March 2024 Webinar - An Integrated Framework for Evaluating Wetland and Stream Compensatory Mitigation
Thursday, March 21, 2024 (1:00 PM - 2:00 PM) (EDT)
Compensatory mitigation is an integral component of stream and wetland regulatory programs. Sustained improvement in wetland and stream compensatory mitigation requires establishment of ongoing evaluation efforts that provide continued feedback to aquatic resource programs and allow them to adapt, evolve, and improve over time. However, evaluation of compensatory mitigation performance remains challenging. In 2022, USEPA published a technical resource document that is intended to help states and other interested parties develop a long-term, scientifically rigorous approach to evaluating the overall performance of their wetland and stream compensatory mitigation programs (https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-03/mitigationevaluationframework-2022.pdf). The document provides a proposed framework for combining site-specific and regional evaluations to improve the ability of states to report on the administrative and ecological success of their compensatory mitigation programs at achieving stated goals and desired objectives. The proposed framework was developed based on peer-reviewed literature and agency reports on past mitigation practices and monitoring approaches, interviews with program managers from 15 state programs, and input from a team of nationwide technical experts. The framework recommends that comprehensive compensatory mitigation evaluation include assessments of both project and program performance. To achieve this, the framework recommends a flexible, modular approach that allows states to prioritize different modules depending on their needs and the status of their existing assessment programs. This webinar will discuss the framework and the three modules, and present results from pilot applications in two states.
Speaker: Eric Stein
Dr. Eric Stein is a head of the Biology Department at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP). Dr. Stein oversees a variety of projects related to in-stream and coastal water quality, ecohydrology, bioassessment, hydromodification, watershed modeling, and assessment of wetlands and other aquatic resources. His research focuses on effects of human activities on the condition of aquatic ecosystems, and on developing tools to better assess and manage those effects. Dr. Stein has authored over 150 journal articles, 75 technical reports, several book chapters and participates on numerous technical workgroups and committees at the federal and state levels related to water quality and wetland assessment and management. Prior to joining SCCWRP in 2002, Dr. Stein spent six years as a Senior Project Manager with the Regulatory Branch of the Los Angeles District Corps of Engineers, and four years with a private consulting firm.