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2019 IECA Annual Conference

2019 IECA Annual Conference

Denver hosts a week of technical training, networking, and exhibitions for erosion control and stormwater management professionals.

The 2019 International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Annual Conference and Expo, Feb. 19-22 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, offers almost a full week of technical training, networking with erosion control and stormwater management professionals, and examining the latest technologies and services for the industry.Denver will host the 2019 International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Annual Conference and Expo.


In the conference opening keynote — Make a Difference by Loving What You Do — Ken A. MacKenzie, P.E., executive director of the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD), headquartered in Denver, offers reflections on 50 years of employment as everything from dishwasher to airplane mechanic to executive director, and the transformational power of not necessarily doing what you love, but rather loving what you do.

UDFCD covers more than 1,600 square miles of service area along the Colorado Front Range and serves seven counties, 36 cities and towns, 3,500 stream miles, and 3 million people (60 percent of the state’s population). MacKenzie has worked for this organization since 1995 in several engineering roles related to planning, design, construction, and maintenance of urban stormwater drainage and water quality infrastructure. He also serves on the boards of directors for the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies and for the Urban Watersheds Research Institute. He has been active in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental and Water Resources Institute for more than 20 years.

In a closing keynote, Janet Kieler, P.E., director of environmental programs, Denver International Airport, presents, Do I Really Own This? Perspectives of a Large Project Owner. This keynote will focus on unique erosion control challenges faced today by the City and County of Denver’s Department of Aviation, owner and operator of Denver International Airport (DEN). DEN is a unique property. At 53 square miles, it is the second largest airport in the world and the biggest in the United States at almost twice the size of its domestic runner up, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

As the last major international airport built in the U.S., and one that was designed to remove the space constraints posed by the former airport, the land disturbance associated with original construction was massive and largely uncontrolled, given the pre-permitting era in which it was built. Now, after opening its doors more than two decades ago, the culture of ownership around the built environment is making its way to the unbuilt environment and bringing renewed success to land management practices.

Education opportunities

The IECA Annual Conference offers a range of educational opportunities. Fireside chats give attendees an opportunity to engage with a panel of experts on a variety of topics. Roundtables allow attendees to learn from each other and discuss practical solutions to real world problems. Case studies, technical papers, workshops, and product presentations in the form of 100 technical sessions provide education and practical knowledge.

Technical sessions are offered in five tracks:

  • Erosion and Sediment Control;
  • Stormwater Management;
  • Wetland, Stream Bank, and Shoreline Restoration;
  • Business; and
  • Regulatory.

Preconference workshops

IECA has been approved as a registered education provider with the Registered Continuing Education Provider (RCEP) program, managed by the American Council of Engineering Companies. Each of the half-day courses at the IECA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo (https://www.eventscribe.com/2019/IECA/agenda.asp?pfp=Preconference) will provide 4 Professional Development Hours of credit reported to RCEP. Half-day courses include the following, all held on Tuesday, Feb. 19:

Bioengineering for slopes and streams plus case studies — The course will be a compilation of not only the Principles and History of Biotechnical methods but also present published and peer reviewed information from Compendiums and Manuals written by John McCullah, AA, BS, CPESC, over the last 25 years.

Inspection and maintenance of post-construction water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) — This workshop will cover a brief introduction of stormwater quality management, why post-construction BMPs are being installed, and the regulatory mechanism that is used for ensuring the installation and continued operation of BMPs.

High altitude revegetation: Challenges and successes to establish vegetation and control erosion on disturbed landscapes — This course will cover basic theory in restoration ecology as well as common ecological restoration practices in different settings. Examples from previous research projects will show challenges of revegetating high-altitude ecosystems as well as failed and successful projects.

Erosion, sediment, and turbidity control on linear projects — This course will cover a wide range of BMPs to control erosion and to reduce sediment and turbidity in stormwater discharges from linear construction projects.

Naturalizing performance standards for urban channel “restoration” — This presentation will discuss many lessons learned from evaluating the geomorphic potential and departure analysis of a disturbed urban and suburban river systems. RiverSHARED professionals will share the simplified standards and process that the Denver UDFCD has been encouraging for many future developments within the Denver Metro area, as well as an in-leu fee program.

The 5 Ps to motivate a compliant project — This session steps through five elements that motivate compliance: Productivity, Performance, People, Professionalism, and Profitability.

The closing keynote focuses on unique erosion control challenges faced by the City and County of Denver’s Department of Aviation, owner and operator of the expansive Denver International Airport. Photo: courtesy Denver International Airport

Field events

Attendees can participate in two field events to see firsthand how green infrastructure is being integrated into Denver’s urban landscape. Participation in these events requires a full conference pass or a day conference pass for the day of the field event and purchase of the field tour admittance ticket. Space is limited.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, Integrating Green Infrastructure into The RiNo Arts District features a one-time warehouse district that now includes an eclectic mix of new artistic businesses, restaurants, professional offices, mixed-use residential, and a reconstructed Brighton Boulevard. Redevelopment of the area embraces a variety of green building strategies, including several different approaches to the integration of green infrastructure. This walking tour will explore a handful of green infrastructure strategies such as a green alley, streetside stormwater planters, a regional water quality outfall, and more.

On Friday, Feb. 22, Integrating Green Infrastructure in Denver; from Regional to Site Scale starts with an hour-long presentation on the development and current status of the green infrastructure program, including development of the Ultra Urban Green Infrastructure Guidelines and the citywide Green Infrastructure Implementation Strategy. Following the presentation, the group will tour four to five sites in the Denver area that highlight the range of solutions that the City of Denver is utilizing to help address water quality challenges in Cherry Creek and the South Platte River.

Exhibit hall

In addition to more than 125 exhibitors of products and services for design and construction of erosion control, water quality, and stormwater management projects, IECA announced two new features in the exhibit hall:

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): Soil Health Demonstrations — The NRCS team demonstrates a Rainfall Simulator that shows the effects of infiltration and runoff as it occurs on land. This demonstration will teach soil health principles and provide an opportunity to talk with a soil scientist. NRCS will also have a microscope that will be used to assess soil health and view the living ecosystem in the soil.

Demo Theater and Lounge — This new lounge area provides an opportunity to take a moment to put your feet up while learning from industry-specific application videos. Participating vendors and presentations include:

  • Erosion Control Technology Council — Installation videos give step-by-step instructions for installing hydraulic erosion control products, rolled erosion control products, and sediment retention fiber rolls.
  • Colorado Department of Transportation — An augmented reality sandbox is equipped with a Kinect 3D camera and a projector to project a real-time colored topographic map with contour lines onto the sand surface. The sandbox lets virtual water flow over the surface using a GPU-based simulation of the Saint-Venant set of shallow water equations.
  • NRCS — Soil Health Theater presents video demonstrations on soil health and the men and women who are farming with Soil Health Management Systems, a growing movement to “unlock the secrets in the soil.”

For more information about the 2019 IECA Annual Conference and Expo and to register, visit www.eventscribe.com/2019/IECA.

Information provided by the International Erosion Control Association (www.ieca.org).