Skip to main navigation Skip to site navigation Skip to content

Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

Keynote Speaker

Conserving Vulnerable Wetlands and Watersheds: A portfolio approach

Aram J.K. Calhoun

Department of Wildlife Ecology, Fisheries & Conservation Biology, University of Maine

Keynote Address: Conserving Vulnerable Wetlands and Watersheds: A portfolio approach  (video link)


Aram Calhoun

The regulatory landscape for our Nation’s aquatic resources is shaped by local, state, and federal policies and as such is dynamic and sometimes unpredictable. New approaches to maintaining the integrity of our Nation’s waters will be needed in the face of changing societal needs, political change, and biophysical climate change.

The Clean Water Rule of 2015 attempted to clarify the jurisdictional scope for federally protected waters to reflect the latest scientific understanding of wetland ecosystem function by, among other things, recommending a wetland-landscape approach to evaluating vulnerable wetland (including small wetlands or so-called “isolated wetlands”) functions. A recent Presidential Executive Order has eliminated this Rule making innovative, local approaches to conservation of vulnerable wetlands critical. The Maine Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan is one such example of this approach and is transferable to management of other natural resources of special concern.

Aram J.K. Calhoun is a Professor of Wetland Ecology in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine. Her research focuses on forested wetlands and vernal pool ecosystems. She is particularly interested in conservation of natural resources on private lands and collaborative approaches to conserving them. Dr. Calhoun is active in working at all levels of government on wetland policy and conservation issues.