February 2nd is internationally known as World Wetlands Day! This day recognizes the importance in conserving our wetlands and all the functions they contribute to our society. Some of these many functions include biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and flood management.
OCI has a resident wetland specialist in the making. MaKenna Lindberg brings a unique background to our team, having received her bachelor’s in environmental science. Inspired by her undergraduate education in water quality and wetland ecology, she is currently pursuing a certification in Wetland Science and Management at the University of Washington’s Continuing Education College. MaKenna is receiving training on the functions that wetland plants, soils, and hydrology offer that benefit humans socially, economically, and culturally. The program has allowed her to engage with wetlands hands-on through delineations and ratings, planning on a landscape and regulatory scale, and engaging with stakeholders at local, state, and federal levels.
Historical data predicts that 87% of wetlands globally have been lost since the 19th century. Understanding the massive contributions these ecosystems provide, this is a major concern. Political view of wetlands shifted in 1977 during the Carter administration when the No Net Loss Policy was implemented under an executive order. This means that all projects impacting wetlands are required to designate an area for mitigation that results in equal or greater wetland functions than was removed from development. Conservation efforts today are a key in ensuring these ecosystems survive.
In addition to the bankfull width and ordinary high water mark work we already offer, OCI is building our qualifications and experience taking on more project work that includes:
- Wetland delineations
- Mitigation, restoration, and habitat creation
- Stream and wetland function assessments
- Floodplain studies
- Dam safety analysis
- Wetland law and policy