To protect and improve local wetlands, Dakota County coordinates the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP). Through the program, volunteers are trained and work as part of a community-based team to collect data on wetland plants and macroinvertebrates, providing valuable information to local governments and decision makers.
The Wetland Health Evaluation Program uses sampling methods and evaluation metrics developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to evaluate wetland health. The vegetation and macroinvertebrate analyses metrics are based on species diversity and species richness. Citizen teams, led by a trained team leader who has education and/or work experience in natural resources, conduct the sampling.
Dakota County cities taking part in the program are Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul and West St. Paul. Dakota County Parks and North Cannon River Watershed Management Organization also take part in the program.
Each participating team collects data on up to four wetlands in their community. Site names with sampling data and recent annual summary reports are documented at www.mnwhep.org.
Join a team of other interested citizens who are concerned about wetlands in your area. No experience is necessary. Training is provided. For more information, contact the Water Resources Department by phone at 952-891-7000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Wetland Health Evaluation Program website.