Webinar - Status of DUC's Enhanced Wetland Classification Inventory and Case Study of the Akaitcho Wetland Mapping Project

Michael Merchant
Resource Date:

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has been leading the effort to provide detailed and accurate wetland maps for large areas of the western boreal forest. To date, nearly 200 million acres of wetlands from numerous projects have been mapped to DUC’s Enhanced Wetland Classification (EWC) standards. These wetland classifications also meet the Canadian Wetland Inventory (CWI) standards. EWC inventory is based on satellite imagery as well as helicopter-based field data collected for each project. The final result is a raster dataset detailing 19 boreal wetland classes. To continue these efforts, DUC has recently initiated wetland mapping for a large portion of the Akaitcho Traditional Territory in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The objective of this project is to provide a 77 million-acre (31 million hectares) wetland mapping product for this region that will be used to support land-use planning activities. Methods for this 2-year mapping initiative (which commenced in December 2016) include cataloguing, pre-processing and object-based classification of various sources of satellite imagery. A field data collection campaign is planned for summer 2017, however, a collection of field sites have already been identified using image interpretation of high-resolution imagery. Current results for this project include a baseline wetland extent classification (e.g. water vs. upland vs. wetland). Upcoming collection of helicopter-based field sites will support both EWC and 5 major wetland class (Canadian Wetland Classification System; bog, fen, marsh, swamp and open water) identification of wetlands.