Publications and Resources
- EPA Presentations
- Principles for Ecological Land Reuse
- Soil Science
- Soil Amendments
- Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration
- Plants and Revegetation
- Growing Gardens in Urban Soils
- Ecosystem Services
- Creating Pollinator Habitats as Part of an Ecological Revitalization Project
- Act Locally
- Organizations and Resources
- Land Revitalization Assistance
- Case Study Profiles
- Publications and Resources
- Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Analysis of Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration at Three Contaminated Sites Remediated and Revitalized with Soil Amendments. EPA 542-R-10-003. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. February 2011.
This paper provides EPA's analysis of the data to determine carbon sequestration rates at three diverse sites that differ in geography/location, weather, soil properties, type of contamination, and age. The first site, located at high elevation in Leadville, Colorado, suffered from contamination due to mining. The site was amended with biosolid cakes, biosolids pellets, biosolid compost, and limestone starting in 1998. The second site, located in Stafford County, Virginia, had highly reduced, high-sulfur soils resulting from construction activities for an airport at the site. When exposed to air, these soils rapidly acidified, causing acid runoff that contaminated local streams. The site was amended with biosolids in 2002. The third site, Sharon Steel, is located at the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio and was contaminated through the application of by-products associated with manufacturing steel. At Sharon Steel, soil amendments were applied as part of a field demonstration project in 2008.
- Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Field Guide for Sampling and Analysis at Sites Remediated with Soil Amendments. EPA 542-R-10-002. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. June 2010.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Technology Innovation and Field Services division developed this field guide to provide a consistent sampling approach across sites being analyzed for terrestrial carbon sequestration. EPA wants to partner with other federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, academia, and other interested parties to build our knowledge of terrestrial carbon sequestration rates. This field guide focuses on a methodology to provide data that can be used in mathematical equations and models to determine terrestrial carbon sequestration rates in soil. Equations in this guide focus on use of carbon data, but the approach provides for a range of parameters that can be used for related carbon sequestration analyses.
- Ecological Revitalization: Turning Contaminated Properties Into Community Assets. EPA 542-R-08-003. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. February 2009.
This document provides technical information to assist property managers and other stakeholders better understand, coordinate, and conduct ecological revitalization at contaminated properties during cleanup. Specifically, this document presents general planning and process considerations for ecological revitalization and provides technical considerations for implementing ecological revitalization of wetlands, streams, and terrestrial ecosystems during cleanup. This document also highlights EPA's initiatives and resources that are available, and presents numerous site-specific examples and case studies where ecological revitalization has occurred.
- The Use of Soil Amendments for Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse. U.S. EPA. December 2007. (Download 1.74MB PDF)
Hundreds of thousands of acres of disturbed and contaminated land scar this country's landscape. This paper provides information on the use of soil amendments, a cost effective in situ process for remediation, revitalization, and reuse of many types of disturbed and contaminated landscapes.
- EPA CLU-IN Ecological Revitalization Fact Sheets:
- A Citizen's Guide to Ecological Revitalization
- Ecological Revitalization Database Fact Sheet
- Ecological Revitalization of Superfund Sites FAQ
- Revegetating Landfills and Waste Containment Areas
- Ecological Revitalization and Attractive Nuisance Issues
- Phytotechnologies for Site Cleanup
- Soil Amendments for Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse Tools: Fact Sheet (Published 2007)
(Download 2.26MB PDF)
This fact sheet describes two tools developed by U.S. EPA in cooperation with 18 federal and local government, academic, and private sector experts. These tools are designed to encourage and assist site cleanup managers to use soil amendments for remediation, revitalization, and reuse of their sites resulted from this collaboration.
- U.S. EPA. August 2007. Integrating Water and Waste Programs to Restore Watersheds, A Guide for Federal and State Project Managers. EPA 540K07001, Office of Water and Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
This manual is intended for Federal and state project managers in water and waste programs who are working on assessment or cleanup projects in watersheds contaminated by hazardous materials or waste.
Blackwell Forest Preserve: A Reuse Success Story Video
Download MPEG-4 Video (40.9MB)
Ecological Reuse: The Importance of Ecological Reuse
Download MPEG-4 Video (21.1MB)
- EPA Superfund Redevelopment Program web site
Information on the Superfund Redevelopment Program, including restored sites and their new uses, tools and resources, pilot programs to restore sites, and contact information.
- EPA Brownfields and Land Revitalization web site
Basic information on EPA actions and policies surrounding brownfield revitalization, including grants and funding information, tools and resources, and laws and regulations.
- Soil Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse: Technical Performance Measures
The purpose of this website is to provide a tool to assist site project managers in the selection of appropriate technical performance measures (TPMs) for evaluating the remedial success of soil amendments used for remediation, revitalization, and reuse of contaminated sites.
- U.S. EPA. 2006. Revegetating Landfills and Waste Containment Areas Fact Sheet. EPA 542-F-06-001
This fact sheet provides information on revegetation of landfill surfaces for EPA site managers, consultants, and others interested in the revegetation of landfill surfaces.
- U.S. EPA. Greenscapes
EPA's GreenScapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping that help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution.
- U.S. EPA. Green Landscaping: Greenacres.
Information and Resources on sustainable landscaping.
- U.S. EPA. 2006. Landscaping with Native Plants Factsheet.
Frequently asked questions about using native plants for landscaping. Includes brief case studies on communities and private owners who have successfully used native plants in their gardens or landscapes.
- U.S. EPA. ORD EnviroAtlas web site
A collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits of ecosystem services.
Additional Government Websites
- ITRC (Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council). 2004. Making the Case for Ecological Enhancments. ECO-1. Washington, D.C.: Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council and the Wildlife Habitat Council.
White paper and case studies identify benefits, incentives, and limitations for implementing ecological enhancements at environmentally impacted sites.
- Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC). 2006. Planning and Promoting Ecological Reuse of Remediated Sites. ECO-2. Washington, D.C.: Ecological Land Reuse Team, Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council
Promotes ecological land reuse as an integrated part of site remediation strategies and as an alternative to conventional property development or redevelopment. Describes key decision points in a flow diagram format and defines the practicality of applying natural or green technologies to traditional remediation processes.
- Dumroese, R. Kasten; Luna, Tara; Landis, Thomas D., (Eds.). 2009. Nursery Manual for Native Plants: A Guide for Tribal Nurseries. Agriculture Handbook 730, Volume 1: Nursery Management. Washington, DC: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.
Available Free of Charge from the U.S. Forest Service.
This 17-chapter manual provides basic, easy-to-understand information for operating a native plant nursery. Intended for use by Native Americans, the manual is well illustrated with photos and line drawings, includes many real-world examples, and would be useful to anyone that is considering starting a native plant nursery, or refining their current operation.
- University of Texas, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Information Network
An online database of more than 7,200 native plant species.
- Forest Service Nurseries:
The following nurseries are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. They provide seeds, bare root, seedlings, and other vegetation used in ecological restoration projects:
- National Park Service Units:
- Plant Conservation Alliance
A coalition of government agencies and other scientific and conservation groups that is working to solve problems surrounding native plant extinction and habitat restoration.
- Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee
A listing and contact information for government agencies, conservation organizations, and academic institutions that make up the Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee.
Additional Non-Government Websites
- Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) Online Directory
The online CPC Plant Conservation Directory contains useful contacts in each state for information on rare and endangered plants, permit procedures, and government programs; botanists and other contacts in state Heritage Programs and Native Plant Societies; and a searchable database of organizations and experts active in the conservation of rare plants and their areas of expertise.
- Native Wildflower Seed Production Research Symposium
A symposium held in July 2007 which served as a forum for the exchange of information among researchers and growers dealing with seed production of regionally adapted species of native wildflowers. Topics addressed were genetics, production practices, pollination, harvesting, conditioning, storage, and wild-collected seed. The page contains links to executive summaries and PowerPoint slides of key presentations.
- North American Native Plant Society
Non-profit association dedicated to the conservation of native plants in North America. The site features information on where to find native plants and seeds, publications, and links to related organizations.
- Plant Conservation Alliance. Native Plant Landscaping Information.
Information and links related to landscaping and gardening with native plants.
- Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants
Information and resources about using native plants in your home garden.
- National Invasive Species Council
Website for the National Invasive Species Council, an inter-departmental council that helps coordinate all federal government activities related to invasive species (currently under construction).
- National Invasive Species Information Center
A gateway for information and resources on invasive species.
- The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) Global Invasive Species Team
TNC program dedicated to mitigating the damage caused by non-native species. Web page includes many resources, including invasive species guides, photographs, and news items.
- National Park Service Plant Conservation Alliance – Weeds Gone Wild
Provides information for the general public, land managers, researchers, and others on the serious threat and impacts of invasive alien plants to the native flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems of the United States.
- Weed Science Society of America (WSSA): Journal on Invasive Plant Science and Management
A new peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the WSSA. The journal focuses on the biology and ecology of invasive plants, invasive plant management and restoration, ecological and environmental impacts, risk and/or cost benefit analyses, case studies, and updates on new invasive plants and policy, compliance, and regulatory legislation. It is available both on-line and in print. A subscription is required to view full-text articles online.
- Seeds of Success
An interagency program coordinated though the Plant Conservation Alliance that supports and coordinates seed collection of native plant populations in the United States to increase the number of species and the amount of native seed that is available for use in stabilizing, rehabilitating and restoring U.S. lands.
- Soil and Landscape Rehabilitation: Reclamation — Remediation — Restoration — Revegetation — Revitalization (Publications). This page contains a list of and provides access to publications by a research team comprised of research scientists, graduate students, staff and faculty working in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The research and associated publications focus on coal mined land reclamation and associated water quality issues, wetland creation & restoration, acid sulfate soil remediation, roadside revegetation, dredge spoil utilization, manufactured soil production, by-product screening, and an array of related research based in environmental soil science.
Glossary of Ecological Land Reuse TermsBiodiversityThe variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their relative frequencies. For biological diversity, these items are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the biochemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses ecosystems, species, and genes.CompostA humus or soil-like material created from aerobic, microbial decomposition of organic materials such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and manure. When mature, it is frequently used as a soil amendment because it is rich in nutrients, stable, and safe to use near water sources.CompostingThe biological decomposition process that creates compost. It is frequently used to significantly reduce pathogens in organic waste streams, since the process generates temperatures hot enough to achieve this reduction.Contaminated SiteLocation where microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes, or wastewater have been introduced into the water, air, and/or soil in a concentration that makes the site unfit for its intended use.CreationThe installation of a different kind of ecosystem from that which occurred historically.[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]DamageAcute and obvious changes in an ecosystem[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]DegradationSubtle or gradual changes that reduce ecological integrity and health.[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]Ecological RestorationAn intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability.Ecological RevitalizationFor a contaminated site, such as a Superfund site, it is the process of returning the site to a functioning and sustainable use. Ecological revitalization re-establishes a site to a natural state, thus increasing or improving habitat for plants and animals without impairing the remediation activities that ensure the protection of human health and the environment.U.S. EPA, 2007. Frequently Asked Questions about Ecological Revitalization of Superfund sites. http://www.clu-in.org/download/remed/542f06002.pdfEcosystemThe interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings.Ecosystem HealthThe state or condition of an ecosystem in which its dynamic attributes are expressed within "normal" ranges of activity relative to its ecological stage of development.Exotic SpeciesA species that is not indigenous to a region.Invasive SpeciesAn [exotic] species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.[Clinton, W.J. 1999 Feb 3. Invasive Species. Executive Order 13112. http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/ ]MitigationMeasures taken to reduce adverse impacts on the environment.Native PlantA plant that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, and/or habitat without direct or indirect human actions.[1994 Memorandum of Understanding that established the Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee (from The Roadside Use of Native Plants).]ReclamationAn ecological restoration activity where the main objectives include the stabilization of the terrain, assurance of public safety, aesthetic improvement, and usually a return of the land to what, within the regional context, is considered to be a useful purpose.RecoveryWhen an ecosystem contains sufficient biotic and abiotic resources to continue its development without further assistance or subsidy.Reference EcosystemA model for planning an ecological restoration project, which later serves in the evaluation of that project.ReplacementReplacement of an ecosystem that was entirely destroyed with one of the same kind. Common on surface-mined lands and brownfields.Restoration EcologyThe science upon which the practice of ecological restoration is based.RevegetationThe process of establishing plants in areas devoid of vegetation.Soil AmendmentsResidual materials, composted agricultural byproducts, and traditional agricultural fertilizers That, when added to soils, can promote positive changes in chemical, physical and biological properties of the disturbed media.[U.S. EPA, 2007. Soil Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse: Technical Performance Measures (TPMs). http://clu-in.org/products/tpm/ ]Soil HealthThe capacity of a soil to be used productively without adversely affecting its future productivity, the ecosystem, and the environment.[Cornell University Soil Health Team. 2005. Cornell Soil Health Web Site. http://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu/ ]Soil Organic CarbonThe total organic carbon of a soil exclusive of carbon from undecayed plants and animal residues.Food and Agriculture Organization. 2007. Global Terrestrial Observing System, Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Sites. http://www.fao.org/gtos/tems/variable_show.jsp?VARIABLE_ID=34 ]Soil Organic MatterThe living microbes in the soil, partially decayed plant material and microbes, and the stable material formed from decomposed plants and microbes.[University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Know Your Soil – Bulletin #2288. http://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2288e/ ]StressorsPhysical, chemical, or biological entities that can induce adverse effects on ecosystems or human health.SubstitutionThe use of a replacement ecosystem where an altered environment can no longer support any naturally occurring type of ecosystem in the bioregion.[Clewell, A. et al. 2005. Society for Ecological Restoration International: Guidelines for Developing and Managing Ecological Restoration Projects, 2nd Edition. www.ser.org ]TilthThe state of aggregation of a soil especially in relation to its suitability for crop growth.[Cumberland County, Maryland, Conservation District. 2007. Biosolid terms. http://www.cumberlandcd.com/ ]TransformationThe conversion of an ecosystem to a different kind of ecosystem or land use type.
- Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Field Guide for Sampling and Analysis at Sites Remediated with Soil Amendments. EPA 542-R-10-002. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. June 2010.