Members' 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.

The Value of Wetlands for Natural Disaster Mitigation

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 3pm-4:30pm Eastern

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  • Matthew McCartney, CGIAR System Organization
  • Max Finlayson, PhD, Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University


As climate change increases the frequency and severity and heightens the risks of many natural hazards, the role of wetlands in disaster risk reduction, is gaining prominence. Wetlands can reduce the impacts of natural hazards. In the aftermath of hurricanes, floods or tsunamis, they often play an important role in getting communities back on their feet. Evidence shows that wetlands mitigate some natural disasters and lower the risks for people: first, by reducing the immediate physical impacts and second, by helping people survive and recover in the aftermath. Wise management of wetlands is thus an urgent imperative that merits all the attention it can get, but sweeping statements about their universal value to mitigate disaster can do more harm than good. The reality is that differences between wetland types translate into very different outcomes. Wetlands are not a cure-all for natural disasters, and overstating their benefits could hinder rather than help. This webinar will share the findings of a recent paper written by the presenters that looks at the risks around exaggerating the value of wetlands for natural disaster mitigation as well as their benefits. 


Matthew McCartneyMatthew McCartney is Principal Researcher, CGIAR System Organization. Matthew McCartney is a principal researcher specializing in water resources, and wetland and hydro-ecological studies. He is currently research group leader of the International Water Management’s (IWMI) group on Future Water, Growth and Natural Capital. He is also a flagship leader in the CGIARs research program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. He is currently based in IWMIs Southeast Asia office in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

Max FinlaysonMax Finlayson is Director of the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University. Prof Max Finlayson is an internationally renowned wetland ecologist with extensive experience in Australia and internationally in water pollution, mining and agricultural impacts, invasive species, climate change, and human well being and wetlands. He has participated in global assessments such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the Global Environment Outlook. Since the early 1990s he has been a technical advisor to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and has written extensively on wetland ecology and management. Current research interests include wetland and river management, planning and policies; community and indigenous peoples’ involvement in wetland and river management; integration of social, economic and ecologic research; trade-offs among wetland users and uses; water availability and climate change; and wetland ecosystem services.

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Understanding California’s New Wetland Rules and Implications for Wetland Management

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 3:00pm-5:00pm Eastern

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S. Keith Garner, Partner, Sheppard Mullin PRESENTER

  • S. Keith Garner, Sheppard Mullin


In 2019, California’s State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted rules to protect wetlands and other environmentally sensitive waterways throughout the state. More than 90 percent of California’s historic wetlands have been lost to development and other human activity. Wetlands are a critical natural resource that protect and improve water quality, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and buffer developed areas from flooding and sea-level rise. The newly adopted rules provide a common, statewide definition of what constitutes a wetland. They also provide consistency in the way the State Water Board and nine regional water boards regulate activities to protect wetlands and other waterways, such as rivers and streams, and bays and estuaries. This webinar will share the history behind California’s new rules and explain the process that was undertaken to develop them. The webinar will cover the current status of the rules, lessons learned and planned next steps. The webinar will include consideration of which elements of the rule and process could be transferable to other state contexts.


Keith Garner is a partner and Practice Group Leader of the Real Estate, Land Use, Natural Resources and Environmental Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office. Keith has been tracking and participating in California’s wetland rulemaking proceedings for over a decade. Keith's practice focuses on state and federal environmental laws, land use planning and entitlement procedures, and natural resources permitting issues for large residential, commercial and mixed use communities and energy generation and transmission projects, including wind and solar facilities. He handles a wide range of state and federal regulatory matters, including endangered species, wetlands, water quality and land use issues, initiatives and referendums, environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Williamson Act contracts, and State Lands issues.

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A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits will be available for this webinar. Free Certificates of Participation are a benefit of ASWM membership. Non-Members who request a certificate will be charged a processing fee of $25.00. You will have up to 60 days to retrieve your certificate.

Certificates are not available for viewing recorded webinars. More Information can be found here.

To view Past Members' Wetland Webinars:

Members You must be logged in.

Nonmembers To view recent Members' Webinars, please join ASWM.

To view 2012 webinars (publicly available), click here