Wetlands Program Director (IDEA)

San Francisco, CA, US


IDEA Accounts are created when NFWF receives funds from environmental law enforcement actions, regulatory compliance actions, or permitting proceedings.  In each case, the IDEA Department deposits these funds into dedicated accounts and works in a variety of ways to ensure the funds are obligated and disbursed to appropriate projects.

The Wetlands Program Director will have managerial responsibilities for IDEA’s Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program and potentially other wetland-related IDEA Accounts as specified by the IDEA Senior Vice President or Senior Director. 

The Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program (ILF Program) is an IDEA Account that IDEA developed pursuant to the 2008 Rule on Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332; 40 CFR Part 230) (2008 Rule). The ILF Program, approved by an Interagency Review Team (IRT) comprised of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, offers permittees an in-lieu fee option to satisfy their compensatory mitigation obligations as determined by the applicable regulatory agencies for impacts to aquatic resources authorized under the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and other appli­cable laws.

The ILF Program provides: 1) Vernal Pool Credits for authorized impacts to vernal pool wetlands in 12 Vernal Pool Service Areas that are based on vernal pool recov­ery regions  identified by the USFWS’s Vernal Pool Recovery Plan; and 2) Aquatic Resource Credits for authorized impacts to wetlands (excluding vernal pools), other Waters of the U.S., Waters of the State, and certain species, in 17 Aquatic Resource Service Areas that are based on individual river systems.

The Wetlands Program Director will oversee and manage the technical aspects of the ILF Program and assist with other potential wetland-related IDEA Accounts within the IDEA portfolio as determined by the IDEA Senior Vice President or Senior Director.  The Wetlands Program Director will work closely with the entire IDEA team, and as appropriate, with the Departments of Finance, Science and Evaluation, and Government Relations.


  • Oversee and manage the successful operation of the ILF Program at the direction of the IDEA Senior Director
  • Oversee the design, specification, implementation, and completion of ILF Projects in accordance with the ILF Program Instrument and the 2008 Rule. This will involve such duties as:
      • Identifying, soliciting, evaluating and/or developing proposed sites for biological and habitat restoration suitable to serve as the foundation for an ILF Project under the 2008 Rule;
      • Identifying opportunities and constraints in the Service Areas under the ILF Program related to potential site identification, acquisition, and development;
      • Evaluating and/or developing ILF Project prospectuses for IRT consideration;
      • Evaluating, developing, and overseeing implementation of ILF Project Development Plans (including measurable objectives, performance standards, monitoring requirements, pre-and post-ILF Project jurisdictional wetland determinations and delineations, interim and long-term management plans, and associated permitting, financial assurances, and long-term or perpetual site protection and funding);
      • Working with the IRT, other governmental permitting entities, and ILF Project implementation partners to identify, scope, and ultimately deliver ILF Projects;
      • Preparing reports on the progress of ILF Projects including: status of construction-in-progress; the degree to which each ILF Project is meeting its performance standards; any deficiencies in attaining and maintaining performance standards, and any remedial action proposed, approved or performed; and if a remedial action has been completed, the effectiveness of the action; and
      • Preparing reports on interim management and long-term management of ILF Projects.
  • Oversee and manage the periodic updating of the ILF Program Instrument’s Compensation Planning Framework, including elaboration on aquatic resource losses and ongoing threats, as well as mitigation opportunities, in ILF Program Service Areas.
  • Maintain a complete and up-to-date understanding of ILF Program and such other IDEA Accounts as are subject to the Wetlands Program Director’s oversight.
  • Meet regularly with the IRT and ILF Project implementation partners to communicate information regarding ILF Projects as part of ILF Program implementation.
  • Conduct ILF Program outreach to governmental entities, NGOs, and private entities.
  • Work with and manage outside consultants.
  • Assist with GIS data management and reporting.
  • Monitor cases, regulatory proceedings, and governmental policy developments that may affect ILF Program implementation. 
  • Assist with IDEA marketing and business development materials.
  • Participate in IDEA Departmental calls and meetings, Conservation Team calls, Regional Office meetings, and project slate reviews, as appropriate.
  • Maintain an understanding of the investment policies applied to IDEA Accounts.
  • Participate in the ongoing assessment of the IDEA Department’s technology needs and how they are being met by the Foundation’s overall IT systems and architecture.
  • As directed by the IDEA Senior Vice President or Senior Director, serve as the NFWF Representative for various meetings including project site visits, partner briefings, and IDEA program outreach, as needed.
  • Recommend efforts to improve existing IDEA processes and policies. 
  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in biology, botany, hydrology, wildlife or conservation biology, environmental science, or related area of study.  Master’s degree or other advanced degree preferred. 
  • Minimum seven (7) years of experience in developing, implementing, and monitoring wetland mitigation and/or wetland conservation projects in California.
  • Experience with federal and state laws regulating wetlands, waters of the U.S., waters of the State of California, and threatened and endangered species.
  • Experience with and demonstrated success in developing and implementing mitigation projects in compliance with the 2008 Rule on Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332; 40 CFR Part 230).
  • California-focused wetland delineation training.
  • Field-based experience with commonly employed survey methods for California plants and wildlife.
  • Ability to clearly communicate often complex ecological or biological data to both internal and external parties.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail, organizational, and follow-through skills.
  • Flexibility and ability to work independently and in a team in a dynamic environment.
  • Computer proficiency, including e-mail, databases (e.g., RIBITS), spreadsheets, financial/contracting systems, and word processing.
  • Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, operative provisions of key environmental laws.


Commensurate with experience.


San Francisco, CA

Equal Opportunity Statement –  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws in its commitment to being an equal opportunity employer.  The Foundation does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, personal appearance, citizen status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, political or union affiliation, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law.

Disclaimer – The statements contained herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties, and skills at any time.