Risk Reduction for Mitigation Projects: Perspectives on Financial Assurances' Best Practices

Part 2 of 2: Casualty Insurance & Surety Bonds

Held Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. EST

View Webinar Here

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

BIOS

 Steve MartinSteven Martin’s current focus is on compensatory mitigation policy and evaluation of compensatory mitigation proposals. He has assisted non-profits in evaluating potential mitigation projects and is consulting for the Ecological Restoration Business Association (ERBA). He is also working with Ecosystem Planning and Restoration on development of mitigation bank and In-Lieu Fee Program review workbooks and checklists.

In 2020, he retired from the Corps’ Institute for Water Resources (IWR) as a senior environmental scientist. His work at IWR included national implementation of the Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS), teaching aspects of compensatory mitigation policy and practices to Corps staff and other federal and state agencies, and development of tools to assist regulators in improving compensatory mitigation. He co-authored handbooks on financial assurances and site protection.

Prior to joining IWR, he worked for the Norfolk District Regulatory Branch where his work included wetland delineation, permitting, and compensatory mitigation. While in Norfolk, Mr. Martin chaired and oversaw development of 7 commercial mitigation banks, helped develop a template Mitigation Bank Instrument, off-site mitigation location guidelines, an in-lieu fee program instrument, and joint Norfolk District-Virginia DEQ Wetland Mitigation Guidelines.

Steve is a certified professional wetland scientist (PWS). He has an MS in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Virginia Tech.

Alexander DamAlexander Dam is a Director in Aon’s Surety & Performance Security practice, advising clients across a wide spectrum of industries on bonding and financial assurances. He started his career with a large carrier, specializing in large construction & engineering firms before joining the brokerage community. He is a trusted advisor to one of the country’s leading ecological restoration company and works closely with his client to address financial assurances requirements for sites across the country.

 

 

Chris BakerChris Baker co-founded Conservation United in 2015 as a specialized insurance brokerage serving nonprofits and professionals in the ecological restoration sector. Chris’ 25-year career as Founder and CEO of American Conservation Experience, one of the nation’s largest environmental workforce development programs implementing hundreds of restoration projects annually across all 50 states, uniquely prepares him to represent the insurance interests of the mitigation banking industry. As a lifelong conservationist, Chris recognized the need for a multi-year product satisfying short-term financial assurance requirements. Conservation United now offers the only 10-year insurance policy as well as the only 10-year performance bond available in the market, eliminating the uncertainty of annual renewals and ensuring adequate protection for regulators, mitigation providers, and the natural resource alike.



 

Bob SpothBob Spoth spent almost 30 years with the world’s largest insurance brokerage firms specializing in providing advice, service, and insurance brokerage to the construction sector.  He brokered insurance for several ENR 100 firms and for several projects with construction budgets over $1 billion.  While working in that sector of the risk management community, he discovered a need for "financial assurance" for ecosystem restoration companies (Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting). He developed a specialty product, sought, and received the support of an insurance company and finally had the product approved for use by the US Army Corps of Engineers. We started a small insurance agency to exclusively market the product becoming the 1st insurance company to insure an offset credit of any sort.  We have since provided more than $500 million of financial assurance to the restoration sector.  

 

 

Part 1: Introductions: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers'
Presenter: Steve Martin, Mitigation Specialist, PWS

Part 2: Presenter: Alexander Dam, Director, Surety & Performance Security, Aon
PlayPlay

Part 2: Presenter: Alexander Dam, Director, Surety & Performance Security, Aon

Part 3: Presenter: Chris Baker, Principal, Conservation United
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Part 3: Presenter: Chris Baker, Principal, Conservation United

Part 4: Presenter: Robert Spoth, President, Ecosystems Insurance
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Part 4: Presenter: Robert Spoth, President, Ecosystems Insurance

Part 5: Presenter: Steve Martin, Mitigation Specialist, PWS and Questions & Answers
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Part 5: Presenter: Steve Martin, Mitigation Specialist, PWS and Questions & Answers

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Part 1: Introductions: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenter: Alexander Dam, Director, Surety & Performance Security, Aon
Part 3: Presenter: Chris Baker, Principal, Conservation United
Part 4: Presenter: Robert Spoth, President, Ecosystems Insurance
Part 5: Presenter: Steve Martin, Mitigation Specialist, PWS and Questions & Answers
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Risk Reduction for Mitigation Projects: Perspectives on Financial Assurances' Best Practices

Part 1 of 2: Letters of Credit & Escrow Accounts

Held Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. EST

View Webinar Here

INTRODUCTION AND PRESENTATIONS

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACTS

Steve Moore

This presentation included a discussion of the definition and makeup of LOCs, the parties to the LOC contract and their responsibilities, and the typical duration of the LOC contract. With that in mind, the presentation discussed the uses of LOCs and some minimum requirements established by USACE. LOCs as a form of financial assurance offer procedural and substantive benefits, but also present limitations and potential pitfalls. Mr. Moore offered some general considerations and recommendations for best practices for the USACE and Mitigation Bank/ ILF/ Project Sponsors.

Amelia Savage

Amelia Savage addressed the basics of escrow accounts and how they can be utilized by mitigation bankers to provide financial assurances as required by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Topics included: elements of escrow accounts; parties and general responsibilities; duration; use; and considerations and recommendations for both the bank sponsors and the regulators.

BIOS

Steve Martin

Steven Martin’s current focus is on compensatory mitigation policy and evaluation of compensatory mitigation proposals. He has assisted non-profits in evaluating potential mitigation projects and is consulting for the Ecological Restoration Business Association (ERBA). He is also working with Ecosystem Planning and Restoration on development of mitigation bank and In-Lieu Fee Program review workbooks and checklists.

In 2020, he retired from the Corps’ Institute for Water Resources (IWR) as a senior environmental scientist. His work at IWR included national implementation of the Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS), teaching aspects of compensatory mitigation policy and practices to Corps staff and other federal and state agencies, and development of tools to assist regulators in improving compensatory mitigation. He co-authored handbooks on financial assurances and site protection.

Prior to joining IWR, he worked for the Norfolk District Regulatory Branch where his work included wetland delineation, permitting, and compensatory mitigation. While in Norfolk, Mr. Martin chaired and oversaw development of 7 commercial mitigation banks, helped develop a template Mitigation Bank Instrument, off-site mitigation location guidelines, an in-lieu fee program instrument, and joint Norfolk District-Virginia DEQ Wetland Mitigation Guidelines.

Steve is a certified professional wetland scientist (PWS). He has an MS in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Virginia Tech.


Steve MooreSteve Moore is the Vice President in charge of Business Analysis and Acquisition for Westervelt Ecological Services. Mr. Moore has over 30 years of experience in financial management, contract coordination and corporate strategic planning oversight. In his role, Mr. Moore is responsible for all aspects of financial analysis and reporting for Westervelt’ s mitigation and conservation banks, habitat mitigation turnkeys and service contracts for the Western, Southeastern and Rocky Mountain regions. In addition, he manages office operations and administrative support functions.

Mr. Moore is well versed in state-specific contracting requirements throughout the country. Mr. Moore works in cooperation with Regional Directors and processes managers to establish contract costs, create and maintain project pro forma, and control mitigation project budgets. In addition, Mr. Moore has extensive experience in coordinating with title and escrow companies during the land acquisition feasibility and acquisition processes. Mr. Moore has successfully managed the cash flow requirements, vendor payments and contract receivables for Westervelt for more than twelve years.

Prior to joining Westervelt, Mr. Moore held the positions of Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and other related titles for various real estate development firms throughout Northern California including the Central Valley.  


Amelia SavageAmelia Savage
works as an attorney Stearns Weaver Miller in Tallahassee, Florida on various environmental issues. She has worked on wetland mitigation banks and conservation banks for more than 15 years and routinely works with bankers, sellers, buyers, and regulators in all aspects of mitigation banking applications and implementation. In addition to mitigation banking and conservation banking, she helps utilities, businesses, and private landowners in Florida get the local, state, and federal permits needed to construct and operate their projects. These projects include personal docks, marinas, linear facilities, electric generation, mining, housing, and other developments.

 

 

Part 1: Introductions: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
PlayPlay

Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers'
Presenter: Steve Martin, Mitigation Specialist, PWS

Part 2: Presenter: Steve Moore, Vice President of Finance, Westervelt Ecological Services, LLC
PlayPlay

Part 2: Presenter: Steve Moore, Vice President of Finance, Westervelt Ecological Services, LLC

Part 3: Presenter: Amelia Savage, Environmental Attorney, Stearns Weaver Miller
PlayPlay

Part 3: Presenter: Amelia Savage, Environmental Attorney, Stearns Weaver Miller

Part 4: Questions & Answers
PlayPlay

Part 4: Questions & Answers

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Part 1: Introductions: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenter: Steve Moore, Vice President of Finance, Westervelt Ecological Services, LLC
Part 3: Presenter: Amelia Savage, Environmental Attorney, Stearns Weaver Miller
Part 4: Questions & Answers
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Mentoring the Next Generation of Wetland Professionals: A Collaborative Initiative with the Society of Wetland Scientists

ASWM SWSHeld Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT

View Webinar Here

INTRODUCTION AND PRESENTATIONS

Presenters

 

 

 

 

 


ABSTRACT

Baby Boomers are retiring at record rates, with 3.2 million more of them retiring in the third quarter of 2020 than in the same quarter during 2019 according to a 2020 Pew Research Center study. Not only does this create a monumental hiring challenge for businesses, government agencies, universities, non-profits and others, but it can also result in a significant loss of institutional knowledge as seasoned employees leave the workforce. Alternatively, this presents a tremendous opportunity for students and emerging professionals to pursue their professional goals. But how each organization manages the transfer of knowledge and how much they invest in mentoring can make all the difference between a successful transition and a not-so-successful transition.

This is particularly true for careers that require specialized knowledge and experience such as wetland science, wetland policy, and wetland regulatory programs, to name a few. To address this need, the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) have agreed to provide a joint membership opportunity for students in 2022. Any student who joins either organization in 2022 will receive a free, complimentary membership to the other organization. ASWM and SWS have also engaged in discussions regarding partnering on a student mentoring initiative. The details of the joint mentoring program are still being ironed out but will be finalized toward the end of 2022.

This webinar introduced the SWS-ASWM student mentorship initiative and provided presentations by students themselves about what their career goals are, how they plan to achieve them, what their needs and challenges are, and what they think is needed to develop a successful mentorship program. The goal of this webinar was to hear directly from students about what they need to be successful and what they expect and/or need in a mentoring program. 

 
Part 1: Introductions and Presentations: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
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Part 1: Introductions and Presentations: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers

Part 2: Mentorship Panel and Q&A
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Part 2: Mentorship Panel and Q&A

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Part 1: Introductions and Presentations: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Mentorship Panel and Q&A
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American Wetlands Month Webinar: Investing in Resiliency: Intersectional Perspectives of Wetlands, Infrastructure, and Healthy Communities

Held Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 3:00 pm-4:30 pm Eastern

View Webinar Here

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS 

  • Stella Wilson, Florida, Alabama, & Mississippi Restoration Area Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • Elizabeth Habic, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • LaTonya Gilliam, North District Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • Becca Madsen, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • Nalini S. Rao, Ph.D., Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]

ABSTRACT

In celebration of American Wetlands Month this May, join us for a webinar highlighting the integral role that wetlands and wetlands data play in decisions about infrastructure development that supports healthy and resilient communities. As the Biden Administration looks to invest significantly in upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure, it is important to highlight the importance of wetlands, not only in the infrastructure planning and permitting process, but also in the development of natural infrastructure solutions. From reducing floods and buffering coastal communities to filtering out pollutants and providing recreational green spaces, wetlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services and benefits. This webinar will focus on the intersections between wetlands and infrastructure through the lens of a diverse set of stakeholders.

BIOS

Stella WilsonStella Wilson is the Florida, Alabama, & Mississippi Restoration Area Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Program. Ms. Wilson has served in this role with NOAA since June 2020 and was serving in a similar role as a contractor with NOAA since April 2017. She serves as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) technical representative on the Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi Trustee Implementation Groups (TIGs) as part of the NRDA BP settlement agreement of 2015 and manages several large-scale restoration projects in these states to help compensate for injuries from the BP Oil Spill.

Ms. Wilson has thirteen years of experience in natural resource policy, planning, and restoration along the northern Gulf Coast. Ms. Wilson holds a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering Sciences, both from the University of Florida. Ms. Wilson’s experience includes developing local mitigation strategies, comprehensive coastal conservation plans, regional surface water improvement plans, regional watershed plans, local emergency management plans, and local capital improvement plans as well as managing hydrologic restoration, marsh restoration, and other habitat/living shoreline projects.

Elizabeth HabicElizabeth Habic is an Environmental Protection Specialist at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). She conducts research, technical assistance and outreach to improve the sustainability of transportation networks and enhance the resilience and durability of transportation to impacts of extreme weather and climate change. She has 10 years of experience on these issues at the Maryland Department of Transportation and State Highway Administration as the Climate Risk and Resilience Program Manager. Elizabeth has worked on many transportation planning initiatives with an environmental background working on state projects for over 20 years.

 

 

LaTonya GilliamLaTonya Gilliam is the North District Engineer at the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has 18 years of experience in various positions in DelDOT's Construction, NPDES and Engineering Support sections. Throughout her career she has championed water quality improvement initiatives and worked with communities, non-profits and state resource agencies to incorporate sustainable practices into the project development processes. Many of these projects have occurred in the Inland Bays Watershed improving water quality along the SR 1 Coastal Highway Corridor in partnership with the Center for the Inland Bays. As the North District Engineer in the Division of Maintenance and Operations the focus is on the long-term maintenance and stewardship of the stormwater facilities and addressing the impacts of a changing climate on an inland urban stormwater infrastructure. 

Becca MadsenBecca Madsen is a Senior Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Madsen manages and conducts research on a wide range of topics related to endangered species and natural resources within the context of electric power industry environmental challenges. Currently, a large focus of her work is on data science/artificial intelligence applications to environmental challenges.

Ms. Madsen has over 15 years of experience analyzing issues at the intersection of natural resources and economics. Prior to joining EPRI, she served as Principal of Madsen Environmental, where she provided consulting services to businesses seeking return on investment from environmental restoration and sustainability actions. Ms. Madsen has analyzed and written on topics ranging from global policies promoting biodiversity conservation, to feasibility of water quality trading in the Chesapeake Bay, to the application of an ecosystem services perspective at a major beverage company.

Ms. Madsen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina Honors College and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. Ms. Madsen was a Peace Corps volunteer, a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Forest Service, and an Enviropreneur Fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center.

Nalini RoeNalini S. Rao, Ph.D. is Senior Technical Leader in the Energy and Environment Sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Dr. Rao leads a research program “Ecosystem Risk and Resiliency,” which applies quantitative approaches to ecological and water-energy issues. Her program focuses on research and development in the areas of natural resources (water, climate, and ecological risk); developing tools and evaluating technologies; and business applications and benchmarking. At EPRI, Dr. Rao’s research program uses hydrologic, spatial, and economic analysis to deliver scientific analysis, decision-support software tools, resource risk management strategy evaluations, and technology assessments in the area of natural resources. Her program has over 96% member satisfaction rates as well as won three technical transfer awards for research applications which brought business values to member companies. She has worked on water, energy, climate, and economic research in both national and international applications, and prior to coming to EPRI, Dr. Rao worked at ICF International and Conservation International. Dr. Rao has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University where she used both hydrological and economic analysis to examine the adoption and effectiveness of agricultural best management practices in the New York City drinking water source watersheds. She also has a Masters of Environmental Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Sciences from U.C. Berkeley.


Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
PlayPlay

Part 1: Introduction: Part 1: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Stella Wilson, Florida, Alabama, & Mississippi Restoration Area Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Part 2: Presenters: Elizabeth Habic, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration and LaTonya Gilliam. North District Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation
PlayPlay

Part 2: Presenters: Elizabeth Habic, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration and LaTonya Gilliam. North District Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation

Part 3: Presenters: Becca Madsen, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute and Nalini S. Rao, Ph.D., Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute
PlayPlay

Part 3: Presenters: Becca Madsen, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute and Nalini S. Rao, Ph.D., Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute

Part 4: Questions & Answers
PlayPlay

Part 4: Questions & Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenters: Elizabeth Habic, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration and LaTonya Gilliam. North District Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation
Part 3: Presenters: Becca Madsen, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute and Nalini S. Rao, Ph.D., Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute
Part 4: Questions & Answers
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Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Review of Trump Administration Rulemakings and Charting a Path Forward

Held Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 2:00pm-4:00pm ET

View Webinar Here

INTRODUCTION

  • Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

PRESENTERS

  • Julia Anastasio, Association of Clean Water Administrators 
  • Royal Gardner, Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy Stetson University College of Law [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute 
  • Donna Downing, Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Association of State Wetland Managers
  • Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers 

ABSTRACT

The Trump Administration has been a time of substantial change to aquatic resource protection programs, as well as to rulemaking processes used to define program requirements.  For example, on January 30, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which spearheaded his Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and directed all agencies to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in FY 2017 and thereafter. This initial E.O. laid the context for the subsequent E.O. 13778, Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule, which was published in the Federal Register just four days later, on February 28.   The extent and speed of changes to aquatic resource protection programs has posed substantial challenges to states and tribes who have substantial responsibility under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

Clean Water Act programs address “waters of the United States,” and as a result the regulatory definition of that threshold term determines the scope of multiple aquatic resource and water quality protections. The Trump Administration’s 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) replaced the Obama Administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule with a narrower definition of WOTUS.  Because CWA programs address waters of the US, the new narrower definition created a domino effect and reduced the extent of protections from those programs.  For example, CWA Section 401 certifications are required only for permits or licenses that may result in discharges into WOTUS, Nationwide Permits under section 404 apply only to discharges of dredged or fill material into WOTUS, as does section 404’s requirement for compensatory mitigation for impacts to WOTUS.  As the extent of waters considered to be WOTUS shrinks, so do the protections of programs such as these.  In addition, the Trump Administration has undertaken rulemaking to revise these and other CWA programs, further affecting the programs’ abilities to protect aquatic resource and water quality. 

In this webinar, the implications of these changes for state and tribal aquatic resource programs were examined and discussions included past, recent and ongoing rulemakings and court cases, enforcement issues, points of process for moving forward, and potential actions by the new Biden Administration. 

BIOS

Julia AnastasioJulia Anastasio joined the Association of Clean Water Administrators in May 2014 as the Executive Director and General Counsel. ACWA is an independent, nonpartisan national organization of state and interstate water program managers, who on a daily basis implement the water quality programs of the federal Clean Water Act. At ACWA, Ms. Anastasio focuses on working with state water program directors and EPA’s Office of Water on ensuring that the states have the resources they need to implement the Clean Water Act in their home states. Ms. Anastasio has over two decades of experience in government, administrative and environmental law and federal policy development. She began her career with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as an Executive Policy Specialist and returned to Washington, DC in 2005 to work for the America Public Works Association (APWA). While at APWA, she focused on environmental, sustainability and infrastructure development at the local, state and federal levels. Ms. Anastasio earned her B.A. from Franklin Marshall College, her Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, and her J.D. from American University.

Royal GarnderRoyal C. Gardner is Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law. He is an internationally recognized expert in wetland law and policy. Recent projects include serving as the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, testifying before a World Bank arbitration panel, advising the Government of Oman regarding wetland policy, and coauthoring amicus briefs on behalf of environmental scientists. In WOTUS-related litigation, he has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and in the U.S. District Courts for the District of North Dakota and the Southern District of New York.



McElfishJames M. McElfish, Jr. is a Senior Attorney; Director with the Environmental Law Institute Sustainable Use of Land Program. Jim McElfish’s research focuses on development choices and their links to land use, water resources, biological diversity, and infrastructure policy. ELI’s Sustainable Use of Land Program makes connections among laws, policies, taxes, investments, and land use decisions. His work includes research on coastal zone activities, renewable energy siting, enforcement, and conservation outcomes. McElfish served as representative of the natural environment on the American Planning Association’s multi-year Growing Smarter Legislative Guidebook Directorate. McElfish also leads ELI programs on water resources, examining how watersheds and resources can be evaluated, used, conserved, and restored. He is a nationally recognized authority on NEPA and a former litigator in private practice and with the Department of the Interior. McElfish has been an ELI Senior Attorney since 1986.

Donna DowningDonna Downing is the Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Association of State Wetland Managers. Donna was the Jurisdiction Team Leader in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. Donna worked on a variety of issues at EPA, with a focus in recent years on the geographic scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She also served as EPA’s staff lead for CWA section 401 water quality certification, and on wetland-related legal issues. Prior to joining EPA in 1998, Donna worked for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and in private law practice. She has a BA magna cum laude from Harvard University, an MPP from the University of California at Berkeley, a JD cum laude from Georgetown University Law School, and an LLM in Environmental Law summa cum laude from George Washington University Law School. Donna has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School since 1996, teaching environmental law. In what’s left of her time, she moonlights as a professional potter and an unprofessional horse trainer. Donna also enjoys traveling and has traveled by reindeer sled in the Swedish Arctic, gone winter camping with dog sleds in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, and bicycled the Burma Road in China.

Marla StelkMarla Stelk is the Executive Director at the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) where she has worked on wetland policy and management issues since 2013. Marla has over 25 years of experience working on wetland, water, and wildlife issues, policy and research, land use planning, communications and organizational leadership. Marla has led research at ASWM on topics such as ecosystem service valuation for wetland restoration, the role of wetlands in floodplain and natural hazard management, wetlands and watershed health, wetland mapping and communications. Prior to coming to ASWM, Marla worked for a variety of environmental and social nonprofit organizations helping to build organizational capacity, manage projects and improve internal processes. Marla also has a successful background in small business management and ran her own custom metal sculpture studio for 15 years. Marla earned her MA in Community Planning and Development with a focus on Land Use and the Environment at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service and her BA in Environmental Issues from Colorado College. 

Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
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Part 1: Introduction: Part 1: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenters: Royal Gardner, Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy Stetson University College of Law and Julia Anastasio, Association of Clean Water Administrators

Part 2: Presenters: Julia Anastasio, Association of Clean Water Administrators
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Part 2: Presenters: Julia Anastasio, Association of Clean Water Administrators; Donna Downing, Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Association of State Wetland Managers; and Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers

Part 3: Presenter: James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
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Part 3: Presenter: James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
Question & Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenters: Julia Anastasio, Association of Clean Water Administrators
Part 3: Presenter: James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
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