Creative Approaches to Funding Wetland Programs and Inventories

Held Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 3-4:30 pm Eastern

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INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACTS

Andy Robertson
Creative Approaches to Funding Wetland Programs and Inventories
 
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota GeoSpatial Services (GSS) has been working to help build wetland data and programs with a variety of federal and state partners for over 20 years. Recognizing that funding for wetland management can often be challenging to obtain, GSS and our partners have employed a variety of strategies to generate initial and ongoing program funding including:
 
  • Leveraging techniques and technologies – better, faster, cheaper
  • Creating linkages to other funded programs (e.g. water quality management)
  • Adding value to wetland mapping databases (e.g. hydrogeomorphic attributes, wetland functional assessment)
  • Mixing funding sources and levels to share the cost burden
  • Development of stakeholder support through education and outreach
This presentation focused on the experiences of two decades of creativity around wetland inventory and program development.  Approaches, funding sources, agency involvement and data enhancements were reviewed using specific examples from successful projects.
 
Mike Jones
The Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s Approach to Funding and Sustaining a Tribal Wetland Program
 
Sustaining a formal wetland program is a major challenge for tribes throughout the country. Tribes often rely on EPA Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs), but those have limitations for routine work that is necessary to maintain a program. As a result, many tribes have seen their wetland programs disappear due to lack of long-term funding and staffing. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community (SMC) has been able to sustain their wetland program since 2012 by diversifying funding sources and relying on partnerships within and outside of the Tribe. While WPDGs are still a major funding source, SMC has secured a wide variety of other grant and cost-share funds to cover program activities that are not allowable under WPDGs. SMC also has emphasized building Tribal capacity to improve program efficiency and reduce costs. While each Tribe is unique, some of these approaches can be implemented by other tribes to help sustain their wetland programs.
 
Tim Bixler
Missouri’s effort to form partnerships and secure funding to update the National Hydrography Dataset and National Wetland Inventory.
 
The current geospatial data for Missouri’s NHD and NWI was largely developed in the 1980’s. Despite their age, inherent inaccuracy, and coarse resolution, both are still foundational GIS layers used on a wide range of applications for a host of federal, state, county, and municipal agencies, as well as by the private sector and individual citizens. Unfortunately, these datasets must be used with broad caveats and limitations. Missouri’s population, landscape, and climate patterns have and are continuing to change, putting lives, properties, infrastructure, and natural resources at risk to natural hazards like extreme flooding. Making informed decisions with difficult trade-offs in a complex world relies on accurate and up-to-date information. Technical advancements in GIS data and processing make updating these two spatial workhorses an attractive venture and would drastically enhance their utility to a host of stakeholders. Communicating across agencies to generate support for such an endeavor takes time, information, and flexibility both within an organization and among partners.
 
 

BIO

Andy RobertsonAndy Robertson is the Executive Director of GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In this role, he is responsible for oversight and management of all GeoSpatial Services projects, activities and staff. GeoSpatial Services is engaged in a wide variety of projects across the Lower 48 and Alaska including wetland inventory; National Hydrography Dataset updates; spatial data development; and, natural resource condition assessments. Andy has a diverse background in spatial information systems, watershed planning, wetland inventory, forest management, environmental impact assessment, desktop and server system support and database administration. He is a Registered Professional Forest Technologist (Alberta, Canada) and has experience leading natural resource projects for both private sector companies and public agencies across Canada and the United States including the Department of Interior, United States Army Corp of Engineers, NOAA, and the Department of Agriculture.  He is also a steering committee member for the Wetland Mapping Consortium and is co-chair of the Alaska GeoSpatial Council Wetland Technical Group. Andy has a Forest Technology Diploma from Sault College of Applied Technology in Ontario, Canada, a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo and has completed postgraduate work in forest management at the University of Toronto.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones is the Wetland Specialist for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, a Federally-recognized tribe in Northeast Wisconsin. For the last five years, he has managed the Tribe’s Wetland Program, which focuses on protecting, monitoring, and restoring wetlands on Tribal lands and within the greater watershed. Mike has a B.S. in Biology and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University.



 

 

 

 

Tim BixlerTim Bixler is the IT Database & GIS Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), a state agency that manages the fish, forest, and wildlife of Missouri. In this role he manages the Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and SQL Server Environment.  Tim represents MDC on the Missouri GIS Advisory Council (MGISAC) and currently serves as the Chair-Elect on the Council. Tim has 18 years of experience working with GIS in natural resource and conservation related agencies and enjoys managing data and applications that help people discover nature and make informed conservation related decisions. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a minor in Cartographic Sciences from Missouri State University and is GISP certified.

 

 


Part 1: Portia Osborne, Project Manager, National Association of Wetland Managers
PlayPlay

Part 1: Introduction: Portia Osborne, Project Manager, NAWM
Presenter: Andy Robertson, GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Part 2: Presenter: Mike Jones, Stockbridge-Munsee Community
PlayPlay

Part 2: Presenter: Mike Jones, Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Part 3: Presenter: Tim Bixler, Missouri Department of Conservation; :Questions & Answers
PlayPlay

Part 3: Presenter: Tim Bixler, Missouri Department of Conservation; Questions & Answers

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Part 1: Portia Osborne, Project Manager, National Association of Wetland Managers
Part 2: Presenter: Mike Jones, Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Part 3: Presenter: Tim Bixler, Missouri Department of Conservation; :Questions & Answers
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