Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Federal statutes require wetlands that are disturbed or destroyed by human activity to be restored or replaced. However, restoration projects are often unsuccessful, resulting in a continued loss of wetland area and function. This project focuses on a wetland restoration project undertaken by the University of Maine to compensate for construction impacts that took place over the period of 1980-2010. Three sites were involved in the study, of which two were direct restoration and a third compensatory mitigation to offset impacts that could not be restored. All sites were graded to restore wetland hydrology and then revegetated by seeding and planting woody trees and shrubs. Following construction, a five-year monitoring plan began, at the end of which the University must demonstrate compliance with restoration objectives. This study examined the hydrology of the sites along with mortality, growth, and vigor of planted trees and assessment of volunteer vegetation to (a) verify that wetland conditions have been created, (b) assess the ability of the project to meet compliance standards at the end of the five years, and (c) identify problems with either the restoration work or monitoring protocol. I found that, although hydrology had been restored, performance of the planted shrubs was not consistent with the monitoring standards, and that the monitoring protocol is not sufficient to verify compliance.