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Dr. Laska Presents at WHC Conference!

Mark S. Laska, Ph.D., Founder and President of Great Ecology, along with Gregory R. Biddinger, Ph.D., Managing Director and Principal Scientist at Natural Land Management, LLC presented at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Conservation Conference 2018 earlier today. The name of their session was The Future is Green: Conservation Strategies to Achieve Success.

Dr. Biddinger discussed strategies to incorporate conservation practices throughout the life cycle of a corporate project, describing the triple bottom line benefits of this approach. Dr. Laska followed up with natural land management case studies, using examples from Great Ecology’s 17-year history as ecological consultants. His portion of the session introduced strategies to optimize the value of corporate land assets, and described Great Ecology’s process to evaluate a corporate site based on its  ecological potential, the regional ecosystem marketplace, and the regulatory framework.

If you’re at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Conservation Conference this year, we hope you’ll stop by our table and say hello! You can also learn about Dr. Laska’s work with Tellurium Partners and Ecology Landwatch, two of Great Ecology’s sister companies.

Mark Laska, Ph.D. (left) and Dave Yozzo, Ph.D

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Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers Award

Great Ecology is thrilled to announce that we have won an Environmental Excellence award from the Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers (CASFM) for our work on the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. Vice President of Technical Services, Randy Mandel, received this award on behalf of the company at the 2018 Annual CASFM Conference in Snowmass, CO.

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Great Ecology a Finalist for Three AEP Awards

The San Diego office was a finalist for three Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) San Diego Chaper awards:
  1. Outstanding Technical Report – Pond 20 Delineation Report
  2. Outstanding Innovation in Green Planning and Design – Pond 20 Prospectus
  3. Outstanding Innovation in Green Planning and Design – Constructed Treatment Wetland System at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

We are so proud of the work produced through these projects and honored to have been a finalist. Learn more about the AEP.

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Vice President of Technical Services to Present at Army Corps Natural and Nature-Based Features Symposium

Vice President of Technical Services, Randy Mandel, has been invited to present the Bioengineering Manual he coauthored for the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program as well as Riparian Restoration Matrix, also developed for EWP, at the September Army Corps International Natural and Nature-Based Features Symposium at UC Santa Cruz. His presentation will occur on September 20.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) initiated a collaborative project to develop, publish, and promote guidelines on the development of Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF). NNBF support engineering functions in the context of the overall sustainability and resilience of coasts, bays, and estuaries. The workshop at which Mr. Mandel will present is part of a series of workshops that relate to USACE’s multi-agency effort to develop guidance describing how to implement, monitor, and evaluate NNBF projects.

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Great Ecology’s Blog Named a Top 40 Blog of 2018

Great Ecology is proud to announce that our blog was selected as one of the top 40 ecology blogs of 2018 by Feedspot (we’re number 18, and in good company with folks like The Prairie Ecologist, Sonoma Ecology Center, and The Applied Ecologist’s Blog, just to name a few!). We strive to make complex research accessible, keep on the forefront of the latest trends in ecological science, and highlight innovations, designs, policies, and ideas that are important to our field.

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Public Notice for the South San Diego Bay Wetland Mitigation Bank Released for Public Comment

The Public Notice for the South San Diego Bay Wetland Mitigation Bank (Bank) Prospectus has been released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for public comment. Great Ecology led the development of the Prospectus on behalf of the Bank Sponsor, the Port of San Diego (Port), and its release is the culmination of three years of collaboration between the Port and the Great Ecology team. The proposed 80-acre wetland mitigation bank is located within an 83.5-acre parcel owned by the Port, and if approved, will include the establishment, re-establishment, and rehabilitation of tidal wetland and upland transitional habitats. Tidal wetlands, and their associated buffers, provide important ecosystem services, support nursery habitat for fisheries of ecological and commercial importance, and act as key feeding and breeding grounds for coastal and migratory bird species.  Great Ecology’s team includes ESA and RECON who provided engineering, hydrological, and restoration biology design.

The Bank Site is located within a former salt pond in San Diego. Historically, this salt pond was part of the Western Salt Work Company and served as a part of a network of condensation and crystallization salt evaporator ponds. Today, the Bank Site is largely upland and surrounded by large earthen berms, which isolates the interior of the site from tidal flows and prevents it from being a tidal wetland. The proposed project will restore tidal wetlands to the site by reducing the overall site elevation and breaching the surrounding berm to allow tidal flows to enter the site.

The completed project will include subtidal eelgrass, mudflat, transition zone, and upland habitats. The majority of the site’s historic perimeter berms will remain to provide a hydrological buffer around the site.

The Port and Great Ecology team are focusing on the next steps of the project planning, permitting, and bank entitlement process.

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Great Ecology Welcomes Justin Apfel

Great Ecology is thrilled to welcome Justin Apfel to the team! Justin is an ecologist with experience in wetland permitting, tidal and non-tidal stream assessments, GIS, subsurface contamination examinations, and stormwater management. He has previously served an AmeriCorps term and hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail (primarily in Virginia). In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, fishing, and rock climbing. Justin is joining our Denver office.

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Great Ecology Welcomes Jessica L. Foley

Great Ecology is thrilled to welcome our newest team member! Jessica L. Foley, a former John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and policy analyst with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is joining the Denver office. She has experience working in varied settings, both nationally and internationally, at the federal and local government level, in the non-profit sector, in private industry, and in academia on local to global issues. She has helped communities plan for sea level rise, create and implement invasive species management plans, integrate the use of green infrastructure, and maintain Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance. In addition, she has led research on the impacts of climate change on eelgrass (Zostera marina), which is the base of highly functional marine ecosystems along the U.S. coast. In her free time, Jessica enjoys exploring, hiking, and snowboarding in Colorado’s beautiful mountains and playing the violin.

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Randy Mandel Elected to SER International Board of Directors!

Great Ecology is pleased to announce that Randy Mandel, Vice President, Technical Services has been elected as one of five Regional Representatives for North America for the Society for Ecological Restoration’s (SER) International Board of Directors! SER’s International Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • Policy development and maintenance;
  • Strategic planning;
  • Operations;
  • Fund-raising; and
  • Relationship building with other organizations.

The elected position will begin June 2018 and Randy will hold this position for the next two years. He has previously served multiple terms as the President for SER’s Central Rockies Chapter.

When asked what excites him about this position, Randy responded: “It’s a chance for Great Ecology to make a greater difference on a national and international level, while furthering our mission and core values and being part of a team of the world’s foremost restoration specialists.”

SER’s international community is made up of restoration professionals, including researchers, practitioners, policy influencers, and community leaders. Members advance the science and practice of ecological restoration to benefit biodiversity, ecosystems, and human interaction with the more-than-human world. Learn more about SER and read their mission statement.

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Great Ecology Honored with Environmental Excellence Award

We are honored to share that Great Ecology, as part of a larger project team, is the proud recipient of the Colorado Contractor’s Association (CCA) Environmental Excellence Award for our Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) work, as completed for Left Hand Canyon. Vice President of Technical Services, Randy Mandel, will accept the award this morning at the 84th Annual CCA Conference, in Denver.

Learn more about the EWP project here.

 

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