Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists
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Professional Short Courses

COURSE TITLE: Enhanced Mapping Tools to Protect and Restore Vermont's Wetlands

Julie Follensbee

COURSE DESCRIPTION Enhanced Mapping Tools to Protect and Restore Vermont's Wetlands

The State of Vermont strives to provide and apply the best mapping tools available to protect and restore wetlands throughout the State. Through the Agency of Natural Resource's Wetlands Inventory Map the State is able to consolidate and provide these layers to their partners and general public. The base of many of these tools is the jurisdictional layer, the Vermont Significant Wetland Inventory (VSWI), that protects wetlands via GIS mapping derived from the NWI dataset. A supplement to the VSWI is the ever-evolving Wetlands Advisory Layer which is continuously amended with non-jurisdictional mapping data derived from regulatory and non-regulatory boots on the ground work; including NWI+ updates, EPA funded bioassessment monitoring, Natural Heritage cataloguing, Program staff site visits, and other governmental and non-governmental wetland mapping projects. The most recent update to this layer will include an NWI layer update for the Missisquoi River to meet NWI+/LLWW standards. This watershed was targeted for revision since it was understood to be under mapped and due to its diverse landscape and mixed land use history.
Along with these mapping layers, Vermont also has a wetland restoration site prioritization model and associated mapping product to target restoration efforts towards meeting our Lake Champlain phosphorus TMDL goals. The original GIS-based Lake Champlain Wetland Restoration Plan is a quantitative prioritization model to rank the potential of land to mitigate P loading to Lake Champlain based on site function and upslope drainage attributes. A recent model update further refined the original output and resulted in the development of potential wetland restoration easement boundaries for targeted landowner outreach.


Brock Freyer currently works to protect Vermont's wetlands as a District Wetlands Ecologist in Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Wetlands Program. In doing so he collaborates with state, federal and non-government organizations by providing regulatory, technical, and moral support. Prior to his work in Vermont, he has bounced around the U.S. wandering in wetland and riverine systems hoping to keep his feet dry in wet spots. No matter where he is working, he is constantly intrigued by the working landscape and how our activities have altered the natural systems present. Through a hydrogeomorphic/landscape scale lens he looks for opportunities to restore and enhance these potentially degraded systems. Brock is a PWS (#2441), has a M.S. degree in Earth Sciences from UNC-Charlotte, and a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Western Carolina University.

Julie Follensbee has served as a District Wetland Ecologist with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation for 12 years. The position protects Vermont's wetlands through regulation, education, restoration, and enforcement. As Program Restoration Specialist she reviews potential wetland restoration projects; collaborates with state, federal and non-government organizations; advises restoration bioassessment; and is developing a statewide tracking system for wetland restoration work. Julie has a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Natural Science. Prior experience includes stormwater management and contaminated sites remediation.

Credit Points:

SYLLABUS/TOPICAL OUTLINE This presentation will introduce user-friendly, GIS tools available to guide the protection and restoration of Vermont's wetland and water resources. The State's Wetland Inventory Map is a web-based mapping tool for identifying locations and features of wetlands, creating printer-friendly maps, and providing spatial data downloads. The tool displays mapped wetland boundaries from the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory (VSWI), which is a jurisdictional map layer that helps guide regulated activities within specific protected classes of wetlands or respective buffer zones. Supplements to the VSWI are discussed, which include an ever-evolving Wetlands Advisory Layer (WAL), amended regularly with information gathered through governmental, and private, research and mapping projects. One particularly interesting update to the WAL introduces viewers to a system of enhanced classification for Landscape Position, Landform, Water Flow Path, and Waterbody Type (LLWW), as additional fields in the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI). The presenters will conclude the program with an introduction to mapping products guiding restoration efforts to assist in meeting Lake Champlain phosphorus TMDL goals, including recent updates in the development of potential wetland restoration easement boundaries for targeted landowner outreach.

Louis Mantini
9225 CR49, Live Oak, FL 32060
P: 386.647.3144


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Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program
Last Updated 10/1/20