Wetlands Monitoring

The wetland status and trends monitoring program is a random sample survey designed to provide ongoing assessment of the gain and loss of wetland acres in Minnesota. Initiated in 2006, this project involves the periodic acquisition and interpretation of aerial photography on 4,990 permanent, one-square mile sample plots randomly located around the state. Wetland gain and loss is determined by comparing subsequent photos of each sample plot using GIS technology.

The sample plots are divided into three sample panels of 1,580 sample plots each, which are monitored on a three-year repeating cycle. There are an additional 250 plots that are monitored every year. The wetland changes observed within the plots from one sample cycle to the next are extrapolated to obtain a statistical estimate of statewide wetland gain or loss.

Wetland Monitoring Sample Plots

The density and distribution of wetland monitoring sample plots near central Minnesota.

Map of central Minnesota showing the density and distribution of wetland monitoring sample plots.

Program documents

Resources on historical wetland information