California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM)

California Rapid Assessment MethodThe California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) was developed to rapidly assess the status of wetlands throughout California. It was designed to be a fast, cost-effective, standardized and repeatable way to monitor different wetland types across a number of spatial scales. CRAM scores are based on four attributes that are considered to be universally shared by all wetlands: Buffer and Landscape Context, Hydrology, Physical Structure, and Biotic Structure.

ECORP staff are on the forefront of CRAM development and frequently provide CRAM assessments for a number of different wetland types including estuaries, rivers, seasonal wetlands, vernal pools, and vernal pools systems. We routinely provide review and feedback to the CRAM development team to help refine and improve these methodologies.

CRAM assessments can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Preliminary wetland assessments
  • Functions and values assessment
  • Pre-and pos- construction monitoring
  • Evaluation of restored and created wetlands over time
  • Alternative Analyses. Scores are compared between the alternatives to determine the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative (LEDPA).
  • Developing Compensatory Mitigation Plans
  • Supporting Information for Before-After Mitigation-Impact (BAMI) analysis for ACOE permits

ECORP staff have training and experience conducting CRAM assessments throughout California’s diverse wetland types including:

California Rapid Assessment Method
  • Estuaries
  • Riverine systems
  • Depressional wetlands
  • Perennial wetlands
  • Vernal pools
  • Vernal pool systems


For More Information, Contact:

Pete Balfour
Vice President / Director of Biological Sciences
ECORP Consulting, Inc.
2525 Warren Dr.
Rocklin, CA 95677
(916) 782-9100
(916) 782-9134

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