News

ASWM has been a valuable source for wetland-related news for over 10 years. It publishes the monthly "Wetland Breaking News," which is widely read as a national publication. News items are also posted under major topic categories, for example, climate change, Gulf oil spill, state wetland program news and job postings. These can be found in the drop-down menu below "News," or select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read. In Wetland Breaking Newsaddition to publishing WBN, the Association also offers original content with announcements, legal analysis, quirky wetland stories and more on its weekly blog, The Compleat Wetlander.

By James O'Hanlon – Australian Geographic – March 16, 2015

Alex Goad, an industrial design student at Monash University in Melbourne has developed what he calls the Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS). Each branched module is built from concrete and coated with textured ceramic which provides the perfect surface for marine plants and animals to colonise. Normally coral reefs are built upon a foundation of calcium-rich coral skeletons. It can take centuries for this coral 'rubble' to build up and form an ideal habitat for a flourishing reef. Climate change, pollution and unsustainable fishing practices threaten to destroy these foundations. Large storms and destructive fishing methods, such as dynamite fishing, can destroy reefs in an instant, killing their inhabitants and removing their foundations. The barren landscape left behind leaves nowhere for reef-building animals, such as corals and sponges, to settle. But the new MARS system can greatly reduce the time it takes to build that foundation. For full article, click here.

 

By Puneet Kollipara – ScienceInsider – March 3, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as this week to approve two controversial, Republican-backed bills that would change how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses science and scientific advice to inform its policies. Many Democrats, scientific organizations, and environmental groups are pushing back, calling the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry. White House advisers today announced that they will recommend that President Barack Obama veto the bills if they reach his desk in their current form. For full story, click here.

Contact: Justin Fritscher – USDA – February 26, 2015

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on its interim final rule for the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), designed to help producers protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs into ACEP to make it easier for diverse agricultural landowners to fully benefit from conservation initiatives. "Since 2009, USDA has worked with producers and private landowners to enroll a record number of acres in conservation programs. This interim final rule takes into account recommendations from agricultural landowners and conservation stakeholders about how to better streamline and enhance conservation easement processes," Vilsack said. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers ACEP, a voluntary program created in the 2014 Farm bill to protect and restore critical wetlands on private and tribal lands through the wetland reserve easement component. ACEP also encourages farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest landowners to keep their private and tribal land in agricultural use through the agricultural land easement component. ACEP also conserves grasslands, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland. For full news release, click here.


ASWM is keeping an eye on the development of the 2012 Farm Bill. On this page you can find updates on the Farm Bill as well as agricultural news in the context of wetlands and related issues. For Farm Bill 2012 resources on the web, click here.


Read news from each state by clicking on the states in the map above or the list of states below.

In addition to the job postings below, ASWM has compiled a list of links to water resources and/or wetland-related job postings.  Click here.  To submit a wetland-related job announcement to the ASWM site, send the job title, a brief description, a link to the full description, closing date, relevant contact info and website to sharon@aswm.org