William E. Young - Ecologically Restoring Wetlands and Uplands

MHG Meetings

Sponsored By: Metro Hort Group

After a brief overview of the field of Ecology, we will look at case studies of how Ecology is put to use on the landscape. Even in highly urban areas, small habitat improvements lead to more productive ecosystems and higher use by wildlife.

The feature project is a 190 acre site in Woodbridge, NJ. The site was contaminated with a host of toxic materials, and remediation has been ongoing for five years. As part of the overall agreement with federal and state authorities, ninety five acres of wetland and upland habitat must be restored and turned over to the public in conjunction with the remediation efforts. A highly sophisticated model was used to maximize the functions and values of the wetlands in a restoration context. By 2016, this former Brownfield will be turned into a Greenfield, with revenue-producing redevelopment, public access via boardwalks, overlooks and interpretive signage on 95 acres of coastal wetlands on the Raritan River.

There is an objective way to measure functions and values of wetlands. Via an iterative process starting with conceptual design and then refining scoring as the design is assessed, a design is produced with the maximal value for six critical functions. This is a methodology called “Evaluation for Planned Wetlands” (Garbisch, Bartoldus, Kraus. 1994) that can be used to maximize the habitat value of any wetland design.

William E. Young is a recognized leader in the environmental field with more than 30 years of experience as a project manager, designer and wetland specialist. He has a degree from SUNY Forestry and a Master of Science degree from Pratt Institute. He has experience in design, planning and construction of large scale restoration and wetland sites. His expertise also includes habitat restoration on disturbed lands, wetlands monitoring and construction , natural resource inventory, forestry, wildlife assessment, mitigation and banking and erosion and sediment control. He teaches Sustainable Practices and Ecology at Temple U. and the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design.