Upcoming SNEP Webinars
Past Recorded SNEP Webinars
The effects of climate change vary by habitat and location; and carbon dioxide is not the only gas of concern. In this webinar, our Speakers will highlight how climate change could impact agricultural and estuarine ecosystems in the northeast U.S., exacerbate emissions further; and what we can do increase the resilience of these ecosystems to mitigate that potential harm.
Presentation Slides (pdf) (16.7 MB)
Transcript (pdf) (232 K)
Since 2018, EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP) has been working with its program partners to bring funding and technical assistance to the communities, tribes, and watershed organizations through the SNEP region. SNEP's partnership with the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG) Program and the SNEP Network has enabled many organizations to successfully carry out complex planning and restoration projects. This webinar will highlight a few of them, including the Childs River restoration project managed by the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club, Save the Bay's restoration plan to Restore Water Quality in Barrington's Hundred-Acre Cove, the launch of the Blackstone River Watershed Collaborative, and a new initiative between the SNEP Network and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to address harmful algal blooms in Santuit Pond.
Presentation Slides (pdf) (22.6 MB)
Transcript (pdf) (231 K)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to announce the funding of $599,993 through EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP) to support projects by four organizations as a part of the new SNEP Pilot Watershed Initiative. This funding is the first installment of an expected $3 Million across the four projects over the next five years. Project partners are also expected to leverage an additional $1.1 Million in matching funds. These projects are intended to demonstrate how concentrated, collaborative efforts and holistic planning can more effectively address common environmental challenges in coastal southeast New England. Demonstrating watershed scale solutions is a key piece of SNEP's Five-Year Strategic Plan and ultimately an important part of promoting safe and clean water, healthy habitats, and thriving communities. This webinar welcomed representatives from each of the four SNEP Pilot Watersheds to present their project proposals and engage with the SNEP community during an audience Q&A. For more information on each of the Pilots, please reference the SNEP Pilot Watersheds web page.
Presentation Slides (pdf) (16.3 MB)
Transcript (pdf) (273 K)
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are becoming an increasing cause for concern throughout the SNEP region; and while not a direct result of climate change, blooms can be exacerbated by warming water temperature. HABs are usually triggered by high levels of nutrients (primarily phosphorus and/or nitrogen) in lakes, ponds and estuaries. Common nutrient sources include lawn fertilizers and septic systems, and because nutrients may come from a variety of sources, a combination of actions is typically needed to abate blooms. In situations where nutrients are released into lakes and estuaries via ground water or surface water flow, intercepting sources of nutrient pollution often requires a collaborative effort between multiple municipalities that share the watershed. In this webinar, we will be addressing some of the primary causes and concerns related to nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms throughout the SNEP region, how EPA is working to address the problem and the next steps required to better ensure safe and healthy waters for all.
Coastal wetlands are critical to the survival of hundreds of species who call them home, but they're just as critical to the well-being of the many thousands of people who live near them. Coastal communities are increasingly battered by the impacts of climate change. Healthy wetlands and seagrass beds can provide natural buffers against stronger waves and storm surges; if they remain intact. They can also naturally sequester carbon dioxide and prevent the release of methane that would come with their decomposition. These powerful benefits speak to their importance for our ecological and social survival. Protecting and restoring them is urgently needed to bolster resilience. The goal of this webinar is to discuss the importance of these systems, their impact on local species, their role in climate change mitigation; and to highlight some of the incredible work being done throughout the region to ensure their protection.
Stormwater controls are necessary municipal operations, but they can be costly, sometimes ineffective, and often poorly maintained. Moreover, conventional stormwater controls are either out of sight (catch basins and storm drains) making their purpose invisible to the public, or they are too visible, barricaded in concrete and fencing and making them eyesores to the surrounding community. But there is a better way. Green infrastructure (rain gardens, daylighted streams, tree planting, floodable parks) handles stormwater efficiently while also offering tangible benefits to local neighborhoods, especially those that have been historically overburdened – protection from flooding, increased public space amenities and property values, reduced heat impacts, and even a better sense of place and social spirit. Communities directly involved in designing green infrastructure controls are more likely to see their residents' well-being increase while achieving cost-effective stormwater management. The goal of this webinar is to discuss how community-driven green infrastructure can achieve necessary stormwater management goals while also improving community well-being. In this webinar, we host Mark Voorhees of EPA Region 1, Stacey Eriksen of EPA Region 8, Kelly Boling of the Trust for Public Land, and Kate England of the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation to discuss a community-driven approach to green infrastructure design.
In this webinar, the Southeast New England Program hosted a panel discussion between Steve Kirk of The Nature Conservancy, Chris Schillaci of NOAA, Perry Raso of Matunuck Oyster Farms, and Scott Soares of the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association; moderated by Dr. Jennifer Bender of the School for the Environment at UMass Boston. Aquaculture has numerous community and ecological benefits if well-designed and implemented. Not only can aquaculture be beneficial for local communities and economies by providing good jobs, but it can benefit local ecosystems by improving water quality as well. Our conversation today will begin to highlight a few of these mutual benefits and address several key opportunities to allow aquaculture to reach its full potential in the SNEP region.
In this webinar, we welcomed Alex Hackman from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration who presented on his work in restoring wetlands in retired cranberry farmland throughout Massachusetts. Nick Nelson of Inter-Fluve presented a case study on his work in the Coonamessett River and Plymouth, MA and Rachel Ruben of Mount Holyoke College who presented on her work demonstrating the role of microorganisms in nitrogen removal and bog restoration.
In this webinar, we welcomed Marcel Belaval from US EPA Region 1 who presented on why permeable reactive barriers are useful for addressing the issue of diffuse nitrogen pollution in groundwater. We also demonstrated several case studies: Tom Parece of AECOM on his work in Orleans, MA, Matt Charette of WHOI on his work in Falmouth, MA, and Jessica Thomas and Brian Howes from UMass SMAST who presented on their work in Tisbury, MA.
In this webinar, we welcomed Brian Baumgaertel and George Heufelder of the Massachusetts alternative septic system testing center, and Drs. Sara Wigginton and Bianca Ross of the Soil Ecology and Microbiology laboratory at the University of Rhode Island to discuss innovative septic system research and design in the SNEP region.
The Tisbury Impervious Cover Disconnection (ICD) Project arose in 2017 out of a request by the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) to discuss environmental challenges faced by Martha's Vineyard including potential opportunities for EPA Southeast New England Program (SNEP)-funded technical assistance to address water quality impacts. The goal of the project is to identify, assess and quantify opportunities for the disconnection of impervious cover (IC) within a geographically-constrained urbanized New England community located near the southern New England coastline. The community, the Town of Tisbury (Town), had requested assistance from the EPA Region 1 to address chronic (even acute) flooding and the generally poor transmission of stormwater runoff related to and resulting from IC and older stormwater infrastructure. An equally important project goal is building an understanding and capacity for integrating green infrastructure (GI) and other stormwater control measures (SCM) into municipal land use decision making. This collaborative project is intended to achieve innovative and cost-effective management of stormwater for a broad range of management objectives (e.g., volumetric control (flooding); reuse, resilience and sustainability; control of pollutants and protection of sensitive surface waters).
In this webinar, we welcome Wayne Chouinard, Town Engineer for Arlington, MA, Gretchen Young, Assistant City Engineer for Dover, NH, and Bob Spencer, Capital Projects Coordinator at Seattle Public Utilities, who present several case studies on innovative stormwater management techniques and technologies applied throughout their respective municipalities.
In this webinar, we discuss the significant potential for aquaculture throughout coastal New England. Josh Reitsma of the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Woods Hole Sea Grant presents on the application of shellfish aquaculture to address nitrogen mitigation on Cape Cod; Dr. Lindsay Green-Gavrielidis, Assistant Professor of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Salve Regina University presents on seaweed aquaculture in New England, and Jessy Wayles of the Marine Discovery Center in Smyrna Beach, Florida, presents on the “Shuck and Share” community-based oyster recycling program as one example of how aquaculture ventures could be expanded throughout the SNEP region.