Thursday, June 13, 2019,
Albuquerque Friends Meeting House
1600 5th Street Northwest
(see map below right)
Mapping New Mexico's Wetlands
The New Mexico Wetlands Program at the New Mexico Environment Department aims to protect and restore New Mexico’s remaining wetlands and riparian areas and to increase self-sustaining, naturally functioning wetlands areas so they continue to benefit New Mexico’s future. The staff of the Wetlands Program is in the process of mapping all of our state’s wetlands. Emile Sawyer will give an overview of this project.
New Mexico has lost at least 30% of its original pre-European settlement wetlands resources. A large scale effort directed at their restoration and protection could improve essential ecosystem services in our watersheds, such as groundwater recharge, streamflow maintenance, flood attenuation, climate change mitigation, clean drinking water, and more. Despite all of the alteration and destruction of wetlands resources, Mr. Sawyer’s team estimates that New Mexico has about 1 million acres of wetlands remaining.
Members of this project are undertaking a U.S. EPA Level I mapping and classification effort using remote sensing, image interpretation techniques, collateral GIS data, and best professional judgment. The target wetlands of this project are those with little to no National Wetlands Inventory data. The project aims to aid in the evaluation of resource conditions and the development of water quality standards for New Mexico wetlands resources.
Speaker: Emile Sawyer,
New Mexico Environment Department
Emile Sawyer is a Wetlands Program Project Officer at the New Mexico Environment Department and an Environmental Scientist/Specialist with the Surface Water Quality Bureau. He has an M.S. in Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has experience in ground water and surface water quality modeling, field monitoring and sampling, and ecological restoration oversight. Mr. Sawyer has begun his third Mapping and Classification project and is looking forward to a completed wetlands geospatial layer by 2024.
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