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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.

Lawmakers target EPA’s water regs
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:45

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – July 16, 2014

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed two bills Wednesday aimed at undercutting the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates water pollution. One of the bills would give states more authority over water pollution permits and state permitting rules, while the other would block the agency’s joint proposal with the Army Corps of Engineers to redefine which waters it has jurisdiction over per the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.

Study: 100-Foot Wide Forest Keeps Streams Healthy
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:41

Contact: Beverly M. Payton – Stroud Water Research Center – June 17, 2014

Streamside forest buffers, long considered a best management practice, should be at least 100 feet wide on each side to adequately protect freshwater ecosystems from human activities according to an extensive scientific literature review published in the June issue of Journal of American Water Resources Association“That’s a lot. We know it’s a lot. But this is what the science is saying, and the reward for a wide forest buffer is huge,” said study author Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., director of the Stroud Water Research Center. While the environmental benefits of streamside forest buffers have been known for decades, there was no consensus about how wide an effective forest buffer should be, until now. For full story, click here.

TX: Could water be the next regulatory hot spot between TX & the EPA?
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:38

By Asher Price – Statesman.com – July 16, 2014

Just as Texas and federal regulators have patched up differences over air pollution, they could split on a regulatory proposal involving water. Ellen Gilinsky, a senior advisor for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was in Austin Wednesday as part of a national charm offensive as the EPA seeks public support as it broadens the definition of "Waters of the United States" to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways -- often known in these parts as intermittent streams. According to Gilinsky, 11.5 million Texans get drinking water from sources that depend, in part, on such streams, and the EPA proposal would stiffen regulations for discharging pollution into such waterways. For full blog post, click here.

WA: Mussels: Unlocking secrets to what's in the water
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:11

By Jeff Burnside – KOMO News  July 18, 2014 – Video

An unusual research study is helping to find many of the underlying causes for contaminated beaches and toxic fish; the very issues making headlines again this month and prompting Gov. Jay Inslee to unveil big new policy initiatives. On a chilly night last October, dozens of volunteers and scientists across the Puget Sound crunched along low tidelands to gather evidence in this unorthodox investigation. "There you have it!" says Chris Wilke, Executive Director of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. "Just where we left it." The stars of this unusual work? Mussels. "Good sign. They all look alive," says Wilke. Nine-thousand mussels were carefully placed weeks ago in more than 100 Washington sites, gathering in whatever contaminants lurk in the water around them. "Yes, we're right here on the busy Seattle waterfront and this is actually important wildlife habitat here," says Wilke, pointing to heavy industrial work in Smith Cove near the Interbay flatlands. The mussels are safely secured in a cooler. And within each mussel are the secrets of whatever contamination has been present in the water for the last 40 to 60 days. The Mussel Watch project has been done across the country for many years generating an important data base and timeline for contaminants. In Washington, this year's Mussel Watch project got a special grant to dramatically expand the number of test sites in a pilot project. For full story and to view video, click here

PA: Intersex fish indicate chemical problems in Pa. rivers
Monday, 21 July 2014 00:10

By Sandy Bauers – Philly.com  July 17, 2014

A government researcher who has studied intersex fish in the Potomac River now has found them in three Pennsylvania river basins, including the Delaware. The fish - males that develop immature eggs and other signs of feminization - are considered symptomatic of estrogenic chemicals in the water. Their discovery in the state indicates that effects of hormones and hormone-like compounds are more widespread than thought. The mutant fish could bespeak a deeper crisis, said Vicki Blazer, a U.S. Geological Survey fish biologist who conducted the Pennsylvania study. "Fish are a good indicator of the health of the aquatic environment," she said. "They are always in it." For full story, click here.

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