Protecting and Restoring Urban Wetlands for Community Benefits

Held Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 3:00 pm-4:30 pm Eastern

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INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

Wetlands reduce flooding, diminish urban heat, filter water, and provide green spaces for people and wildlife alike making cities more livable. However, state and federal wetland programs often fail to fully recognize and account for the full spectrum of benefits urban wetlands provide. They are often maligned as too small, too ecologically degraded, and facing too many local stressors to be prioritized for restoration and protection by programs with limited available resources. As a result, urban communities are more likely to see their wetland resources developed and impacted while more rural systems are restored and protected. Urban communities benefit from natural spaces and wetland functions as much as rural areas, even if those natural spaces are not ecologically pristine. Local communities need to take an active role in recognizing, protecting, and restoring their wetland resources. This webinar presented an overview of the needs and challenges surrounding urban wetlands and share examples where communities have taken steps to incorporate wetland resources into broader urban planning and restoration efforts.

BIOS

William DooleyBill Dooley is a Policy Analyst with the Association of State Wetland Managers. In this role, he conducts research and analysis on wetland related policy and program issues; and facilitates various workgroups and ad hoc committees including the Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance and the Wetland Mapping Consortium. Over the past two years, he has been project lead on an EPA WPDG focused on improving restoration and protection outcomes around urban wetlands. Bill has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Assumption College and a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Environmental Policy from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He enjoys hiking and camping throughout New England with his family and friends and playing board games and card games whenever possible.

Laurie Gilligan Laurie Gilligan is a wetland ecologist at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP). Her current work focuses on wetland assessment and plains and Front Range wetlands. Laurie has a Masters of Science degree from Oregon State University in Ecology. Besides her eight years at CNHP, she has worked on various field jobs including urban wetland surveys and mapping for the City of Portland; and forest ecology, desert, and riparian field work in the west. She enjoys spending her off-time doing yoga, capoeira, and adventuring outside with her family.



Jesse Barham Jesse Barham is currently the Environmental Services Supervisor at the City of Olympia Public Works in Washington State. He has been working on wetland and riparian restoration/mitigation projects in Western WA for over 20 years including monitoring, developing, and managing wetland mitigation banks with Washington State Department of Transportation; planning and implementing riparian restoration and salmon recovery projects for a local tribe; acting as restoration ecologist on a large levee removal and estuary restoration project; and six years with the City of Olympia as a Habitat Planner in the Storm and Surface Water Utility. Over the years, Jesse became more interested in the relationship between human alteration and ecosystem function across the landscape leading him to working on connecting aquatic habitat function and water quality issues for local government. He enjoys backpacking in local mountains, gardening, and sailing in the Salish Sea.

Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers
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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: William Dooley, Association of State Wetland Managers

Part 2: Presenter: Laurie Gilligan, Colorado Natural Heritage Program
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Part 2: Presenter: Laurie Gilligan, Colorado Natural Heritage Program

Part 3: Presenter: Jesse Barham, City of Olympia Public Works
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Part 3: Presenter: Jesse Barham, City of Olympia Public Works

Part 4: Questions & Answers
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Part 4: Questions & Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Executive Director, Association of State Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenter: Laurie Gilligan, Colorado Natural Heritage Program
Part 3: Presenter: Jesse Barham, City of Olympia Public Works
Part 4: Questions & Answers
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