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Tim purinton gcc 2016


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Presentation at 8th Massachusetts Green Careers Conference on September 29, 2016 by Tim Purinton.

Published in: Environment
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Tim purinton gcc 2016

  1. 1. The mission of the Division of Ecological Restoration is to restore and  protect the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands and watersheds for the  benefit of people and the environment. George Peterson, Commissioner
  2. 2. Department of Fish and Game
  3. 3. Ecological Restoration …activities that assist in the recovery of the natural  processes of a aquatic ecosystem that have been  degraded, altered or destroyed. Such activities will  restore natural processes,  remove ecosystem stressors,  increase resilience of the ecosystem, &  create no lasting harm. “Ecological restoration is an intentional activity that initiates or  accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its  health, integrity and self‐sustainability.” 
  4. 4. Problems One‐third of wetlands lost to filling and  alteration Thousands of acres of coastal marshes are  impacted by road and rail crossings that block  flow of ocean tides or impede fish and wildlife  passage A growing number of rivers and streams are  impacted by low flow Massachusetts has no Category A waterbodies – all impaired Sprawl and development pose a continued and  growing threat to river and wetland health Over 3,000 dams fragment and degrade our rivers  and an estimated 30,000 culverts exist in the  Commonwealth Climate change…
  5. 5. Restoration Solutions Replacing culverts to restore full tidal passage  and natural hydrology Fill removal and stream daylighting Removal of dams, dikes, and other barriers Reduce and remove stormwater pollutants Water conservation measures (including  reducing irrigation and creating riparian  buffers) Invasive species control
  6. 6. Active Partner Projects
  7. 7. •Restored over 2,000 acres  of salt marsh •Removed 40 dams   •Reconnected over 150  upstream river miles •More than 50 projects in  planning at any one time •Recently raised over $20  million in federal funds for  restoration   •State funds and local  partnerships leverage  federal investment at a high  rate •Hundreds of volunteer  hours logged Stony Brook Marsh – restored in 2010 Accomplishments
  8. 8. 3,000 dams 3,000 dams in MA 43 are flood control dams 44 licensed hydropower dams 164 water supply dams Worcester County has highest density in USA
  9. 9. 3,000 dams and 30,000 culverts
  10. 10. Dam Removal Before After
  11. 11. Culvert Replacement Before After
  12. 12. Tidal Exchange Before After
  13. 13. Habitat Complexity
  14. 14. Floodplain Restoration
  15. 15. Flow Restoration
  16. 16. Urban River Revitalization
  17. 17. Economic Benefits – Return on Investment Benefits go well beyond restoring habitat Social, economic, and environmental Three recent studies of restoration value: Short‐term economic output Ecosystem services Cost savings for businesses and communities
  18. 18. Economic Output 2011 Industrial Economics Study of DER projects Jobs and economic activity – employment sectors:  design, construction, nursery, concrete, other Projects generate 75% return on investment and 12.5  jobs for every $1 million invested
  19. 19. Why Exponential Growth in  Restoration? Climate change‐ focus on resilient  communities/ecosystems Repetitive loss due to extreme weather Aging infrastructure…strong nexus  with public safety Regional economics‐ taking advantage of shifts in land use  (agriculture)  Regulations that support smart  infrastructure  Politically palatable, non‐regulatory,  economically stimulating and positive
  20. 20. DER Staff Profile Over 73%  of staff have master’s degrees, degrees include; public  administration, civil engineering, water resources, biology,  aquatic ecology, geosciences, wildlife and fisheries conservation,  environmental law, coastal ecology, resource economics (No  PhDs) UNH, URI, UMass, Oregon State, Harvard, Vermont Law School,  San Diego State University, Duke, UVM, Evergreen, University of  Wales Previous jobs include, wetland consultant, project manager,  community outreach coordinator, federal government  contractor, restoration contractor, compliance officer,  conservation agent, rare species biologist Average of 5‐10 years of previous experience All Mass jobs posted on MassCareers