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New England Wetland Webinars

Webinars are free, but registration is required. Webinar recordings will be posted to this site once available.

Jump to Past Webinar Recordings

Past Webinars:

Massachusetts’ In-Lieu Fee Wetland Mitigation Program: The First Five Years

May 19, 2020

  • Webinar Recording (coming soon)
  • Presentation Slides

Webinar Description and Presenter Bio

Presented by: Elisabeth Cianciola and Aisling O’Shea, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game

Introduction by: Taylor Bell,  Mitigation Program Manager for New England District Regulatory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

On May 23, 2014 the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game (DFG) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed an agreement making DFG the sponsor of a new program which provides Corps permittees the option of paying a fee in lieu of providing mitigation for project impacts to federally-regulated aquatic resources.  Over the past five years, DFG has aggregated fees paid into the program to implement larger-scale mitigation projects focusing on permanently protecting aquatic resources and upland buffers or restoring impacted aquatic resources. This presentation will provide an overview of the evolution of the program, achievements to date, and potential directions for future growth.

About the speakers:

Elisabeth Cianciola is a new addition to the Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program staff as of December of 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Trinity College in Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Ms. Cianciola has worked on environmental monitoring, restoration, and policy projects for several environmental consulting firms in Massachusetts and for non-profit organizations such as the Charles River Watershed Association and the Connecticut River Conservancy.

Aisling O’Shea is the Program Administrator for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) In-Lieu Fee (ILF) Program. DFG is the sponsor of this state-wide program that provides compensatory aquatic resource mitigation through preservation, enhancement and restoration projects. Aisling manages ILF program development and implementation, including mitigation project selection and funding, collaboration with federal, state and other partners, and evaluation of ILF program outcomes.  Her prior work, with more than 20 years working on environmental policy and planning in MA, focused on environmental impact review, permitting, sustainable land use, climate change mitigation and resiliency initiatives.

Taylor Bell, Mitigation Program Manager for New England District Regulatory, has 11 years’ experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He has worked with multiple districts throughout the southeast including: Galveston District, Mobile District, and Wilmington District.  Prior to his current position, he was a Corps Project Manager for Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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NH’s Progress in the Development of Biocriteria to Assess Wetland Condition

March 17, 2020–Presented by Sandy Crystall, NH DES Wetlands Bureau

Webinar Description and Presenter Bio

New Hampshire has been working toward the development of wetland-specific water quality standards. Sandy will review the results of the wetland monitoring and assessment work conducted over several years in coordination with Maine DEP. NHDES’s methods included sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates, water, vegetation, and applying two rapid assessments. Sandy will describe the results of the four years of sampling, as well as the related Floristic Quality Assessment work being conducted by Bill Nichols in the NH Natural Heritage Bureau.

About the speaker:

Sandy Crystall (NH DES)

Sandy Crystall is a Training and Research Specialist in the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Wetlands Bureau.  Sandy spent more than 8 years in the Watershed Management Bureau working on several EPA grants related to wetland condition assessment and the development of wetland-specific water quality standards. She was the NH team botanist and regional trainer for the vegetation protocols used in EPA’s National Wetland Condition Assessments in 2011 and 2016. In her prior 12 years in the Wetlands Bureau, she conducted outreach and was a permitting inspector. Her non-DES experience includes positions with FEMA, USEPA, and in consulting. Sandy’s academic background is in biology and environmental planning and she is a professional wetland scientist. She spends her spare time botanizing, doing genealogical research, and on municipal boards.

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Questions (and some answers) about the Effects of Solar Development on Wetlands

March 3, 2020–Presented by: Laura Lapierre, Vermont DEC- Wetlands Program Manager

Webinar Description and Presenter Bio

The State of Vermont is a leader in the nation for reducing their carbon footprint to mitigate climate change.  The unintended consequence of incentivizing solar development is a strong desire by developers to place solar fields within and adjacent to wetland resources.  This situation has brought up many interesting questions: Can solar avoid wetland resources and achieve energy production goals? Are posts and aerial coverage of panels all that impactful to wet-meadows? How does the annual mowing effect invasive spread? Is solar less impactful than agricultural production? Is solar competing with wetland restoration efforts? Or could solar be a form of wetland restoration?

This presentation will explore Vermont’s experience with solar development, provide management tips, and delve into Vermont’s ongoing research, monitoring, and policy development.

In 2015, NEIWPCC and ASWM co-hosted a two-part series webinar (ASWM log-in required) about solar development and wetlands.  This is a follow up presentation on the advances in Vermont solar policy with wetlands.  

About the presenter:

Laura Lapierre has worked as the VT Wetlands Program Manager since 2013.  Laura and her team are responsible for protecting and restoring the 300,000 + acres of wetlands throughout the state through administration of the Vermont Wetland Rules.  She has been evaluating wetland ecosystems throughout the northeast for the past 12 years.  She holds a MS in Biology from McGill University and a BS from Unity College in Maine.

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NY Wetland & Stream Assessment Webinar

Sept. 16, 2019–Click for details

Coastal Bank Erosion Hazard Maps

May 14, 2019– Presented by: Margot Mansfield and Julia Knisel, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management

Webinar Description and Presenter Bio

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have identified the position of ocean-facing coastal banks over the last 30 years and estimated coastal bank erosion over time. In addition to the coastal bank position in the MassDEP Wetlands data layer, top of coastal bank delineations are now available for multiple time periods between 2000 and 2014. High-resolution elevation data (LIDAR) and historical aerial photography were utilized for the project. The data were developed to identify the magnitude of coastal bank erosion and location of hotspots, and inform planning and policy efforts. The presentation and discussion focus on the coastal bank erosion hazard data and its application.

Margot Mansfield
is a climate change and coastal hazards analyst with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). She supports implementation of EEA’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program and leads EEA’s work on integrating statewide climate change projections into the MVP program and the MA Climate Change Clearinghouse. She also supports CZM’s StormSmart Coasts Program, including development and review of coastal hazards datasets and efforts on developing a regional monitoring protocol and guidance for living shoreline projects in coastal New England. Margot holds a Master of Science in Earth Science from the University of Maine, and a Bachelor of Science in Earth & Space Science from the University of Washington.

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Development of Monitoring and Assessment Tools to Support Coastal Wetlands Management in Rhode Island:  Focus on Rapid Assessment

April 9, 2019– Presented by: Tom Kutcher, Rhode Island Natural History Survey, and Caitlin Chaffee, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council

Webinar Description and Presenter Bios

This webinar focuses on the development and implementation of a salt marsh rapid assessment method (MarshRAM) for Rhode Island. The method was developed by the Rhode Island (RI) Natural History Survey in partnership with the RI Department of Environmental Management and RI Coastal Resources Management Council, with WPDG funding from EPA. MarshRAM is designed to efficiently document attributes, ecosystem functions and services, landscape setting, disturbances, integrity, and migration potential of salt marshes across the state. The method is intended to generate a reference condition gradient and categories of marsh condition, against which individual marshes can be evaluated for supporting management decisions. Metrics, cover class descriptions, site selection, implementation, and results will be presented. We will also discuss how the method fits into our recently-completed Salt Marsh Monitoring and Assessment Program—a three-tiered approach that incorporates landscape, rapid, and intensive assessment methods—and how the monitoring program informs the state’s coastal wetland restoration strategy.

Caitlin Chaffee is a policy analyst with the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, where she manages the Rhode Island Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Trust Fund.  She has worked with federal, state and local partners to design and implement coastal habitat restoration projects, and she develops policy, guidance and training programs related to coastal habitats, stormwater management, and the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on coastal resiliency. Chaffee received her master’s degree in environmental science and management from the University of Rhode Island.

Tom Kutcher is a wetland scientist for the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, where he works to develop and improve wetland monitoring, assessment, and restoration protocols for Rhode Island’s environmental agencies. He is a recent co-author of the Rhode Island Salt Marsh Monitoring Strategy (2016) and the Rhode Island Coastal Wetland Restoration Strategy (2018). Tom formerly worked as Stewardship Coordinator at the Narragansett Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, where he led the development of a coastal habitat classification method for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Tom holds a master’s degree in Environmental and Ecological Science from the University of Rhode Island.

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Rising Tides: Sea Level Rise and Conservation Planning
Presented by: Kristen Puryear, Maine Natural Areas Program
Presentation Slides

Modeling the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Massachusetts’ Wetlands
Presented by: Marc Carullo, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management
Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording

Webinar Description and Presenter Bios

Kristen Puryear, Ecologist
Maine Natural Areas Program

This webinar reviews the development of Maine’s coastal marsh resiliency modeling and how we worked with partners to incorporate marsh migration and resilience data into conservation, restoration, and planning considerations.  This project allowed MNAP to address objectives within Maine’s Wetland Program Plan and expanded our ability to present new data and collaborate on new tidal wetland projects.

Kristen Puryear is an Ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program, part of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. For the past 13 years her responsibilities have included ecological monitoring, rare plant and natural community surveys, and working with foresters and land managers of private and public lands. Much of her work involves landscape analysis and field surveys of inland and coastal wetlands across the state, contributing to the evaluation of potential wetland mitigation sites. She is also working on long term monitoring of tidal marshes, salt marsh ecological integrity assessments, and the integration of sea level rise and marsh migration into conservation planning efforts. Kristen holds an MS in Botany from the University of Vermont, and a BA in Geology-Archaeology from Bates College.

Marc Carullo, GIS/Environmental Analyst
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and partners have applied the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to all of Massachusetts’ wetlands in an effort to understand the potential effects of sea level rise on the extent and distribution of tidal marshes and other wetlands in the 21st Century. CZM is using the SLAMM model predictions to support a variety of approaches to increase tidal marsh resilience throughout Massachusetts, including identification of potential marsh migration corridors to inform land protection efforts, changes in land management practices, prioritization of restoration sites, and other targeted adaptation practices. The information generated will be incorporated into a statewide strategy to build tidal marsh resilience. This presentation includes an overview of the modeling approach, results, and examples of how CZM is and will be using this information to support state actions.

Marc Carullo manages or supports a variety of projects involving coastal wetlands monitoring, assessment, and mapping for CZM, affording him the opportunity to work in hundreds of tidal marshes throughout Massachusetts over the years. He is the project lead on CZM’s effort to model the potential effects of sea level rise on coastal wetlands for enhanced planning, management, and policy development. Marc provides technical assistance for regulatory review involving coastal wetlands and GIS mapping and analysis support to other CZM program areas, including ocean planning and shoreline and floodplain management. Marc has previously worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service in GIS development and biological monitoring capacities.

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Vulnerable Forested Wetlands
Presented by: Don Cameron and Justin Schlawin, Maine Natural Areas Program
Presentation Slides (PDF)

Wetland Bioassessment Methods to Track Restoration Success
Presented by: Julie Follensbee and Charlie Hohn, Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Presentation Slides (PDF)

Webinar Recording

Webinar Description and Presenter Bios

In this webinar, we talk about Maine’s Wetland Program Development objectives of acquiring (1) comprehensive statewide information on the status and location of rare and exemplary wetland type occurrences and (2) detailed information about floodplain forest wetlands along the Saco and Androscoggin rivers and their tributaries.  The more complete this information, the better we are able to prioritize wetlands most in need of conservation and protection.

Don Cameron, Botanist/Ecologist
Don manages Maine’s official list of Threatened and Endangered plants, researches and monitors federally listed plant species, conducts field inventories for rare and exemplary natural habitats, and provides technical assistance for natural resource planning and protection.  Don has a wide breadth of experience with Maine’s ecological systems having conducted projects ranging from salt marsh documentation and sea level rise modeling to assessing and mapping Maine’s sub-alpine forests.  Don has coauthored several botanical field guides, the most recent being Grasses and Rushes of Maine (2019).  Prior to joining Maine Natural Areas Program, Don was Coordinator of the County Natural Areas Inventories Program for The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania.  Don holds an MS degree in Plant Ecology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Justin Schlawin, Ecologist
Justin has worked for the Maine Natural Areas Program since 2012.  His responsibilities include ecological monitoring of public lands, inventory of rare plants and rare and exemplary habitats statewide, ecological assessments of floodplain forests, and GIS analysis and modeling.  Justin’s previous experience includes work with The Nature Conservancy including fire management positions, and land management work with several local land trusts.  Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Bates College.

The State of Vermont Wetlands Program is expanding an ongoing statewide wetland biomonitoring project to include assessment of a small number of wetland restoration sites to document the outcomes of restoration projects. The goal is to conduct initial monitoring prior to construction for new sites and before planned enhancement activities on existing sites. Future monitoring is planned to track the habitat development of each site and document changes in wetland condition. The project also involves assessing a larger number of restoration sites with Vermont’s Rapid Assessment Methodology which will be discussed.

Julie Follensbee, District Wetland Ecologist
Julie protects Vermont’s wetlands through regulation, education, restoration, and enforcement in this position, which she has held for the past 12 years. As Program Restoration Specialist she reviews potential wetland restoration projects; collaborates with state, federal and non-government organizations; advises restoration bioassessment; and is developing a statewide tracking system for wetland restoration work. Julie has a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Natural Science.

Charlie Hohn, Wetland Ecologist
Charlie Hohn conducts bioassessment of wetlands for the Vermont Wetlands Program. Charlie has lived in Vermont for almost 10 years, where he has worked as a botanist and ecologist for the Wetlands program and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Previously, Charlie lived in southern California where he did similar work in the dry mountains above Los Angeles. Charlie specializes in botany and spatial ecology including mapping wetlands and their natural communities. He has experience with restoration implementation and monitoring from both California and Vermont. Charlie is a graduate of The University of Vermont Field Naturalist M.S. Program.

Stream & Wetland Buffers Webinar Series

Stream & Wetland Buffers Webinar Series – Part 1: Restoration
July 25, 2017 – Brian Hotz of Merrimack Conservation Partnership presents Merrimack Conservation Partnership – A New Approach to Conserving a Watershed, and Alex Krofta of Merrimack River Watershed Council presents Prioritizing, Protecting, and Restoring Riparian Buffers in the Merrimack River Watershed.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

Stream & Wetland Buffers Webinar Series – Part 2: Education
August 22, 2017 – Todd Menees of Vermont DEC presents the Vermont Rivers & Roads Training Program.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation – The video that was presented as part of this presentation can be found here.

Stream & Wetland Buffers Webinar Series – Part 3: Legal Challenges
September 15, 2017 – Professor John Echeverria of Vermont Law School discusses the takings issue,  impacts on buffer jurisdiction, and the potential pushback from a legal perspective.
PDF of Powerpoint

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Chicopee Watershed Monitoring and Assessment
May 12, 2016 – Lisa Rhodes of MassDEP presents Chicopee Watershed Monitoring and Assessment: Summary and Findings.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

New Tools to Assess Wetland Condition
March 10, 2016 – Kathryn Miller from the Acadia National Park of the National Park Service presents New tools to assess condition of freshwater wetlands in the Northeastern US: Multimetric Indices for vegetation, soil chemistry, algae taxa, and water chemistry.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

Wetland Assessment Methods
January 14, 2016 –  Ecological Integrity Assessments of Maine Wetlands presented by Andy Cutko, Maine Natural Areas Program and River Corridor Status: Assessment of Floodplain Forests presented by Justin Schlawin, Maine Natural Areas Program.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

Mapping Vulnerable Wetlands 

December 10, 2015 – New York City Tidal Marsh Assessment presented by Christopher Haight, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and Mapping Vulnerable Wetlands presented by Alice Smith and Nancy Lin, MassDEP
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

Cooperative Management and Regulation
November 12, 2015 – An Alternate Regulatory Mechanism for Vernal Pools presented by Aram Calhoun of the University of Maine and Elizabeth Hertz of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Wetland-Specific Water Quality Standards presented by Sandy Crystall of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

Learning the Wetlands Technical Review Process
April 9, 2015  – Mary Ann Tilton of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services presents NH DES’ work to improve their technical review process.
PDF of Powerpoint

Looking to the Future: Proactive Wetland Conservation Planning
March 12, 2015  – Identifying Wetland Mitigation Opportunities in Maine presented by Kristen Puryear of the Maine Natural Areas program and Conservation Planning for Tidal Marsh Migration Due to Sea Level Rise presented by Don Cameron of the Maine Natural Areas Program.
PDF of Powerpoint

Mapping Invasive Species and Tracking Vernal Pools: Using Web-Based Tools to Improve Wetlands Work
February 12, 2015 – iMapInvasives – A New Tool for Invasive Plant Mapping and Management in Maine presented by Nancy Olmstead of the Maine Natural Areas Program and The Massachusetts Vernal Pool and Rare Species Information System presented by Sarah Haggerty of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.
PDF of Powerpoint
MP4 of Presentation

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