Breath of Clarity

Environmental Project Management Discussion #1: B

My project is regenerating a large plot of land outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The time frame is 18 months to restore 100 acres with a budget of $850,000. The deliverables are a solar ground mount, rain water harvesting system, garden, gazebo, stage, microbrewery, trail system, disc golf course, parking area, lights and restrooms throughout the property. Currently, part of the property is a monoculture farm that has been unmanaged for 5 years. The rest of the acreage is composed of brush with seedlings and shrubs. It is slightly overgrown with a variety of both native and non-native species.

Comment by Professor Pasquini:

Project is approved.

Comment by JoAnn Rizkallah:


Very interesting idea. Would this be a private company building this area? It sounds like a brewery on a property with multiple natural recreational amenities. Some things to consider for this type of land improvement: do any environmental laws play a role here? Is licensing and permitting going to allow for the multi use property? How will the owner keep people safe eon the trails etc? Are there any existing structures on the property or will there be new construction? Does the budget allow for construction of all of these deliverables?

My Response:

Hi JoAnn,

Thanks so much for all the feedback! I had a vague idea of these roadblocks. It is helpful to see them outlined in writing.

The project is for a landowner. So, it is private. It is a brewery on a property along with the other features. The natural recreational amenities are to be used by the public. The idea is to throw events, weddings, photography sessions, environmental education seminars, guided hikes etc. which generates some revenue. However, a major factor is the scope of my project only includes the construction and land restoration during the project’s duration.

I have not looked into the environmental laws playing a role. I figure the toughest aspect of the licensing is going to be for the brewery. The brewery is going to primarily be a production facility. I may design the trail system on the opposite side of the property from the brewery to support safety on the trails. There are no existing structures on the property. I may need to refine the budget as I move through the project and do research on the deliverables.

Comment #2:

Original Post by Josh Buza:

My nominated project is to build a salmon hatchery on the Yukon River, AK. The purposed hatchery would be built in response to the decline of native salmon populations. The primary focus for the hatchery would be raising chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and silver (Oncorhynchus kisutch) salmon. The purposed hatchery would decrease pressure on native stocks while providing greater opportunities for subsidence fishing among remote communities along the river and in increase in commercial fisheries revenue. The infrastructure put in place would create opportunities for research within the river and drainage.

My Comment:

Hi Josh,

The Alaska Department for Fish and Game have a Hatcheries Planning page (Links to an external site.) on its website outlining salmon fishery enhancement plans. There are plans specific to the Yukon River open to public review. I imagine you would have some awesome contributions to it after completing the project for this course. You can also use this page to compare plans of different Alaskan regions to the location you’re implementing the project at. For Research Practices and Applications, I did my project on the decline of salmon population at the Klamath River and how increasing Karuk tribal involvement in natural resource management decisions would improve river quality and the health of its fish. So, overfishing was not the primary issue in my paper. However, over the course of the project, I emphasized how crucial the salmon population was to a variety of different stakeholders at the river. I researched how crucial salmon fishing is to the Karuk culture. I appreciate your strategy to decrease pressure on native stocks, as opposed to simply tightening the fishing regulations in the area. Your proposed project would improve the economy of the region as it would create opportunities for both subsidence fishing and commercial groups. I also admire how your project would set the stage for further research.

Response by Josh Buza:

I really appreciate you reaching out to me with about this. Your project sounds incredibly involved and I’d like to learn more about it. Having lived in a community where salmon fisheries were one of the area’s primary sources of income, I have a lot of respect for that topic. Hatcheries are a can be a very controversial. With large benefits such as the ones you mentioned, to potentially very serious consequences such as the introduction of species to new areas and the potential of habitat destruction as a fallout. Risk lies within management, and proper scientific management should be driven by good research. I worked in a salmon hatchery lab for a while and I find the work those people do to be crucial to the industry. They assess return pressures and return cost analysis. One of the more interesting things they do is study otoliths to determine what percent of returns are native and what percent are hatchery stocks. The numbers are disappointing, and there is a need for both the reduced pressure caused by hatchery stock influence and fishing regulation consideration.

Thanks for the ADFG link. It’s my favorite website.

My Response:

Hi Josh,

That is so interesting you lived in a community where fisheries were one of the area’s primary source of income. It is rare to have the perspective amongst other project managers who are planning similar operations. I would definitely use your past experience as a winning strategy in the proposal phase. I can see how the introduction of species to new areas would impact the ecological community. I wonder whether doing detailed research on that potential drawback may enable you to conquer it in some way. I agree proper scientific management can be driven by thorough research. You can also consider hiring ecologists who are specialized in the specific sub-climate to support you. I am glad you are keeping the issue of native vs. hatchery stocks in mind as you proceed. By doing so, you can mitigate the pressure caused by the hatchery stock you’re implementing and make sure the project will not be halted by fishing regulation issues.

Comment #2:

Original Post by Janice Lauria:

My nominated project involves building a repurposing factory in one of the 3 largest construction-booming states currently, which would include either California, Texas or Florida. The construction repurposing can come from either heavy-civil, highway, or residential. Currently, the repurposing of raw material from construction waste would include concrete, insulation, wood, and wire to start. This would save waste, increase recycling and eventually push for tax credits with companies and law makers.

My Comment:

Hi Janice,

Awesome project!

I agree with targeting the states with a current construction-booming trend. It leads to your project resulting in a substantial, positive impact on the environment. Other examples of raw material you can repurpose are asphalt, metals, bricks, and glass. It is going to be interesting to see the most common materials, as well as which ones are optimally worth gathering with respect to the resources required to execute the project.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a breadth of information about repurposing materials from construction and demolition in its most recent waste characterization report with data from 2017 published in 2019. According to the report, 569 million tons of construction and demolition debris were generated in the United States (EPA 2019). Considering 569 million tons is twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste, the problem addressed by the project is pressing (EPA 2019). Further demolition represents more than 90 percent of total C&D debris generation, while construction represents less than 10 percent (EPA 2019). To clarify, are you planning to gather debris from both construction and demolition sites?

Implementing the project in a construction-booming state also increases the impact of the eventual tax credit in the case the credit is based on percentage of total raw material volume. The tax credit is going to be crucial to incentivizing involvement in the project. Even without the tax credit presently in place, the donation of recovered materials to qualified 501(c)(3) charities provides a tax benefit. Not to mention, the project has the potential to create a multitude of jobs.


Environmental Protection Agency. 2019. ” Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2017 Fact Sheet”.