Ecosystem Trends Analysis Merrymeeting Bay

Project Name: Merrymeeting Bay Ecosystem Study

Summary: Trend analysis used as tool for targeting land protection

Client: Friends of Merrymeeting Bay

Project Location: Richmond, ME

Project Size: 9,000 acres

Services Provided:
•  Cover Type Mapping
•  Rare Threatened & Endangered
    Plant Species Identification

Project Timeframe:
1999 - 2001

Relationship with Client: Since 1999

Client Needs:
The Friends of Merrymeeting Bay required mapping and completion of a trends analysis of the various marsh cover types, upland cover types, land uses, and sediment types of the 9,000 acre Merrymeeting Bay and surrounding riparian area as a continuation of a long-term study that builds upon prior studies conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other
Kleinschmidt Solution:
Biologists from Kleinschmidt conducted a detailed study of nine different marsh emergent and aquatic cover types. For each wetland cover type, reference wetlands were established and described to serve as a baseline for future work in the Bay. At each reference wetland, data was recorded on species composition, percent aerial coverage of marsh vegetation as a whole and for each species, soil characteristics, hydrologic regime, GPS location, and topographic position. Kleinschmidt also documented several rare, threatened and endangered species. Kleinschmidt scientists ground-truthed more than 9,000 acres of aquatic, wetland and upland habitat types. These cover types were interpreted and mapped by partner James W. Sewall Company using color infrared photographs to areas as small as 1/10 of an acre. For the same geographic area, vegetation coverage interpreted from historical aerial photographs were used to form the basis for a trends analysis.
Client Benefits:
The Friends of Merrymeeting Bay as well as federal and state agencies used the results as an improved baseline over previous studies, as a scientific basis for forming conclusions about changes in marsh acreages and species composition over time, and as a tool for targeting land protection in and around this unique ecosystem.