Tag Archives: volunteer monitoring

VWMP Volunteers Visit the Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh to Learn About Assessing Wetland Quality

– Amanda Johnson & Patty Cervenka

For our July activity for the VWMP, Project Manager, Amanda Johnson demonstrated how the NC WAM can be used to evaluate the condition of a wetland. 

The group gathers for a review of the objectives for the day - Photo Credit - Kathleen Schwarcz

This volunteer activity included a review of the NC WAM manual, preliminary desktop analysis, and a visit to the Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh, NC on the morning of July 23, 2022.

Practicing the NCWAM at the Walnut Creek Wetland

The NC WAM is a field method that can be used to determine the level of function of a wetland relative to the reference condition (where appropriate) for each of 16 NC wetland types.

To complete the NC WAM assessment form that will generate function ratings and an overall wetland rating, a desktop analysis and field assessment is required.

NC WAM Manual

To use the NC WAM in any official capacity, one must go through the training class (3 days of training and an exam) to become certified as trained.  This activity was for demonstration and research purposes. The latest version of the NC WAM manual can be found here: NCWAM Manual | NC DEQ.

Objectives

The objectives of this volunteer activity were to:

Volunteers Kathleen and Tom

 

  • Become familiar with the purpose of NC WAM and how it may be used
  • Practice using the NC WAM assessment form
  • Develop an understanding of what factors may affect the condition and health of a wetland

We are looking forward to the upcoming VWMP activities including a visit to the new Carolina Wetlands Association office to review some of the data we have collected so far and our wetland monitoring site visits in September. For more information on the pilot Volunteer Wetland Monitoring Program, visit the VWMP Webpage

Image Gallery:

Meet our Volunteer Coordinator

Carolina Wetlands Association is proud to introduce our newest staff member of the organization. Patty Cervenka is joining the team to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator for our new Wetland Monitoring Program. Here, she will aid in recruiting and working with volunteers for the program. Once dates are set up to visit the wetlands, Patty will help teach volunteers to collect and analyze data for further use. 

Patty grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and attended San Jose State University. She is a long-time community volunteer, serving on the Town of Cary’s Environmental Advisory Board, creating a NC Green Business Directory, and is trained as a Climate Reality Leader. Having a passion for educating about waste reduction, she is also the founder of Greenish Neighbor, a community- focused environmental organization.  

Now working with Carolina Wetlands Association, Patty is excited to embark on a program that will bring together people with diverse backgrounds to participate in hands-on scientific discovery. She hopes that the program will enhance people’s appreciation for the water quality, flood protection, and biodiversity wetlands provide. 

Patty is mostly looking forward to working with the team at Carolina Wetlands Association, RTI International, and NC State University. She states that they have put together a solid plan for collecting and analyzing data and well as creating a tremendous education opportunity for citizens.  

We’re excited about Patty joining the organization and can’t wait to explore what’s in store outside in the field with her! 

September: Message From the President

Message from the President

While not a Category 5 when Dorian reached the Carolinas, there was still plenty of flooding and wind damage from Dorian and the tornados it produced.  Please keep our coastal friends in mind as they recover from this significant event. We need our wetlands now more than ever given the frequency and intensity of such storm events.

I want to tell you about two new and significant projects that the Carolina Wetlands Association is starting.  First, we are partnering with North Carolina State University (Drs. Mike Burchell and Natalie Nelson) and RTI International (Kim Mathews) to establish a “volunteer wetlands monitoring program” at our wetland treasures sites.  This project is funded by EPA Region 4 Wetland Program Development Grant. Work on this grant will start later this year.

The second project we are working on is developing a workshop to educate local decision makers about wetland values and how they can be as nature-based solutions to benefit communities.  I have met with staff from North Carolina’s Office of Resiliency and Recovery about partnering with them on the workshop. Work is ongoing to develop the workshop and various supporting materials (e.g., tools, case studies) and we hope to test the workshop at the NC Coastal Conference in November.

More than ever, Carolina Wetlands Associations needs volunteers to help with these projects and to provide financial support. Please let me know if you are interested in helping with either of these projects.  A financial donation would be very important to consider at this time to help us in our success with building the organizational infrastructure we need to run these projects.

Thanks all, now go out and explore a wetland.

Rick