Congratulations to our 2017 / 2018 IECA Award Winners! 

The mission of the IECA Awards program is to recognize outstanding achievements in the erosion and sediment control industry. These awards are selected on criteria that reflect quality, skill and environmental benefits. Winners were selected from responses to a “Call for Entries” process. All winners were recognized at the 2018 IECA Annual Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California on February 12.

The Environmental Excellence Award 

The Environmental Excellence Award is the IECA's premier award. It recognizes an outstanding stormwater and erosion and/or sediment control project, program or operation that demonstrates excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection. Recipients of this award show a high‐level of environmental benefit by clearly identifying the objectives, methods used, results obtained and details of the benefits to the environment.

Paul Kofi Nsiah, Brandenburg Technology University, Germany received the environmental excellence award for his biological geotextiles in an erosion and sediment control project during gold mine reclamation in Ghana. Jonathan Koepke, CPESC, LEED-AP was named the outstanding professional of the year and Gustavo Salerno, CPESC, PE was the 2018 sustained contributor recipient. “Both plant mats were proven to be effective biotechnical slope stabilization and soil conservation tools for protecting graded mine slopes against the highly erosive forces of tropical rain and runoff in the area until vegetation is established,” explained Nsiah. “Other benefits included employment generation and training for community members to produce the biological textiles in commercial quantities to be sold to mining companies for reclamation purpose. This can help alleviate poverty in developing countries with mineral resources as a practice that can be successfully replicated.”

The Outstanding Professional of the Year Award 

Outstanding Professional of the Year Award recognizes an IECA member as an individual or organization that demonstrates excellence in their work in the industry and is viewed by his IECA peers as an industry leader through significant engagement with the IECA.

IECA board of directors’ member, Jonathan Koepke, CPESC, LEED-AP, was nominated by last year’s outstanding professional of the year award recipient Adam Dibble, CPESC-IT, CESSWI. “Jonathan embodies the ideal IECA member with his continuous support and engagement in the organization,” states Dibble. “He acts as the current IECA board treasurer and the Great Lakes Chapter president. Jonathan was the anchor to developing the Canadian chapter, which has quickly become one of the strongest IECA chapters. He has dedicated countless hours to both the chapter and international level, driving strategies, taking on important projects and ensuring that IECA looks to the future.”

The Sustained Contributor Award 

The Sustained Contributor Award recognizes an IECA member who has provided distinguished service to the IECA and has made outstanding contributions to improve the erosion and sediment control industry for a sustained period of time. Winners of this Award will have demonstrated leadership by example through a significant and long-term contribution to the erosion and sediment control industry and to the IECA through one or more of the following: education, government involvement, research, establishment of standards or policies or the development of technology.

Gustavo Salerno, CPESC, PE was the 2018 sustained contributor recipient.“Gustavo has been a member of IECA since 1993 and instrumental in establishing initiatives in the IberoAmerican Chapter,” explained Sharan Wilson, executive director for IECA. “He has chaired the IberoAmerican Latin American Symposium on Erosion and Sediment Control, managed an agreement to bring Spanish Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control™ (CPESC) courses to the region, regularly speaks at industry events and actively encourages students and young professionals to get involved in the industry. His significant contributions have brought focus to IECA’s issues in his region,” states Wilson.

2017 Presenter of the Year

IEducational awards were also recognized at the conference for the 2017 environmental connection presenter of the year to the presenter who received the highest classroom evaluation and the 2018 IECA most distinguished technical paper voted on by industry peers. The presenter of the year was awarded to Dr. Eve Brantley for “The Stormwater Secrets to Success or When Did We Have to Learn People Skills.” Her presentation addressed effective communication and partner coordination in education programs.

2018 Most Distinguished Technical Paper

 The most distinguished technical award was presented to Marc S. Theisen, M.Sc., CPESC, CPSWQ, CESSWI and J.P. Johns, PE for their paper, Inspection and Data Collection Protocol to Monitor Performance of Biotic Soil Technology. The publication introduces biotic soil technology (BST) offering prescribed testing protocol for site assessments to determine suitable BSTs and agronomic amendments with their appropriate installation rates. Techniques for inspection during installation and monitoring of post-installation vegetation species composition, density and cover are detailed. Testing to document changes in soil chemistry, structure and biota over time are also featured in the paper. Case studies featured in this publication provide practical examples of BSTs used in diverse ecosystems employing the prescribed testing and monitoring protocols. The examples show how BSTs were deployed, how their performance was monitored and the results obtained. While the protocol steps described are not outside the norm, they have not been typically utilized as a standard approach to monitoring performance of BST or other vegetative erosion control technologies.

IECA is the foremost organization for those involved in or concerned about soil erosion control. Membership (in IECA) tells others you take erosion control seriously and you want to help make a difference.

Scott Velting, CPESC, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA