2018 IECA Annual Conference and Expo Recap | Long Beach, California | February 11-14, 2018

Post Conference Recap

The IECA Annual Conference and Expo again featured roundtable discussions, fireside chats and the regional track. Two new features introduced this year were the Contractors’ Corner which provided two PDH credits geared toward contractors, sub-contractors and installers. And 20-minute presentations that provided high-level training on construction BMPs, Stormwater BMPs and more. We encourage you to find your face in the crowd on our Facebook page and tag yourself. And make sure you're following us for the latest IECA news!

Opening Keynote Session

Opening keynote speaker, Penny Luehring, USDA Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Program Leader explained large, damaging wildfires are occurring in the United States with greater frequency. She provided images of how the loss of vegetation and fire-induced water repellent soils have triggered runoff that caused flooding and debris flows miles downstream from the fire. She explained how the BAER program identifies imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety; property and critical natural/cultural resources on federally-managed lands and takes immediate actions to manage risks. Actions may include closing the area to all uses due to extreme risks to human safety. In some cases, land treatments may be prescribed to minimize risks and can include log erosion barriers, fiber rolls, contour tilling, mulch application and seeding.

Closing Keynote Session

Andrew Wright, President of Wright Strategies, LLC, presented the closing keynote session. Wright explained the 2016, 2017 and upcoming 2018 elections and interpreted how those historical and predicted outcomes impact the current political climate in Washington. Wright discussed what’s happening in Washington and why. He explained what the current climate means to the environment and more specifically to IECA Members’ business and bottom line. He also discussed the 2017 Construction General Permit rules, funding for disaster relief in California and around the nation, the President’s proposed infrastructure plan and efforts to repeal and replace the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rules.


Awards of Excellence Recognition

The IECA Awards of Excellence program acknowledges outstanding achievements in the erosion and sediment control industry and is a staple event at the conference. Paul Kofi Nsiah, Brandenburg Technology University, Germany received the environmental excellence award for his biological geotextiles in an erosion and sediment control project during gold mine reclamation in Ghana. Jonathan Koepke, CPESC, LEED-AP was named the outstanding professional of the year and Gustavo Salerno, CPESC, PE was the 2018 sustained contributor recipient. Educational awards also recognized the 2017 environmental connection presenter of the year, Dr. Eve Brantley for her session “The Stormwater Secrets to Success or When Did We Have to Learn People Skills.” The 2018 IECA most distinguished technical paper recipients Marc S. Theisen, M.Sc., CPESC, CPSWQ, CESSWI and J.P. Johns, PE were recognized for their paper, Inspection and Data Collection Protocol to Monitor Performance of Biotic Soil Technology.

Poster Contest Winners

IECA poster presentations promote the exchange of scientific and technical information within our industry and are presented by students and young professionals. This year’s first place winner was Abigail Haselton, North Carolina State University, who presented the Wildflower Growth Response to Construction Site Soil Conditions poster. Second place winner, Emily Dowdeswell from Cranfield University, presented the Climate Change Effects on Soil Erodibility poster. Third place winner, Jessica Hunter, from Pennsylvania State University, presented the Monongahela River Causing Concerning Sediment Buildup in Tributaries poster.  Learn more about poster session winners. 


Photo Contest Winners

This year’s photo contest was revamped and hosted on Flickr which produced 28 submissions. The first-place winner was submitted by Paula Leão titled “Erosion in mine pit, Brasil.” Lauren Alaniz submitted the “View from the Top” image from top of a hydro mulch machine on a section of Mission Reach for the San Antonio River Authority. A special thank you to everyone who participated in this year's conference.  Look for the winners' full images in the April Environmental Connection magazine.


Expo Hall

This year’s expo hall featured more than 135 exhibitors showcasing the latest industry products, services and technology. The expo hall is one of the most popular destinations at the conference and feature a wide variety of products to help professionals in the field as well as the office! Next year's exhibit hall is already starting to fill up! Learn more about what exhibt and sponsorship opportunities are available for next year's conference.


Don't Miss Out Next Year!

Join us in February 19-22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado! Visit ieca.org/Annual19 for more details about speaking opportunities are available at next year’s event.