Massachusetts Ecological Integrity Maps

The Massachusetts Ecological Integrity Maps, and MassDEP Maps Depicting Habitat of Potential Regional or Statewide Importance, help prioritize land for conservation based on ecological conditions.
skip table of contents

Table of Contents

Description & Availability

The Massachusetts Ecological Integrity Maps (IEI) are based on a computer software program and a method to prioritize land for conservation based on the assessment of ecological integrity for ecological communities (e.g., forest, shrub swamp, headwater stream). The computer software program is known as the Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) and has been under development by UMass researchers over the past decade. The CAPS model has 26 metrics representing human-induced stressors on the environment and resiliency. In the past 5 years, MassDEP and CZM worked with UMass-Amherst to ensure that coastal stressors are represented in the metrics so that the maps could be used statewide. The results of the CAPS assessment are available as a GIS data layer and IEI maps depicting an IEI score for each point in the undeveloped landscape.

Using the IEI values, the MassDEP maps of Habitat of Potential Regional or Statewide Importance depict polygons representing 40% of the landscape with the highest wildlife habitat value. Activities subject to the Wetlands Protection regulations that are in areas mapped as habitat of potential regional or statewide importance should conduct a detailed wildlife habitat evaluation. Additional information on how to use these maps can be found in the Massachusetts Wildlife Habitat Protection Guidance for Inland Wetlands, published in March 2006.

These maps are available for download from the Mass CAPS website. Funding for these maps is provided in part by the U.S. EPA Clean Water Act grants, MassDEP and UMass-Amherst. Questions should be directed to Lisa Rhodes at MassDEP or Scott Jackson at UMass-Amherst (see contact information).

Additional Resources

Contact

Online

MassDEP - Lisa Rhodes lisa.rhodes@state.ma.us
UMass-Amherst - Scott Jackson sjackson@umext.umass.edu

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Tell us what you think