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Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commissions, Inc. (CACIWC) 1st Annual 2021 Mid-Year Conference

"Continuing Conservation & Habitat Preservation Efforts During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

 Saturday, June 12, 2021

(A Virtual Conference) 


A keynote presentation by Representative Mary M. Mushinsky

Representative Mary M. Mushinsky
(85th House District)

For our 2021 Mid-Year Environmental Conference, CACIWC has scheduled our keynote speaker presentation at 8:50 AM immediately following a brief introduction to our virtual conference procedures at 8:45 AM. The keynote presentation will be followed by our workshops, with five minutes breaks at the end of each session. The mid-year conference will end at 1:30 PM.

We are pleased to welcome Connecticut State Representative Mary Mushinsky to serve as our 2021 Mid-Year Conference keynote speaker.

Connecticut has long strived to improve its management of municipal waste through more comprehensive recycling and other approaches to waste reduction. Representative Mary Mushinsky is uniquely qualified to discuss these ongoing efforts as the author and sponsor of major Connecticut environmental legislation enacted during the 1980s and 1990s, including mandatory recycling and packaging reduction. She has also been a long-term advocate for open-space preservation, global warming mitigation and endangered species protection. Mary will outline the steps needed to achieve our long-term environmental goals including efforts that Connecticut commissions can take within their communities.

Representative Mary Mushinsky Biography:
Mary Mushinsky was first elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1980 on a platform of environmental activism, consumer advocacy and improved energy policies. She currently holds the leadership position of Deputy Speaker.

Mary has held various other leadership positions including co-chair of the legislature's bipartisan Program Review and Investigations Committee, specializing in preparing workforce for a changing economy, retraining older and long-term unemployed workers, apprenticeships, and improving efficiency of state programs. The committee spotlighted and expanded the state’s most successful apprenticeship program, Platform to Employment. Mary previously served as co-chair of the legislature's Select Committee on Children for ten years and passed the state’s anti-bullying law. She is the recipient of numerous awards for adolescent pregnancy prevention and reduction of child poverty.

She also served for six years as co-chair of the legislature's Environment Committee. A biologist by training, Mary has been the chief proponent in the Connecticut legislature of major environmental legislation enacted during the 1980s and 1990s, including mandatory recycling, packaging reduction, open-space preservation, global warming mitigation and endangered species protection laws.

Mary served as a member of the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes and the Results-Based Accountability Working Group to achieve greater efficiencies in taxpayer funded programs, as well as the Peak Oil Caucus to reduce the impact of high oil prices on residents and businesses. She currently serves on the Manufacturing Caucus and the Sportsmen’s Caucus.

In Wallingford, Mary initiated and serves as co-chair of the Quinnipiac River Linear Trail Advisory Committee, which works with local, state and federal officials and the community to expand the pedestrian/bicycle trail. She also served on the Wallingford Energy Conservation Commission, which promoted the energy audit and energy management recommendations now implemented by the Town of Wallingford school system. Mary is a member and legislative liaison for the Coalition for a Better Wallingford, which seeks to reduce drug and alcohol abuse.

Mary lives in Wallingford with her husband Martin J. Waters and has two adult sons, Martin and Edward Waters.


Workshop 1. “The Importance of Recycling During This Waste Crisis”

(9:30 am – 10:25 pm)
Sherill Baldwin, Source Reduction & Recycling Analyst State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP)
Recycling has always been about conserving resources, but is it still a viable option for managing materials as Connecticut faces a “waste crisis”? Sherill Baldwin of CT DEEP will speak about some projects of the CT Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management and the RecycleCT Foundation working to increase recycling and reduce contamination of CT’s mixed recycling (single stream) program. Ms. Baldwin will also share how CACIWC members can support these initiatives.



Workshop 2. “Wetlands Law: Legal Problem Solving 2.0”

(10:30 am – 12:25 pm)
Janet Brooks, Attorney at Law, LLC with Darcy Winther, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
You have taken the original live training offered by DEEP (or DEP years ago), you keep up with changes in the law (statute or case law) at annual training workshops at CACIWC or talks offered at the CAWS (CT Association of Wetlands Scientists) Conference. So, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? We’ll find out in this two-hour session as we deconstruct and analyze together complicated problems dealing with: (1) a permit application on a “difficult site”, (2) an enforcement matter that arises from the open forum/public comment portion of a meeting, and (3) farming exemptions arising from a chronically challenging, ever-evolving farm operation. Although conducted in a webinar format, Janet Brooks will be assisted by DEEP wetlands municipal liaison Darcy Winther, who will also play devil’s advocate. Participants will be encouraged to type in comments, responses, questions, pushback, etc. This workshop is appropriate for both newer and experienced wetlands commission members.



Workshop 3. “The CAWS Vernal Pool Monitoring Program”

(12:30 - 1:25 pm)
Edward M. Pawlak, MS, Certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), Registered Soil Scientist
The Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists (CAWS) has sponsored a vernal pool monitoring program since 2007. More than 50 vernal pools, located in 15 towns (four counties) in Connecticut, have been monitored by CAWS volunteers. This presentation will cover the elements of the monitoring program, including its rationale, limitations, and important lessons learned. Several case study pools will be covered, including an analysis of amphibian population trends and land cover changes around the pools during the time of the monitoring program. Recommendations for conserving vernal pools and their biota on a developing landscape will be explored.





Schedule for the Day:

 Welcome & Procedures
8:45 – 8:50 am 

Keynote Speaker & Discussion
8:50 – 9:25 am 

Break 1
9:25 – 9:30 am 

Workshop 1  The Importance of Recycling
9:30 – 10:25 am 

Break 2
10:25 – 10:30 am 

Workshop 2 Wetlands Law: Problem Solving
10:30 am – 12:25 pm 

Break 3
12:25 – 12:30 pm 

Workshop 3 Vernal Pool Monitoring Program
12:30 – 1:25 pm 

Conference ends 1:30 pm



For information on our Annual Meeting, please email us at:


View Our Annual Report

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