Hydric Soils Delineation Workshop
November 6, 2013
Epsilon was very pleased to conduct a Hydric Soils Delineation Workshop for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division (MassDOT) Environmental Services group. Held on October 22, at our office in Maynard, this one-day workshop included both a classroom lecture and fieldwork component to expose MassDOT personnel to a variety of hydric soil conditions that are often encountered in Massachusetts wetlands.
Epsilon Project Scientist Amanda Atwell led the workshop with assistance from Principal Mike Howard. Both Amanda and Mike are experienced wetland scientists. Amanda is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist by the Soil Science Society of America and a Professional Soil Scientist by the Soil Science Society of Southern New England and Mike is certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist by the Society of Wetland Scientists and as a Certified Wetland Scientist by the State of New Hampshire.
The workshop covered topics describing the key differences between hydric and non-hydric soils, estimating depth to seasonal high groundwater levels, state and federal hydric soils criteria and indicators and how to use them in the field, using USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service’s mapping data to identify potential hydric soils, and problem soils. There was also a dialogue on the differences between state and federal regulations and guidance documents associated with hydric soils.
The workshop covered a lot of important information that should prove useful to MassDOT staff when delineating wetlands in the field or reviewing wetland delineation reports and permit applications. “On behalf of the MassDOT staff that attended the Soils Workshop yesterday hosted by Epsilon, we would like to thank you both,” said Susan McArthur, MassDOT Wetlands Permitting Supervisor. “After speaking to the staff here, we were all really impressed and all felt that this was probably the best soils class that we have ever taken …”