Background and Objective

The California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) was developed to provide consistent, scientifically defensible, affordable information about the condition of wetlands and riparian habitats throughout California. To achieve this goal, CRAM needed to be standardized, cost-effective, scientifically defensible, and broadly applicable to the variety of wetland types found across California. In addition, an important component in  the development of the software was enhancing data input and availability to participants. CRAM software, or eCRAM, is designed to assist in data input while assessing ambient conditions within watersheds, regions, and throughout the State.

The purpose of this project is to collaborate with others to provide a mechanism for data sharing and input when using CRAM for wetland assessments. 

The eCRAM Website.


This is an ongoing project.


The first phase of CRAM development involved creating conceptual models of wetland form and function, defining key terms, developing the wetland typology, identifying the universal attributes of wetland condition, and designing metrics that describe each attribute. The basic design work was done primarily through initial field-testing and feedback by Regional Teams and a Core Team. The release of CRAM version 2.0 marked the completion of the basic design phase.

Once the design phase was completed, eCRAM was created. eCRAM is software specifically designed for inputting data in a common format. There are two versions of eCRAM, one which installs directly onto laptop computer for use in the field, and one which can be accessed over the internet from the lab or office.


This project was conducted in collaboration with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, San Jose State University Foundation, the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District, US EPA Region IX, and members of the statewide Core Team and Regional Teams.

For more information on eCRAM development, contact Shelly Moore at (714) 755-3207 or Martha Sutula at (714) 755-3222

This page was last updated on: 10/6/2014