The SWAMP Group is a team of experienced conservation professionals working to implement cost-effective and ecologically significant wetland and stream mitigation projects throughout Mississippi.

Steven Gruchy, Wetland Mitigation Coordinator, Wildlife Mississippi

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Steven Gruchy

Steven coordinates the organization’s wetland and stream mitigation projects and oversees project mapping and geographic information system analysis. He works with state and federal agencies to implement mitigation plans, coordinates credit sales and prepares mitigation compliance reports. Steven received a master’s degree in Forest Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Forestry with a Wildlife Management Option, both from Mississippi State University. For The SWAMP Group, Steven oversees all aspects Wildlife Mississippi’s environmental banking program.

James L. Cummins, Executive Director, Wildlife Mississippi

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James Cummins

As the chief executive officer of Wildlife Mississippi, his duties include overseeing activities of all employees and developing the organization’s goals, objectives and programs in conjunction with the board of trustees. He is involved in a wide array of organizations. James received his master’s degree in Fisheries Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Management from Mississippi State University. He is a certified wildlife biologist and a certified fisheries professional. He formerly served as a legislative fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. He was considered for Assistant Secretary of the Interior during the administration of President George W. Bush. For The SWAMP Group, James oversees all aspects of the program, especially large-scale, public-works projects and public relations campaigns.

Jason May, Wetland Restoration Assistant, Wildlife Mississippi

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Jason May

Jason monitors conservation easements, helps oversee bottomland hardwood and wetland restoration, and works with landowners on wetland management. Jason received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Wildlife Management and Geographical Information Systems from Delta State University. He formerly worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Cranston Timberland Management. For The SWAMP Group, Jason is involved in site preparation, reforestation, tree-survival counts and report preparation.

Brian Ballinger, Conservation Easement Specialist, Mississippi Land Trust

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Brian Ballinger

Brian focuses on the development of conservation easements. He also oversees the monitoring of approximately 90,000 acres of conservation easements in Mississippi. Brian received a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Arkansas Tech University. He formerly worked for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. For The SWAMP Group, Brian oversees all conservation easements.

Alyene Boyles, Communications Specialist, Wildlife Mississippi

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Alyene Boyles

Alyene helps promote Wildlife Mississippi’s conservation projects. She coordinates press events and produces, designs and edits communications material. Alyene attended Mississippi Delta Community College. For The SWAMP Group, Alyene oversees communication needs, such as organizing and coordinating events and assisting in mitigation credit marketing.

Kelli Rexrode, Bookkeeper, Wildlife Mississippi

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Kelli Rexrode

Kelli tracks expenses, oversees billing and audits of conservation projects, and maintains project funds and accounts. Kelli attended Mississippi Delta Community College and Delta State University. For The SWAMP Group, Kelli manages all bookkeeping associated with mitigation banks.

Bruce Reid, Communications Consultant

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Bruce Reid

Bruce provides a range of communications services to Wildlife Mississippi. These include writing, editing, website development, photography and media interaction. He has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of conservation and journalism. Bruce has broad knowledge of habitat management, natural history and environmental regulation. He has received numerous writing awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. For most of his career, he has focused on ecosystem-scale conservation challenges in the Mississippi River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. Previously, Bruce held several positions with the National Audubon Society, including Lower Mississippi River Program Director, and he worked as a writer for daily newspapers in Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia. He received a bachelor’s degree in English with a Writing Concentration from Towson University. For The SWAMP Group, Bruce develops communication material and coordinates press contacts.

John Paul Woodley, Jr., Principal, Environmental and Energy Practice Group, Advantus Strategies

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John Paul Woodley, Jr.

J.P. has a broad range of experience in natural resource management, ecosystem restoration, fisheries management, wetlands regulation, environmental cleanup, pollution prevention and disaster recovery. For Advantus Strategies, he focuses on strategic public policy initiatives in environment, sustainable development, energy and water resource development. As a former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works he supervised all civil works functions of the service, including the activities of the Corps of Engineers. His most notable accomplishments in that position were overseeing the restoration of the Florida Everglades and reconstruction of the hurricane protection system for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Also during his tenure as a civilian manager with the military, he served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for the Environment. J.P. also served as Secretary of Natural Resources and Deputy Attorney General for Government Operations for the state of Virginia. He received a law degree and bachelor's degrees in Politics and Journalism from Washington and Lee University. For The SWAMP Group, J.P develops strategies for marketing and sale of mitigation credits for large-scale, public works projects.