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DATE:    Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
TOPIC: Drone LiDAR Data Acquisition
SPEAKER: Kevin Darrow, BD Aerial


More and more organizations are turning to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions for water restoration projects. BD Aerial, a Portland-based drone services company specializing in LiDAR data acquisition, will dive into 2 examples of how organizations have used UAS to help solve environmental challenges.

Use-Case #1: What’s the best way to survey a working spillway without halting the operation and without putting personnel at risk?

Use-Case #2: In an effort to restore a fish habitat, (orga
nization) needed to remove water control structures, which would flood low-lying property. It was necessary to use a sensor capable of vegetation penetration to understand the topography of the project area and assemble the appropriate restoration plans.


Portland, Oregon drone services company, BD Aerial, was established in 2012 and is a leader in using UAS to safely inspect and document land and industrial assets. BD Aerial started in the Pacific Northwest and quickly became a preferred UAS service provider across the Nation; Now operating Worldwide with companies like Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

BD Aerial flies payloads including precision LiDAR systems, UV and Infrared sensors, and high-resolution cameras for photos, videos and photogrammetry. Using unmanned aircrafts, they capture actionable data for surveying high-risk landslide areas and terrain, maintenance inspections, engineering documentation, and construction mapping.


Kevin Darrow is Head of Business Development at BD Aerial. His role includes the company’s overall marketing strategy, project management, and strategic partnerships. In an industry that changes daily, he’s excited about exploring new UAS applications to help clients find creative solutions to their problems.

April Meeting Annoucement

DATE:    Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
TOPIC: Western Oregon LID Guidance Template
SPEAKER: Maria Cahill, Green Girl Land Development Solutions


The Oregon Environmental Council, in cooperation with technical assistance from Green Girl Land Development Solutions LLC, developed a Low Impact Development guidance template that cities and counties throughout Western Oregon are using to create their own customized stormwater management manual. This template, titled “Low Impact Development in Western Oregon: A Practical Guide for Watershed Health” takes a watershed health approach to water quality, emphasizing practices that not only treat water, but also prevent it from leaving the site to reduce hydromodification and flooding.

For those jurisdictions currently adapting the template, it provides the detail needed to ease the successful implementation of LID to meet stormwater permit regulations and TMDL requirements. Designed for cities throughout Western Oregon, it eliminates problems caused when cities simply refer to the City of Portland manual, which may be inappropriate for their climate, geology, and stakeholde
rs and too complex for their needs.
Within the guidance, there are tools and resources that practitioners in the public and private sector, whether they have a stormwater management manual or not, might find useful including:

  • – A watershed health focused stormwater hierarchy;
  • – A decision matrix to quickly identify the best “best practices” for their site conditions and stakeholders;
  • – Simple and quick hydrologic models for sizing infiltration facilities; and
  • – The annual water balance model that helps users account for the runoff reduction volumes of practices such as vegetated roofs, compost amended soils, and tree planting.

Maria has collaborated on interdisciplinary teams to implement low impact development and green infrastructure in engineering and landscape architecture offices and her own firm for almost 20 years. In 2015, Maria wrote the LID Guidance Template for Western Oregon, which the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) funded, endorsed, and posted for download. Since starting Green Girl in 2008, Maria has trained jurisdictional staff throughout Oregon and provided technical resources and tools to help them meet their state water quality regulations (e.g., TMDLs, MS4). She recently completed a 6-week position at NOAA NMFS to provide technical assistance on the new SLOPES for HUD and the future SLOPES for Stormwater, Transportation, and Utilities, due in 2017. She currently works part-time in a limited duration position as a Stormwater Permit Writer for the DEQ while continuing to manage contracts with Green Girl. Maria has also taught numerous highly rated classes at colleges and to development industry professionals.

March Meeting Reminder

DATE:    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
SPEAKER:  Joseph Richards, Senior Civil and Water Resources Engineer, ESA

TOPIC:  Luther Road Habitat Restoration Project, Johnson Creek Watershed


The Luther Road Habitat Restoration project was completed in 2014 by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services with partnership from Metro and North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District.  The project was identified as a priority in the 2001 Johnson Creek Restoration Plan because of exposure of the Lents Sewer Interceptor Crossing of Johnson Creek, untreated industrial stormwater discharges, disconnected floodplains, eroding streambanks and poor instream habitat conditions.   Successful purchase of a 10 acre parcel in 2008 made the project possible but significant effort remained to encumber industrial properties along the creek and design and permit the project.

The project includes: 2,200 feet of reconstructed channel with connected floodplains, trails that connect to the Springwater Corridor, water quality facilities and a 4-acre community park site ready for planning and design by North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD).  Permitting for the project included an individual permit from the Army Corps of Engineers that supports adaptive management over a 10 year period.  The project was designed to restore natural processes where feasible and to protect infrastructure and private property where necessary.  The record storms of December 2015 tested and changed the project and served as a reminder of the transient nature of river systems.


Joe is a senior civil and water resources engineer with over 24 years of US based and international water resources engineering, project management, and civil design experience.  He possesses in depth knowledge of the effects of urbanization on natural systems and has expertise in solving natural resource and infrastructure conflict issues. He often serves as a bridge between project members with different backgrounds and is adept at presenting technical information to lay audiences. Joe is a proven project leader with a commitment to seeking balanced solutions to natural resource issues where the built and natural environments intersect.  Before joining ESA he worked for eight years at the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) as a contractor through his company Richards Engineering.  During his tenure at BES he managed company operations and assisted in the delivery of more than 30 projects.