Steering Committee

Several members of the L2 committee at a bar-built estuary in Southern California

California’s Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring program (WRAMP) promotes the use of rapid assessment (EPA Level 2) monitoring tools to assess the condition of wetlands and riparian areas throughout the State. Rapid Assessment Methods (RAMs) use cost‐effective, field‐based diagnostic tools to answer questions about general wetland condition. In 2010, the California Water Quality Monitoring Council (CWQMC) directed the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW) to create a Level 2 (Rapid Assessment) Committee to coordinate the review, development and implementation of rapid assessment tools for all state agencies. This committee functions under the CWMW Charter for the purposes of:

  • Assisting the CWMW reach its stated goals and acting on CWMW recommendations;
  • Supporting the broader goals of the California Water Quality Monitoring Council;
  • Supporting the State Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy (WRAPP);
  • Supporting additional efforts as identified or assigned by the CWMW.

Steering Committee Documents

Title Description Resource(s)
2015 CRAM 5-day general practitioner training PowerPoints used during 2015 training season.
2016 CRAM 2-day Agency Training PowerPoints used during 2016 Agency Training
A Guide for Field Identification of Bankfull Stage in the Western United States View a video on field identification of bankfull stage (USDA Forest Service)
A practical guide for the development of a wetland assessment method: the California experience 2006. Sutula, M.A., E.D. Stein, J.N. Collins, A.E. Fetscher, R. Clark. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 42(1):157-175.
Assessing California's bar-built estuaries using the California Rapid Assessment Method Heady, W.N., R.P. Clark , K. Connor , C. Clark , C. Endris , S. Ryan , S. Stoner-Duncan. Ecological Indicators, Volume 58, November 2015, Pa...moreges 300-310
Bar Built Training Video A step-by-step instructional video on how to conduct a Bar Built wetland CRAM assessment.
Bing Maps Provides high quality maps and aerial imagery with the capability of zooming into a site and using the Bird's Eye View feature.
California Coastal Records Project Provides online access to over 57,300 aerial photographs of the California coastline, from the Oregon to the Mexican Border.
California Native Plant Society workshops and trainings Workshops conducted by professional botanists to teach identification of many common wetland and riparian California plant species
California Vernal Pools A collection of vernal pool information and resources
CRAM Factsheet 2 pages; December 2008
CRAM Field Books - Bar Built Estuarine Includes paper CRAM forms and data sheets. Bar Built Estuarine version 6.1; May, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Depressional Includes paper CRAM forms and data sheets. Depressional version 6.1; February, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Episodic Riverine Includes paper CRAM forms and data sheets. Episodic Riverine version 1.0; December, 2015.
CRAM Field Books - Estuarine Includes paper CRAM forms, changes to Estuarine Field Book 6.0 to 6.1, and data sheets. Estuarine version 6.1; January, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Riverine Includes paper CRAM forms, changes to Riverine Field Book 6.0 to 6.1, and data sheets. Riverine version 6.1; January, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Slope Includes field book, forms, data sheets, and photo dictionary. Slope version 6.2; October, 2017 Note: eCRAM forms are not currently availab...morele for v6.2.
CRAM Field Books - Slope Includes paper CRAM forms, and data sheets. Slope version 6.1; February, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Vernal Pools (Individual) Includes field book, list of changes from v6.1, forms, data sheets, and endemic plant list. Individual Vernal Pools version 6.2; March, 2020
CRAM Field Books - Vernal Pools (Individual) Includes paper CRAM forms, changes made to the Individual Vernal Pools Field Book 6.1 from version 6.0 , and forms. Individual Vernal Pools ...moreversion 6.1; January, 2013
CRAM Field Books - Vernal Pools (Systems) Includes field book, list of changes from v6.1, forms, data sheets, and endemic plant list. Vernal Pool Systems version 6.2; March, 2020
CRAM Field Books - Vernal Pools (Systems) Includes paper CRAM forms, changes made to the Vernal Pool Systems Field Book 6.1 from version 6.0 , and forms. Vernal Pool Systems version ...more6.1; January, 2013
CRAM Flowchart Updated CRAM Flowchart; July, 2016
CRAM Manual and Field Books, version 4.2.3 CRAM manual (vol. 1) and field books (vol. 2) for version 4.2.3.
CRAM Manual and Field Books, version 6.0 March 2012
CRAM Module Development
CRAM Photo Dictionary The CRAM Photo Dictionary, which should be used in conjunction with a CRAM field book, is a compilation of photographic examples used to ass...moreist practitioners in correctly identifying the visual indicators or the specific narrative used to score many of the metrics. Some examples are specific to a single wetland type and some are universal across wetland types. The wetland types included in this photo dictionary are Estuarine, Riverine, and Depressional wetlands.
CRAM Prospectus Overview of CRAM: Why are we doing this? What is it? How is it being developed? What are its possible applications? Who can use it, and when...more will it be available? 2 pages; January 24 2008
CRAM Training Course Prospectus This document includes a generic CRAM training description and 5-day training agenda. It serves as the template for trainings that take plac...moree annually around the State. Specific trainings may make changes to the agenda, but all topics are covered in each training.
CRAM User's Manual version 5.0 September 2007
CRAM User's Manual version 5.0.1 October 2007
CRAM User's Manual version 5.0.2 CRAM User's Manual version 5.0.2, September 2008
CRAM User's Manual version 6.1 April 2013
Data Quality Assurance Plan for CRAM Data Quality Assurance Plan for CRAM, California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup, version 7; October 2018
Demonstration of an integrated watershed assessment using a three-tiered assessment framework Solek, C.W., E.D. Stein, M.A. Sutula. Wetlands Ecology and Management 19(5):459-474. 2011.
Depressional Training Video A step-by-step instructional video on how to conduct a Depressional wetland CRAM assessment. Winner of the 2014 W3 Silver Award for educatio...morenal training!
EPA Guidance Document Elements of a State Water Monitoring and Assessment Program for Wetlands. 12 pages; April 2006
EPA Wetland Monitoring & Assessment: A Technical Framework 2 pages; April 8 2003
Estuarine Plant Guide Field guide to assist in recognizing and identifying commonly encountered plants in estuarine wetlands. Although developed primarily for the...more southern California region, many of the species listed are found statewide.
Estuarine Training Video A step-by-step instructional video on how to conduct an Estuarine wetland CRAM assessment.
Grid overlay View grid overlay for aerial photographs and instructions
Guide to Native and Invasive Plants of the Storke Ranch Vernal Pool Open Space Guide to managing vernal pools in the Greater Santa Barbara Area (Hildner 2009)
Guide to Native and Invasive Streamside Plants Restoring Riparian Habitats in Ventura County & along the Santa Clara River in Los Angeles County (2006)
Information for 3rd party developers of CRAM-related documents and materials 1 page; December 6, 2010
Mobile Geographics A CRAM practitioner recommends the web-based tide predictor hosted by Mobile Geographics (based on XTide)
National Wetland Plant List An online guide by the Army Corps of Engineers provides general botanical information about wetland plants throughout North America (include...mores distribution maps, photos, and search capabilities); used extensively in wetland delineation and restoration, and the development of compensatory mitigation goals. [Note: Select "All Botanical Searches" from side navigation bar].
Percent cover View graphic for estimating percent cover (USDA-NRCS, 2002)
Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Development of a Wetland Rapid Assessment Method in California Phase II 46 pages; May 3 2005
Review of Rapid Methods for Assessing Wetland Condition M. Siobhan Fennessy, Amy D. Jacobs, and Mary E. Kentula EPA/620/R-04/009 January 2004
Riverine Training Video A step-by-step instructional video on how to conduct a Riverine wetland CRAM assessment.
State of the State’s Wetlands The Status of Perennial Estuarine Wetlands in the State of California Fact Sheet
Steering Committee Roles & Responsibilities Roles & Responsibilities of the Level 2 Assessment Committee of the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup
Steps to Develop a Module for the California Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (CRAM) 7 pages; March 17 2011
SWAMP Endorsement of CRAM Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) Roundtable endorses CRAM, March 2013.
SWRCB peer review The SWRCB report on the peer review of CRAM as a means for assessing wetland condition is available at this link.
SWS Research Brief: Diagnosing Wetland Health with Rapid Assessment Methods Stein E.D., M. Sutula, A.E. Fetscher, R.P. Clark, J.N. Collins, J.L. Grenier, C. Grosso. No. 2009-0010. 2009
Technical Bulletin: Using CRAM to Assess Wetland Projects as an Element of Regulatory and Management Programs New! California Wetlands Monitoring Workgroup This document supports consistent and appropriate application of CRAM for regulatory, mitigati...moreon, and restoration projects across a variety of state and federal agency programs. It does not constitute official guidance or policy by any agency, rather it addresses a set of technical issues and considerations. Users are encouraged to consult with agency staff on questions regarding use of CRAM in specific project circumstances. September 2019 98 pages
Testing the Basic Assumption of the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing Wetland Functions Hruby, T, Environmental Management Vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 749–761
Tides Online NOAA offers Tides Online
USACE ERDC Peer Review C. Klimas January 2008 This review is intended to examine CRAM from the perspective of Corps of Engineers’ regulatory responsibilities, sp...moreecifically with regard to its potential applications in determining project impacts, conducting alternatives analyses, establishing compensatory mitigation requirements, and in monitoring mitigation projects to determine whether they are performing satisfactorily. These considerations are equally important in many planning applications, therefore this review may be of interest to persons involved in ecosystem restoration and similar initiatives that concern evaluation of wetland systems before and after changes to ecosystem processes or structure. The review discusses concerns about the sensitivity of CRAM.
Use of CRAM in the evaluation of mitigation projects in California Ambrose, R. F. , J. C. Callaway , and S. F. Lee . 2006. An evaluation of compensatory mitigation projects permitted under Clean Water Act Se...morection 401 by the California State Water Quality Control Board, 1991–2002. Report to the State Water Resources Control Board. University of California. Los Angeles, CA, USA. December 2004, 253 pages
Validation of a Wetland Rapid Assessment Method: Use of EPA's Level 1-2-3 Framework for Method Testing and Refinement Stein E.D. , A.E. Fetscher, R.P. Clark, A. Wiskind, J.L. Grenier, M. Sutula, J.N. Collins, C. Grosso. Wetlands 29(2):648-665. 2009 A case st...moreudy of the validation of the riverine and estuarine modules CRAM. This work evaluated responsiveness of the method to “good” vs. “poor” wetland condition, ability to represent a range of conditions, internal redundancy, alternative combination rules for constituent metrics, and reproducibility of results. The use of existing avian diversity, benthic macroinvertebrate indices, and plant community composition datasets as validation of CRAM results demonstrated. Results indicate that CRAM is an effective tool for assessing general riverine and estuarine wetland condition based on its correspondence with multiple independent assessments of condition. This study demonstrates that, when validated, rapid assessment methods provide a meaningful and reliable tool for assessing wetland condition.
Validation of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) Slope Wetland Module Pearce, S., C. Clark, S. Lowe. Prepared by the San Francisco Estuary Institute. October 2017.
Validation of the California Rapid Assessment Method Depressional Wetland Module: Final Report Clark, C., S. Stoner-Duncan, S. Pearce, K. O' Connor, K. Hammerstrom, R. Clark. Prepared by the Central Coast Wetlands Group. December 2017.
Validation of the California Rapid Assessment Method for Vernal Pool Systems: Final Report Clark, C., L. Teunis, J. Vollmar, K. Hammerstrom, K. O' Connor, R. Clark. Prepared by the Central Coast Wetlands Group. November 2017.
Versions of CRAM methodology
Wetland Assessment Alphabet Soup: How to Choose (or not Choose) the Right Assessment Method 2009. Stein, E., M. Brinson, M. Rains, W. Kleindl, and F. Hauer, Wetland Science and Practice, Vol. 26, No. 4.
Wetlands Demonstration Project Steering Committee Charter draft; 2 pages; May 22 2006
Wetlands Demonstration Project (WDP) California’s Wetland Demonstration Program Pilot. A Final Project Report to the California Resources Agency MA Sutula, JN Collins, R Clark...more, RC Roberts, ED Stein, CS Grosso, A Wiskind, C Solek, M May, K O’Connor, AE Fetscher, JL Grenier, S Pearce, A Robinson, C Clark, K Rey, S Morrissette, A Eicher, R Pasquinelli, K Ritter.
WXTide32 A CRAM practitioner recommends WXTide32, a free Windows tide and current prediction program that can be used offline (based on XTide)
XTide derivatives The XTide site offers a listing of XTide derivatives for Mac, Palm, and other platforms

Steering Committee Members

First Name Last Name E-mail
Cara Clark [email protected]
Chad Roberts [email protected]
Christopher Solek [email protected]
Clifford Harvey [email protected]
Cristina Grosso [email protected]
Dave Weixelman [email protected]
Eric Stein [email protected]
Glenn Sibbald [email protected]
Jennifer Siu [email protected]
Josh Collins [email protected]
Kevin O'Connor [email protected]
Kevin Lunde [email protected]
Lindsay Teunis [email protected]
Marie Denn [email protected]
Melissa Scianni [email protected]
Michelle Stevens [email protected]
Rebecca Payne [email protected]
Ross Clark [email protected]
Sarah Pearce [email protected]

Member Organizations