WSDOT uses simple codes instead of the full scientific name to record field data.  A plant code list (pdf 290 kb) (WSDOT 2014) provides the scientific and common names, origin, and the indicator status of a subset of commonly encountered plants based on the NWPL (Version 3.2).   
  • WSDOT developed a corresponding auto-text macro for Microsoft Word (WSDOT 2014) that inserts the same information from the plant codes. Installation instructions, the plant codes and the macro file “Autotext_Plants.dotm” can be obtained from the public FTP server (or the WSDOT internal FTP server).     

Soil Tools

Hydrology Tools

  • The Regional Supplements recommend using the methods described in Chapter 19  of the USDA NRCS Part 650 Engineering Field Handbook to determine if antecedent precipitation is within the normal range. 
  • WSDOT’s process  for writing the Wetland Hydrology section (pdf 1060 kb) of a Wetland and Stream Report is based on Chapter 19 of the USDA NRCS Part 650 Engineering Field Handbook.
  • The US Geological Survey StreamStats Interactive Map can be used to determine the area of a watershed upstream of a given point. This map is useful for many functional assessment methods, including the Washington Rating System.  Instructions on using the Interactive Map are available from the User Instructions link in the green box on the Stream Stats page. Selecting a site and delineating a watershed is the 4th topic on the User Instructions page. The tool becomes available at scales of 1:24000 and greater, and your Pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.
  • WSDOT installs shallow groundwater monitoring wells in accordance with the guidance available in the Wetlands Regulatory Assistance Program Technical Notes, US Army Corps of Engineers:

Noble C. 2006. Water Table Monitoring Project Design.  Vicksburg (MS): US Army Engineer Research and Development Center. (pdf 7.4 mb)

US Army Corps of Engineers. 2005. Technical Standard for Water-Table Monitoring of Potential Wetland Sites. Vicksburg (MS): US Army Engineer Research and Development Center. (pdf 1.5 mb)

Sprecher SW. 2000. Installing Monitoring Wells/Piezometers in Wetlands. Vicksburg (MS): US Army Engineer Research and Development Center. (pdf 1.5 mb)

Classification Methods 

Functions Characterization/Assessment

Optional methods to evaluate functions. Other methods may also be appropriate for use.

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