Waders in the Water Aquatic Restoration Training Interactive Support — Now Easier and More Powerful

From our partners at Trout Headwaters, Inc. comes news about enhancements to the Waders in the Water aquatic restoration training they offer to Corpsmembers.

The Waders in the Water online support tool has been newly upgraded to improve system features and ease-of-use. EcoBlu Analyst 2.0, the cloud-based big data system for the Waders in the Water green jobs training and certification program, is now easier to use than ever. The intuitive, interactive maps of member Corps, conservation projects, and potential restoration industry employers are now faster and more user-friendly, and new resources include feeds for conservation jobs and internships.  

Every Waders in the Water student receives password access to the platform so they can explore opportunities in the growing restoration economy and access a wealth of support material to refresh or expand their knowledge, including stream, river, wetland, coastal, and estuary restoration drawings and specifications, resume templates, environmental glossary and more.  WisCorps’ Garrett Shears took the online class and told us “The web based resource is an incredibly valuable tool.” 

This sample interactive map shows various U.S. Conservation Corps which are Waders in the Water certified.

Presently Corpsmembers and leaders in 23 states are applying their new certification and are using EcoBlu Analyst 2.0 to both understand the restoration economy, and to partner with fellow Corps on projects.

White Mountain Youth Corps Founder Mike Gaffney: “I think the training/certification gives our partners and potential partners more confidence that we're serious about restoration work and that we can be a trusted source for their restoration implementation plans.”

Wyoming Conservation Corps Assistant Director Patrick Harrington echoed the values. “Trout Headwaters has developed a truly unique training for the Conservation Corps world,” he said. This platform is just one of the support tools already deployed for the Waders in the Water Level I training.  

Expect an announcement soon on release of the new Waders in the Water level II training. In the meantime, many corps told us early April was a great time to train and certify newly arriving Corpsmembers in aquatic restoration and the green jobs economy.

To participate in the next online webinar training:

Members of The Corps Network can Register Here for the April 6 & 7, (10 am –1 pm EDT) Waders in the Water Level I class.  

The private-public training program continues to offer on-site sessions for groups of 20-40 students to accommodate individual corps needs. Please contact Luke Frazza for more information.

Contacts:

Marie Walker, Vice President, The Corps Network
(202) 737-6272
mwalker@corpsnetwork.org

Luke Frazza, Project Development, Trout Headwaters, Inc.
(703) 244-7460
luke@troutheadwaters.com

Boiler Plate: 
From our partners at Trout Headwaters, Inc. comes news about enhancements to the Waders in the Water aquatic restoration training they offer to Corpsmembers.

Gulf of Mexico Foundation Works with Texas Conservation Corps to Train Youth, Plant Marsh Grass

 
 
Conservation group plants marsh grass in pairs

By JOHN WAYNE FERGUSON | Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 11:44 pm

GALVESTON — Planting marsh grass isn’t necessarily a hard job. But it is a two-person one.

And when you have 1,000 plants to get into the ground, it’s better to to have a team with you.

This weekend, about a dozen members of the Texas Conservation Corps worked in pairs to plant marsh grass on the shores of Eckert Bayou.

One team member used a dibble to make a hole in the muddy soil of marshland and another would put the plant, spartina alterniflora, into the ground, then mash the soil back into the hole. “It’s not for everyone,” said corps crew leader Erica Keller, as her team walked through the mud and tried to ignore the pounding Texas heat. “Sometimes it’s about going outside your comfort zone.”

That hard work does pay dividends.

Alice Anne O’Donnell, whose property was the site of the planting project, said the Corps was a “godsend.” The marsh plants helped protect her house from the debris when the waters rose 7 feet during Hurricane Ike.

The marshes also provide crucial habitat for birds and other animals to live and feed in. O’Donnell said a similar project had been completed in the past, but years of natural erosion and fishermen walking through the marsh from a nearby boat ramp had destroyed part of it.

Members of the Conservation Corps, which is affiliated with the AmeriCorps program, are used to tough work. They camp out on tops of mountains and in pine woods, restoring nature trails and habitats
and performing disaster recovery and mitigation work across the state’s varied landscapes.

Many of the participants in the program are college-bound or recent college graduates, looking for a way to help pay for the cost of school. This week, however, the corps did more than just manual labor.
 
During their two-week deployment to Galveston, the conservation corps also participated in classroom sessions aimed at teaching the participants more about the technical aspects of conservation work and policies.
 
“We are a crew that usually does hands-on work,” Keller said. “We have had the opportunity this week to begin to learn about the other side as far as things like permitting and outreach. The stuff kind of besides the physical labor.”

The corps activities were organized by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, in corporation with groups like the Galveston Bay Foundation. Mikell Smith, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s program director, said Texas is on the verge of
beginning a large number of conservation projects, and there will be a critical need for well-trained, well-informed people to help complete them.

That’s what the foundation hopes to do by establishing a training program in Galveston.

“Any time that you’re doing any kind of work, no matter how labor intensive it may seem, it’s really important to get it right,” Smith said.

That’s why making sure that the people who would be leading conservation projects — the kind of people who might belong to the Conservation Corps — are well trained and ready to lead.
 
Boiler Plate: 
GALVESTON — Planting marsh grass isn’t necessarily a hard job. But it is a two-person one. And when you have 1,000 plants to get into the ground, it’s better to to have a team with you.

No Need to Worry, Mom: A Corpsmember Explains how his Corps's Training Procedures Prepared him to do Tough Jobs Safely


"Mothers Needn't Worry"

From Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

By: Nicholas Cox

“Forest fires!? That’s really dangerous, Nick. You do know you need to be specially trained to do that?”

“That’s what I’ve been told.”

“Well, you need special equipment, too, ya know.”

“You sure do.”

“You just better be safe, Nick.”

“Tell you what, Mom, I’ll have them give you a call so you can make sure everything checks out.”

Over dinner this past Sunday, I had the chance to share with my parents a bit about what I’ve been up to since starting as a crew member on the St. Paul field crew. The preceding was the exchange I had with my mother upon reaching the topic of wildland fire. My mother has always been very concerned with my well-being. This was extremely helpful as a child; I was never the kid who forgot their snowsuit in elementary school, never one of the poor saps sentenced to indoor recess with no parole while everyone else was building snow kingdoms and bombarding girls with snowballs.

The Conservation Corps is also very concerned with my well-being. Less “Put on a jacket, it’s cold out,” and more “Don’t cut your leg off with that chainsaw.” The Corps takes safety and preparedness extremely seriously. Upon joining the Corps, each member is issued a full suite of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we will use through the rest of the year including task-specific hardhats, ear protection, multiple pairs of safety glasses, Kevlar-lined boots, chainsaw chaps, and gloves. Even better, the gloves and boots fit, the chaps are new, and prescription safety glasses are an option. Read more.