ASWM is currently conducting a project Building State and Tribal Wetland Regulatory Capacity. This webinar series will provide useful findings, state and tribal lessons learned and useful tools and techniques that can be used to help wetland programs increase effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and predictability in regulatory activities.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 3:00 – 4:30 pm
- Yvonne Vallette, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
- Matt Schweisberg, Wetland Strategies and Solutions
- Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers
This final webinar in our Wetland Regulatory Capacity Building Series will share final findings and products from ASWM’s multi-year project. The webinar will highlight key takeaways on fundamental building blocks for regulatory development, including addressing regulatory gaps, identifying sustainable funding strategies and tips on working with state legislatures to support regulatory programs. Next, the webinar will highlight EPA Wetland Program Plans as strategic planning tools and potential funding for states and tribes developing regulatory program elements. The webinar will then cover ways to build compliance and enforcement capacity, possible value-added from integrating with other state agency programs, and ways to expand reach through partnering with state wetland associations. While the project primarily focused on state agency considerations, findings may also be useful to tribes. The final segment of the webinar will delve a little deeper into strategic planning, sharing a new tool from ASWM – an extensive checklist that walks interested parties through considerations around planning for regulatory enhancements. The webinar will end sharing some strategies for effective communication around regulatory capacity building efforts and sharing of how to access ASWM’s new regulatory capacity building resources.
Yvonne Vallette is an Aquatic Ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For the last twenty-five years she has worked at EPA Region 10’s Oregon Operations Office in Portland serving as the Region’s coordinator for enhancing State and Tribal Programs. Her work with EPA is focused on the technical and policy aspects of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including Section 404. Her practicable experience includes work in: aquatic resource monitoring and assessment, 404 enforcement, compensatory mitigation, impact analysis, CWA jurisdiction, 404 program assumption, and aquatic resources restoration.
Matt Schweisberg is the Principal of Wetland Strategies and Solutions, LLC, 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.
Brenda Zollitsch is Senior Policy Analyst at the Association of State Wetland Managers. Over the last two years, Brenda has led ASWM’s Wetland Regulatory Capacity Building Project, coordinating the project workgroup, dialogues and research to develop the resources that will be presented during this webinar. At ASWM, Brenda conducts research and policy analysis on wetland and stream issues; works to analyze and respond to emerging wetland-related rules and regulations; manages projects; and designs, coordinates and evaluates training for wetland professionals. Brenda is also currently leading a multi-year national project on assumption of the Clean Water Act Section 404 Program. Brenda earned a double Master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Resource Management from Boston University and her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service.