Quinn McWatters

Environmental Planner

We are happy to announce that Quinn McWatters has joined our planning group in Sandwich as an Environmental Planner. She will be supporting, and leading project work related to water security training. Quinn earned her B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus on Ecological Restoration, and a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Globalization from Humboldt State University in California and will receive an MBA in Environmental Sustainability from Wilmington University in Delaware in 2022.

Prior to joining HW, Quinn worked at a non-profit in Falmouth as the Research Coordinator for a marine research organization. She has four years’ experience working for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as an inspector and attained a wastewater operator certification in 2018 from Delaware Community College. She also earned GIS Professional Certification from the University of California, San Diego. In addition, Quinn has vast project management experience having worked for three consulting firms prior to working for the State. When she is not working, Quinn enjoys exploring her new home in the Northeast while camping and hiking with her husband and her pup, Roscoe.

 

James Cady

Environmental Scientist

We are thrilled to share that Jimmy Cady has joined HW as an Environmental Scientist. He will be working on the firm’s water sector cybersecurity training projects. Jim earned his B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland and an Associate of Arts, General Studies degree from the American Military University, in Charles Town, West Virginia. Jimmy has 13 years of experience working for the U.S. Government.

Growing up in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, the southernmost part of the Outer Banks he dreamed of moving away to discover new people and places. After high school he postponed his degree and joined the United States Navy which sent him to Nevada and after that Maryland where he worked as a Counter Intelligent Analyst with the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.  He previously held positions in the U.S. Navy as an Industrial Security Analyst and Intelligence Specialist. We know his military experience will be helpful to our water utility clients who are working on cybersecurity assessments and plans.  

When not working he enjoys time with his Fiancée, his cat Milktea, and his dog Egg Roll who is a Corgi. Jimmy has always enjoyed hiking and hopes to rediscover this activity in New England.

 

NARRAGANSETT BAY COMMISSION
Macomber Stadium

The Narragansett Bay Commission is implementing final phases to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) in Pawtucket and Central Falls. One part of this large endeavor is the award-winning green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) project at the Macomber Stadium located in Central Falls.

 

A combined sewer system (CSS) collects rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater into one pipe. Under normal conditions, it transports all the wastewater it collects to a sewage treatment plant for treatment, then discharges to a water body.” 

– U.S. EPA


In 2020 and 2021 this project received awards from two vastly different organizations. First, a “Stormy Award” from the New England Stormwater Collaborative recognized the project as the “Best Stormwater Idea” at the annual New England Stormy Awards. Second, more recently,  the American Sports Builder’s Association named Macomber Stadium “Outstanding Single Field Facility of the Year,” which is a national award. Awards aside, we are proud to have worked with NBC and collaborated on this GSI project with Pare Corp., and Stantec.

The new state-of-the-art synthetic turf athletic field includes a subsurface infiltration system and sand filter with enough capacity to treat and infiltrate a 25-year design storm. The system captures runoff from over six acres of surrounding impervious surfaces. Other GSI features include a permeable paver mezzanine and stormwater bio swales. New landscaping also provides streetscape appearance and overall curb appeal.  The project also restored a contaminated site to its highest potential. Over 10,000 tons of contaminated soils were removed while other soils were encapsulated under an engineered cap that doubles as the final site surface.


Learn More:

Video by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
RIIB Project Funding = New Community Sport Fields!!

New England Stormwater Collaborative

American Sports Builder’s Association

 

Gabrielle Queenan

Environmental Planner

We are happy to announce that Gabby Queenan has joined HW as an Environmental Planner. Recently she completed a planning internship working with our planning staff in Providence, RI. We are thrilled to welcome her to the HW Team full-time! Gabby earned her B.A. in Environmental Science and Political Science from Macalester College in Minnesota. A tennis player since age 4, Gabby played singles and doubles tennis for the Macalester Scots! She is currently a M.A. candidate at Tufts University and is studying Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Gabby enjoyed working as a teaching assistant for Tufts University and completed  several internships at Tufts, including serving as an environmental analyst with Horsley Consulting. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, she was the policy director for the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance where she worked on local and state water and climate issues with watershed associations and state environmental agencies.  Gabby’s expertise is focused on water and land planning, climate adaptation, and climate resiliency policies.

When Gabby is not working, she likes to spend time hiking and cross-country skiing in Concord, Massachusetts, as well as kayaking on local rivers. She has a bucket list goal to kayak all the rivers in Massachusetts! We wish her much success.

 

Michael C. Laham, P.E.

Senior engineer

We are pleased to announce that Michael Laham has joined HW in Exeter, NH as a Senior Engineer and Project Manager. A Seacoast New Hampshire native, Mike earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Science from Northeastern University before pursuing work in the San Francisco Bay Area. While living in the Bay Area, Mike took the opportunity to study permaculture and ecological design with several inspiring practitioners through programs offered by the Regenerative Design Institute and the SF Institute of Architecture, gaining valuable skills to supplement his traditional engineering training.

Mike has 15 years of practical experience in civil and environmental engineering with specific expertise in site design, land-use planning, municipal infrastructure improvements, watershed analysis, stormwater management, permitting and construction oversight. His strong interest in holistic site design, ecological landscapes, and regenerative agriculture systems make him an ideal fit at HW.  When he is not working, Mike is outside: tending the homestead with his wife and two young sons, exploring local landscapes, or hanging out at his family’s apple orchard down the street. He enjoys cooking and fermenting a variety of foods in the kitchen, playing in the rain, and making music with friends and family.

 

Caroline Armstrong

Staff Scientist-Engineer

We are happy to share that Caroline Armstrong has joined HW as a Staff Scientist-Engineer. Caroline earned her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has completed internships for two private organizations in Massachusetts and the RI Department of Environmental Management – Office of Waste Management. In her third year at WPI she had the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project in Panama City, Panama where the team produced a skills database for the tourism industry. She also completed a major qualifying project at WPI which focused on the East Bridgewater dam removal project.

Caroline has three years’ experience as a Design and Staff Engineer. She is enthusiastic about sustainability and coastal resiliency and looks forward to working on coastal projects. When Caroline is not working, she likes to spend time with her family and her cat, Pepper. She grew up in Hanson, MA and enjoys creative writing, and everything that the south shore has to offer, like pontoon boating, tubing, and relaxing at the beach.

 

Jenna Bernabe

GIS Manager

We are pleased to announce that Jenna Bernabe has joined HW as our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager. Jenna earned her B.S. in Imaging and Photographic Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her M.A. in Geography with a concentration on GIS and Remote Sensing from San Jose State University. A Pittsburgh native, she grew up in Northern Virginia. Her internship at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency piqued her interest in satellite imagery analysis and motivated her to apply to graduate school where her passion for geography and technology came together. Her master’s thesis was a case study of urban heat island detection using Landsat data. Jenna has over ten years’ experience as a GIS professional and program manager with a transportation industry data services provider located in MA.

When Jenna is not working, she enjoys all that New England has to offer, exploring the outdoors while hiking, skiing, and spending time with her family and young daughter. Jenna likes to run and has finished a marathon in Newport, RI! She also enjoys getting out to local ponds and visiting Cape Cod to kayak with family and friends.

 

congress for
new urbanism

Spatial Justice Fellowship Program
Jon Ford, P.E.

HW is proud to sponsor the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) New England Chapter  2021 Spatial Justice Fellowship program at the highest “Visionary” level!

CNU New England is a non-profit organization that supports public and private sector leaders, community activists, and multidisciplinary professionals dedicated to building stronger cities and towns through citizen-based participatory planning and design. 

The Spatial Justice program is designed to improve spatial justice outcomes in New England cities and towns while increasing the quality of our joint professions by making room for new and different voices. 

During the summer of 2021, the program paid living wages to support three aspiring young professionals of diverse backgrounds to take part in otherwise unpaid internships and complete independent research projects.

 

HW’s Jon Ford, P.E., CNU New England co-founder, past President, and current board member, served on the program’s core committee and as a mentor for Grecia White.  Grecia conducted research bringing visibility to issues women and minorities face as they move around cities, starting with a wait time assessment and safety audit along MBTA bus routes.

 

a Master Plan for Habitat, Stormwater, & Recreational Improvements

Nantucket land bank

Lily Pond Park wetland and boardwalk today. Inset: Geese in Lily Pond in the 1890’s

How often do you get the chance to restore the landscape, improve water quality, and reduce localized flooding?

Not often, but Lily Pond Park in the heart of historic Nantucket is one place where it could happen.  HW worked with the Nantucket Land Bank on a Master Plan to improve the hydrologic, ecological, and recreational function of the park, a 6.2-acre property located within the residential outskirts of the historic downtown.

Stormwater runoff from over 90 surrounding acres drains into the park’s existing wetlands before ultimately discharging to the Town’s drainage system and out to Children’s Beach. A watershed services workhorse, the quality of this wetland habitat has degraded over time due to stormwater runoff inputs, hydrologic changes, and an invasive species explosion.

 

It’s such a gem, tucked into a residential area, I’m excited about what it could be in the future.” 

-Anne Kitchell, HW Associate Principal, Senior Watershed Planner


The Master Plan presents a preferred approach to restore and diversify wetland habitats, treat runoff with green stormwater infrastructure, and enhance the user experience with improved connectivity and signage. Key features include looped boardwalk extensions, more seating areas and entrance enhancements, daylighting of the existing outlet drainpipe into a surface stream, and restoration of a shallow marsh system with open water pockets. Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) along the park perimeter (constructed wetlands, bioswales, etc.) provide initial water quality treatment.

Constructed wetland and habitat restoration illustrations above

Proposed Plan:
The plan prepared for the Nantucket Land Bank Commission includes priority invasive management areas, a phased implementation approach, and planning level construction costs plus contingency. The phases of construction are based on site constraints and staging feasibility include:

  1. Restoration of the central wetland and surrounding boardwalks and overlooks
  2. Restorative daylighting of the original stream
  3. Installation of a constructed wetland and entrance enhancements at North Liberty St.
  4. Construction of a cascading bioswale and constructed wetland with boardwalk at the existing Lily St. entrance
  5. Entrance improvements and upland amphitheater at 36 Lily acquisition

Example precedent images (left to right) of open water portion of a restored wetland, restored surface stream, constructed wetland, and cascading bioswale

Project Benefits:

  • Water quality – twice as much sediment removal and 1.5 times nutrient reduction over existing conditions
  • Flood management—by lower ponding elevations and shortening of inundation periods in the park and adjacent properties
  • Habitat enhancement—restoring diversity of wetland and stream habitats and controlling invasive plants
  • Improved visitor experience—enhanced park entrances, additional seating, more programmable upland areas, and looping boardwalks

Next Steps:
There is still much to be done including discussions with permitting agencies, DPW, and neighbors. We look forward to working with the Nantucket Land Bank and others moving forward on soil evaluations and water level monitoring, advancing restoration designs, and permitting.

 

Roger Williams park

Providence, RI

The Rain Harvest Arts Festival at Roger Williams Park encouraged visitors to celebrate water, science, and art – just our kind of party!  Hosted by the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center in June, the festival was a community celebration of the City of Providence’s investment in over 40 projects to clean polluted stormwater runoff before it enters the Park’s beloved ponds. Visual and performance artists and environmental scientists shared their inspirations and engaged the public in learning about stormwater and water quality. 

HW sponsored and participated in the festival, leading tours showcasing our stormwater projects throughout the park. The day was full of art, music, yoga, food, science, and great conversations about water!

We enjoyed the tours and look forward to future work at the park! Enjoy the short video by Big Tree Production.