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Take advantage of your SWS membership by participating in outstanding educational
opportunities without leaving your desk!

SWS is pleased to provide a webinar series on wetland science topics of interest. The convenience and flexibility of SWS webinars enables you to educate one or a large number of employees at once, reduce travel expenses and maintain consistent levels of productivity by eliminating time out of the office.

Webinar registration is complimentary to all SWS members. Certificates of completion, worth one hour of participation, are available upon request; please contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org, if interested.  If you're unable to participate in the live webinar, all webinars will be recorded and archived for complimentary viewing by members on our Past Webinars page. 

Here's what our members are saying...

"Great new benefit of SWS membership: live webinars and on demand screening of wetland lectures! Today's was wonderful!" - Emma Goodyer, Scotland

"I just want to say that the webinar today was really fantastic! The GoTo Webinar system was very easy to use and worked smoothly. Kim did a wonderful job moderating and Ariana's presentation was very well done! I was particularly interested in the subject matter since I am just beginning a new postdoc at Montclair State University where one of my projects is on restoration of salt marshes on the New Jersey coast. Thank you all so much for your hard work with putting everything together. I cannot wait for more webinars!" - Dr. Bianca Wentzell (Pier), New York

Upcoming SWS Webinars

Date: April 27, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Richard Chinn
Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.

 

The Clean Water Rule: Real Facts 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) published the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” in 2015 to provide clarification on which US water bodies and wetlands are “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and thus, regulated jointly by the USACOE and USEPA under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Rule developed from several iterations of clarification memoranda that followed United States v. Riverside Bayview (1985), Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2001),  and most importantly, Rapanos et al. v. United States (2006). The rule contains eight categories of water bodies and wetlands and extensive definitions and exemptions to clarify which water bodies and wetlands are WOTUS and which are not. The exemption list formalizes in one source exemptions from various US Federal laws and policies. In this webinar, I will discuss the eight categories of WOTUS, their scientific bases for inclusion, the specific conditions required of each and the exemptions and common misinterpretations. The fate of the Clean Water Rule has been in US national news since January. The Rule is currently stayed nationwide by the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Richard Chinn grew up in a non-science household; but early on, developed a love for sciences, pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree at the University of Florida and a Master's of Science degree at the University of South Florida, with a major in zoology for both degrees. He began working for a number of state and regional governmental agencies in 1984 and then transitioned to the consulting world in 1992. Since 1997, he has provided environmental and wetland training as Richard Chinn Environmental Training. Richard has spent much of the last 20 years studying wetland regulations and has been avidly studying the WOTUS Rule nearly every work day since it was released. He has explained this rule to 600+ wetland scientists in 30+ courses over the last two years. Richard is a lifetime member of SWS and you may have recently seen his name on the SWS 2017 ballot as a candidate for President-Elect. Regardless of the outcome of the election, you can say hello to Richard at the Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico and learn “A Quick, Inexpensive, Easy Field Protocol to Determine Anoxia in Hydric Soils of Various Wetlands” from his talk. In his leisure time, Richard recently completed a novel, "The Enemy of My Enemy," a fictionalized story of the Doolittle Raid of World War II.

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Date: May 18, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Matt Whitbeck
Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Using sediment enhancement to build tidal marsh resiliency on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland, USA

Located in Maryland, USA, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is part of the largest area of tidal marsh within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and is of regional ecological significance for its wetlands and for the wildlife populations it supports. However, over 5,000 acres of tidal marsh have converted to open water on the refuge since 1938. The mechanisms contributing to Blackwater’s tidal marsh loss are generally attributed to a combination of sea level rise, subsidence, and herbivory by nutria.

In many areas on the refuge the elevation of the marsh surface is low relative to local tides, leading to excessive inundation. More than 80% of elevation points recently surveyed on Blackwater NWR were found to be well below the elevations needed for optimum plant growth for the refuge’s tide range (Kirwan and Guntenspergen 2012). When marsh vegetation is at an elevation below that which is optimal for plant growth, the rising sea level will further inhibit root zone growth and lead to additional marsh loss. On Blackwater NWR, vertical marsh development is particularly dependent on organic accretion driven by below-ground biomass production (Cahoon et al. 2010).

In December 2016, 26,000 cubic yards of sediment was pumped in a thin-layer application over approximately 40 acres of tidal marsh on the refuge. The purpose of this project is to raise the elevation of the existing marsh platform. The sediment enhancement will offer a twofold ecological benefit to marsh resilience: 1) The longevity of the marsh receiving thin layer sediment application will be extended by virtue of the raised surface elevation in relation to the tidal regime; and 2) Root zone production, and consequently rates of vertical accretion, should increase. Root zone production is the main driver of vertical accretion rates in the Blackwater River system (Cahoon and Guntnerspergen 2010). Building the marsh platform to an elevation that maximizes plant productivity will take full advantage of the capacity of the marsh to continue to build elevation (Kirwan and Guntenspergen 2012).

Matt Whitbeck is the supervisory wildlife biologist at Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Maryland. Matt has over 19 years’ experience working in tidal marshes and natural resource management issues on National Wildlife Refuges. He has an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.

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ASWM Webinars

Interested in viewing more webinars? Visit the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) webinar's page to access free webinars. These webinars focus on various topics, mostly relating to a specific project or work group. To learn more please click here