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Green Infrastructure

Building Resilient Communities with Green Infrastructure and Hazard Mitigation Planning

Presenters highlighted two projects co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in which two communities enhanced their resiliency by integrating green infrastructure elements of their stormwater and watershed plans into their hazard mitigation plans to achieve co-benefits such as improving water quality and preserving resources.


March 1, 2018 
1:00 - 2:30 pm EST


Laura Bachle has over thirty years of experience in planning, public involvement, and mediation at the local, state and national levels.  She spent fifteen years working in local government as an environmental planner and five years in private practice as a mediator. Laura started her career at the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004 as a Conflict Resolution Specialist in the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center. She was EPA’s first National Transportation Liaison, building stronger partnerships between EPA and the US Department of Transportation. She also served as the Assistant Director in the Wetlands Office in the Office of Water and in the Office of Civil Rights Title VI Program.  She currently works in the Office of Water’s Nonpoint Source Program on water quality and hazard mitigation. She holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Sociology from Oklahoma City University.

Josh Bruce is the Director for the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience at the University of Oregon Community Service Center.  Josh has been a leader in community resilience and local sustainability conversations for over 15 years.  Josh is a faculty member in the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center, he directs their hazard-planning program with a focus on community resilience and risk reduction objectives throughout the Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining the UO, Josh worked for both public and private sector employers focused on land-use planning and community development projects. He currently serves on the Oregon APA Legislative and Policy Affairs Committee and is on the board of Cascadia Prepared.

Trish Garrigan has been at EPA for over twenty five years. Currently she is the Regional Healthy Watersheds and Green Infrastructure Coordinator, and is the EPA point of contact for the Massachusetts nonpoint program.  She has worked on issues related to wetlands, drinking water, watershed management, green infrastructure, sustainability, and climate change adaptation.  Prior to working at EPA, Trish worked at the MA Department of Environmental Protection and the MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. She has a MS in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and a BA in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Melissa A. Surette is an employee with FEMA in Boston, Massachusetts.  She currently serves as the Senior Planner in the Mitigation Division and the Team Lead for Hazard Mitigation Planning.  Before joining FEMA in 2009, Dr. Surette was a nuclear planner with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and a research analyst with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  Dr. Surette earned her Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University in 2014 and her Master of Science in Emergency Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2009.  She is also a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM).