By Jenny Hopkinson – POLITICO – May 27, 2015
The Obama administration announced new protections Wednesday for thousands of waterways and wetlands, pushing ahead despite a fierce counterattack from powerhouse industries like agriculture, oil and home-building — and their supporters in Congress. On its face, the Waters of the United States rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. But opponents condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch. For full story, click here.
By Phil Taylor and Corbin Hiar – E&E Publishing, LLC – May 19, 2015
In a move that drew rare cheers from Republicans, industry groups and states, the Obama administration yesterday announced a suite of changes that it claims would make Endangered Species Act decisions more efficient, collaborative and transparent to the public. The joint rulemaking by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service appears aimed at mollifying conservatives in Congress who have pledged to overhaul the ESA. For full story, click here.
By Rona Kobell – environment 360 – May 15, 2015
If the world is our oyster, where are the oysters in our world? Not in the places we’re used to finding them. Louisiana once supplied most of the United States’
oysters, but Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have slashed the state’s oyster production. The Pacific Northwest was the U.S.’s second-largest oyster supplier, but ocean acidification is hurting those populations. In Florida, Apalachicola Bay oyster production has fallen by two-thirds because of freshwater diversions. Globally, oyster populations are in serious trouble, with more than 90 percent of the world’s oyster reefs having been lost in the past century, according to a 2011 study. For full story, click here.
By Timothy Cama and Cristina Marcos – The Hill – May 12, 2015
The House voted Tuesday to overturn an Obama administration rule aimed at redefining which streams, ponds, wetlands and other waterways are under its jurisdiction. Passage of the legislation, which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Secretary of the Army to withdraw the proposed regulation within 30 days and craft a new one, fell largely along party lines by a vote of 261-155. The “waters of the United States” rule, which the EPA plans to make final this spring, has led to charges the administration is dramatically expanding its powers over water and would regulate puddles, decorative ponds, ditches and dry creekbeds. For full blog post, click here.
Ramsar – February 16, 2015
We are delighted to announce the winners of the Ramsar Awards 2015. This year’s entrants came from all corners of the globe and following a rigorous and objective selection procedure a list of nominees was presented to the final selection committee. The shortlisted candidates included the winners below, as well as nominees from Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Denmark, Peru, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar. All presented outstanding applications, with individuals demonstrating a diverse commitment to better management of wetlands including the re-engaging of local populations through environmental education; pollution prevention; regeneration and restoration of previously drained or polluted sites; using innovative technology to improve wetland sites; and most importantly of all, personal endeavour. For the list of winner, click here.