Contacts: Brain Hires and Connie Barclay – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – February 19, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (together the Services) have updated a long-standing policy on the role of state fish and wildlife agencies in implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The updated policy, developed in coordination with state fish and wildlife agencies, re-affirms the commitment for engagement and collaboration between the Services and state agencies on many aspects of ESA implementation. For full press release, click here.

Contact: Robert Daguillard – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – February 19, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released DWMAPS – the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters. This robust, online mapping tool provides the public, water system operators, state programs, and federal agencies with critical information to help them safeguard the sources of America’s drinking water. DWMAPS allows users to learn about their watershed and understand more about their water supplier. DWMAPS also lets users see if sources of their drinking water are polluted and if there are possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply. DWMAPS can even guide users to ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community. For full news release, click here.

By Jeffrey Mervis – cience/AAAS – February 11, 2016

As expected, the House of Representatives yesterday passed HR 3293 by a 236 to 178 vote. Lawmakers voted largely along party lines, with just seven Democrats voting in favor of the bill and four Republicans against. After the Wednesday vote, leaders of the House science committee’s majority and minority blocs issued dueling statements. For full article, click here.

By Timothy B. Wheeler – Bay Journal – February 17, 2016 

 People wanting to know if the Bay is being saved now have a handy new place online where they can check. The Chesapeake Bay Program has launched “Chesapeake Progress,” a website designed to provide “accurate, up-to-date and accessible information” about what’s been done to achieve the restoration goals and outcomes spelled out under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. For full article, click here.

The Associated Press – abc News – February 9, 2016

Obama's budget for the Agriculture Department includes a proposed $12 billion over 10 years to help feed schoolchildren from low-income families during the summer. Nearly 22 million low-income children receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year, but just a fraction of those kids receive meals when school is out. Benefits under the proposed program would be loaded onto a debit card that can only be used for food at grocery stores. For full story, click here.