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Session 25 - Environmental

Session: 25

Session Title:  Mussels and Wetlands and Roads Oh My!

Organizer:  Adrienne Earley

Moderator:  Adrienne Earley


Topic A Title:  What’s with Mussels and Bridges

Speaker (s): Michael Hoggarth, Holly Rundle

Name, Company, Location:

Topic A Description:  Before bridge construction can proceed, Ohio requires that the mussel resources under, and adjacent to, the bridge are assessed. Since all mussels are protected in Ohio, assessment results in a survey and/or relocation report that describes all the mussel resources near the bridge. The results of our data analysis find that bridges do attract specific species of mussels and concentrate those mussels under the bridge. This presentation will 1) describe the methods used to perform mussel surveys in Ohio, 2) the relationship between mussels and fish, 3) how mussels respond to bridges at the population and community levels, and 4) a preliminary assessment of the efficacy of relocating the types of mussels found under bridges.


Topic B Title:  SWVM - Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric:  20/20 Vision From a Large Highway Bypass Project in West Virginia

Speaker (s):  Teal Dimitrie, Richard Fitch

Name, Company, Location:

Topic B Description:  We will present a case study of the use of the USACE SWVM to complete federal permitting and mitigation for a 5.5-mile new alignment highway project in Roane County, West Virginia. Topics will include: 1) project overview, 2) lessons learned from implementing the SWVM protocol from ecological, engineering, and permitting perspectives, 3) cost and time reflection, 4) comparison to current Ohio field methodology and mitigation, and 5) best practices to employ when using the method on large linear projects with more than a few impacts to water resources (this project had impacts to 94 individual streams and 35 wetlands within the 216 acre project area).


Topic C Title:  Common Errors and Inconsistencies for Wetland Delineation and Assessment in Ohio

Speaker (s): Teagan Loew, Tanner Morris

Name, Company, Location:  Stone Environmental

Topic C Description: Wetland delineations and assessments are routinely completed as part of ecological reviews for ODOT, as well as other public and private entities. The varying application of these tools and guidance can often result in errors and inconsistencies, which can frustrate applicants and consultants alike. In this presentation we will use real world examples ecologists face in the field navigating between agency views, and how delineation results can differ significantly depending on the method or assumptions used.