Desktop Wetland Pre-Assessments using Remote-Sensing & GIS

Alberta’s Wetland Policy requires the identification and classification of wetlands within a development area to be completed prior to construction. According to this policy, wetlands can be infilled for development; however, depending on the wetland classification, wetland-infill compensation fees must be paid to the Alberta Government. Typically, the identification and classification of wetlands requires a field-site visit during the non-winter months, which does not always align with construction planning schedules or associated budgets. Using satellite imagery and remote-sensing technology, Solstice has developed and verified a desktop wetland pre-assessment process that produces a highly accurate prediction of both wetland extent and classification without requiring a field visit. This approach greatly facilitates pre-planning and mitigates the cost associated with early planning stages. It also reduces costs for final planning as field efforts for mandatory ABWRET and WAIR reports can be spatially-focused based on high-resolution mapping.  

Major issues that Solstice addressed:

  • Cost effective pre-planning for wetland identification and classification

  • Pre-planning environmental-risk assessments without field-site visits

  • Facilitate early planning decisions with minimal costs

  • Identify hydrological connectivity among identified wetlands

Key services provided:

  • Highly automated wetland location and classification prediction map

  • Ecological interpretation of wetland location and classification based on historical climate data

  • Hydrological connectivity modeling

  • Ranges of reporting detail from preliminary desktop assessment to full ABWRET and WAIR reports

  • Full environmental permitting inclusive of all due diligence and required assessments

  • Field verification and associated ecological assessments