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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Maintenance Action Team Helps Conserve Resources

Region 5, January 28, 2014
A pond before the MAT team laid down clay and sediment.
A pond before the MAT team laid down clay and sediment. - Photo Credit: n/a
A pond levee after the team laid down clay and sediment.
A pond levee after the team laid down clay and sediment. - Photo Credit: n/a
Keith Morris from Blackwater NWR works to lay down clay on the levee.
Keith Morris from Blackwater NWR works to lay down clay on the levee. - Photo Credit: n/a
Eddie Darlington from Harrison Lake NFH was part of the team at the fish hatchery.
Eddie Darlington from Harrison Lake NFH was part of the team at the fish hatchery. - Photo Credit: n/a

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast region maintenance action team (MAT) has played a critical role in completing much needed maintenance projects throughout the region, while at the same time cutting costs and saving money for the Service.

The team at Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery completely renovated 10 ponds (levees), all roadways on top of the ponds, every parking lot and the public fishing area at the fish hatchery. The ponds, which have not been rehabilitated in 50 years, are considered "mission critical" and are used for mussel, shad and herring culture. Team members included Service employees from five different national wildlife refuges and two national fish hatcheries. Based on initial estimates, the MAT group completed the project with a cost savings of nearly $250,000.

The Service also uses the maintenance action team as a training platform for employees, which allows us to continually build in-house capacity and resources to complete much needed maintenance projects. For example, Steve Smith, an HVAC and plumbing technician at White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery  had not operated heavy equipment prior to joining the MAT team.  He is now a certified front-end loader, dozer and dump truck operator and loaded over 3,000 tons of the clay!

One example of how members of the team will put their skills to task is through borrowing 12 different pieces of equipment from four Service field stations and dispensing, grading and compacting 6,000 tons of clay and 750 tons of stone.

Other money saving projects that the MAT team completed were:

  • resurfacing 7.5 miles of road at the Back Bay NWR. The needed repairs were due to damage from Hurrican Sandy. Six employees from six different national wildlife refuges worked as a team to complete this important project. They finished the project with a cost savings of $180,500.
     
  • removing old cedar shake and installing  insulation and vinyl siding at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge complex residential quarters. The 5 member team completed the project with a cost savings of $8,000. One of the team members, Tracy Fox, is a talented carpenter and taught all the other crew members how to correctly install siding, flashing and trim.

Members of the MAT team are an incredible asset to the Service. Their work greatly contributes to accomplishing our mission while utilizing resources efficiently.

Contact Info: Tylar Greene, 1-413-253-8200, tylar_greene@fws.gov