September – The State of Louisiana reached another major milestone to bring the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project one step closer to construction. The Army Corps of Engineers released on September 19 the final environmental impact statement for the $2 billion project, which will fight land loss by diverting water and sediment from the Mississippi River into Barataria Basin. Permits could be obtained as early as December, to put the project on track to begin construction in early 2023. Kudos to the state leadership and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for guiding this project. Confluence is honored to be part of the project team. Read about this “monumental” and important restoration project here.
September – The Society for Ecological Restoration NW has selected the Okanogan Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment (EDT) project for a special award recognizing the use of innovative tools and techniques in restoration planning or practice in the Cascadia bioregion. For over 10 years Confluence’s Eric Doyle has been working with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to develop EDT model platforms for multiple subbasins. Congratulations to Eric and his team, including John Arterburn and Ryan Klett with the Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Program! More about the integration of the EDT model into long-term research, monitoring, and evaluation activities in the Okanogan River can be found in Eric’s article “Integrating Ecosystem Models with Long-Term Monitoring to Support Salmon Recovery” in Fisheries.
July – Confluence Ecologist Chris Berger received a well-earned promotion from Managing Senior to Principal. Chris has taken on increased responsibilities as a project manager and technical lead on key ecological and biological regulatory projects. In addition to managing large and complex projects, Chris also is a very effective leader and mentor for Confluence staff. In addition, Natalie Dietsch was promoted after just 18 months from Project I to Project II, reflecting her fast-paced growth in technical skills and field expertise. We appreciate Natalie for her can-do attitude and her dedication to high-quality deliverables. Congratulations to Chris and Natalie!
March – Congratulations to Confluence’s Eric Doyle for his publication “Integrating Ecosystem Models with Long-Term Monitoring to Support Salmon Recovery” in Fisheries. The article describes the integration of the Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment model (EDT) with long-term research, monitoring, and evaluation activities in the Okanogan River. This important work is being conducted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to support the ongoing conservation and recovery of steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. The lessons learned in this Columbia River subbasin demonstrate that integration of EDT with ecosystem monitoring can provide an effective an tool for adaptive management of habitat conservation and restoration priorities. This approach is transferrable and can be used to support salmon and steelhead conservation in any watershed.
March – Congratulations to the SR 520 Program West Approach Bridge Replacement Project Team for recognition by WSDOT’s Environmental Services Office. The team won a 2021 WSDOT Environmental Excellence Award “for outstanding contributions to the protection of Washington’s natural resources.” Confluence is proud to be a part of this team!
January – The South Fork Wind Farm, nearly 45 miles east of Long Island, New York, has received final approvals from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – the final step to moving to construction phase. The South Fork Wind Farm will be one of the first marine offshore wind farms installed in the United States and is projected to be operational in 2023. Confluence is proud to have contributed to bringing this project to fruition. For more details, see the project webpage here.
Congratulations to Kerrie McArthur! Kerrie was recently promoted to Managing Senior Biologist, well-earned for her technical expertise on a wide variety of subjects and the high level of service she provides to her clients. Well done, Kerrie!
December 2021 – At Confluence, staff are like family, and we are all grateful for the camaraderie and inspiring work we get to do every day in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and beyond. As is our custom this time of year, Confluence is contributing to 22 nonprofits that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees:
ArtsFund, Ballard Food Bank, Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Hero House NW, Mary’s Place, Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, Old Dog Haven, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Salish Sea Expeditions, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, Solid Ground, Washington Trails Association, Washington Trails Association – Trails for Everyone, Youth Eastside Services.
July – Congratulations to Marlene Meaders and Grant Novak for their promotions to Principal-level staff, reflecting their exceptional service to clients and excellent technical skills. Similarly, Kelly McDonald was promoted to Project II. Kelly joined Confluence as a Staff Scientist in October 2018 and quickly moved through Project I to Project II, a testament to her thoughtful and high-quality work. To read more about Marlene, Grant, and Kelly, click on their photos on Our Staff page.
March – Congratulations to the State of Louisiana for reaching a major milestone with publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Restoration Plan for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. The MBSD is one of the most significant ecosystem restoration projects ever conceived, and will help Coastal Louisiana create and preserve wetlands. Kudos to the state leadership and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for guiding this project. Confluence is honored to be part of the project team that contributed to both reports.
December – Confluence is thrilled to announce that Sasha Visconty has joined the firm as Senior Principal Partner, focusing on environmental policy and planning. Confluence has a long history of successful collaboration with Sasha and we are honored that she will be part of our team. With her extensive experience, strategic perspective, and outstanding relationships with colleagues and agencies, Sasha will have an immediate impact here at Confluence!
November – Confluence is incredibly grateful in 2020 for our continued work on meaningful projects in our Washington community and beyond. Like so many other firms, we have been finding creative ways to be effective and productive working from home and connecting as an organization. We sincerely appreciate the flexibility and collaboration of our clients in moving projects forward and keeping everyone safe.
As we do each year, we are giving back to the community with contributions to 19 nonprofit organizations. The following organizations were chosen by our employees:
Ballard Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, Crosscut, Estelita’s Library, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Got Green, HERO House NW, KUOW, Long Live the Kings, Mary’s Place, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Salish Sea Expeditions, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Public Library Foundation, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, The Block Project, The Nature Conservancy, Whatcom Land Trust.
October – Confluence is very excited to announce that Geneva Faulkner has joined our Bellingham office. Geneva is a Senior Environmental Planner with a strong background in NEPA, SEPA, and environmental permitting. Outside of work, Geneva plays violin in the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, and, like a few other Confluence colleagues, is an avid mountain biker, as well as a hiker and trail runner. Welcome, Geneva!
June – Staff Scientist, Natalie White, was approved as a Wetland Professional in Training by the Society of Wetland Scientists. Senior Ecologist, Chris Berger, summed up her achievement this way: “Having spent all last week conducting wetland work with Natalie, I can say it is well deserved, and Natalie is on a great path to Professional Wetland Scientist!” Congratulations, Natalie!
January – Confluence staff led this important project that has the goal of improving the health of salmon populations along Puget Sound’s shorelines. Confluence led a team that identified and characterized 196 streams and 13 embayments that cross the BNSF Railway along Puget Sound shoreline between Olympia and Canada. Work included creating and applying a prioritization framework that identifies stream or embayment habitat priorities for Chinook salmon. The project team led by Confluence included representatives from Environmental Science Associates, the Tulalip Tribes, and Coastal Geologic Services. BNSF provided strategic and safety guidance, and access to sites. For more information on the project and future opportunities, see this fact sheet.
December – Confluence is grateful to conduct meaningful, interesting work for great clients in the amazing Pacific Northwest. This year, as is our custom, we are giving back to the community with contributions to 19 nonprofit organizations that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees:
Bloodworks Northwest, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Got Green, Haring Center – Experimental Education Unit, Inspiring Girls Expeditions, the Jane Goodall Institute, KUOW, Long Live the Kings, Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Salish Sea Expeditions, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Inspiring Connections Outdoors, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, Solid Ground, The Block Project, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited.
Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy holiday season!
June – Confluence is pleased to announce 2 recent hires. Irene Sato has joined the firm as a Senior Biologist. Irene has 2 decades of experience in environmental planning and natural resource management. Having worked as a Senior Planner at Snohomish County for many years, Irene brings a unique perspective to her work as an environmental consultant. Read more about Irene here. Confluence also hired an intern. We are excited to have Natalie White with us this summer to help with fieldwork and various office-based activities. Natalie has a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Environmental Studies and English Literature. Since graduating in 2015, she has been involved in numerous restoration projects in freshwater and estuarine environments. She is currently completing the University of Washington’s Wetland Science and Management Program. Welcome to both Irene and Natalie!
November – This fall, Confluence welcomed Amy Groesbeck, Project Biologist, and Kelly Muething, Staff Scientist. Amy has a Master’s degree in coastal resource management, and 8 years of experience in nearshore applied ecology. Amy will focus on shoreline permitting and environmental documentation associated with marine and freshwater projects. Kelly recently graduated with an M.S. in marine resource management. Kelly will work on marine and freshwater projects, and expand her knowledge of regulations regarding marine resource management. Welcome to the team, Amy and Kelly!
August – Confluence welcomed two new team members this summer. Eric Doyle is our new Senior Aquatic Ecologist. Eric is an interdisciplinary environmental specialist with 21 years of experience analyzing environmental impacts to fish and other aquatic organisms in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. He focuses on projects involving habitat monitoring and restoration/protection strategies. Eric is also a regulatory compliance specialist, with expertise in Endangered Species Act Section 7 compliance, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Welcome, Eric! In addition, we are pleased to announce that our summer intern is now our Staff Scientist! Suzanne Vieira is now an official member of the Confluence team and has hit the ground running on many project types, including wetland delineations, fish handling and species identification, and permit preparation. Suzanne also recently received a Wetland Professional in Training certificate from the Society of Wetland Scientists – her first step toward earning Professional Wetland Scientist certification. Congratulations, Suzanne!
May – Confluence now has a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner! Kerrie McArthur, Senior Biologist, recently received CERP certification from the Society of Ecological Restoration. A designation of CERP indicates achievement of a high standard of knowledge and experience in the field of ecological restoration. Kerrie is now one of 14 individuals with CERP status in Washington State – a truly distinguished accomplishment! Congratulations, Kerrie!
January – Confluence has been certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) by the Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. For more information, see the “Search Certified Firm Directory” button on the OMWBE website.
December 2017 – In this season of giving, and out of gratitude toward our clients and colleagues, Confluence contributed to 14 nonprofit organizations that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees: Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County, Everett Imagine Children’s Museum, Futurewise, KUOW, Long Live the Kings, Mary’s Place, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Northwest Center, Olympic Forest Coalition, Salish Sea Expeditions, PCC Farmland Trust, Seattle Aquarium, The Nature Conservancy, and Woodland Park Zoo. Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy holiday season!
December 2017 – Confluence recently welcomed aboard Chris Soncarty as Senior Biologist/Regulatory Specialist. Chris has worked since 1995 as a fish biologist and regulatory specialist, conducting and managing a variety of infrastructure and restoration projects in freshwater, marine, and estuarine environments. He has extensive knowledge of NEPA, SEPA, and ESA, and has prepared environmental documentation for federally funded projects at the local, state and federal levels. With a scientific background in fisheries biology and habitat, his work focuses on ecological assessment and habitat restoration. He applies his expertise to aquatic restoration projects as well as infrastructure projects. He has completed permitting projects for various clients, including city and county governments, state and federal agencies, conservation districts, and private clients. Chris joins Dr. Kathy Ketteridge, PE, in our Bellingham office, and works throughout Washington. What is he doing when not on the job? “Snowboarding, fly fishing, mountain biking, and family time!” Read more about Chris here.
We are happy to announce that Kathy Sitchin has been promoted to Marketing Manager. Kathy is integral to Confluence’s business development endeavors, managing all proposal delivery as well as marketing pursuits. She also manages our Website and social media presence and serves as Confluence’s lead technical editor. We couldn’t do it without you, Kathy!