Members' Wetland Webinar Series

ASWM Member Webinar

The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) holds a webinar each month for its members. ASWM Member webinars cover a variety of topics encompassing wetland science, policy, program implementation, and legal issues. These webinars, including recordings for past webinars are available to ASWM members. If you are not a member, you are invited to join ASWM. For information about membership, click here.

For more information about this  webinar series, please contact Laura Burchill at or (207) 892-3399.

Future Members' Webinar Schedule

ASWM Members webinars are generally held the fourth Wednesday of the month unless the date and time needs to be adjusted for when the presenter(s) is available.

If you haven’t used Go To Webinar before or you just need a refresher, please view our guide prior to the webinar here.

If you would like to participate in the webinar but believe there is not enough time to join and register, please contact Laura at or call 207-892-3399.

Wetland Restoration Contractor Selection 101: Keys to Successful Wetland Restoration and Project Implementation

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 3:00-5:00 pm ET


  • Tom Harcarik, Environmental Planner, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Neal Hess, Conservation Specialist, EnviroScience, Inc.
  • John Watts, Resource Manager, Columbus Metro Parks


Successful wetland restoration projects not only provide habitat for a diversity of native wetland plants and animals, they also provide valuable groundwater recharge areas, surface water improvements, capture sediments and runoff and contribute to overall conservation, preservation and greenspace.  Several key aspects lead to successful restoration projects including designing, planning, site selection, and establishing habitat restoration goals.  However, the right contractor must be selected in order to ensure that the restoration plan is properly implemented.  This three-part presentation will discuss essential information to include in your Request for Proposals and the contractor selection process.  The first presentation will briefly discuss the findings from ASWM’s Wetland Restoration Success Project focused on contractor selection as an important component of improving restoration success. The next presentation given by Neal Hess, will examine the basic elements of an RFP, and then describe often misunderstood or overlooked aspects of contractor selection, such as the design-build versus design-bid-build project delivery methods, bonding, and developing a scoring matrix for proposal review.   Finally, John Watts will focus on how to present the ecological criteria for development of an effective RFP to ensure the contractor understands the restoration goals when preparing bids.  Key elements to be discussed include project history, description, requirements, qualifications and expected submittals to ensure the ability to meet the project schedule and established budget.  John will also discuss how to review proposals to be sure the most qualified contractor is selected. John’s presentation will also present a few case studies highlighting projects completed in central Ohio, ranging in size from small vernal pools to 650-area wetland and wet prairie complexes.


Tom HarcarikTom Harcarik is an environmental planner with Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance where he evaluates stream and wetland protection and restoration projects under the innovative Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program. Tom also assists communities by reviewing potential environmental impacts to streams and wetlands, threatened and endangered species, historic properties, floodplains and other environmental resources that may result from projects seeking financing through Ohio’s wastewater and water State Revolving Fund programs. Tom received a B.S. in Conservation, with a focus on aquatic ecology, from Kent State University and completed course work in Environmental and Public Policy at the Ohio State University. Tom currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the ASWM Board of Directors.

Neal HessNeal Hess is a Conservation Specialist for EnviroScience, Inc., a 120-person firm headquartered in Stow, Ohio. Mr. Hess has over 17 years of environmental and conservation experience and is a part of EnviroScience’s Ecological Restoration Practice Area. He focuses on marketing, developing, financing, and managing ecological conservation and restoration projects. Since 2006, Mr. Hess has obtained and managed over $76 million in grant and other financing for the acquisition and/or restoration of conservation land, as well as for park and trail development. Mr. Hess also maintains a real estate broker’s license, which he uses strictly for the purchase of property for park and nature preserves for various land trust, park district, and municipal clients throughout the state of Ohio. Prior to joining EnviroScience, Mr. Hess worked in both the land trust and park district sectors, and thus has experience not only as a consultant/contractor, but also as an owner/implementer when it comes to the restoration of aquatic ecosystems.

John WattsJohn Watts is the Resource Manager for the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and has worked for Metro Parks since 1986. John also worked for the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources from 1986-1991 conducting rare species monitoring, habitat restoration and natural area management. John coordinates and administers the Resource Management Program for nearly 28,000 acres of natural area park lands in central Ohio, which has restored approximately 5,000 acres of native habitats. John also oversees the design and development of the restoration projects, development of long-term management and restoration plans, species reintroduction program, wildlife management plans, invasive species control and education programs. John earned his B.A. in Environmental Life Science from Otterbein College in 1986 and his M.S. from The Ohio State University in Parks and Recreation Administration in 1989.

There is no charge for current members. Please click on "Current Members Register Here" to register.


If you would like to register for this and future ASWM Member Webinars and are not a current member, please click on “Join ASWM”. After receiving your membership payment you will be sent a confirmation email and you can return to this page to register.

If you would like to participate in the webinar but believe there is not enough time to join and register, please contact Laura at or call 207-892-3399.

A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits is available when participating in ASWM's live webinars. Certificates are not available for viewing recorded webinars. Go here for more Information.



To view Past Members' Wetland Webinars:

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To view 2012 webinars (publicly available), click here