In response to COVID-19, and in attempt to continue offering opportunities for discussion and to promote advancement of the Maryland stream restoration industry, MSRA is excited to announce a series of webinars featuring leading industry researchers and partners.  Stay tuned through our website and social media channels for the series schedule.  Continuing Education Credits will be offered for these events.  We hope you will join us for the sixth webinar in this series:  

When: Thursday, February 18, 2020

Time: 12:00 p.m. –  1:00 p.m.

Register :

Presenter Bio:

Scott McGill is the Founder and CEO of Ecotone, Inc. a design-build ecological restoration company located in Forest Hill, MD. Scott has over 30 years of applied experience in both design and construction of ecological restoration projects throughout the United States. He is a thought leader in the field of ecological restoration and has brought many new ideas and methods into the mainstream, including the use of native materials and the North American beaver to drive ecological and water quality outcomes   His “less is more”, using nature to restore nature, approach to environmental restoration that incorporates conservation biology and adaptive management provides an innovative model for sustainable cost-effective ecological restoration.  In addition to driving positive change to the ecological restoration industry, Scott has methodically scaled Ecotone from a small 2- person consulting firm in 2000 to a vertically integrated design-build company with over 80 employees.  His firm has restored over 40 miles of stream and 1,400 acres of wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as preserving over 1,200 acres of land in perpetuity.  He and his wife of 29 years currently reside in Fallston, MD, have three grown children, and a grandchild.  Outside of Ecotone, Scott is a certified Reiki Master Teacher and enjoys cycling, dog training, fly fishing, and adventure bikepacking. 

Presentation Abstract: Leveraging the Ecosystem Services of the North American Beaver as a Tool for Restoration

Beaver (Castor Canadensis), once numbering in the tens of millions across North America, were nearly extirpated in the late 1890’s.  Recently, their numbers are increasing in many regions across North America.  Their dams and the water they store provide important ecosystem services, including increased groundwater recharge, floodplain reconnection, significant reductions in peak flow discharges, enhanced wildlife habitat, nutrient processing, sediment storage, and wetland creation.  As a tool for restoration, beaver dams enhance water quality, provide ecological uplift, and provide effective stormwater management benefits.  Long regarded as a nuisance species, beaver have only recently been promoted as an ecosystem engineer.  Research from North America as well as Europe will be shared indicating beaver have a role to play in watershed restoration efforts and as an adaptation for climate change.  Techniques and methods which encourage beaver activity will be reviewed, including planting regimes to develop food sources, floodplain reconnection to maximize stream power distribution across the floodplain, designing for long term aggradation, requiring more expansive conservation easements, and incorporating beaver dam analogs (BDA’s).