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Association of State Wetland Managers

Wetland Breaking News

WBN: February 28, 2012

Wetland Breaking News

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EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Obama Administration Takes Important Step toward Protecting America’s Waterways
  • ASFPM agrees: Some gulf oil spill fines should go to gulf restoration
  • Supreme Court Case Highlights Need for Regulatory 'Challenge Flag,' Says Veteran Enviro. Attorney
  • New and Revised Nationwide Permits for Dredge and Fill Activities
  • States Begin Reviewing Section 404 Nationwide Permits
  • Rebuilding Wetlands by Managing the Muddy Mississippi
  • New international plan balances lake and wetland water

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Is the President’s Budget Dead on Arrival? Maybe Not
  • Coalition: President’s Budget ‘Keeps Great Lakes Restoration on Track’
  • EPA Releases Climate Ready Estuaries Progress Report
  • National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, Plants

STATE NEWS

  • Vermont landowners benefit from wetland program development
  • MD: Between the Rivers: Discovering Maryland’s Estuarine Secrets
  • CA: New Wetlands Park Replaces Brownfield in Distressed Neighborhood
  • TN: Payments to move creeks, destroy wetlands criticized
  • ME: Maine agencies promote invasive species awareness
  • KS: Wetlands manager honored by Kansas Wildlife Federation
  • OR: Pheasants Forever banquet, wetlands project two priorities for TVCC students
  • WI: Assembly passes relaxed wetlands regulation
  • FL: Legislation would steer DOT wetlands money to private industry with poor track record

    WETLAND SCIENCE

    • South Florida Alliance Gears Up for Climate Change
    • NOAA Small Business Innovative Research Funding - Blue Carbon
    • Study: Salt water can't halt invasive pythons advance across Florida

    RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

    • EPA Announces New Green Infrastructure Website & Technical Assistance
    • Playa Lakes Joint Venture: New Website

    WETLAND SCIENCE

    • Warming climate will add to habitat woes for Pacific NW salmon
    • Iowa Universities Take Action Against Climate Change
    • VT Agency: Lessons on Climate Change From Irene
    • Tropical Storm Damages May Quadruple by 2100
    • Free UK-based tool predicts climate impacts on wetlands

    POTPOURRI

    • Coastal Restoration: A Smart Investment
    • Calhoun Point Project Highlights Importance of Wetlands (USA)
    • World Wetlands Day: February 2nd – Happy Underrated Water Body Day!
    • The Mississippi River Delta Must Be Restored
    • FL: Environmentalists see Okeechobee Mudfest as down and dirty
    • ASFPM Offers 2nd Annual Collegiate Student Paper Competition in San Antonio!
    • Abstract Submittal Deadline is March 10, 2012
    • Society of Wetland Scientists Call for News Items

    MEETINGS, WEBINARS AND TRAINING

    • Webinar: Climate Change & Invaders
    • Climate Tools Cafe Webinar
    • Dirty Energy: From Fracking to Tar Sands
    • Sustainable Water Resources and Climate Change Planning Course
    • RMLUI's 21st Annual Land Use Conference
    • 77th Annual North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference
    • Webinar: Making Jurisdictional Determinations
    • North Carolina Wetland Delineation Classes
    • Swamp School Baltimore Wetland Workshop
    • Wetland Construction Workshop
    • Clean Water Act Section 404: Nationwide and Other Specialized Permits
    • 2012 Pennsylvania Wetland Delineation Training
    • 2012 National River Management Symposium
    • Understanding Riparian Processes
    • Natural Channel Design Review Checklist Workshop
    • 2012 International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation
    • State of the Coast 2012
    • Wetland Boot Camp
    • 2012 SWS PNW Chapter Annual Meeting
    • Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Conference


    EDITOR'S NOTE

    Dear friends and colleagues,

    Last week on February 23rd, (my 35th birthday) it was Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. As a granddaughter of a mechanical engineer who wrote the book on metal removal technology, I thought this was great. Robert P. Chaplin was interviewed in Cutting Tool Engineering Magazine in 2005 about his book, Metal Removal Technology, which has since been integrated as a text book in mechanical engineering programs. I remember when I was in grade school, and my Grampa was drafting early versions of his book. He let me play with copies of his draft, thinking I’d be interested in drawing pictures on the blank side. To his surprise, I was far more interested in the side with charts, diagrams and formulas—all that he had devised for teaching employees at General Electric and engineering students in universities. I liked to take these “metal removal technology” spreadsheets on a clipboard with me to elementary school, where I told my classmates I was “working for my grandfather’s company,” and used a highlighter to “go over the numbers.” A few of my third-grade classmates asked me if he was hiring.  I shrugged and told them, “it depends on your qualifications.”

    ASWM is still looking for photos of wetland professionals working in the field or in the office, doing a range of activities from regulation to restoration, mapping to monitoring, etc. If you send us a photo, please give us a photo caption, photo credit information and permission to use on the ASWM website and in its e-newsletters, if allowable, and an approximate date of the photo.

    Please join our network on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/association-of-state-wetland-managers-inc- In addition, if you have worked with ASWM in the past, please consider writing a brief review of the Association on the GreatNonprofits website.

    It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week. (February 26 - March 3, 2012)

    Leah Stetson
    Editor, Wetland Breaking News

    EDITOR'S CHOICE

    Obama Administration Takes Important Step toward Protecting America’s Waterways

    Ecowatch – February 22, 2012
    From the Chesapeake Bay to the Puget Sound to the many smaller waters in between, America’s waterways are today one step closer to protection under the Clean Water Act, as the Obama administration is now in the final stage of issuing guidelines to restore critical Clean Water Act protections to the nation’s waterways. “This is an important step forward for America’s waters and the people who depend on them and enjoy them,” said Shelley Vinyard, federal clean water advocate for Environment America. For full article, click here. For a related article, click here.  For a related article, click here.

    ASFPM agrees: Some gulf oil spill fines should go to gulf restoration

    By Elizabeth Skree - Environmental Defense Fund Blog – February 27, 2012
    The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), which has chapters in each of the five Gulf Coast states damaged by the 2010 Gulf oil spill, says it would be appropriate if Congress dedicated some  of the spill fines to restore the gulf. “Recognizing that major funds are needed to support reconstruction of Gulf Coast high hazard areas devastated by the recent oil spill, the Association of State Floodplain Managers views the contribution of at least some portion of the gulf oil spill fines to gulf reconstruction to be appropriate, as the RESTORE Act would do,” said Larry A. Larson, P.E., CFM, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers. For full blog post, click here.

    Supreme Court Case Highlights Need for Regulatory 'Challenge Flag,' Says Veteran Enviro. Attorney

    By James A. Kosch – MarketWatch – February 23, 2012
    The U.S. Supreme Court's willingness to take the case of a family that was sanctioned for filling a wetland on its property could signal rising judicial concern about whether environmental agencies are overstepping their bounds, writes LeClairRyan attorney James A. Kosch in a Feb. 13 column published by CorporateComplianceInsights.com. In the column ("Will Regulated Corporations Earn the Right to Throw a Red Challenge Flag?"), the veteran environmental attorney outlines how provisions of key regulations--including the Clean Water and Clean Air acts--have been interpreted to mean that regulated parties have no right to go to court and challenge expensive and difficult directions handed to them by the EPA or other agencies. For full story, click here.

    New and Revised Nationwide Permits for Dredge and Fill Activities

    By Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP – February 23, 2012
    The 2012 Nationwide Permits include two new permits and 48 reissued permits, 25 of which contain revisions. The two new permits authorize construction of certain land-based and water-based renewable energy facilities. The permit revisions affect a variety of activities, including residential, commercial, and industrial development; flood control; stormwater management; mining; and agriculture and aquaculture. For full article, click here. For a related blog post, click here. For a related article, click here. For a related article, click here.

    States Begin Reviewing Section 404 Nationwide Permits

    By Jeanne Christie – The Compleat Wetlander – February 16, 2012
    Every five years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) reissues the nationwide permits as required by the Clean Water Act.  This week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) posted the revised and renewed nationwide permits that will be in effect for the next five years.   The Corps is reissuing 48 permits and adding two new ones.  The existing nationwide permits, which expire on March 18, 2012 will be replace by the new nationwide permits, to take effect March 19, 2012. These new nationwide permits will be published in the Federal Register on or about February 21, 2012.  For full blog post, click here

    Rebuilding Wetlands by Managing the Muddy Mississippi

    By Carolyn Gramling – Science Magazine – February 3, 2012
    Coastal managers and scientists have struggled to find ways to restore water flow through the wetlands of the Mississippi delta and bring back the sediment, supply of which has been cut in half by human-made river channels, levees, and dams intended to control the river and save coastal communities from flooding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza spillway during the 2011 Mississippi River floods to divert floodwaters, which offered a rare opportunity to conduct a large-scale natural experiment in real time. The floodwaters did carry enough sediment to help rebuild the wetlands, but that material didn't always stay where it could do the most good. However, researchers gained valuable insights—including ideas about how spillway design can help produce more targeted sediment deposits, and what volume of flow through the spillways might be required for effective wetland rebuilding. For full story, click here.

    New international plan balances lake and wetland water

    Mixed Waters (blog) – February 19, 2012
    When the International Joint Commission, a group founded to manage shared U.S. and Canadian waters, approved a final regulation plan for Lake Ontario’s overflowing water levels in 1963, they had good intentions. After record-breaking floods in the 1950′s, the IJC made the unrealistic assessment that they could regulate the lake’s water levels within a four-foot range. Suddenly, the area became a development hotspot and real estate, shipping and recreation markets began to grow, affecting lake and river levels. This also affected wetland water levels for decades, affecting plant diversity and ecosystem balance. For full story, click here.

    NATIONAL NEWS

    Is the President’s Budget Dead on Arrival? Maybe Not

    OMB Watch – February 22, 2012
    On Feb. 13, budget season officially began with the release of the president’s budget, which was immediately heralded as dead on arrival. “If there was ever a year to ignore the president’s annual budget proposal, this is it,” proclaimed the National Journal. While this may be the fate of the president’s tax proposals, many of the program funding levels in his budget have a chance of becoming law. In his budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013, Obama has proposed an ambitious agenda designed to highlight the differences between himself and his political opponents. At the forefront of this agenda is a slew of taxes on upper-income taxpayers, which are destined to face a very skeptical Congress. For full article, click here. To go directly to the President’s Budget, click here.

    Coalition: President’s Budget ‘Keeps Great Lakes Restoration on Track’

    Healthy Lakes/Healthy Lives - February 13, 2012
    President Barack Obama released his 2013 budget today, which contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative –maintaining funds for the program at the level appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the fiscal year 2012 budget. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports solutions to some of the most urgent threats to the Great Lakes, including toxic contamination, polluted run-off, aquatic invasive species, and loss of habitat and wetlands. The program is widely hailed as re-igniting the nation’s effort to restore the Great Lakes—a resource that more than 30 million people depend on for their drinking water.  Over the last three years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $1 billion to restoration programs in the eight states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. For full article, click here.

    EPA Releases Climate Ready Estuaries Progress Report

    January 30, 2012
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the publication of the "Climate Ready Estuaries 2011 Progress Report," which describes program accomplishments as well as the new National Estuary Program projects launched during 2011. The progress report also uses examples from Climate Ready Estuaries projects started in 2008-2010 to show how the risk management paradigm can be used for climate change adaptation. Climate Ready Estuaries is an EPA program intended to help the National Estuary Programs and coastal managers plan for climate change. Climate Ready Estuaries works with National Estuary Programs to: (1) assess climate change vulnerabilities, (2) develop and implement adaptation strategies, and (3) engage and educate stakeholders. The "Climate Ready Estuaries 2011 Progress Report" is available
    here.

    National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, Plants

    Contact: David T. Eisenhauer – USFWS – January 19, 2012
    In partnership with state, tribal, and federal agency partners, the Obama Administration today released the first draft national strategy to help decision makers and resource managers prepare for and help reduce the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems, and the people and economies that depend on them. The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, available for public review and comment through March 5, 2012, can be found, here. To read full press release, click here.

    STATE NEWS

    Vermont landowners benefit from wetland program development

    Ducks Unlimited February 28, 2012
    Ducks Unlimited is assessing projects for landowners in Vermont to connect them with funding to help restore wetlands. DU was awarded a $77,000 grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation Ecosystem Restoration Program to continue its work promoting, developing and implementing wetlands restoration projects in the Lake Champlain Basin portion of Vermont. For full story, click here.

    MD: Between the Rivers: Discovering Maryland’s Estuarine Secrets

    By John Christopher Fine – Epoch Times – February 26, 2012
    Native Americans settled the lowlands between what is now the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers of Maryland. “Acquaskack Indians, of the Algonquin Nation, were here 12–16,000 years before the white man came,” said Wayne E. Clark, a veteran Maryland archaeologist.  “When John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay and sailed up the pristine rivers that formed the jutting peninsula of land in 1608, he was amazed by the abundance of natural resources and rich forests that bordered the shores.” For full article, click here.

    CA: New Wetlands Park Replaces Brownfield in Distressed Neighborhood

    By Kaid Benfield – NRDC Blog – February 27, 2012
    A densely packed, distressed neighborhood in South Los Angeles has a new, nine-acre park that will include a 4.5-acre wetland, filtering stormwater while bringing much-needed green space into a community historically plagued by nearby industrial facilities.  Even better, the park replaces a former brownfield, a paved bus and rail storage yard long maintained by the Metropolitan Transit agency.  The park will include native trees and plant gardens, walking trails and ponds.  The grand opening was held earlier this month. For full article, click here.

    TN: Payments to move creeks, destroy wetlands criticized

    By Anne Paine – The Tennessean – February 27, 2012
    Programs that allow developers to destroy a wetland or move a creek if they pay for mitigation elsewhere have members of the environmental and business communities complaining. The latest controversy erupted after the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation placed a bill before the state legislature to codify the programs in state law. They have been in operation for several years, and TDEC has called the bill a mere housekeeping matter. But it has unleashed a storm of questions about where the money goes, whether the environment is served and whether property owners downstream suffer. The state’s policing of the changes that the program allows is under challenge, too. For full story, click here.

    ME: Maine agencies promote invasive species awareness

    WGME News – February 26, 2012
    Maine's natural resource agencies are calling attention to the problem of invasive species during National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The week, which kicks off Sunday, features activities, briefings, workshops and events addressing invasive species issues at the local, state and national levels. In Maine, the departments of Conservation, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Inland fisheries and Wildlife, and Marine Resources are promoting activities to raise awareness about the dangers of invasive species. The most destructive invasive species in Maine is the green crab, which eats soft-shell clams. Other invasive species include aquatic plants like milfoil that can clog up lakes, and the plant known as purple loosestrife, which degrades wetlands and destroys habitat. For more information, click here.

    KS: Wetlands manager honored by Kansas Wildlife Federation

    By Elvyn Jones – LJWorld – February 25, 2012
    Sitting at a table Friday morning, Roger Boyd concentrated on winding a small strip of paper to form a wheel for a model tractor. At 64 years of age, Boyd wasn’t building an elaborate model as some retirement hobby. The tractor is part of a display of the future Baker Wetlands Visitor Center. The center is to be built with money the Kansas Department of Transportation is providing for its intention for extending Kansas Highway 10 through a portion of the Baker Wetlands that Boyd has managed for the past 24 years. For full story, click here.

    OR: Pheasants Forever banquet, wetlands project two priorities for TVCC students

    By Jessica Keller – Argus Observer – February 23, 2012
    The Pheasants Forever banquet is just one project the Natural Resources Department is busy taking part in. The second big project is the creation of a wetland on a piece of property the college owns situated near the Ontario Readiness Center. Nichols and new Natural Resource/GIS instructor Dorothy Tinkler said with the development of the wetland, they hope it will be a valuable resource to the college and the community in the form of an outdoor classroom.

    Tinkler said an application has been submitted to the Oregon Department of State Lands to get the area declared a wetland, which, if approved, would open up possible funding opportunities for the college. For full article, click here.

    WI: Assembly passes relaxed wetlands regulation

    By Jason Stein – Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel – February 21, 2012
    In another late-night session Tuesday, the Assembly approved major changes to wetlands regulations to ease restrictions over development in Wisconsin. The bill passed on a voice vote and now goes to Gov. Scott Walker, who has said he will sign it. The Assembly also unanimously passed legislation Tuesday adding cellphone text messages to the state's no-call list. The vote Tuesday on the wetlands legislation follows action in the state Senate on Feb. 15, when senators voted, 17-15, to approve the wetlands bill. Realtors, builders and property rights advocates pushed for the legislation, saying current law hamstrings development. The aim, they said, was to balance environmental interests and the rights of property owners. But groups such as the Wisconsin Wetlands Association and Trout Unlimited said the changes leaned too heavily toward allowing wetland destruction and would cause long-term harm in many locales. In a statement, Walker said he looked forward to signing the wetlands bill. For full article, click here. For related article, go to: Wetlands bill passes Assembly despite conservationists’ concerns. For related article in Wisconsin’s Business News, go to: Clean Wisconsin: Wisconsin Assembly weakens wetland protections, click here

    FL: Legislation would steer DOT wetlands money to private industry with poor track record

    By Craig Pittman – Tampa Bay Times – February 19, 2012
    A bill to take millions of dollars away from state agencies and hand it to a private industry with a poor track record has been zooming through the Legislature. The state Department of Transportation has spent $169 million in the last four years trying to make up for the wetlands that have been paved over for construction of roads and bridges. More than two-thirds of that — $116 million — went to the state's five water management districts, which were supposed to use it to create wetlands or restore wetlands that had been drained. For full story, click here.

    RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS

    EPA Announces New Green Infrastructure Website & Technical Assistance

    Building on EPA’s 2011 Strategic Agenda, EPA's Green Infrastructure Program is pleased to unveil a new website and to announce the availability of technical assistance to 10-20 partner communities. The new website repackages and expands upon its previous website to showcase EPA's research on green infrastructure and to serve as a gateway to the wealth of resources developed by governmental agencies, academia, nonprofits, and the private sector.  Stakeholders will be able to consult our website for up-to-date information on green infrastructure publications, tools, and opportunities. For more information, click here.

    Playa Lakes Joint Venture: New Website

    The Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) has recently launched a new website. Click here for more information.

    WETLAND SCIENCE

    Warming climate will add to habitat woes for Pacific NW salmon

    By Rebecca Lindsey – NOAA ClimateWatch Magazine – February 23, 2012
    Each summer, migrating salmon in the Pacific Northwest face thermal "roadblocks"—stretches of rivers where the water temperature exceeds about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). That might sound like a chilly swim to us, but for a wide range of salmon species, it's the temperature at which conditions can go from being merely stressful to potentially fatal. Faced with these thermal roadblocks, fish are forced to seek out pockets of deeper, cooler water and wait for summer's heat to fade before they resume their journey to their spawning grounds. For full story, click here.

    Iowa Universities Take Action Against Climate Change

    By James Q. Lynch – Eastern Iowa Government – February 21, 2012
    Scientists from 28 Iowa colleges and universities are calling on state officials to develop policy and take action to address the causes and effects of climate change in Iowa. Forty-four scientists — including Prof. Gene Takle, director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University – warned in a letter to lawmakers that “changes in rainfall patterns and other climate indicators have emerged as the latest and potentially the most serious challenge to Iowans’ lives and livelihoods.”  They call for state and local officials to “acknowledge the overwhelming balance of evidence … develop appropriate policy responses (and) develop local and statewide strategies to adapt to near-term changes in climate.” Iowans should know that Iowa scientists “understand that climate change is real and is already affecting Iowans and Iowa’s economy,” said David Courard-Hauri, Drake University professor of environmental science and policy. For full story, click here.

    VT Agency: Lessons on Climate Change From Irene

    By Dave Gram – The Republic – February 13, 2012
    Vermont needs to pay more attention to its rivers and may need to rethink development along their banks, the state's environmental agency said Monday in a report on lessons from the widespread flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Irene. "Climate data show that Vermont is experiencing more extreme rain events, and that trend is predicted to continue," according to the report from the Climate Change Team at the Agency of Natural Resources. More frequent heavy rainstorms are "expected to pose a recurrent challenge to our communities." For full story, click here.

    Tropical Storm Damages May Quadruple by 2100

    By Matt McDermott – Treehugger – February 1, 2012
    The combined impact of climate change and expanding human population means that tropical cyclones will cause more than four times the damage in 2100 than they do today, increasing from $26 billion to $109 billion. New research published in Nature Climate Change shows that as the population grows to 9 billion people, something expected to happen by perhaps 2040, more people and more infrastructure will be put in the path of tropical cyclones. That alone is projected to double the damage from these storms, $56 billion by the end of the century. Climate change is project to nearly double again the damage cyclones cause, adding $53 billion a year to extreme weather bill. For full story, click here.

    Free UK-based tool predicts climate impacts on wetlands

    By Sarah-Jayne Russell –The Environmentalist – February 3, 2012
    The free assessment tool, created by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), uses data from the UK Climate Projections programme to forecast the effect changing rainfall patterns, increasing temperatures and rising sea levels will have on wetlands. For full story, click here.

    POTPOURRI

    Coastal Restoration: A Smart Investment

    Opinion by Mark Tercek – Huffington Post – February 22, 2012
    With a potential BP settlement for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill possible as early as this week, Gulf Coast communities are speaking up, urging Congress to quickly pass the RESTORE Act. Passage of this bill would ensure that fines for the spill are dedicated to restoring the communities, environment and economy of the Gulf. I hope that lawmakers hear this message. And in a time of tough budget decisions, I hope they also hear the broader argument underlying the strong public support for the RESTORE Act -- that funding for targeted coastal restoration is a smart investment that produces very significant returns. For full opinion article, click here.

    Calhoun Point Project Highlights Importance of Wetlands (USA)

    Dredging Today – February 20, 2012
    From the Irish town of Wicklow, to the countries of Nigeria, Oman, Dubai, Australia, Ghana and the U.S., people around the world gathered Feb. 2, 2012 to celebrate the importance wetlands play in sustaining the environment. The day marked the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, which provided a framework for international cooperation on wetland management and conservation. This year’s theme, “Wetlands and Tourism- A Great Experience,” amplifies the significance U.S. Army Corps of Engineer projects, such as the Calhoun Point Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Project in the St. Louis District, have on both the environment and the local economy. For full story, click here.

    World Wetlands Day: February 2nd – Happy Underrated Water Body Day!

    By Liz Judge – EarthJustice Blog – February 2, 2012
    In addition to being Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 is World Wetlands Day. Say what? An international day to celebrate swamps? If you’re scratching your head wondering why in the world we’d throw a party for swamps (and bogs and marshes and fens and floodplains and other wet, buggy places), here’s why: Wetlands protect us. They’re our best buffer from floods and storms, better than any levees we could ever build -- after all, an acre of wetland can store 1–1.5 million gallons of floodwater. They are also our best pollution filter, absorbing the nasty stuff we can't drink and easing the workload for our man-made drinking water sanitation systems. And they keep our ecosystems alive, providing healthy habitats and resting places to the birds, critters and plants we need in order to continue to thrive in our own environment, wherever that may be. For full blog, click here.

    The Mississippi River Delta Must Be Restored

    By Randy Fertel – January 27, 2012
    The Mississippi River Delta loses the equivalent of a football field of marshland every hour as it melts into the Gulf of Mexico. Over the last 75 years, we’ve lost the equivalent of the state of Delaware to erosion. We have a chance to stop this disaster and protect the delta, where much of the nation’s seafood is spawned. But for this to happen, Congress must turn over billions in penalties, expected from the BP oil spill, to the Gulf of Mexico states for the restoration of the delta’s wetlands. To read full story, click here.

    FL: Environmentalists see Okeechobee Mudfest as down and dirty

    By Christine Stapleton – Palm Beach Post – February 18, 2012
    Although Debra Sales has not paid a $9,000 fine for destroying wetlands during two mud-­bogging events on her property last year, the South Florida Water Management District allowed Sales to host another mud-bogging event this weekend with hundreds of monster trucks, mud buggies and all-terrain vehicles plowing through the same wetlands. Mudfest, billed as the World's Largest Mud Party, has repeatedly missed monitoring deadlines and filed incomplete reports since 2003, when the district fined Sales $16,540 for holding the event on the 52-acre wetlands without a permit, according to district records. For full story, click here.

    ASFPM Offers 2nd Annual Collegiate Student Paper Competition in San Antonio!

    Abstract Submittal Deadline is March 10, 2012
    Every spring the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) conducts an annual technical conference that attracts over 1,000 people for a week-long event that showcases the state-of-the-art in techniques, programs, resources, materials, equipment, accessories, and services to accomplish flood mitigation and other community goals. The 2nd annual collegiate student paper competition will be a part of the program at the 2012 ASFPM Conference May 20-25 in San Antonio, Texas. Teams consisting of one or more students are encouraged to submit abstracts on subjects relating to floodplain or stormwater management at the 2012 conference. The goal of this program is to encourage student engagement in floodplain management topics and to identify talented individuals with the potential to make lasting contributions to the Body of Knowledge of floodplain management. Any full-time undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a floodplain management related field at any college or university is eligible to submit. Abstracts should be submitted by March 10, 2012 electronically as a PDF file to ASFPM Outreach & Events Manager Diane Brown at diane@floods.org. Abstracts will be reviewed by an ASFPM panel and three semifinalists will be invited to submit a full paper which will be due by May 1, 2011.  For more information, click here.

    Society of Wetland Scientists Call for News Items

    Wetland Science and Practice, the newsletter for the Society of Wetland Scientists, is looking for news of interest, announcements and other items. Please send news to Editor Andy Cole, cac13@psu.edu by Monday, March 12.

    MEETINGS AND TRAINING

    Webinar: Climate Change & Invaders

    March 20, 2012 from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.  The Ohio State University Climate Change Outreach Team will present “Climate Change & Invaders: Sources of Uncertainty in Managing the Great Lakes Region”.  Cindy Kolar of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fisheries and Aquatic Endangered Resources Program will discuss invasive species found in the Great Lakes region, the potential impact of climate change on these species, and research and management adaptations that will become necessary to address invasives under future climate conditions in the region. Attendance is free, but registration is required to receive log-in information. For information and to register, click here.

    Climate Tools Cafe Webinar

    This two-hour climate tools webinar will be held on May 3, 2012 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. The webinar will introduce three models and tools that can help planners and others address climate adaptations in their communities. On the agenda are CanVis, a NOAA visualization program to “see” potential impacts from coastal development or sea level changes; N-SPECT, a NOAA tool to find potential water quality impacts from land uses and climate change; and Networked Neighborhoods for Eco-Conservation Online, an MSU web-based system that shares ideas to reduce stormwater runoff. Contact Jill Jentes at 614-292-8975 or Lois Wolfson at 517-353-9222 with any questions. For more information and to register, click here.

    Dirty Energy: From Fracking to Tar Sands

    March 21, 2012 from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Vermont Law School professors Pat Parenteau and Jack Tuholske will discuss legal and environmental concerns related to shale gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and tar sands extraction, including the proposed Trailbreaker and Keystone pipelines, water pollution, the impacts on climate change, Vermont legislation restricting fracking and the relationship of these fuel sources to state and local efficiency and renewables efforts. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be held at the Porter Community Room, Montshire Museum in Norwich, Vermont. For more information, click here.

    Sustainable Water Resources and Climate Change Planning Course

    April 9-22, 2012. Participants in this online course will gain the knowledge and skills needed to apply sustainability principles to water resources and climate change planning in their community. The course consists of three instructional modules: Understanding Sustainability, Sustainable Approaches to Water Infrastructure & Climate Change Planning, and Engaging Stakeholders in Planning for Sustainability. A two-week experience requiring about 8 hours of work, this online “anytime” format gives you the flexibility to fit the course into your schedule. For more information and to register, click here.

    RMLUI's 21st Annual Land Use Conference

    March 1-2, 2012. Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute conference: THE WILDERNESS CITY: Nature, Culture and Economy in the Next West will be held at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Denver, Colorado. Sessions include Cities and Social Equity; Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; Cutting Edge Innovations; Economic Development; Energy Land Conservation and Ecosystem Services; and Water. For more information, click here.

    77th Annual North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference

    March 12-17, 2012. The Wildlife Management Institute will hold the 77th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference to be held at the Hilton Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia. Join other industry leaders dedicated to the conservation, enhancement and management of North America's wildlife and other natural resources. Highlights of the conference include: plenary session with featured speakers, concurrent special sessions on key topics to natural resources management, agency, organization, committee and working group meetings, workshops, and special events & receptions. For more information and to register, click here.

    Webinar: Making Jurisdictional Determinations

    March 14 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Presented by The Swamp School this webinar will be held on March 14 from 1:00 p.m -3:00 p.m. Ever wonder how the Corps and EPA make Jurisdictional Determinations?  This live webinar Making Jurisdictional Determinations will present the latest rules, regulations and policies on this important aspect of wetland delineations. For more information, click here.

    North Carolina Wetland Delineation Classes

    March 19-23, 2012. The Swamp School will hold the North Carolina Wetland Delineation Classes to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina. This traditional 38-hour wetlands delineation class covers the current and proposed USACOE wetlands delineation methods as well as the recent Rapanos decision. This online version has been accepted as suitable training for the various States that require wetland delineation certification training. For more information, click here.

    Swamp School Baltimore Wetland Workshop

    March 27, 2012 from 9 a.m-4 p.m. The Swamp School is pleased to announce that its 2012 Wetland Regional Supplements class will be held at The Conference Center, Maritime Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.  This one-day seminar will get you up to speed on all of the latest changes and updates to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation methods.  This class is perfect for wetland professionals who have been struggling with the new Regional Supplements.  This is a great opportunity to go beyond the figuring it out on your own.  You will be able to ask questions and clarify assumptions. Even if you are new to wetlands work, this class will get you up to speed on what you need to know.  The session will be going over both the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Regional Supplement and the Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Regional Supplement. For more information and to register, click here.

    Wetland Construction Workshop

    March 28-29, 2012. Roane-Jackson Wetland Construction Workshop will be held in Roy, West Virginia. Participants will be involved in the design, construction, and renovation of ephemeral wetlands for amphibians, reptiles, and for bats. For information, click here.

    Clean Water Act Section 404: Nationwide and Other Specialized Permits

    April 11, 2012 from 9:00 a.m-4:30 p.m. U.C. Davis Extension is offering Clean Water Act Section 404 Nationwide and other Specialized Permits course to be held at Sutter Square Galleria, Sacramento, California. Understand and comply with requirements of the most widely used set of permits for projects in wetlands and other waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which requires projects to first obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the placement of dredged or fill materials in U.S. waters. To read more about this course and for additional information, click here.

    2012 Pennsylvania Wetland Delineation Training

    April 16-20, 2012. The Swamp School will hold the 2012 Pennsylvania Wetland Delineation Training in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. This traditional 38-hour wetlands delineation class covers the current and proposed USACOE wetlands delineation methods as well as the recent Rapanos decision. This online version has been accepted as suitable training for the various States that require wetland delineation certification training. For more information, click here.

    2012 National River Management Symposium

    April 24-26, 2012. The 2012 North American River Management Symposium: From intimate creeks to the infinite sea sponsored by the River Management Society and RiverLink will be held in Asheville, North Carolina. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, techniques and strategies concerning river management, and to encourage the formation of networks and partnerships among a broad range of river professionals. The presentations and field sessions will offer a rich portfolio of presentations and panels covering case studies, research reports and forums intended to stimulate dialogue on issues of critical interest to agencies, communities, industry and individuals. For more information and to register, click here.

    Understanding Riparian Processes

    April 26-27, 2012. U.C. Davis Extension is offering this course on Understanding Riparian Processes to be held at Da Vinci Building, Davis, California. Gain an overview of the physical and biological processes that shape rivers, streams and riparian ecology in this course designed for environmental managers, land use planners, naturalists and educators. Learn about the role riparian communities play in the landscape, current threats to riparian systems, and opportunities to conserve, enhance, and restore the physical and ecological functions and processes of riparian ecosystems. To read more and for additional information, click here.

    Natural Channel Design Review Checklist Workshop

    May 1-4, 2012. Stream Mechanics will hold The Natural Channel Design Review Checklist Workshop at the Hilton Charlotte Executive Park, Charlotte, North Carolina. This workshop teaches participants how to use the new 2011 Checklist and includes updated presentations, activities and new case studies. The workshop is perfect for anyone who is responsible for reviewing stream restoration projects. Designers and engineers responsible for sealing designs also find this course helpful. For more information, click here.

    2012 International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation

    May 29-31, 2012. The 2012 International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation: Future Adaptation will be held at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. Co-hosted and convened by the University of Arizona in the southwestern United States and by UNEP’s Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA), the conference focuses on adaptation to climate variability and change. The conference will bring together researchers, policy makers, and practitioners from developed and developing countries to share insights into the challenges and opportunities that adaptation presents. For more information, click here.

    State of the Coast 2012

    June 25-27, 2012. State of the Coast 2012, Preparing for a Changing Future will be held at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Call for abstracts deadline is February 10, 2012. State of the Coast 2012 will consist of three full days of presentations by leading experts as well as invaluable networking opportunities for those invested in the future of Louisiana’s coast. For more information, click here.

    Wetland Boot Camp

    August 6-10, 2012. The wetlands-focused non-profit organization Environment Concern, located in St. Michaels, Maryland, is offering “Wetland Boot Camp,” a summer institute in Virginia for K-12 teachers and environmental educators.  Four day-long and one half-day workshops on wetlands will be held August 6-10 in Gainesville (Prince William County).  Each workshop has a fee between $30 and $50, but the series will be offered for free to the first four registering teachers from each of the Virginia counties of Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford (courtesy of Wetlands Studies and Solutions in Gainesville, where the workshops will be held).  Registration is due by July 23, 2012. The same workshops are held in other locations in the region; for the full schedule and for more information, click here or contact Environment Concern at (410) 745-9620.

    2012 SWS PNW Chapter Annual Meeting

    September 19-21, 2012. The 2012 Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists conference: East or West, Water Defines Us All will be held at the The Grove Hotel, Boise, Idaho. Submit abstracts for technical sessions, panel discussions, and/or posters by March 30, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). We welcome abstracts from all related disciplines and areas of expertise including academics, field practitioners, and government. The meeting is an opportunity for wetland scientists to exchange information and knowledge. If you have questions about abstracts, please email those to sydf@uw.eduThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . A wide range of wetland topics are welcome. Suggested topics include: Isolated wetlands and vernal pools; Riparian and fringe wetlands; Spring and seep restoration; Wetland mitigation-start to finish; Regulatory updates; Linear and energy projects; Ecosystem markets and economics; Problematic hydric soils; Arid wetland hydrology and vegetation; Livestock; management; Invasive species; Climate Change: Effects on wetlands.

    Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Conference

    October 20-24, 2012. Call for Posters: Restore America's Estuaries National Conference deadline has been extended until March 15, 2012. The 6th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration will be held in Tampa, Florida. The Conference theme is "Restoring Ecosystems, Strengthening Communities." The Conference will be a dynamic and exciting opportunity for you to share your successes and lessons learned in all realms of coastal habitat restoration, and learn from others. All aspects of habitat restoration from all coastal habitat types will be included. To submit a poster, click here. For more information, click here.

    JOBS

    There are new jobs posted on the Wetlands Job board. For the latest wetland jobs, click here.


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    The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News is a monthly e-newsletter. Wetland Breaking News is an edited compilation of wetland-related stories and announcements submitted by readers and gleaned from listservs, press releases and news sources from throughout the United States. The e-newsletter features legislative, national and state news relevant to wetland science and policy, wetland regulations and legal analysis of Supreme court cases; it also links to new publications and resources available to wetland professionals as well as events and training opportunities for those working in water resources and related fields. Wetland Breaking News has been published for over ten years and ASWM has been a think-tank and source for wetland science and policy news and discussion for over 25 years.

    The items presented in Wetland Breaking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or of the Association of State Wetland Managers. Send your news items, comments, corrections, or suggestions to news@aswm.org.

    "WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by: Leah Stetson, ASWM; Executive Director: Jeanne Christie, ASWM

    Association of State Wetland Managers, 32 Tandberg Trail, Ste. 2A, Windham, ME 04062. Telephone: 207-892-3399 Fax: 207-892-3089