Compensatory Mitigation Webinar Series

This is the first of four webinars to assist permit reviewers in evaluating the potential for compensatory wetland mitigation proposals to achieve ecological objectives planned for the summer of 2018. Webinars 2 and 3 will provide greater insight into wetland hydrology, soils and biology (primarily plants). Webinar 4 will provide a framework for using the information in the first three webinars to evaluate a proposal for compensatory mitigation. 

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An Ecological Framework for Reviewing Compensatory Mitigation (Part 1 of 4)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 central, 12:00 mountain, 11:00 pacific

PRESENTERS

  • Eric Stein, Principal Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
  • Jeremy Sueltenfuss, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University
  • W. Lee Daniels, Thomas B. Hutcheson Professor of Environmental Soil Science at Virginia Tech
  • Matt Schweisberg, Principal of Wetland Strategies and Solutions, LLC

ABSTRACT 

Over the past three decades compensatory mitigation has become an important strategy for addressing the unavoidable environmental impacts that result from dredge and fill activities. Compensatory mitigation projects should be designed to provide self-sustaining, long-term replacement of lost ecological functions and services.  Federal and State regulatory staff routinely review these proposals to ensure that projects will achieve the desired outcomes.  But what exactly should compensatory mitigation project reviewers consider in evaluating a proposal?  The purpose of this webinar is to provide an overall framework for review of proposed compensatory mitigation projects.  Presenters will focus on the processes that shape wetlands across diverse landscapes including the critical components of wetlands and wetland restoration project: hydrology, soils and vegetation. Landscape context, wetland classification, the use of reference wetlands, function and values, and temporal considerations will be discussed.

BIOS

Eric D. Stein, D.Env. is a Principal Scientist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), where he is head of the Biology Department. Dr. Stein oversees a variety of projects related to in-stream and coastal water quality, bioassessment, hydromodification, watershed modeling, and assessment of wetlands and other aquatic resources. His research focuses on effects of human activities on the condition of aquatic ecosystems, and on developing tools to better assess and manage those effects. Dr. Stein has authored over 100 journal articles and technical reports and participates on numerous technical workgroups and committees related to water quality and wetland assessment and management. Prior to joining SCCWRP in 2002, Dr. Stein spent six years as a Senior Project Manager with the Regulatory Branch of the Los Angeles District Corps of Engineers, and four years with a private consulting firm.

Jeremy Sueltenfuss is a Wetland Ecologist at Colorado State University, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. His research focuses on wetland hydrology, and the hydrologic drivers of wetland form and function. Jeremy’s research has focused primarily on mountain systems, ranging from the wetlands of Juneau Alaska down to the Peruvian Andes. By understanding how water flows through and across the landscape, Jeremy tries to apply his research on degraded and hydrologically altered wetlands to restore these vital ecosystems. His dissertation research focused on the use of hydrologic performance standards for wetland mitigation.

W. Lee Daniels is the Thomas B. Hutcheson Professor of Environmental Soil Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in Soil Science from VPI & SU in 1985. Dr. Daniels areas of specialization include stabilization and restoration of disturbed lands including areas disturbed by mining, road building, waste disposal, urbanization and erosion. In particular, he has focused his research and consulting experience in wetland impact mitigation, mine reclamation, and soil-waste management systems. His teaching programs at Virginia Tech focus on soil geomorphology and landscape analysis with particular emphasis on the relationships among surficial geology, hydrology, soil patterns and long term landscape evolution processes. Major awards include the Reclamation Researcher of the Year by the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation (ASMR) in 1993, USEPA’s National Biosolids Utilization Research Award in 2000 and the Lifetime Achievement in Research Award by ASMR in 2012.
 

Matt Schweisberg () is the Principal of Wetland Strategies and Solutions, LLC (www.wetlandsns.com), where he provides policy, regulatory and technical advice and assistance for clients seeking to navigate a wide range of regulatory and non-regulatory issues related to wetlands and other aquatic resources. He works throughout the U.S. Matt is a Professional Wetland Scientist under the Professional Certification Program of the Society of Wetland Scientists. He is a retired federal wetlands ecologist and wildlife biologist who spent over 32 years with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency at its HQ office in Washington, D.C. and New England Region office in Boston. Matt served as Chief of the New England Region’s Wetlands Protection Program and Senior Wetland Ecologist, and on national work groups developing guidance and regulations on Clean Water Act jurisdiction. He has testified before federal grand juries and served several times as an expert witness in federal, state, and private litigation. He co-instructs a week-long intensive course on wetland identification and delineation at the Eagle Hill Institute in Maine, and has taught courses in wetland regulation, restoration and creation, wetland ecology, and wetland identification and delineation for federal and state agencies, academic organizations, and environmental consultants. He received his degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine.

A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits will be available for this webinar. Go here for more Information.