Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions  
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Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commissions
41st Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference

Was held Saturday, November 17, 2018




David R. Vallee

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/
National Weather Service (NWS)/Northeast River Forecast Center, Norton, Massachusetts

Read details of the presentation and David's biography

2018 CACIWC Keynote Presentation:
Examining Climate Trends in the
Northeast and their Impacts o
Riverine and Coastal Flood Behavior

Keynote Presentation *
9:00 - 10:00 AM

Click here to view Keynote Presentation



Our 2018 Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference included four revised and updated workshop tracks with topics on conservation biology & our changing ecosystem, legal and regulatory updates & issues, climate adaptation & water management, and strengthening & enhancing our tools. Individual workshops focused on strategies for preserving municipal open space, planning for flood resistant stream crossings, wetlands law for new commissioners, the giant hogweed and other invasive plants in Connecticut, important efforts of landscape architects, tackling aquatic invasive plants, wetlands law & regulation updates, climate impacts on the hemlock woolly adelgid, encouraging local conservation with student power, wetlands application site plan review, understanding your P&Z and ZBA, and Connecticut breeding and migratory bird populations.


Workshop Schedule (Four Tracks, Three Sessions, 12 Workshops)


Session 1 - 10:15 - 11:15

Session 2 - 11:30 - 12:30 PM

Session 3 - 2:00 - 3:15 PM

Track A. Conservation biology & our changing ecosystem

Workshop A1*

Update on Invasive Plants in Connecticut, Including the Status of Giant Hogweed

Workshop A2*

Climate Impacts on Eastern Hemlock Sustainability

Workshop A3

Migratory & Breeding Birds in Connecticut; An Update

Track B. Legal and regulatory updates & issues

Workshop B1

Wetlands Law for New Commissioners

Workshop B2

2018 Wetlands Law & Regulations Update with Question & Answer Session

Workshop B3

The Other Half: All About Planning & Zoning and the Zoning Board of Appeals

Track C. Climate adaptation & water management

Workshop C1

Planning for Flood Resilient & Fish Friendly Road-Stream Crossings in the Housatonic Watershed

Workshop C2*

Invasive Aquatic Plants in Connecticut Lakes and Ponds

Workshop C3

Wetland Application Site Plan Review Tool

Track D. Strengthening and enhancing our commission tools

Workshop D1

Strategies, Challenges, & Opportunities in Protecting Municipal Open Space

Workshop D2

Landscape Architects and Extraordinary Wetland Management

Workshop D3

Fueling Local Conservation with Student Power & Mapping Technology


Red Lion Hotel Cromwell

100 Berlin Road
(Off I-91 Exit 21 Route 372)
Cromwell, CT 06416

Phone: (860) 635-2000

Hotel Website





Session 1 (10:15-11:15 AM):

A1. “Update on Invasive Plants in Connecticut, Including the Status of Giant Hogweed *
Charlotte Pyle, PhD,Co-chair, Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG)
We are past believing that it is possible to eradicate invasive species in Connecticut, but it's not time to fold up the tent and do nothing. This workshop first will cover early detection of invasive species populations, in particular, where in the landscape to focus efforts.  The status of Giant Hogweed will be discussed.  Secondly, although broad-scale eradication is not possible, local management of invasive plants is do-able.  Connecticut Conservation Commissions can offer insights on what is valued within a town and promote taking a long term view.  Strategies for deciding What/Where/When/How to manage invasives for the long-term will be presented.

B1. “Wetlands Law for New Commissioners”
Janet Brooks, Attorney at Law, LLC
This workshop will provide a basic introduction to all the important legal concepts of wetlands law in a generalized approach suitable for new members of your town's inland wetlands and watercourse commission. More experienced commissioners who want a refresher may also find it useful. This workshop is the equivalent of what used to be called “Segment I” in the State of Connecticut DEEP training.

C1. “Planning for Flood Resilient & Fish Friendly Road-Stream Crossings in the Housatonic Watershed”
Lindsay Keener-Eck, MS, Conservation Projects Manager, Housatonic Valley Association (HVA)
As long, linear systems laid atop one another, streams and roads have many points of intersection that require a road-stream crossing structure. Road-stream crossings (e.g., bridges and culverts) can be barriers to fish and wildlife movement. Furthermore, many structures lack the hydraulic capacity to handle increasingly frequent flooding, and can require regular maintenance and even premature replacement. Given the large number of structures that cause these issues, a strategic approach to management is essential. The Housatonic Valley Association has developed a process for creating Town-scale Road-Stream Crossing Management Plans, and has completed the process in seven towns in the Northwest Hills. These plans aid municipalities in planning for and financing replacement of high-priority crossing structures, as well as incorporating Best Management Practices into future culvert and bridge design. In this workshop, Lindsay will discuss HVA's management planning process, demonstrate the use of an online, multi-state road-stream crossing database, and lead a discussion about how this type of management planning could be of use to municipalities across CT.

D1. “Strategies, Challenges, & Opportunities in Protecting Municipal Open Space”
Attorney Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director, Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC)
The problem: Your town owns land that the public assumes is permanently protected, until a proposal is presented to convert it for use for a new municipal building or some other purpose. In this workshop, we’ll look at some of the available tools and legal mechanisms available to protect municipal open space, discuss some of the strengths and challenges associated with each, and explore opportunities to work with your local land trust to help achieve your town’s conservation goals. We’ll also discuss current and proposed funding options for acquiring and managing municipal open space at the local and state level.



Session 2 (11:30-12:30 PM):

A2. “Climate Impacts on Eastern Hemlock Sustainability” *
Carole Cheah, PhD, Research Entomologist, Valley Laboratory The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES)
Eastern hemlock is a critical component of many forest and riparian ecosystems. Hemlocks provide watershed protection, important wildlife cover and habitat, and are popular trees in recreational and garden landscapes. Hemlock forests in Connecticut have been under threat for decades by two non-native and seriously damaging insect pests, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), and the elongate hemlock scale (EHS). Biological control of HWA has been the major strategy in Connecticut to manage HWA infestations since 1995. Prolonged droughts and outbreaks of the native secondary pest, the hemlock borer, are also historically serious stressors on eastern hemlocks, exacerbated by increasingly unpredictable climate extremes. This presentation will discuss the interplay of complex abiotic and biotic interactions affecting eastern hemlock sustainability and survival in a changing climate.

B2. “2018 Wetlands Law & Regulations Update with Question & Answer Session”
Mark Branse, Halloran & Sage, LLP; Janet Brooks, Attorney at Law, LLC
These wetlands attorneys have been brought back by again popular demand to keep you current with recent legislative and proposed regulatory changes and the latest state Supreme Court and Appellate Court cases. A large portion of this workshop will also include the question-and-answer session that you ask for each year. To support the discussions, Attorney Brooks asks attendees to bring a copy of an order issued by their commissions and a notice of violation, if they are used.

C2. “Invasive Aquatic Plants in Connecticut Lakes and Ponds*
Gregory J. Bugbee, Associate Scientist, Department of Environmental Sciences, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES)
Invasive aquatic plants have become an increasing management problem for many local communities. This workshop will review the results of recent surveys conducted in Connecticut lakes that document the persistence and distribution of various invasive plant species. The biotic and abiotic parameters governing why invasive aquatic plants occur in certain sites are reviewed along with methods for controlling these species with minimum impacts on the aquatic ecosystem and human populations. The importance of proper seasonal timing of control methods, as well as the use of physical control methods and biological control agents, will also be discussed.

D2. “Landscape Architects and Extraordinary Wetland Management
William Kenny, ASLA, PWS, William Kenny Associates LLC
Landscape architects are strategically positioned through natural abilities, training, and experience to realize extraordinary and sustainable success in wetland management. In this presentation, we will review a variety of factors that discuss how a landscape architect can contribute to the success of projects. Topics include mitigation/wetland rehabilitation, resource-sensitive design, and the ability to educate owners, regulators, and the development team on the core issues impacting a site's wetlands and watercourses and the most sustainable means of realizing project objectives.



Session 3 (2:00-3:15 PM):

A3. “Migratory & Breeding Birds in Connecticut; An Update”
Min T. Huang, PhD, Migratory Bird Program Leader, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Studies of migratory song and game birds are continuing to reveal information on species whose populations have increased and which may be in decline as a result of fragmented or lost habitats, climate changes and other local and regional factors. Dr. Huang will provide an update on activities conducted during the first year of Connecticut Bird Atlas project, a large statewide endeavor that relies heavily upon citizen scientists to collect data on which birds are breeding within our state. He will also review efforts to control Canada Goose populations, which are adversely impacting habitats in many communities. The role of local Conservation Commissions in contributing to these all of these efforts will also be discussed.

B3. “The Other Half: All About Planning & Zoning and the Zoning Board of Appeals”
Steven Sadlowski, AICP, Zoning Enforcement Officer & Inland Wetlands Agent; Town of New Hartford; Attorney Branse, Halloran & Sage, LLP
This workshop will be a primer on how Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissions and Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBA) work. It will look at their history, authority, the various permits they issue and how they interface with the Wetlands and Conservation Commissions. Just think, you will finally know the real difference between a Special Exception, a Variance and a Site Plan Review! During the Q&A session, Attorney Branse will discuss how Conservation Commissions and Inland Wetlands Commissions can work more effectively with their local PZCs.

C3. “Wetland Application Site Plan Review Tool”
Edward Pawlak, MS, Registered Soil Scientist, Certified Professional Wetland Scientist, Connecticut Ecosystems, LLC
Wetlands scientists and associated professionals have long sought methods to provide a uniform and consistent approach to wetland application reviews. This workshop will introduce a tool that standardizes and expedites wetland application reviews. The tool consists of a comprehensive checklist of items that are relevant to wetland applications and includes an appendix, which provides explanations, definitions, additional information, and website URLs for many of the items.  This tool is being made available at no charge on a website for use by wetland professionals, inland wetlands commissioners and their staff.  The workshop will review examples of site plan reviews where the tool was utilized and discuss its value for other applications. 

D3. “Fueling Local Conservation with Student Power & Mapping Technology”
Laura Cisneros, PhD, Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA), University of Connecticut, Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
When high school students team up with adult conservation advocates, good things happen. The University of Connecticut’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) trains intergenerational (teen and adult) teams in natural resources science and mapping technology that results in local conservation projects. The result is a “win” for the team, community, and environment. Participants in this workshop will leave with an understanding of how NRCA programming facilitates statewide conservation efforts by teens and adult conservation advocates, become familiar with two mobile mapping technologies and their use in myriad conservation projects, and learn how student engagement can support their conservation efforts.



* Continuing Education Credits available at this year's conference:

  • 3 points for SWS Recertification
  • 1 CT DEEP Recertification credit for each of the following modules: Session A1 (Categories 3A and 6); Session A2 (Categories 3A and 3D); and Session C2 (Category 5)
  • 1 CEUs for Keynote Address for RIDEM Cl-I, II, III & IV Licenses
  • Subject matter of select modules appropriate for continuing education credits for CT-licensed landscape architects (to be self-reported by licensee)



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* Continuing Education Credits available at this year's conference:

  • 3 points for SWS Recertification
  • 1 CT DEEP Recertification credit for each of the following modules: Session A1 (Categories 3A and 6); Session A2 (Categories 3A and 3D); and Session C2 (Category 5)
  • 1 CEUs for Keynote Address for RIDEM Cl-I, II, III & IV Licenses
  • Subject matter of select modules appropriate for continuing education credits for CT-licensed landscape architects (to be self-reported by licensee)

Exhibitor Registration Form

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Non-profit Exhibitor Registration Form

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