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Wetland Wildflower Webinar


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Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment | 2017

Conducting Effective Ecological Risk Assessments | 2017

Principles of Wetland Design | Pittsburgh | July 2017

Certified Wetland Botanist


Principles of Wetland Design | Pittsburgh | July 2017


Principles of Wetland Design | Pittsburgh | July 2017


Principles of Wetland Design | Pittsburgh | July 2017


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Wetland Design Workshop

Pittsburgh, PA
July 10-13, 2017

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Latest Newsletters

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Coastal Zone Reform Bill Encountering Resistance

Swamp Stomp

Volume 17, Issue 25

Business leaders and environmentalists alike have been preparing to argue their sides regarding Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act.

Preparations were put to us on Thursday, May 18,2017, when state legislators introduced a bill that would alter how Delaware’s signature environmental zoning law is administered. If these changes come to pass, they would only be the second made in nearly 50 years.

Some environmentalists do not support the bill and have gone so far as to state that it is even worse than they imagined.

“It’s absolutely terrifying,” longtime activist Amy Roe said. “What they’re proposing would completely and totally break the Coastal Zone Act while putting low-income, minority communities at risk of real environmental disasters.”

The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, House Bill 190, if passed, would create a permitting process that would allow new industrial uses at 14 coastal sites, only one would not be located in New Castle County.

Though not all are currently active, all have in the past had heavy industry use and all are polluted. Supporters argue that the bill would encourage businesses to clean up the sites and hundreds of factory jobs.

“The state doesn’t have the funds to remediate these sites and the only way to clean them up is for a business to come in,” said James DeChene, vice president of government affairs for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.

“The only way they’re going to do that is if they can use the sites and then you get new industries and good-paying jobs,” he added. “It’s a win-win.”

A big problem for environmentalists is a provision that would allow nine properties with docks and piers built before 1971 to conduct bulk product transfer, which means it can move cargo such as oil or raw chemicals from ship to shore and vice versa.

The current Coastal Zone Act fought to protect the Delaware Bay and the state’s shoreline from the encroachment of heavy industrial development and specifically bans bulk product transfer.

The act’s first paragraph warns that ports and docking facilities used for that purpose would represent a significant danger of pollution and attract exactly the types of heavy industry the law sought to contain.

“For these reasons,” the law states, “prohibition against bulk product transfer facilities in the coastal zone is deemed imperative.”

Roe said she would be devastated if these shipments were now allowed.

“That would mean opening Delaware’s coast up to more ships and more trains carrying hazardous materials,” she said. “That means a much greater risk of oil spills and other incidents that could threaten our wildlife, our fishing industries and our beaches.”

Proponents counter that these fears are overblown.

“Everyone seems to focus on the fear of an oil spill,” said state Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark, the bill’s lead sponsor in the House. “But I’m sure with the new technology – sensors, switches, electronics, video – that when something goes wrong, it’s going to be caught quickly to eliminate any major disaster.”

The legislation, he argues, has provisions that would require owners of the properties to put up money to cover cleanup costs from spills and other contamination.

“I don’t think it will impact the state’s tourism industry at all,” he said. “There are 14 sites [in the bill] none of which I can ever imagine being tourist sites.”

What are your thoughts about the bill?

Source: Goss, Scott, and Xerxes Wilson. “Bitter Fight Expected over Coastal Zone Reform Bill.” News Journal. Delawareonline, 20 May 2017. Web. 22 May 2017.

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Leo DiCaprio teams with Mexico to Save Endangered Porpoise

Swamp Stomp

Volume 17, Issue 24

In an unusual combination, the Mexican government, tycoon Carlos Slim and U.S. actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, that they are teaming up and have created a plan to protect a tiny porpoise in the Gulf of California. This porpoise has become a powerful symbol of critically endangered animal species.

What was once a thriving population of snub-nosed vaquita porpoise living in the Gulf of California, is now a dangerously low number due to gillnet fishing for shrimp and totoaba, a popular delicacy in Asia, sparking increasing calls for action.

In Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s home in Mexico City, he as well as Hollywood star DiCaprio and Slim signed a memorandum of understanding committing to conserve marine life in the Gulf of California, including the vaquita.

The once thriving porpoise population is down to fewer than 30 wild vaquita according to the foundations run by Slim and DiCaprio.

“The accord comes less than a month after DiCaprio urged his fans on social media to petition Pena Nieto to save the vaquita, which prompted the president to take to Twitter to assure the actor that Mexico was doing all it could to protect the porpoise” (Graham).

The memorandum states that the signatories will undertake to make permanent a temporary ban on using gillnets in the vaquita’s waters and to step up efforts to combat the use of illegal gillnets, as well as the prosecution of illegal fishing and totoaba poaching.

Gillnet fishing uses mesh which is designed to allow fish to get only their head through the netting but not their body. It is believed that this is largely to blame for trapping the vaquita porpoises and killing them.

“The plan also included a commitment to prohibiting nighttime fishing in the upper Gulf of California and the vaquita reserve, and to enforce limited entry and exit points in the region for fishing, among other measures” (Graham).

In the last month, 200,000 people signed the petition to save the vaquita that DiCaprio created aimed at Pena Nieto, the World Wildlife Fund said.

In the statement, DiCaprio, the 42-year-old star of “Titanic,” called the memorandum a “critical step” on behalf of the marine mammal.

“I am honored to work with President Pena Nieto, who has been a leader in ecosystem conservation, to ensure the future viability of marine life in the Gulf,” DiCaprio said.

Later in the day, after signing the memorandum, Pena Nieto tweeted pictures of his meeting with DiCaprio and Slim, saying that Mexico understood its environmental responsibility to the world.

It is unclear at the moment just how much money was being dedicated to the rescue effort and how much each signatory was providing.

What more do you think can be done to save the vaquita? Do you think celebrities drawing attention to causes is appropriate? What causes would you like to see celebrities supporting and drawing attention to?

Source: Graham, Dave. “Mexico, DiCaprio and Carlos Slim Craft Plan to save Endangered Porpoise.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 07 June 2017. Web. 08 June 2017.

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Enrollment Representative

The Swamp School is a well-known and well-respected wetland delineation and plant identification training institute with classes on EPA and Army Corps of Engineers rules, wetland delineation, assessment and design, ecological risk assessments, and more including certifications programs and a variety of classroom courses and online. Our students have diverse backgrounds across many industries and are located all over the US.

We are looking for motivated individuals who can help us expand our training programs across the country.  Your typical week includes following up on leads, making new contacts, obtaining referrals, performing one-on-one and group presentations by phone, closing sales and handing customer questions.

A successful enrollment representative will be an aggressive prospector with excellent sales pipeline management skills. You will need to identify decision makers, build relationships, schedule firm appointments, convey a sense of urgency, inform the customer, close for a decision and provide timely service. You should demonstrate a genuine interest in our industry and knowledge of our customers’ needs.

Necessary Skills and Experience:

  • Inside sales experience
  • Business to business sales experience
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Self-managed and disciplined

Educational sales experience is preferred but not required.  First year expected income is between 60k – 95k with each subsequent year an additional 20% to 50% depending on performance.

If you feel you can contribute to our mission and find this work rewarding we invite you to apply. Our website is No phone calls please. Send applications to:  [email protected]