A Community Approach to Mapping Vernal Pool Resources

town map

In 2007, Maine adopted legislation to regulate a subset of vernal pools that meet certain biological and hydrological criteria as Significant Wildlife Habitat. The Maine Vernal Pool Municipal Mapping and Assessment Project (VPMAP) served to educate communities about vernal pool ecology and lead them through the process of using citizen scientists to proactively map and survey vernal pool resources with special attention to identifying pools that meet the biological criteria for Significant Vernal Pools. The goals of the project were to:

1. Avoid loss of time and money for private landowners by way of free vernal pool surveys
2. Enable better-informed planning at a town-wide level
3. Encourage conservation at the local level that will serve to complement the top-down regulatory approach used by state and federal agencies

If your town is interested in following up on how to use the data, or needs assistance with processing the data, please contact us.

Since the program ended, a diverse stakeholder group organized by the University of Maine, has been working to develop an innovative, locally controlled vernal pool regulatory framework.  You can read about this next step in the soon to be launched Page:  The Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan.

Recommended steps for mapping vernal pools at the local level

Timing of major pool mapping project tasks

Materials referenced in Maine Municipal Guide

Maine Municipal Guide to Mapping and Conserving Vernal Pool Resources

Maine Municipal Guide Materials

About Us

Understanding the vital connections between landowner concerns, municipal planning, conservation activities, and the ecology of vernal pools will be the focus of natural and social scientists from the University of Maine, Clark University, and Bowdoin College as they embark on a multi-year research project concerning Maine’s small natural features—vernal pools.

Our work is supported by: