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Stream and Wetland Buffer Protection Workshop

Workshop Summary

May 4th, 2016
Massachusetts Fish and Game Headquarters Office
Westborough MA

Approximately 90 participants, representing state and federal agencies, non-profits, consultants, and universities met to share information on the status of buffer protection, the latest science on buffers, approaches to making the case for buffers, and examples of what is working to further the protection of stream and wetland buffers in New England.

The workshop was designed by a diverse Steering Committee and coordinated by EPA New England.


 Stream and Wetland Buffers: Making the Most of a Good Thing

Workshop Wrap-Up Summary: Buffer Workshop Summary of Responses and Discussion Notes

Workshop Presentations

Complete Package of Presentations


Introductions and Objectives
Ralph Abele, Water Quality Branch Chief, U.S. EPA
Jackie LeClair, Wetlands Unit Chief, U.S. EPA


Legal Strategies to Protect Streams, Buffers, and River Corridors
Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

Understanding the Value, Importance, and Science of Buffers

Floodplains and River Corridors as Appropriate Landscape Features Supporting Riparian Buffer Functions
Mike Kline, Rivers Program Manager, Vermont DEC

Effects of Adjacent Land Use on Ecological Integrity For Lakes and Wetlands
Scott D. Jackson, Extension Associate Professor, UMass Amherst

Coldwater Fishery Resources
Todd Richards, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Effectiveness of Stream Buffers: A Watershed Perspective
Allison Roy, Assistant Unit Leader, USGS, MA Coop Unit, UMass and
Naomi Detenbeck, Ecologist, U.S. EPA Atlantic Ecology Division

Buffers in New England – Where are We Now?

Trish Garrigan, Healthy Watersheds Coordinator, U.S. EPA


Brian Murphy, Senior Fisheries Habitat Biologist, Division of Inland Fisheries, Connecticut DEEP

Don Witherill, Director of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Water Quality, Maine DEP

Lealdon Langley, Director of Wetlands and Waterways Program, Massachusetts DEP

New Hampshire
Mary Ann Tilton, Assistant Administrator of the Wetlands Bureau, New Hampshire DES

Rhode Island
Chuck Horbert, Wetlands Supervisor, Rhode Island DEM

Rich Kirn, Fisheries Program Manager, Vermont DF&W

Challenges and Opportunities
Trish Garrigan, Healthy Watersheds Coordinator, U.S. EPA


Trish Garrigan, Healthy Watersheds Coordinator, U.S. EPA

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Ruth Ladd, Chief, Policy and Technical Support Branch, U.S. ACE

Ralph Abele, Water Quality Branch Chief, U.S. EPA

Chad Cochrane, Resource Conservationist, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service
Chris Smith, State Coordinator – Partners for Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Forest Service
Karl Honkonen, Forest Watershed Specialist, U.S. Forest Service

Making the Case for Buffers

Rhode Island – How a Consensus Based Approach Led to Legislative Action
Nancy Hess, Supervising Land Use Planner, Rhode Island DOA and
Sue Kiernan, Deputy Chief, Office of Water Resources, Rhode Island DEM

Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act: A Regulatory Framework for Protecting Riparian Buffers
Heidi Davis, Environmental Analyst, Wetlands Program, Massaschusetts DEP

Maine – A Balanced Approach to Protecting Significant Vernal Pools
Don Witherill, Director of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Water Quality, Maine DEP

Local – Connecting the Dots: Wetland Buffer Success Stories at the Local Level
Rick Van de Poll, Ph.D., CWS, Principal, Ecosystem Management Consultants