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.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Eastern
- Chuck Horbert, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
- Rob Evans, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
- Gretchen Alexander, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Wetlands can be protected through a range of integrated efforts. This webinar will explore how wetlands have benefitted from buffer and river corridor protection programs in two states. The webinar will begin with an introduction to Rhode Island’s new Wetland Rule – its history and protections, focusing on the state’s buffer regulations. Rhode Island will share their recent changes to state jurisdictional authority and resulting proposed rule, including how the proposed changes differ from what the state has now.
The webinar will continue with a presentation on Vermont DEC’s River Corridor Program and its progress after twenty years of focused work. Vermont will share how they define river corridors and why the definition is important for informing tools and frameworks. After sharing about the evolution of the program, staff will share the authorities they have in statute and how this authority is used as well as what needs remain and what work still needs to be done.
The final presentation will have Vermont’s DEC staff sharing how mapping has played a key role in those resource protection efforts. Staff will explain what information goes into creating a river corridor map, the direct applications of those maps and how they tie in with an ongoing Functioning Floodplains Initiative, specifically how they are being used to identify and prioritize floodplain projects and tie into TMDL work. At the end of the webinar, there will be an opportunity for participants to ask the panelists questions.
Chuck Horbert began his career as a wetland biologist for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in 1989. After 30 years in the Freshwater Wetlands Program, most of it as a Program Supervisor, Chuck accepted a position as a Deputy Administrator in DEM's Office of Water Resources, with oversight responsibilities for Wetlands, Water Quality Certification, and Construction Stormwater Programs. Chuck earned his B.S in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Rhode Island. He is an avid canoeist and camper, and can often be found in or near wetlands on the weekends.
Rob Evans is a hydrologist with over 20 years of experience in flood hydrology, hydraulics, floodplain mapping and management. In his current role as manager of the Vermont Rivers Program, he oversees an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists responsible for managing, protecting and restoring natural river and floodplain processes to enhance water quality, ecological health, and flood resilience. Rob holds an M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Mary Washington College.
Gretchen Alexander has worked for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Rivers Program for nearly 15 years and currently serves as the Program’s Science, Restoration, and Mapping Team leader. She and her team conduct a myriad of activities including Stream Geomorphic Assessment, River Corridor Mapping, and Restoration/Conservation of VT rivers and their floodplains. She holds an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Michigan and an B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont.
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