GLEC received a $1.6 million Task Order award from the USEPA Office of Water to coordinate training and logistics support for the National Wetlands Condition Assessment (NWCA) 2021. Following the September 2020 award, GLEC will be responsible for training contractor, state, and tribal field crews, training trainers, and conducting quality audits of active field crews during the 2021 survey year. The logistics support elements of the Task Order include assembling and distributing base kits and site kits; tracking of survey and field crew progress; technical support to field crews; scheduling and project tracking of laboratory analyses and field data; and publication of survey operations manuals and quality plans.
The GLEC Team will be led by GLEC Vice President and Principal Research Scientist Jamie Saxton. Jamie has served as training and logistics Task Order leader for previous National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) including the National Lakes Assessment (NLA), National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA), and National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA). He has also worked as a NARS field methods trainer, field methods facilitator, and field team auditor throughout the U.S. Key technical training support will be provided by Dr. Michael Liptak, Senior Wetland Ecologist at GLEC subcontractor EnviroScience, Inc. Dr. Liptak specializes in wetland ecology, wetland restoration, and mitigation wetland design and was the Task Order Leader for training and logistics and plant voucher identification for the NWCA 2016. GLEC Principal Research Scientist Chris Turner will continue to apply his expertise as Logistics Coordinator supporting the entire NWCA 2021 effort, similar to previous assignments as Field Logistics Coordinator and Contractor Field Logistics Coordinator for the NWCA 2011 and 2016; NCCA 2010, 2015, and 2020; National Lakes Assessment 2012 and 2017; and NRSA 2013/14 and 2018/19.
Findings from the NWCA 2021 survey of over 1,000 wetland sites will build on field data and research from previous NWCA surveys conducted in 2011 and 2016 to assess and detect trends in the condition of U.S. wetland systems through probabilistic statistical methods. Published reports from the 2011 NWCA indicate that 48% of surveyed wetlands were in good biological condition, while approximately a quarter of surveyed sites had problems such as: surface hardening, vegetation removal, ditching, or non-native plants. The NWCA is one of four surveys under EPA’s ongoing NARS program designed to assess the ecological health and condition of U.S. coastal waters, lakes, wetlands, and rivers and streams. GLEC has supported the NARS program as both a prime contractor and subcontractor since the program began in 2007.
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