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News Release
EPA Scientists Honored with Land Board Award - 10/12/21

EPA Scientists Honored with Land Board Award 

SALEM, Ore. – The State Land Board today honored two scientists and public servants who have worked collaboratively with the state for decades to help protect Oregon’s wetlands and waters. 

Tracie-Lynn Nadeau and Yvonne Vallette of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Oregon Operations Office were recognized by Governor Kate Brown, State Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan during the 17th Annual Land Board Awards ceremony. 

“Tracie and Yvonne are extraordinary partners of the Department of State Lands whose dedication, leadership, and collaboration have shaped water and wetland protections in Oregon and beyond,” said Governor Kate Brown, who presented today’s award.

As a lead environmental scientist with the EPA, Tracie Nadeau’s passion for public service and scientifically informed decision making has shaped her career. 

“For decades, Tracie has encouraged using data to better understand, and more effectively protect, wetlands and waters,” said Governor Brown. 

Nadeau’s knack for identifying gaps in aquatic resource protections and seeking innovative solutions is paired with a collaborative approach with states, Tribes, and other partners that results in creation of practical tools for resource protection.

Two of those tools are currently being adapted for use in other states. Nadeau spearheaded development of the Streamflow Duration Assessment Method for Oregon, which helps DSL and other Oregon regulators clarify which waters are covered under the Federal Clean Water Act and determine best management practices. She was also instrumental in creating the Stream Function Assessment Method for Oregon, which helps assess how impacts to streams can be reduced and mitigated.

Nadeau’s work is centered, she said, in her commitment to public service. 

“What draws me to civil service is the soul of civil service,” she said. “There is little personal glory, and most people are unaware of what you are doing on their behalf. At the end of the day, if you make a commitment to serve the public you must always be thinking of those public needs, and the reward is meeting those needs.” 

Yvonne Vallette is an aquatic ecologist whose 35 years with the EPA have focused on teaming with states, Tribes, and local governments to develop programs that protect wetlands and other aquatic resources, that either enhance or help to address gaps in the federal Clean Water Act.

“This is my legacy, to do what I can to help bring people with similar needs together,” Vallette said. “Sometimes it may take a while for the stars to line up to bring the right interests together. But I’m always there looking to make those connections happen, helping to facilitate those partnerships, while making sure they get the resources they need to be successful.”

Her partnership over the years has helped connect DSL with the technical and financial support needed to develop a strong wetland program that complements federal requirements. With Vallette’s help, Oregon has been able to make significant strides toward the state’s “no net loss of wetlands” goal. Funding from the EPA has helped DSL develop better tools for tracking wetland restoration programs and changes to wetland and land use.

“Yvonne seeks to make permitting processes more efficient, without sacrificing natural resource protections,” said Governor Brown. “Her guidance has been instrumental in helping Oregon develop a robust wetland program that is a model for other states.” 

The Land Board Awards honor exceptional projects and partners for their contributions to protecting and enhancing Oregon’s treasured natural resources. Awarded for the first time in 2020, the Catalyst Award recognizes individual partners whose work supports stewardship of state lands and waters.

Learn more about this year’s award recipients on the Land Board Awards website or view the awards ceremony on the DSL YouTube Channel.

View images of the recipients of the 17th Land Board Awards.

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About the State Land Board

The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. 

About the Department of State Lands

The Department of State Lands is the Land Board’s administrative agency, managing the lands and resources that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting the state’s waterways and wetlands for the many benefits they provide. For more information on DSL, visit www.oregon.gov/DSL

View more news releases from Oregon Dept. of State Lands.