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Members in Action: Scott Fisher, SWCA's Ecological Restoration Team Lead and CERP

Friday, October 2, 2020  
Posted by: Keith MacCallum
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Scott Fisher is the Ecological Restoration Team Lead at the SWCA, and a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner.

Scott Fisher has been passionate about ecological restoration since working in a greenhouse at the age of 14. As of a recent promotion, Fisher is now the Director of SWCA’s Amherst and Boston offices, evolving this passion for plants into a career in environmental consulting.

Fisher has employed a range of roles throughout his career, but currently works in realm of business development. He works with a variety of projects including invasive plant management, water quality improvement, monitoring, and permitting.

What is unique about SWCA’s work, he says, is that they are involved in every step of the process. “It is rare that an environmental consulting company has in-house ecological restoration practitioners. We can identify a client’s problem and then go implement the solution. This streamlined approach is what sets SWCA apart.”

Fisher and his 12-person restoration group work on as many as 300 projects a year. Currently they are tackling a great deal of work related to living shorelines and salt marsh restoration. According to Fisher, these types of projects will be a big part of upcoming coastal resiliency, flood resiliency, and climate change issues that will require creative solutions.

In one example of this work, Fisher and his team developed a technique to stabilize a steep coastal dune on a residential plot. They pioneered using a biodegradable burlap fence and an innovative wood scaffolding system to stabilize the bluff with vegetation while minimizing impact to the slope itself. This technique is now widely used.

“Our strength lies in coming up with unique, natural solutions using a soft approach,” he said. The work on this project contributed to Fisher winning the quarterly Lawrence S. Semo Scientific Achievement Award, given to individuals for demonstrating passion, creativity, and scientific excellence in a manner that advances SWCA's purpose, mission, vision, and values.

I’m very lucky to work with a fantastic, skilled, hardworking team of people. They allow me to do what I do; it is absolutely not just me”.

Fisher’s favorite type of work are projects that add value back into the system, whether that be the local ecosystem, the community, the state, or beyond. He says he feels grateful to be a part of a company that works on large, dynamic restoration processes that can make a big impact.

“I’ve always been a plant guy. Creating or restoring habitat, for me that is the best job you could have.”