Outdoor Classrooms

Outdoor Classrooms are part of the pre- and post-conference activities. They are optional extras. All outdoor classrooms are offered at an additional fee. We recommend you register early to ensure your spot as some have limited capacity. Included with Government registration; all others pay fee.

Monday, July 19, 2021

1 p.m.–4 p.m.   Outdoor Classroom 1. Phantom Mill, established 2021

Hosted by Restoration Systems
(approximately 60-minute drive from downtown)
Field trips are optional, pre-registration is required or if space available ($85 early fee). Included with Government registration; all others pay fee.

Join Restoration Systems on a tour of The Phantom Mill Stream and Wetland Site – a North Carolina Division of Mitigation Services (NCDMS) Full Delivery mitigation project that is slated for construction commencement early spring 2021 with completion of earthwork in mid- summer 2021.

The Site encompasses 16.1 acres of disturbed forest and 100+ year old livestock pasture along the start of the warm waters of Cane Creek and unnamed tributaries to Cane Creek. The creek and its adjacent wetlands were drained and straightened historically, leaving the creek as a straightened eroding ditch. In its current state, the Site includes 4404 linear feet of degraded stream channel, 1 acre of degraded wetland, and 4 acres of drained hydric soil. Proposed Site restoration activities include the construction of meandering, E/C-type stream channel resulting in 2984 linear feet of Priority I stream restoration, 335 linear feet of stream enhancement (Level I), 666 linear feet of stream enhancement (Level II), 669 linear feet of stream preservation, 3.727 acres of riparian wetland restoration, and 0.828 acre of riparian wetland enhancement.

Primary considerations for Site selection included the potential for improvement of water quality within a region of North Carolina under heavy development and livestock/agricultural pressure. More specififically, considerations included: desired aquatic resource functions; hydrologic conditions; soil characteristics; aquatic habitat diversity; habitat connectivity; compatibility with adjacent land uses; reasonably foreseeable effects the mitigation project will have on ecologically important aquatic and terrestrial resources; and potential development trends and land use changes. Site specifific characteristics are summarized below, in addition to development trends and land use changes within the watershed.

Currently, the proposed Site is characterized by disturbed forest and livestock pasture. The Site is located Cane Creek. A summary of existing Site characteristics in favor of proposed stream and wetland activities include the following.
• Streams and wetlands are accessible to livestock
• Streams and wetlands have been cleared of forest vegetation
• Site receives nonpoint source inputs including agricultural chemicals and livestock waste
• Wetland soils have been compacted by livestock and agricultural equipment
• Wetland hydrology has been removed by stream channel entrenchment and drain tiles
• Streams are classifified as nutrient sensitive waters.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

8 a.m.–12 p.m.  Outdoor Classroom 2. Agony Acres, established 2014

Hosted by Wildlands Engineering
(approximately 75-minute drive from downtown)
Field trips are optional, pre-registration is required or if space available ($85 early fee). Included with Government registration; all others pay fee.

Following the conservation successes of Reedy Creek (delivered 7,000 stream credits and placed 20 acres of cattle farm under conservation easement; landowner used proceeds from the easement sale to aid in his conversion of the farm surrounding the project to an all-organic farm; Reedy Creek Organic Farm now provides organic feed and grains to the agricultural community and everything from organic free-range eggs to old fashioned butter cream cookies to the general public), Wildlands worked with Reedy Creek Farms and DMS to implement the Agony Acres Full Delivery project (Site) in 2014. The project restored, enhanced, and preserved a total of 9,081 linear feet of perennial and intermittent streams in Guilford County, NC. The Site is proposed to generate 6,471 stream credits and 3.0 buffer credit.

The Site is located within the Jordan Lake Water Supply Watershed which has been designated a Nutrient Sensitive Water. The Agony Acres Mitigation Site fully supports the DMS basin planning objectives to reduce and control nutrient inputs, reduce and control sediment inputs, and protect and augment Significant Natural Heritage Areas in the Cape Fear 02 River Basin. Project implementation is contributing to meeting the Basin-wide Functional Improvement Objectives by establishing the following project goals:

  • Reduce sediment inputs by removing cattle from streams and restoring degraded and eroding stream channels;
  • Return a network of streams to a stable form that is capable of supporting biological functions;
  • Reduce fecal coliform, nitrogen, and phosphorous inputs through removing cattle from streams and establishing and augmenting a forested riparian corridor;
  • Protect existing high quality streams and forested buffffers; and

  • Improve and protect hydrologic inputs to the adjacent Reedy Fork Aquatic Habitat Signifificant Natural Heritage Area.
9 a.m.–11 a.m.  Outdoor Classroom 3. “Mussel Barn”
Hosted by NCSU Aquatic Epidemiology and Conservation Laboratory (approximately 20-minute drive to first stop)
Field trips are optional, pre-registration is required or if space available ($85 early fee). Included with Government registration; all others pay fee.

The NCSU Aquatic Epidemiology and Conservation Laboratory (“Mussel Barn”) is located at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and because it is nestled between pastures of horses and cows, we affectionately call it the “Mussel Barn.” This facility was constructed in 1990 for the purposes on conducting research with marine bivalves. In 2000, funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the facility was modifified to conduct propagation of freshwater mussels for conservation and experimental purposes. Initially, some fish host determination and early culture was done on a small scale, but in 2004, the NC Department of Transportation funded an effort to expand mussel propagation efforts in the state of North Carolina. We invested more into the facility and had dedicated staff conducting the work full time.

The Mussel Barn uses municipal water from Raleigh, NC and conditions it for use with carbon fifiltration anddechlorination with sodium thiosulfate. Multiple recirculating systems are used to quarantine fish, hold infected host fish of a variety of species and sizes, and conduct fish host determination trials. A substantial plumbing infrastructure allows quick and easy distribution of air and conditioned water throughout the facility. Juvenile mussels are cultured here in their earliest stages. A greenhouse adjacent to the facility is used for culturing algae fed to adult and juvenile mussels on hand.

Friday, July 23, 2021

8 a.m.–12 p.m.  Outdoor Classroom 4. Buffalo Creek Tributaries & Lake Wendell

Hosted by Water & Land Solutions
(approximately 30-minute drive from downtown)
Field trips are optional, pre-registration is required or if space available ($85 early fee). Included with Government registration; all others pay fee.

Important Notes: We will be hiking in moderate to difficult terrain. Be prepared for the weather and to get wet/muddy – anything can happen out there! Dress accordingly. Good footwear is a necessity – boots that you don’t mind getting wet will do.

A unique mitigation opportunity located in a rapidly urbanizing landscape! Join Water & Land Solutions, LLC (WLS) on a tour of their mitigation sites as part of the North Carolina Division of Mitigation Services (DMS) Full-Delivery program. Tour will stop at Buffalo Creek Tributaries and Lake Wendell sites, with the other three sites included in the driving tour. As a result of implementing these projects, DMS addressed water quality stressors and restoration goals as defined in their Neuse River Basin Restoration Priority Plan, the Wake-Johnston Collaborative Local Watershed Plan, and the Neuse 01 Regional Watershed Plan Phase II. Each site involves the restoration and protection of headwater tributaries within adjacent catchments that drain to Buffalo Creek. This comprehensive watershed approach will provide significant ecological uplift and water quality benefits to over 22,000 linear feet of stream and 20 acres of wetlands. Permanent conservation easements totaling 71 acres will protect riparian corridors and aquatic life use that drain over 1,100 contiguous acres of the Neuse River sub-basin. This unique mitigation opportunity is located in a rapidly urbanizing landscape less than 30 minutes outside of downtown Raleigh, NC.

(Stop) Site 4-Buffffalo Creek Tributaries: The Buffalo Creek Tributaries site will involve the restoration, enhancement, and permanent protection of eight reaches and their riparian buffers, totaling approximately 5,029 linear feet. The Project also includes riparian wetland restoration (re-establishment) and enhancement of approximately 3.5 acres. The site catchment has rapidly developed over the past decade. A high school and residential development has drastically increased impervious surface area runoffs and stormwater control measures. The project is a great example of how compensatory mitigation can be utilized as a watershed planning and management strategy to restore and protect riparian corridors.

(Stop) Site 1-Lake Wendell: When WLS started the Lake Wendell project, the surrounding farm area was in transition from cattle pasture to renewable energy with the additional of a solar farm. The Lake Wendell site is a great example of how the owner diversified the land use to include pasture, conservation, and solar energy. The site involved the restoration, enhancement, preservation and permanent protection of five reaches and their riparian buffers, totaling approximately 4,269 linear feet of streams and 490,477 square feet of riparian buffers. The design approach also included removing a large farm pond and connecting the stream to its geomorphic floodplain. (driving tour) Site 2-Pen Dell: The Pen Dell site involved the restoration, enhancement, preservation and permanent protection of five reaches and their riparian buffers, totaling 5,064 linear feet and 633,803 square feet. Work also included the installation of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) such as cattle exclusion and sediment basins to reduce pollutant loads and ensure long-term ecosystem sustainability. Site 3-Edwards-Johnson: The Edwards-Johnson site involved the restoration, preservation, and permanent protection of four reaches totaling 3,729 linear feet of streams and their riparian buffers. The site is located between two crop fields and the riparian buffer is providing much needed protection from excess nutrients entering the stream and wetland complex. Site 5-Odell’s House: The Odell’s House site will involve the restoration, enhancement, preservation and permanent protection of eight reaches and their riparian buffers, totaling approximately 4,313 linear feet of streams and 455,670 square feet of riparian buffers. The project involves two adjacent tributaries separated by a cattle pasture. The project includes the removal of two impoundments and the construction of a headwater stream channel through both pond bottoms. The Project will also include riparian wetland restoration (re-establishment and rehabilitation), enhancement and preservation of approximately 3.9 acres.

NMEBC 2021

July 18–23, 2021
Raleigh, NC

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IMPORTANT DATES

APRIL 30–Advanced Registration
JUNE 15–Academic Submittals

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