November 7, 2012 -- Mr. Samuel Rauch, Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), chaired the meeting.; Council members or representatives in attendance were Mr. Paul Cough, Director, Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Mr. Arnab Raychaudhuri, , Special Assistant, Office of Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Mr. Greg Kidd, Land Stewardship Specialist for the Easement Program Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Mr. John Schmerfeld, Acting Division Chief, Habitat and Resources Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The status of previously funded projects was reviewed and a discussion of the termination of projects due to a variety of issues including the presence of hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste. The development of a new announcement of a funding opportunity was summarized, the need to work on the required report to Congress was briefly discussed, and a brief update on the National Ocean Policy was provided. The final draft of the revised Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy was presented and the Council approved the strategy. The revisions to the minimum monitoring standards were discussed followed by a brief discussion of the need to elect a new Council chair. NOAA was elected to serve as chair until the next meeting.
May 13, 2011 -- Mr. Eric C. Schwaab, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chaired the meeting. Council members or representatives in attendance were Ms. Tamara McCandless, Chief, Branch of Habitat Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); Mr. Paul Cough, Director, Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and Mr. Arnab Raychaudhuri, Special Assistant, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). Subsequent to a review of the status of previously funded projects, the estuary habitat restoration project solicitation process was reviewed and the twelve proposals the work group recommended for Council consideration were described. The Council members stated that in the future project summaries should describe how the projects address climate change and resiliency. Funds are available for nine projects. The Council agreed to recommend the three additional projects to Army with the intent that these might be funded if funds became available. Click here to link to the list of projects in priority order. Michele Dionne from the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve gave a presentation on the use of Reserve sites as reference marshes and evaluation of the success of salt marsh restoration projects. The goal is to determine which monitoring techniques might be most useful for certain types of restoration projects. Ms. Jennie Wallace provided a brief update on the National Ocean Policy and Strategic Action plan. The Council then discussed the proposed revised ERA strategy at some length. The focus was on the role of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council and the Council favored a self-defined role to enhance coordination of restoration monitoring and tracking.