Guide MassDEP's Wetlands Circuit Rider Program

Wetlands circuit riders help consultants and municipal officials meet the requirements of the Wetlands Protection Act.

Table of Contents

Overview

Established by the Wetlands and Waterways Division, Circuit Riders promote fair, consistent and environmentally sound wetland permitting by the 351 local conservation commissions in the state. Circuit Riders accomplish these goals by offering technical, administrative, and regulatory assistance on numerous wetland topics to hundreds of commissions, municipal boards, and consultants each year. In 2011 the Division and its Circuit Riders were honored with the prestigious Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commission’s Environmental Service Award for the exemplary work that they do.

Commissions should look here for upcoming training opportunities. Any other questions should be directed to your regional Circuit Rider or Nancy Lin (see below). 

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Get to Know your Regional Circuit Rider

Nancy Lin manages and directs the Wetland Circuit Rider Program and created the Program in 1995. Since 1988 Nancy has overseen the technical assistance, outreach and education for MassDEP's Division of Wetlands and Waterways, including grant writing and management. Nancy also writes/reviews technical and regulatory guidance, policies and procedures for the Division’s three programs. Prior to MassDEP, Nancy worked at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; was the Director of the City of Cambridge's Conservation Commission; managed staff training for the New York City (NYC) Park Ranger program; and served as a naturalist/instructor at a National Environmental Education Landmark in NYC. Nancy is a certified Professional Wetlands Scientist (PWS) and can respond to overall Circuit Rider inquiries and questions when the regional circuit rider is unavailable. Contact Nancy at 617-556-1109 or nancy.lin@mass.gov.

Kimberly Roth is the Circuit Rider for the Northeast Regional Office. Prior to joining MassDEP, Kim was the program manager for New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission’s (NEIWPCC) wetlands projects. This work included coordinating the Wetlands Workgroup and the New England Biological Assessment of Wetlands Workgroup (NEBAWWG), groups that bring together representatives from state and federal agencies and other individuals to address issues of shared concern. NEBAWWG is one of many regional groups across the country working toward improved approaches for wetlands monitoring and assessment. Before NEIWPCC, Kim was an intern for MassDEP’s Wetlands Program, providing support in wetlands compliance and enforcement, and in the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, where she researched information on site history and contamination. She also worked at the Mystic River Watershed Association on tasks related to watershed protection, brownfields, open space, water quality monitoring, and stormwater management. Kim currently serves as the vice-chair of her local conservation commission (which is not in the Northeast region). She can be reached at kimberly.roth@mass.gov or at 978-694-3234.

Andrew Poyant is the Circuit Rider for the Southeast Regional Office. Prior to joining MassDEP, Andrew was a Town Planner and Conservation Agent for the Town of Rehoboth. Andrew also worked for ten years as an Environmental Scientist for the consulting firm of CDM Smith, with extensive experience in the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, 401 Water Quality Certification, Chapter 91 Waterways, Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Act, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. He has broad field experience in wetland delineation, wetland functions and values assessments, vernal pool monitoring, and wildlife habitat assessments, construction monitoring of wetland restoration and replication, erosion and sedimentation control inspections, stormwater management and post construction wetland monitoring. Andrew holds a BS in Biology from UMass Dartmouth and a MS in Plant and Soil Science from UMass Amherst. He is a certified Professional Wetlands Scientist (PWS) from the Society of Wetlands Scientists and a Certified Wetland Scientist (CWS) for the State of New Hampshire. Reach Andrew at 508-946-2845 or andrew.poyant@mass.gov. Wetlands technical questions for the Southeast Region can also be directed to their Help Line: 508-946-2800.

Judith Schmitz is the Circuit Rider for the Central Regional Office. Prior to working at MassDEP, Judy was the Conservation Agent for the Town of Middleton for three years. She also served for 12 years as a conservation commissioner for the town of Barre, including four years as their chair. Judy holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from Duke University. She has taken graduate courses in botany, environmental science, and wildlife habitat. Judy has extensive experience consulting for municipalities and applicants, and is knowledgeable in numerous wetland related topics including: wetlands delineation, wetlands replication & restoration, wildlife habitat analysis, pollution impact assessment, stormwater management and hydrology, erosion control monitoring, river determination, and vernal pool studies. She is also a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) from the Society of Wetland Scientists. In addition to her duties as the wetland circuit rider, Judy also provides support to the Wetlands Program statewide as the Wetland Data Manager. Reach Judy at 508-767-2722 or judith.schmitz@mass.gov.

Mark Stinson is the Circuit Rider for the Western Regional Office. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and has also taken Masters-level courses in Forestry Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has over 13 years of experience at the conservation commission level as a commissioner, chair and agent for a Western Massachusetts community. Mark can be reached at 413-755-2257 or mark.stinson@mass.gov.

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