January 2019 • The email newsletter of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, publisher of Interstate Waters
IN THIS ISSUE: Marsh Monitoring • Spring Conferences • Quality Research • Government Shutdown • Gerel to Lead NBEP • In Brief • Accolades • Notices and Events
Measuring Sea-Level Rise
Monitoring Impact on Tidal Marshes
Chris Mitchell, a NEIWPCC-HRNERR researcher, and Lisa Williams, an intern, measure vegetation elevation levels from a surface elevation table at the Norrie Point tidal marsh. SARAH FERNALD
Late last fall, 3 NEIWPCC researchers at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve finished installing 6 surface elevation tables to measure changes in Piermont Marsh, the Hudson’s largest brackish tidal marsh.
These instruments monitor sediment accretion rates (the annual build-up of sediment) by measuring the elevation of the marsh surface relative to a fixed benchmark.
Spring Conferences for All
This spring, hundreds of environmental professionals will participate in a NEIWPCC conference or workshop.
The Commission’s spring lineup is especially wide-ranging this year because it includes the Onsite Short Course, which is not offered every year, and a conference for aquatic biologists that had previously been organized by another group.
A field trip offered in conjunction with the 2013 Nonpoint Source Conference in Vermont. Participants visited the sites of four stream- restoration and stormwater-mitigation projects in the Town of Williston.
“For more than seventy years, NEIWPCC has grown and added new programs,” said Susan Sullivan, NEIWPCC’s executive director.
“We’re proud and excited to be offering so many different events, and to reach such a broad cross-section of environmental professionals in our member states,” she said. (more…)
Praise for Research Quality
Following a quality assurance project plan, Ross Hernandez uses a portable water-quality meter to measure dissolved oxygen, turbidity (murkiness), and other parameters. Hernandez is an intern at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Peter Zaykoski, NEIWPCC’s quality assurance program manager, took this photo in the course of a site visit last fall.
Volunteers who monitor invasive plants for the Adirondack Mountain Club are trained in procedures for collecting and mailing plant samples for species verification.
The training is specified in a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) that the club developed following NEIWPCC’s Quality Management System (QMS).
The procedures make the data collected useful and reliable, and the QMS last fall won praise from the EPA following a review that takes place every five years.
Commission mostly unscathed
Four weeks into the partial shutdown of the federal government, NEIWPCC remains open for business. Nonetheless, some gaps are emerging.
New Narragansett Leader
Mike Gerel to be Program Director
Mike Gerel, an environmental scientist who has led or contributed to water-basin initiatives on both coasts, will lead the bi-state Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) starting February 1.
He joins NBEP as it is developing programs based on a comprehensive study of the health of the bay and estuary that was released in late 2017.
Accolades and Accomplishments
The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program’s comprehensive 2017 State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed technical report is getting raves from other national estuary programs. Duane Defreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council, recently called the study the “gold standard among national estuary program status and trends reports,” citing its “superb graphics.”
Courtney Schmidt, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program’s staff scientist, has been accepted into the Leadership Rhode Island program (LRI) for 2019. Each year, LRI selects a diverse class of emerging and established Rhode Island leaders to participate in thought-provoking programs that encourage community engagement and inspire action.
The Commission’s Wastewater & Onsite Systems Division has won the greatest possible endorsement: a decision by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to renew its contract for NEIWPCC to train and certify wastewater operators in the Commonwealth. The 5-year contract with the DEP and the Board of Certification for Wastewater will go into effect on January 31. NEIWPCC has managed the Commonwealth’s certification and renewal program since 2005.
Lake Champlain Basin Program Technical Associate Ellen Kujawa has been appointed as the Region 1 Director for the North American Lake Management Society. Kujawa will serve as one of twelve directors.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program are two of NEIWPCC’s program partners.
Through new contracts and staffing changes, we are pleased to welcome new hires and congratulate staff members with new positions within NEIWPCC.
Headquarters, Lowell, Mass.
- Kale Connerty, information officer, Communications Division and Wastewater Division
- Lucia Walker, assistant comptroller, Fiscal Division
State of Maine Drinking Water Program, Augusta
- Ellen Daly, assistant environmental analyst
Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, Providence, R.I.
- Julia Bancroft, environmental analyst (now full time)
New York State Source Water Assessment and Protection, Stonybrook
- Joshua Garcia, geologist – environmental analyst
Notices and Events
Requests for proposals, employment opportunities, and internships are posted as they become available.
- Jan. 27 – 30, Boston, Mass.: New England Water Environment Association’s annual conference and exhibit.
- Feb. 5 – 7, New York, N.Y.: New York Water Environment Association’s annual meeting and exhibition.
- March 19 – 29, Alexandria, Va.: Association of Clean Water Administrators mid – year meeting.
- Feb. 27 – March 1, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.: 2019 Northeast Aquatic Biologist Conference.
- April 2 – 4, Groton, Conn.: Annual Northeast Onsite Wastewater Treatment Short Course and Equipment Exhibition.
- April 8 – 10, Crystal City, Va.: Environmental Council of the States’ 2019 Spring Meeting. “Partnership in Action: Advancing Collaboration, Certainty, & Confidence”
- April 18 – 19, Portsmouth, N.H.: Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference, “30/30 Vision—Breaking through 30 years of barriers, behaviors, and budgets, to blaze the path to the next 30 years of NPS management!”
- April 24 – 25, Presque Isle, Maine: Joint Environmental Training Coordinating Committee’s, North Country Convention.
- April 29, Worcester, Mass.: Narragansett Bay Estuary Program’s State of the Blackstone Workshop.
- May 2 – 3, Providence, R.I.: Spring meeting of NEIWPCC’s governing Commission.
- June 2 – 5, New Castle, N.H.: New England Water Environment Association’s spring meeting and exhibit.
We offer courses and workshops around the region for wastewater and drinking water professionals. See NEIWPCC’s Training and Renewals web page.
New events are added regularly to our calendar page.
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iWR • January 2019 • To front page
Marsh Monitoring • Spring Conferences • Quality Research
Government Shutdown • Gerel to Lead NBEP
In Brief • Accolades • Notices and Events