National Wetland Condition Assessment


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will collaborate with state and tribal partners to implement the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) to meet three goals:

  1. Produce a national report that describes the quality of the nation's wetlands;
  2. Help States and Tribes implement wetland monitoring and assessment programs to guide policy development and project decision-making; and
  3. Advance the science of wetlands monitoring and assessment.

The sampling design for this survey is a probability-based network that will provide statistically-valid estimates of condition for a population of wetlands with a known confidence. It is designed using modern survey techniques. Sample points are selected at random to represent the condition of wetlands across the country.

Study Area


Project Period



The NWCA is a statistical survey of the quality of the nation's wetlands. The NWCA is designed to:

  • Determine the ecological integrity of wetlands at regional and national scales.
  • Build state and tribal capacity for monitoring and analyses.
  • Promote collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Achieve a robust, statistically-valid set of wetland data.
  • Develop baseline information to evaluate progress.

This is one of a series of water surveys being conducted by the EPA, states, tribes, and other partners. In addition to wetlands, partners will also study coastal waters, wadeable streams, rivers, and lakes in a revolving sequence. The purpose of these surveys is to generate statistically-valid and environmentally relevant reports on the condition of the nation's water resources.

Publications and Presentations

Oakley, J. 2012. National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011. Environmental Institute of Houston 2012 Advisory Board Meeting, Houston, TX. Presentation.

Oakley, J., Guillen, G., Shepard, M., and Vale, K. 2012. Texas Wetland Condition Assessment. In Restore America's Estuaries, Tampa, FL. Poster.

EIH in Action

NCWA crew en route to sampling location in Galveston County
Christine Kolbe, TCEQ
NWCA crew wade to a study site in Glaveston County
Profile of soil pit with horizons marked, McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
Misty Shepard, Alex Miller, and Colby Lawrence take a core sample for analysis
Misty Shepard, research associate, characterizes a soil sample at the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
Kristen Vale and John Ward identify and collect plant specimens for analysis
EIH NWCA crew sampling at San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge

Project Sponsors

Related links

EPA: National Coastal Condition Assessment


  • Environmental Institute of Houston

    Phone: 281-283-3950

    North Office Annex
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 540
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    UHCLCareer Facebook UHCLCareer Twitter UHCLArtGallery Instagram