Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions  
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Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commissions
37th Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Villa Capri Banquet Facility

906 N. Colony Road Wallingford, CT 06492

(203) 265-7174

New location and revised agenda

In response to your comments from the 2012 & 2013 meeting surveys, CACIWC has revised the format of our 2014 annual meeting, developed an improved lunch menu, and scheduled the meeting at a new location with larger workshop rooms:

Directions to the Villa Capri
906 N. Colony Road, Wallingford, CT 06492

Traveling North or South
I-95 North (From Rhode Island or New York) I-95 (North or South) to I-91 North Exit 15 (Durham-Yalesville). Left off exit onto Rt. 68W. Proceed 2.2 miles (6 lights) to Rt. 5. The Villa Capri is 1/4 mile on the left side.

Traveling South I-91
Exit 15, take a right off the exit onto Rt. 68. Proceed 2 miles (5 lights) to Rt. 68 Overpass (Rt. 5 directly under overpass). Turn right on off ramp. At the end of ramp, turn left onto Rt. 5. The Villa Capri is 1/4 mile on the left side.

Traveling North or South on the Merritt or Wilbur Cross Parkway(Rt.15)
Exit 66. Turn left at the end of the ramp onto Rt. 5. The Villa Capri 3/4 mile on the left side.

Rt. 84 from Boston
To Rt. 84W to I-91S. Follow directions above from I-91S.

Rt. 84 from Danbury
East Rt. 84 to exit 27 (Rt. 691) to exit 10 to the Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 66. Turn left at the end of the ramp onto Rt. 5. The Villa Capri is 3/4 mile on the left side.


Keynote Address
We are honored to host State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee as the keynote speaker of CACIWC’s 37th Annual Meeting and Environmental Conference

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) is well known to CACIWC members, being the state agency charged with conserving, improving and protecting the state’s natural resources and environment, along with providing first-rate outdoor recreation opportunities to residents and visitors of our state. The DEEP is also charged with bringing cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy to Connecticut’s residents and businesses. In this role, DEEP is focused on integrating energy and environmental policies and helping Connecticut to build a sustainable and prosperous 21st-century economy.

Commissioner Klee joined DEEP in April 2011 as Chief of Staff. In that role he oversaw the work of the agency, supported the efforts of the Commissioner, and advised the Commissioner and senior staff on a wide range of environmental and energy policy issues. Klee was appointed DEEP Commissioner by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in January 2014.

Prior to joining state service, Commissioner Klee was an attorney with Wiggin and Dana LLP, in New Haven, where he specialized in appellate work and energy and environmental law. From 2004 to 2005 Commissioner Klee worked as a Law Clerk for the U.S. District Court in Connecticut and from 2005 to 2006 as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as a Research Affiliate in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 2006 to 2008.

Commissioner Klee holds a PhD from Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in industrial ecology, a law degree from Yale, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton in geology and environmental science. Commissioner Klee and his wife Anne have two sons.

In his keynote address Commissioner Klee will also emphasize the joint role of DEEP and CACIWC member commissions is supporting our 2014 conference theme of Preparing Connecticut for the Impact of Global Changes. The challenges to our members from these global changes range from preparing our towns for the impact of climate change on our state's important habitats to balancing the regional and global needs for food and energy with local environmental conservation and protection.

Our members have long labored to protect and preserve our forests, open meadows, and wetland systems. Many of these beautiful places serve an important conservation role by preserving critical habitats for native plants along with resident and migratory birds and other wildlife. Together, these lands provide countless opportunities for quiet walks and other enjoyable recreation activities for residents and visitors alike.

Our member commissions, along with land trusts and other organizations, are already facing increasing local challenges in their efforts to appropriately balance the growing demands for development with the long term goals of habitat preservation. Expected changes related to climate along with regional and global economic pressures will further challenge our members. With our new workshops and keynote address, this year's conference will help our members commissions maintain their role as effective stewards of wetlands and open space lands within their towns.

Please join us at our 37th Annual Meeting and Environmental Conference!


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

  Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
  9:30 – 10:30 am 10:45 – 11:45 am 1:45 – 2:45 pm
Open Space & Conservation Biology Track Workshop A1 Workshop A2 Workshop A3
Land Use Law & Legal Updates Track Workshop B1 Workshop B2 Workshop B3
Wetlands Science & Engineering Track Workshop C1 WorkshopC2 Workshop C3
Climate Change & Planning Track Workshop D1 Workshop D2 Workshop D3

Session 1 (9:30-10:30 AM)

A1. “Identification & Control of Bamboo and Climate Change & Invasive Plants”
Responding to Public Act 14-100 on Running Bamboo

Jeff Ward, Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station

Public Act 14-100 declared Running Bamboo a nuisance if it grows beyond the boundaries of a parcel of property. Public Act 13-82 puts the responsibility of enforcing the control of bamboo on a duly authorized wetland agent if wetlands are present. This workshop will help municipal agents identify the specific type of bamboo the law addresses and how to distinguish it from the other types as well as methods for control.

Long- & Short-term Impacts of Climate Change on Invasive Plants in Connecticut

Charlotte Pyle, PhD, Landscape Ecologist USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

Scientists are increasingly recognizing both the long-term and short-term impacts that climate change will have on populations of invasive plants in Connecticut. This workshop will describe and characterize these expected changes and help municipal commissions and agents better prepare for and help mitigate these changes.


B1. "What’s in Municipal Wetlands Regulations? Results of Statewide-Survey of Municipal Wetlands Regulations, Part II”
Janet Brooks, Attorney at Law, LLC

Attorney Brooks will present Part II of the results from her fall 2013 statewide-survey of municipal wetlands regulations. At this workshop you will explore the oases, helpful and positive additions to the standard Model Municipal Regulations as well as mirages, lacking statutory support, found in actual agency regulations. We’ll explore beavers and superstorms, “assumption” of jurisdiction until otherwise determined, emergency authorizations, artificial illumination, “intentional setting of fire,” time limits to complete a regulated activity, occupancy of a structure for greater than 180 days. Are these regulations mirages? Can they be saved? We’ll try to transform the mirages into oases and pay our last respects to those regulations we cannot.


C1. “Pond dredging: The Responsible Protocols and the Associated Risks”
Mark June-Wells, PhD, Limnologist & Plant Ecologist, Director of Water Resource Services
NALMS Certified Lake Manager & ESA Certified Ecologist; All Habitat Services LLC

Independent of what technique is chosen; pond dredging imparts a significant disturbance to lentic systems. However, dredging is a powerful tool in lake and pond management because it can improve the recreational availability, reduce internal nutrient loads, increase fish habitats, and reduce non-native plant species biomass. There are numerous dredging techniques available today and many of those methodologies have overlapping principles. Therefore, it is important to understand the specifics of each protocol including the associated regulatory requirements. This workshop will examine dredging techniques, their risks, and what regulatory processes are required.


D1. “Climate Change and Wetlands”
Juliana Barrett, PhD, Assistant Educator in Residence Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, UConn Extension ProgramCenter for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

Many Connecticut residents witnessed the impact that Hurricanes Irene and Sandy had on their communities. Many wetland systems were in the path of these storms or impacted by their associated storm surges. Juliana Barrett will describe the environmental impacts of severe storms on coastal and inland wetlands systems and recommend management options for wetland adaptation to climate change. The roles of conservation and inland wetlands commissions in helping to prepare their communities will also be discussed.


Session 2 (10:45-11:45 AM)

A2. “Open Space Management: Creating & Managing Trails”
Clare Cain, Trail Stewardship Director, Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA)

Connecticut conservation commissions and their staff work to identify and preserve important habitats within their municipality. In addition to documenting natural resource inventories and developing land management plans, these commissions frequently seek to establish trails and provide other opportunities for passive recreation. This workshop will provide information on design of sustainable trails, best practices for preventing erosion, and approaches to developing enjoyable tail systems that provide access and help protect local habitats.


B2. “2014 Wetlands Law Update with Question & Answers Session”
Janet Brooks, Attorney at Law LLC
David Wrinn, CT Attorney General’s Office
Mark Branse, Branse & Willis, LLC

This trio of wetlands attorneys has been brought back by popular demand to keep you current with the latest state Supreme Court and Appellate Court cases. This work shop will also include the 30-min question-and-answer session that you asked for!


C2. “Management of Invasive Aquatic Plants”
Gregory J. Bugbee, Associate Scientist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Environmental Sciences

Connecticut's lakes and ponds face an imminent threat from invasive plants. Their dense stands negatively impact native aquatic ecosystems, interfering with recreation, and lower property values. Management is accomplished by a variety of methods, including: watershed protection, education, boat inspections, early detection, and rapid response. Efforts to control established populations of invasive aquatic plants entail physical removal, antagonistic biological organisms, herbicides, benthic barriers, water level manipulation, and dredging.


D2. “Coastal Adaptation as an Opportunity for Ecological Design”
Alexander J Felson, PhD, RLA, Assistant Professor, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale School of Architecture; Director, Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory

Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy the federal government introduced and innovative design competition, Rebuild by Design, in an attempt to integrate long-term resiliency into the disaster recovery funding. In Connecticut this effort was focused on Bridgeport and a team of architects, engineers, ecologists, community engagement specialists and urban planners all worked collaboratively to design a plan that improved the city’s resilience to climate change, economic opportunities, and environmental health. This presentation will review the proposed plan for Bridgeport with an emphasis on the components aimed at restoring hydrologic connectivity, improving stormwater management, and using natural buffers living shorelines to slow erosion and inundation of populated areas. The Bridgeport case study is only one example of how coastal adaptation efforts present myriad opportunities to rethink the potential of Long Island Sound, the coastal zone, and in turn rethink the ecosystem services provided by the supporting ecosystems. This presentation will also review many of non-traditional stakeholders that could be involved to support this new approach to ecosystem-based adaptation.


Session 3 (1:45-2:45 PM)

A3. “Coexisting with Black Bears in Connecticut”
Felicia A. E. Ortner, Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist & Founder, The Bear Reality

Many Conservation Commissions and their staff have been asked to respond to questions resulting from the increasing number of Black Bear sightings in their town. This workshop will provide information on Connecticut's dynamic bear population including their life cycle, winter dens, preferred food and habitats. The presentation will review findings of recent scientific research including remote tracking programs. Advice on habitat management and appropriate behavior while encountering bears will help commissions educate their residents on how to best coexist with these captivating species.


B3. “Working with Local Commissions & Federal Agencies”
Attorney Mark Branse, Branse & Willis, LLC

This workshop will continue discussions on how municipal Conservation Commissions and Inland Wetlands Commissions can work more effectively with each other, as well as with their local Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission, in efforts to minimize the environmental impact made by new development and other activities within their towns. Cooperative strategies focusing on state and local Plans of Conservation and Development (POCD) and Low Impact Development (LID) regulations will be examined. The workshop will also provide guidance to municipal commissions on what roles they can take when federal agencies, such as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), come to town.


C3. “Stormwater Management & Control”
William Lachenauer, Project Coordinator, Hudson Engineering & Consulting, P.C.

Designing outside the proverbial “box.” An examination of innovative, environmentally sound and fiscally responsible approaches to stormwater management design through the use of “green” practices. This session will explore bio-retention, roof downspout disconnection, bio-swales and vegetative planting strips as methods of achieving stormwater quality and stormwater rate attenuation.


D3. “The Value of Riparian Corridors and Plantings for Storm Defense”
Juliana Barrett, PhD, Assistant Educator in Residence, Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, UConn Extension Program, Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

This workshop will explain the role that natural riparian corridors and buffer plantings play in both riverine and coastal environments to protect against streambank and shoreline erosion, biofiltration of excess nutrients and improvement of wildlife habitat. The value of these natural corridors and plantings in defending important Connecticut habitats from storm damage and threats related to climate change will be discussed. Recommendations for specific plant species in varied environments will be given as well as recommended buffer widths.


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Conference Information

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Schedule for the Day

Registration & Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00 am

Welcome & Business Mtg.
9:00 – 9:30 am

Session 1 Workshops 
9:30 – 10:30 am

Break 1 
10:30 – 10:45 am

Session 2 Workshops 
10:45 – 11:45 am

Break 2 
11:45 – 12:00 noon

Lunch, Keynote Speaker & Awards
 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Break 3
 1:30 – 1:45 pm

Session 3 Workshops 
1:45 – 2:45 pm

Displays will be on view from
8:30 am – 2:45 pm.


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

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