New York Wetland Delineation Workshop

USACOE | 1987 Manual | Regional Supplements
Teatown Lake Reservation
Westchester County, NY
October 23-26, 2017

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Waters of the US Workshop


Developing Wetland Water Budgets

Online Wetland Delineation Training

Habitat Conservation Plans | 2017

Data Collection for Environmental Professionals | 2017


Wetland Delineation Training | Pittsburgh, PA | SEP 2017


Wetland Delineation Training | Pittsburgh, PA | SEP 2017


Wetland Delineation Training | Pittsburgh, PA | SEP 2017


Wetland Delineation Training | Pittsburgh, PA | SEP 2017

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 Featured Workshop 

Wetlands and Soil Taxonomy

Have you ever wondered what a Mollic Fluvaquents is?

Is an Oxyaquic Dystochcrepts hydric?

Why are desert soils and wetland soils in the same soil order?

Join us on October 19, 2017 from 1 PM to 3 PM EST and find out how to use soil taxonomy to identify hydric soils. This short 2 hour webinar will present the a general introduction to soil taxonomy and will include:

An overview of the National Technical Committee on Hydric Soil’s hydric soil criteria
A detailed discussion of the 12 soil orders and how to identify them
How to spot hydric soil clues in the soil subgroup name
How to use the soil name to better understand the wetland field conditions of the soil type
Plus a lot more
We will also provide links to the free mobile and desktop software that you can use in the field and the office to quickly spot hydric soils before you dig your first soil pit.

At the end of the webinar you will have the opportunity to challenge your knowledge of soil taxonomy with our all new soil classification game.

Join us on October 19, 2017 for a fun, informative and interactive adventure into the world of soil taxonomy.

This is a wetland related class and continuing education credits are available. 2 Professional Development Hours.

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  • USACOE Nationwide Permit Webinar | Rebroadcast

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A Green and Leafy Economy: UNC Students Propose Seaweed Aquaculture for Sustainable Coastal Development

The Swamp Stomp

Volume 17, Issue 39

A team of undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are working on a proposal to build a more resilient economy and ecology on the coast of North Carolina using a versatile yet humble marine organism; macro-algae, also known as seaweed. Their plan involves starting a seaweed aquaculture farm near the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina, that would grow seaweed in the shallow waters off the coast using a low cost system of ropes, scaffolding and buoys that can be hoisted from the ocean to harvest the crop when it is mature.


Eliza Harrison, one of the four members of the team, said that the project aims to address multiple problems simultaneously. Chief among these is how to feed a growing planet with fewer resources; experts say that by midcentury, the planet’s human population could reach nine to ten billion people who will have to be fed using less agricultural land, water, fertilizers and pesticides than in the past if we are to avoid a dramatic increase in the degradation of earth’s already besieged natural areas.


Seaweed poses a unique solution to this problem in that it requires virtually no inputs to grow, does not take up space on land that could be used for other purposes, and is nutritionally rich in protein, vitamins A and B-12, calcium and iodine, among others. “So much of the ocean is underutilized” said Harrison in an interview, “seems like a no-brainer to waste all that space, it has such potential.” While it may seem odd to many Westerners unaccustomed to the marine vegetable to propose seaweed as a solution to global hunger, the reality is that it is already used in a variety of products that we use daily, from toothpaste to cosmetic products to pharmaceuticals to, of course, sushi.


Which points to the second issue the project aims to address, that of bringing jobs and a vibrant economy via seaweed aquaculture to the towns and cities of North Carolina that have historically relied upon fishing as a primary economic activity. As fishing stocks the world over have been overharvested and in some cases collapsed, fishing communities have felt the pinch as formerly stable jobs in the industry have shriveled up.


The seaweed market, however, is vast and in demand as an important ingredient in beauty products, in medicine as a potential anti-inflammatory agent, in grocery stores and restaurants as food items, in the renewable energy sector as a biofuel, and as a methane reducing feed for livestock. Given Harrison’s estimate that one aquaculture farm could provide four permanent and five to eight seasonal jobs, if scaled up, seaweed production could represent a sustainable boom for North Carolina’s economy.


Finally, seaweed serves multiple ecological functions including providing habitat for small fish and crustaceans, reducing the severity of wave action and storm surge during hurricanes, and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. Indeed, a study found that if scaled up, seaweed aquaculture could have the capacity to absorb 1,500 tons of CO2 km2 year, enough to absorb the annual carbon emissions of 300 Chinese citizens.


Harrison and her team’s project, which was a finalist in this year’s National Geographic Chasing Genius contest for innovative ideas to address global problems, is currently pursuing funding for the project from the UNC School of Public Health, among other sources.


Source: Duarte, Carlos M. et al. “Can Seaweed Farming Play a Role in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation?” Frontiers in Marine Science. 12 April 2017. Web. 18 September 2017.

Posted on

Beavers Helpful Rebuilding Wetlands

Swamp Stomp

Volume 17, Issue 38

A new study researched in Scotland reveals beavers’ ability to engineer desolate land into thriving wetlands.

Four beavers were re-introduced to the land and observed for a decade. The observations found that the beavers created almost 200m of dams, 500m of canals and an acre of ponds. The landscape was “almost unrecognizable” from the original field, which now includes an increase plant species of almost 50% and richly varied habitats established across the 30 acre site.

The researchers say that their study is solid evidence that beavers can be a low-cost option in restoring wetlands, an important and biodiverse habitat that has lost two-thirds of its worldwide extent since 1900.

“Wetlands also serve to store water and improve its quality – they are the ‘kidneys of the landscape’,” said Professor Nigel Willby, at Stirling University and one of the study team. Earlier research by the team showed how beaver dams can slow water flows, reducing downstream flood risk and water pollution.

Beavers build dams in order to create pools in which they can shelter from their biggest predators, besides humans. These predators are bears, wolves and wolverines. The research was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The site was regularly surveyed and located near Blairgowrie in Tayside where two beavers were released in 2002 and began to breed in 2006. The lifespan of beavers is 10-15 years in the wild and the average number of beavers around during the study was four.

“After 12 years of habitat engineering by beaver, the study site was almost unrecognisable from its initial state,” the scientists concluded: “The reintroduction of such species may yet prove to be the missing ingredient in successful and sustainable long-term restoration of wetland landscapes.”

Alan Law, another member of the team from Stirling University, said: “We know lots about the benefits of beavers in natural settings, but until now we did not know the full extent of what they can achieve in present-day landscapes where restoration is most needed.”

He said wetland restoration usually involves ditch blocking and mowing or grazing to maintain diversity: “Beavers offer an innovative, more hands-off, solution to the problem of wetland loss. Seeing what beavers can do for our wetlands and countryside highlights the diverse landscape we have been missing for the last 400 years.”

The downside to using beavers to revitalize landscapes is that it has to be carefully managed to deal with the potential impacts on farmers, who fear crops being raided by beavers and damage to embankments that protect low-lying fields and other areas from floods.

“Any species introduction, particularly if it has not been in this country for hundreds of years, can have a massive impact on the many benefits that the countryside delivers,” said Mark Pope, chair of the National Farmers Union’s environment forum. “The impact of beavers is assessed across the whole landscape considering the impacts on all land uses. This study is just one piece of that big jigsaw. We need to learn from Scotland’s experiences before any decisions are taken on the future status of beavers.”

There is also concern about the impact of beaver dams on salmon and other fish. The fear is that beavers might block migration upstream. But Wilby said: “The main conclusions from recent studies were that the overall effect of beavers was positive.” This is because greater biodiversity provides more food for the fish and the deeper pools maintain stable cool water temperatures, even as the climate warms.

“I think as long as beavers have plenty of space to form a decent number of territories, there are enormous potential benefits,” said Wliby. “Sometimes the negative views of farmers can dominate.”

Source: Carrington, Damian. “Eager Beavers Experts at Recreating Wildlife-rich Wetlands, Study Reveals.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 19 July 2017. Web. 19 July 2017.

Posted on

Water on Moon Plentiful According to New Study

Swamp Stomp

Volume 17, Issue 37

Future exploration of the moon seems even more likely now that new evidence was provided that a large amount of water is trapped beneath the surface of the moon.

This brings back the question of whether a moon colony could be possible now that water has been discovered on the moon.

“A study of satellite data found ancient volcanic deposits strewn across the moon’s surface contain higher amounts of trapped water compared with surrounding areas” (Gutierrez).

The study “bolsters the idea that the lunar mantle is surprisingly water-rich,” scientists from Brown University say in a press release.

The research conducted by scientists from Brown University was published on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Nature Geoscience. They studied data from India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter.

The Apollo 15 and 17 missions in the early 1970s collected volcanic glass beads from the moon and brought them back to Earth, according to Newsweek. A study in 2011 of these glass beads suggested that they contained water.

The purpose of the new study was to figure out if the beads were anomalies or representative of how much water might exist on the moon, Newsweek reports.

“By looking at the orbital data, we can examine the large pyroclastic (volcanic rock fragment) deposits on the moon that were never sampled by the Apollo or Luna missions,” Ralph Milliken, Brown University associate professor and lead author of the new study, said in a news release.

“The fact that nearly all of them exhibit signatures of water suggests that the Apollo samples are not anomalous, so it may be that the bulk interior of the moon is wet.”

Though the volcanic glass beads only contained a few hundred parts per million, if that, there is a lot of volcanic material to work with, Milliken told CNN.

Some fields of the volcanic remains cover thousands of square kilometers and could be several kilometers deep, Milliken said. “It’s more water than previously recognized,” he told CNN.

A newfound source of water on the moon could “bode well for our long-held visions of a lunar base,” notes Eric Mack for CNET.

“A source of water on the moon could add to a growing undercurrent of renewed excitement about returning to the moon. Besides Moon Express, Japan, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and even (Elon) Musk are among the other big names tossing out new lunar visions.”

The private company, Moon Express’ “first prospecting efforts will be studying pyroclastic deposits on the moon, which hold unique clues to potential deposits of lunar water and other resources,” the company’s founder and CEO, Bob Richards, told

“Our baseline landing site for our maiden lunar expedition is an equatorial region of the moon high in pyroclastic deposits.”

The pyroclastic deposits in the study might be easier to access than previously thought, the study’s co-author, Shuai Li, told CNET.

“Anything that helps save future lunar explorers from having to bring lots of water from home is a big step forward, and our results suggest a new alternative,” he said.

The last time man walked on the moon was in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission.

Source: Gutierrez, Lisa. “Moon Could Contain Lots of Water, Study Suggests, Bolstering Visions of a Lunar Colony.” The Kansas City Star. The Kansas City Star, 24 July 2017. Web. 24 July 2017.