Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada



Assessing Wetland Function

Functional Assessment of Wetlands - Introduction to Nova Scotia Wetland Evaluation Technique (NovaWET 3.0)

NovaWET is a method designed to assess the condition and functions of Nova Scotia wetlands

NovaWET 3.0 - Nova Scotia Wetland Evaluation TechniquePDF Download Link (PDF:438k)
NovaWET Data Sheet (xls: 75k)

It is intended to provide Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) with basic information for Wetland Alteration or Environmental Assessment Applications on project site wetlands, the surrounding landscape, and the contributing watershed to help evaluate the significance of wetlands in a project area that may be affected by proposed alterations.

NovaWET requires landscape-level assessment using maps and aerial imagery and field evaluation to record site-specific information on wetland characteristics and indicators of wetland functions for wetlands in the project area. The key result of the analysis is an estimate of the most significant wetland functions based on correlations between wetland characteristics and wetland functions derived from scientific literature. Evaluating the condition of the wetland buffer, characterizing the relationship between wetlands in a project area and neighboring wetlands and waterbodies, and a general assessment of the contributing watershed are also part of the analysis.

An experienced professional with appropriate wetland expertise must be hired by proponents to complete all NovaWET evaluations. NovaWET evaluations are needed for all Wetland Alteration Approval applications where the proposed alteration is 0.5 ha or larger in size and for projects that propose to alter multiple wetlands. The significance of functions for a particular wetland must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as the watershed context is critical to this evaluation and the approval decision. NovaWET assessments should provide NSE with basic information on wetlands located in the immediate vicinity of a development area and the surrounding watershed and an assessment the potential significance of wetland functions that may be lost if proposed developments are approved.