Federal and state regulations prohibit the cultivation of wetland for production of agricultural commodities without prior approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers or USDA-NRCS. Stiff penalties are imposed upon farmers who violate such regulation. If a permit is issued, the Corps usually requires the farmer to come up with mitigating measures to compensate the wetland function lost as a result of the conversion.
Before a farmer expands his farm, it is useful to know the boundary between the potential wetland and an agricultural area. Such information could be useful in deciding where to plant buffer strips to effectively filter sediments and help reduce loss of nutrients. Moreover, the buffer strips also serve to prevent farm operations from encroaching into the possible wetland area and the need to come up with costly mitigation measures.
To be considered as a wetland, an area has to meet the following criteria: a) it has to have wetland hydrology b) it must have hydrophytic vegetation and c) its soil must have hydric soil indicators. An absence of any one of these criteria disqualifies an area from being classified as wetland and thus is not covered by the regulation earlier mentioned.
If hydrology and hydrophytic vegetation data are not available, a soil survey could be initiated to locate the boundary of a potential wetland. It would be safe to conclude that an area without any hydric soil indicator is not a wetland.
The survey area is located in the Triassic basin, eight miles east of Chatham County, North Carolina. Two transects were taken, one in an agricultural field and another in a forest area parallel to Green Level Church Rd near the intersection with Green Level West Rd. The survey area is located on two terraces by White Oak Creek. The initial NRCS soil survey of Wake County mapped the following soil series in the transect: Augusta fine sandy loam, Creedmore Sandy Loam and the Wehadkee silt loam.
The survey was
evaluating five soil cores in the agricultural field (first terrace)
soil cores (second terrace) in the woodlands. The cores were 30 ft
Depth, soil texture and soil color of both matrix and redoximorphic
each horizon were determined. The data were evaluated for any hydric
by: Jacklyn Sumner, Ryan Bond, Sergio Abit, and Yiyi Wong