To help in scoping this part of the project, consider the following to identify the category of problem or opportunity that exists.
Has there been a change in:
Soil stability (erosion or sediment deposition)
Shore or bank stability
Hydrologic conditions, e.g., flow
Water quality, e.g., temperature, salinity
Vegetation structure or composition
Density of desirable vegetation
Production of undesirable plants or animals, invasion or spread
Fish or wildlife or other biotic populations
A loss or reduction in another desirable ecosystem component
Shallow ditch draining cypress dome, Florida
What would users like to see in this area in the future:
More variability in water flow or flooding patterns
More wetland vegetation, higher diversity in the type of wetlands that occur
Existing habitats functioning better as a complex of habitats
Corridors to connect habitats that used to be connected and are now fragmented
Reduction in invasive plant species, and increase in native species
Purple loosestrife in emergent wetland, New Jersey
What ecosystem projects have already been begun or accomplished in the area? Is there an opportunity to complement or supplement their actions?
Who are the possible local sponsors, cooperators, or stakeholders?
Who owns the land in question?
Is there a regulatory concern?
Is there a local or regional planning effort?
Beginning on page 102 in the Planning Manual are additional ideas for defining problems and opportunities.