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Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

All photos by
Jeanne Christie, ASWM

     

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016Dear Wetlanders,

As the calendar year comes to a close, it’s only natural to reflect back on 2016 and try to make sense of it all. It has certainly been a busy year here at the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and we look forward to the new projects we have lined up for 2017 including examining the functions of wetlands in watersheds and floodplains, learning about linear projects such as energy projects and opportunities to reduce their impacts on wetlands, exploring ways to improve water and wetland program efficiency through program integration, and researching best practices for managing invasive species.

As with any new Administration, there will be new challenges to face. There is still a lot that is unknown regarding future budgets for federal agencies, support for existing laws and regulations, and potential changes to various organizational structures. Yet we know that the wetland community has faced many other significant challenges in the past and we have managed to come through them even stronger in our understanding of the science and ways to best manage our resources.

As I look back through the December 2015 edition of Wetland Breaking News, many of the stories cover topics similar to stories you will find in our current edition today. Stories about pipeline controversies, algal blooms and farm run-off, a failing national water infrastructure system, endangered species listings, water contamination, green infrastructure solutions, Supreme Court battles and climate change. I suspect that in December of 2017, I’ll see similar stories on these topics as well. However, the content of the articles on these topics will evolve. My point is that although from year to year we may face many of the same or similar challenges, each year we still make great strides in our ability to understand and find solutions to those challenges.

We will undoubtedly face many significant hurdles over the next year but ASWM is committed to working in partnership with all of you as we face them together. Together, we can be a voice for wetland protection, conservation and management and for using the best available science in our policy decisions. We look forward to continuing our work with you in 2017!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year,

Marla J. Stelk
Editor
Wetland Breaking News

     
                   

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

Outgoing EPA chief: Science is ‘fundamental to absolutely everything we do.’

By Brady Dennis – The Washington Post – December 21
Gina McCarthy — Boston native, Irish Catholic, lover of Guinness beer and a good laugh — has been a central player in the Obama administration’s work to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and combat global warming at home and abroad. A career environmental bureaucrat and a veteran of Republican administrations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, McCarthy promised a “common sense” approach to fighting climate change during her 2013 confirmation hearing. Although she contends that the Obama administration has pursued exactly that, the Environmental Protection Agency has run into stiff opposition from the oil, gas and coal industries in recent years. For full story, click here.

Big Bird in the City

By Kat Eschner – Hakai Magazine – December 21, 2016
If you’ve ever been to downtown Vancouver’s False Creek, you’ve likely seen them: tall gray-blue birds stalking in the shallows. To see them in the air, they seem impossible, their long bodies and s-curved necks borne aloft on giant wings. They look like they belong in a marsh, away from humans, not in the middle of the big city. Yet a recent study makes clear what many Vancouverites frequently witness: these tall, stately birds can live among human-built landscapes with relative ease. The bigger takeaway: even as rampant development encroaches on areas in which the heron has traditionally thrived, all is not lost when it comes to this endangered species. But keeping them safe into the future will take careful management. For full article, click here.

With floods rising, cities enlist nature to tame the risks

By Zack Colman – The Christian Science Monitor – December 20, 2016
If Ronier Golightly forgets to tend to the street drain near his home, this Northwest Detroit neighborhood might be mistaken for an ephemeral Great Lake after a rain. The infrastructure in this community just south of the Eight Mile Road, which divides the city from its northern suburbs, has long been problematic. Mr. Golightly and his two neighbors have the unofficial job of clearing leaves from gutters, which has a measurable effect on road flooding. For full story, click here.

EPA Launches Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determination Website

By Joel Beauvais – EPA Connect – December 19, 2016
EPA has launched an interactive website to gather, display, and map Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations finalized since August 28, 2015. The website demonstrates the commitment to increase transparency on Clean Water Act jurisdiction made by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. The website displays jurisdictional determinations that were issued under the Clean Water Rule and under the prior regulations in effect while the implementation of the Clean Water Rule has been temporarily stayed by the courts. The website does not display all waters of the U.S. subject to the Clean Water Act, only those for which a jurisdictional determination has been requested. For full blog post, click here.

The thousands of U.S. locales where lead poisoning is worse than in Flint

By M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer – Reuters – December 19, 2016
On a sunny November afternoon in this historic city, birthplace of the Pony Express and death spot of Jesse James, Lauranda Mignery watched her son Kadin, 2, dig in their front yard. As he played, she scolded him for putting his fingers in his mouth. In explanation, she pointed to the peeling paint on her old house. Kadin, she said, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. He has lots of company: Within 15 blocks of his house, at least 120 small children have been poisoned since 2010, making the neighborhood among the most toxic in Missouri, Reuters found as part of an analysis of childhood lead testing results across the country. In St. Joseph, even a local pediatrician’s children were poisoned. For full story, click here.

What happens if the Trump Administration scraps the Waters of the U.S. Rule?

By Christina Shockley – Michigan Radio – November 29, 2016
On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump said that he would rescind the Waters of the U.S. Rule, which outlines what kinds of water bodies are federally protected. Environmentalists say the rule is necessary to safeguard our ecosystems and drinking water. But many in the agriculture industry don’t like the rule—they say it’s an over-reach, and they’re worried it will give the federal government more say over what they can (and can’t) do on their fields. The Waters of the U.S. Rule (a.k.a. the Clean Water Rule) isn’t actually being enforced right now. There were so many challenges to the rule when it was enacted in August of 2015 that it’s been stayed in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. For full story, click here.



Wetland Breaking News - December 2016 Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Restrict Offshore Oil Drilling

By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg – December 19, 2016
President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in most of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, a move that could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to people familiar with the decision. Obama will invoke a provision in a 1953 law that gives him wide latitude to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced. Until now the law has been used mostly to permanently preserve coral reefs, walrus feeding grounds and marine sanctuaries. For full story, click here.

Navajo Nation Seeks $160 Million in Damages for Gold King Mine Spill

By Alysa Landry – Indian Country Media Network – December 19, 2016
The Navajo Nation is seeking more than $160 million in damages and for alleged ongoing injuries caused by the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill, which released millions of gallons of toxic wastewater into one of the tribe’s significant waterways. The Navajo Nation Department of Justice has filed a claim against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for $159 million in damages and $3.2 million to cover expenses already submitted that have yet to be reimbursed, the tribe said on December 5. The EPA admitted responsibility for the spill but has not yet compensated Navajo residents for the damage or guaranteed that the water is safe to use. For full story, click here.

Obama Signs WIIN Act, One Week After Passing Senate

WaterWorld – December 16, 2016
President Barack Obama today signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), one week after it was passed by the Senate in a late session Dec. 9. The ACWA-supported legislation includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, California drought legislation, and funding for Flint, Mich., relief efforts. In his signing statement, Obama writes, "(The law) authorizes vital water projects across the country to restore watersheds, improve waterways and flood control, and improve drinking water infrastructure." Addressing the provisions that affect California, he adds, “In the long-term, it invests in a number of water projects to promote water storage and supply, flood control, desalination, and water recycling. These projects will help assure that California is more resilient in the face of growing water demands and drought-based uncertainty.” For full story, click here. Bill Summary from Senator Diane Feinstein, click here.

It's up to scientists to call Trump out if he tramples on evidence, Obama official says

By Martha Henriques – International Business Times – December 15, 2016 – Video
Scientists are likely to face a hard time when Donald Trump becomes president, and they need to "speak up" if they see their integrity or their work undermined, a top official in the Obama Administration has said. Sally Jewell, the outgoing secretary of the interior, said at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco that science had been "foundational" to all parts of public policy under the Obama Administration. Many of these policies "are not going to be easy to undo", she said in a speech during the 20,000-strong gathering of Earth and space scientists. Jewell said that she could not see why an incoming administration would want to unravel evidence-based policies, "because they are so important to the decisions that we make every single day". For full story and to view video, click here.

Trump Picks Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to Head Interior

Environmental News Service – December 14, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Montana’s sole Congressman Republican Ryan Zinke as his Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed by the Senate, he would manage U.S. natural resources and public lands such as national parks, monuments and endangered species. In Congress since 2015, Zinke has voted to support environmental conservation just three percent of the time, according to the League of Conservation Voters. A Trump spokesperson said, “Congressman Zinke believes we need to find a way to cut through bureaucracy to ensure our nation’s parks, forests, and other public areas are properly maintained and used effectively.” For full story, click here.

Feds withheld key documents from Standing Rock Sioux

By Elizabeth Shogren– High Country News – December 14, 2016
The Army made a stunning admission earlier this month when it announced its decision to require a deeper environmental review and more extensive consultation before deciding whether to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. In its consultations with the Standing Rock Sioux about the pipeline crossing underneath Lake Oahe within a half mile of the reservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purposefully withheld key studies that could have helped the tribe evaluate the risks. One report modeled damage from potential spills; another weighed the likelihood of spills; a third compared alternative routes and discussed the environmental justice concerns raised by the project. The revelation highlights the federal government’s perception of its limited responsibility to consult with tribes even on matters that could threaten its welfare. For full story, click here.

Reversing Course, E.P.A. Says Fracking Can Contaminate Drinking Water

By Coral Davenport – The New York Times – December 13, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas extraction technique also known as fracking, has contaminated drinking water in some circumstances, according to the final version of a comprehensive study first issued in 2015. The new version is far more worrying than the first, which found “no evidence that fracking systemically contaminates water” supplies. In a significant change, that conclusion was deleted from the final study. For full story, click here.

Agency won't ID workers who attended climate meetings

By Hannah Northey – E&E News – December 13, 2016
The Department of Energy is refusing to fulfill a request from President-elect Donald Trump's advisers for the names of employees and contractors tied to President Obama's climate agenda. "We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team," DOE spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said in an email. "We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team." DOE officials received "significant feedback" from workers across the department and 17 national labs after Trump's transition team submitted a questionnaire attempting to zero-in on employees and contractors who attended climate-related meetings. For full story, click here.

Rex Tillerson, Exxon C.E.O., Chosen as Secretary of State

By Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman – The New York Times – December 12, 2016
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday officially selected Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to be his secretary of state. In saying he will nominate Mr. Tillerson, the president-elect is dismissing bipartisan concerns that the globe-trotting leader of an energy giant has a too-cozy relationship with Vladimir V. Putin, the president of Russia. For full story, click here.

USDA urges against Supreme Court review of wetland lawsuit

By AMateusz Perkowski– Capital Press – December 12, 2016
The USDA is urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a lawsuit in which a farm family challenges a wetland determination on its property. South Dakota farmer Arlen Foster and his family have asked the nation’s highest court to reconsider an appeals court ruling that let USDA’s wetland determination stand. Because roughly an acre of their land was determined to be a wetland, they can’t farm it without disqualifying the operation from federal crop insurance and other USDA programs. The case has implications for farmers nationwide because it relates to federal agencies interpreting and applying regulations without input from the public, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. For full story, click here.

Congress OKs Pechanga water rights settlement

By Aaron Claverie– The Press Enterprise – December 12, 2016
At long last, there is water rights peace in the Temecula Valley. Congress has approved a settlement agreement with the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians that protects the tribe’s access to groundwater in the region and provides the tribe with more than $30 million in federal funding to pay for water storage projects. For full story, click here.

Mohawks Become First Tribe to Take Down a Federal Dam

By Mary Esch - Associated Press – ABC News – December 11, 2016
A century after the first commercial dam was built on the St. Regis River, blocking the spawning runs of salmon and sturgeon, the stream once central to the traditional culture of New York's Mohawk Tribe is flowing freely once again. The removal of the 11-foot-high Hogansburg Dam this fall is the latest in the tribe's decades-long struggle to restore territory defiled by industrial pollution, beginning in the 1980s with PCBs and heavy metals from nearby General Motors, Alcoa and Reynolds Metal plants, a cleanup under federal oversight that's nearly complete. For full story, click here.

Senate passes water bill authorizing $2 billion for Everglades

By Ledyard King – TCPalm – December 10, 2016
Legislation authorizing nearly $2 billion for Everglades is headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature after the Senate early Saturday morning passed the bill. Senators also passed a separate spending bill to keep the government open through April 28 that includes $74 million to fix Kennedy Space Center structures damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October. Both measures had been tied up in the Senate over unrelated disputes lawmakers were able to resolve late Friday. The House passed both Thursday. For full story, click here.

Rep. Bishop aims to repeal landmark conservation law

By Corbin Hiar – E&E Publishing, LLC – December 9, 2016
A top Republican with the ear of the Donald Trump team is aiming to shoot down the Endangered Species Act — spurring conservationists to prepare for battle. "I'm not sure if there's a way of actually reforming the Endangered Species Act or if you simply have to start over again," House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop said in a recent interview with E&E News. "Repeal it and replace it," the Utah Republican said is his preferred approach. Rather than ending funding for agencies that carry out the four-decade-old law, it must be dismantled altogether, Bishop argued. "Some people give the simplistic approach: Why don't you just defund it? That doesn't solve the problem," he said. Bishop, who opposes the ESA because of restrictions it can place on development and recreation, likewise said minor adjustments to the law or passage of riders to remove protections from individual species are insufficient. For full story, click here.

USDA Invests $33 Million to Improve Water Quality in High-Priority Watersheds

Contact Office of Communications – U.S. Department of Agriculture – December 6, 2016
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced an investment of more than $33 million in 197 high-priority watersheds across the country to help landowners improve water quality through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). For full news release, click here.

NRCS Washington Announces $10.1 Million in Financial Assistance Available to Help States, Private Partners Protect and Restore Grasslands, Wetlands, and Working Lands

Contact Dave Kreft – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – December 2, 2016
State Conservationist Roylene Rides at the Door announced today the availability of $10.1 million in financial assistance for Washington landowners and cooperating entities to help protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the state. Funding is provided through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The program was created by the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private landowners to maintain land for farming and ranching. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect these key resources. For full news release, click here.

Gulf Coast residents upset by BP settlement funds

By Gigi Douban– Marketplace.org – November 29, 2016
A little over six years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon spill devastated the Gulf Coast, sending more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Tourism in many of the cities and towns along Alabama’s shoreline all but crumbled, and many there say without tourism, there is no economy. Over the years, BP issued hundreds of millions of dollars in claims to fishermen, shop owners and city governments to try to make things right. Most recently, BP gave the state of Alabama a $1 billion settlement to help with the state’s recovery. But people in the region are none too happy with the way the state decided to spend it. For full story, click here.

NRCS to Expand Targeted Conservation Effort for Wildlife on Agricultural Lands

Contact: Justin Fritscher – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – November 29, 2016
From the northern bobwhite to trout and salmon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adding dozens of new target species to its premier wildlife conservation effort that helps agricultural producers make wildlife-friendly improvements on working lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is adding 11 new projects to Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), the agency’s targeted, science-based effort to help producers restore and protect habitat for declining species on farms, ranches and working forests. “Agriculture and wildlife both thrive together through landscape conservation,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller, who toured a Missouri farm that has created young forest habitat to aid bobwhite and many other species. “Working Lands for Wildlife has delivered many unprecedented successes over the years, and we’re proud of our collective past achievements and look forward to continuing our work with America’s producers.” For full news release, click here.

Obama administration moves to block mining near Yellowstone

By Brady Dennis – The Washington Post – November 21, 2016
Federal officials on Monday moved to block new mining claims at the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park, the latest push by the Obama administration to protect environmentally sensitive areas during the president’s final months in office. Mining claims will be prohibited on about 30,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near the park’s northern entrance in Montana. The prohibition will remain in effect for two years while officials gather public comment and evaluate whether to designate the area off-limits to new mining claims for an additional 20 years. For full story, click here.

Democracy and Water in a New Presidential Era

By Nicole Silk – River Network – November 9, 2016
This year’s Presidential election results were unexpected and outrageous in so many ways. The election disclosed how truly divided our country is – by age, gender, education, income, and race – and how isolated we have become from one another. We experienced a surprising abundance of hate speech, a tolerance for bad behavior, and a deep distrust of political insiders. For full blog post, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016AK: White House Announces Actions to Protect Natural and Cultural Resources in Alaskan Arctic Ocean

By Mary Kauffman – Sit News – December 11, 2016. Friday, President Barack Obama announced new steps to enhance the resilience of the Alaskan Arctic environment and the sustainability of Alaskan native communities with the creation of the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. According to the White House, the coastal tribes along the northern Bering Sea and the Bering Strait requested that the Federal Government take action to protect the health of the marine ecosystems of the Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait while maintaining opportunities for sustainable fishing and sustainable economic development. For full story, click here. For a related story, click here.

CA: California case could set national precedent on Native Americans' water rights

By Glenn Minnis – Northern California Record – December 7, 2016
A California federal appeals court is expected to rule soon in a water rights case pitting the Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians against the state government in a decision that could spark concerns across the country. Attorneys for both the Cahuilla Indians and Coachella Valley’s largest water districts recently made their final arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but those proceedings could prove to be just a formality in a case many foresee as potentially going all the way to the Supreme Court. For full story, click here.

CA: Last Tree Standing

By Thayer Walker– bioGraphic – November 22, 2016 – Video
By the time John Muir and his trusty mule Brownie splashed across the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River in the fall of 1875, the Scottish-born naturalist had already seen his fair share of California grandiosity: Yosemite Valley; the high Sierra; Mariposa Grove. Muir had a thirst for exploration and a talent for storytelling. He founded the Sierra Club and dubbed its eponymous mountains the “Range of Light.” When Muir sauntered upon a montane plateau in what is now known as Sequoia National Park on that autumn day, he found a very large stand of very large trees. Drawing his poetry from the obvious he named it, quite simply, the Giant Forest. For full story and to view video, click here.

CA: Human Use of Restored and Naturalized Delta Landscapes

By Brett Milligan and Alejo Kraus-Polk – California WaterBLog – November 20, 2016
Current legislation and plans for the California Delta call for restoring tens of thousands of acres of aquatic and terrestrial habitat, which will require large changes in land uses and cultural patterns. In addition to planned ‘restoration’, unplanned ‘naturalization’ also occurs in the Delta, from the flooding of islands or the abandonment of previously managed land. These newly feral or semi-wild landscapes will remain subject to human use and give rise to new scientific, economic, and recreational uses.. For full blog post, click here.

DE: Federal grant will help boost wetlands conservation efforts

Associated Press – The Washington Times – December 9, 2016
State environmental officials say Delaware has received a $345,000 federal grant to help wetland conservation efforts. The Environmental Protection Agency grant that will be used by the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program to fund enhanced wetland conservation in Delaware through science, statewide mapping, education and outreach. For full story, click here.

FL: $8.8M saltmarsh wetland parcel donated to UNF

News 4 Jax – December 16, 2016
An $8.8 million saltmarsh wetland parcel has been donated to the University of North Florida's marine biology program, the university announced Friday. The donation, from the Widan Investment Corporation, is for the new William C. Webb Coastal Research Station, where students and faculty will conduct research. The 1,050-acre property spans Duval and St. Johns counties from slightly south of Beach Boulevard to the end of Harbour View Drive in Marsh Landing along the eastern bank of the Intracoastal Waterway. The southern portion of the property adjoins the gated community of Marsh Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach and the northern end is adjacent to Cradle Creek Preserve in Jacksonville. For full story, click here.

FL: Everglades' water at risk from sea-level rise, scientists say

By Andy Reid – Sun Sentinel – December 15, 2016 – Video
Climate change and other hurdles mean it will take more water — and potentially more taxpayer money — to save the Everglades, according to new scientific findings released Thursday. The report to Congress warns that rising seas and warming temperatures are threatening to worsen damage already done by decades of drainage and pollution, caused by development and farming overtaking the Everglades. Taxpayers since 2000 have spent about $3.2 billion on what's expected to grow to a $16 billion investment in cleaning up water pollution and restoring more water flows to Florida's famed River of Grass. The goal is both to preserve what remains of the Everglades and to boost South Florida's drinking-water supply. For full story and to view video, click here.

FL: Fight over exotic fern threatens future of South Florida wildlife refuge

By Jenny Staletovich – Miami Herald – December 9, 2016 – Video
Old World climbing fern, the monster vine packing 100-foot long tendrils that has infested huge swaths of the Everglades, with a particularly ferocious choke hold on the tree islands of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on its northern tip, may have finally succeeded in killing the refuge. Just not in the way anyone expected. For full story and to view video, click here.

GA: Army Corps pours big drink for Ga. in tri-state war

By Ariel Wittenberg– E&E News – December 8, 2016
Georgia water managers are celebrating today, thanks to an Army Corps of Engineers ruling to give the Atlanta metro region virtually all of the water it needs through 2050 from a hotly contested Southeast river system. Georgia has been fighting with Florida and Alabama over water use on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river system for decades. Georgia currently draws about 360 million gallons per day from the system, which is the main source of water for metropolitan Atlanta, and has asked the Army Corps for more water from Lake Lanier to account for population growth. For full story, click here.

IA: Report: Iowa, states failing to cut nutrient pollution without EPA push

By Donnelle Eller – The Des Moines Register – November 18, 2016 – Video
After nearly 20 years of inaction, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should push Iowa and nine other states along the Mississippi River to cut nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that contributes to the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone, environmentalists said Thursday. The Mississippi River Collaborative said the EPA has failed to require "enforceable regulations, specific deadlines or funding" that would push Iowa and other states to take action to the gulf's dead zone that's unable to support aquatic life each summer. For full story and to view video, click here.

LA: Energy Dept. offers $2B loan to La. carbon-storage project

By Matthew Daly – Associated Press – Boston Globe – December 21, 2016
The Energy Department said Wednesday it is offering a conditional, $2 billion loan guarantee to capture and store carbon dioxide at a planned Louisiana methanol plant, the latest element of President Obama’s strategy to slow global warming. The Lake Charles Methanol plant will use petroleum coke, a byproduct of oil refining, to make methanol, a chemical used in products such as paint, glue, plastics, and formaldehyde. The captured carbon dioxide will be piped to oil fields in Texas, where it will be used to speed up oil production. For full story, click here.

LA: N.O.’s air, soil and water need continued EPA oversight

By Susan Buchanan – The Louisiana Weekly – November 21, 2016
New Orleans, with its sinking land, industrial pollution, flooding and post-hurricane cleanups, needs a strong Environmental Protection Agency, scientists and others said last week. Donald Trump has signaled that he wants to defang EPA so that industry can operate with fewer restraints. Myron Ebell, a climate-warming skeptic, has been tapped to oversee the agency’s transition in January. But if anything, the Crescent City needs more enforcement from Washington, not less. For full story, click here.

MD: Army Corps resumes oyster restoration in Tred Avon River sanctuary

Contact: Sarah Gross – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – December 14, 2016
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, resumed the construction of oyster reef in the Tred Avon River Oyster Sanctuary in Talbot County, Dec. 14, 2016. The Corps awarded an approximately $1-million contract Sept. 26, 2016, to Blue Forge LLC to construct the reefs. Blue Forge LLC is a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business. Eight acres of reef will be restored using aged mixed shell in water depths greater than 9 feet mean lower low water (MLLW). The mixed shell comes from processing plants in the mid-Atlantic region and is permitted to be imported and placed in the river. For full news release, click here.

MD: Congress asks for more funding to clean up bay

By Julian Sadur – WMDT – December 13, 2016 – Video
Eastern shore farmers play a key role in the fight to clean up the Chesapeake Bay by doing things like planting cover crops to prevent nutrient runoff, however a lack of federal funding sometimes complicates things. Because of that Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) have spearheaded an effort to get leftover funds from the USDA re-allocated to family farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area. Carding and Van Hollen propose that surplus funding that the USDA receives from completed clean water projects could be sent to help farmers that are actively working to improve the quality of the bay. For full story and to view video, click here.

MD: EPA Awards $537,000 to Maryland to Protect Wetlands

Contact: David Sternberg – Maryland Department of the Environment – December 8, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded $537,000 to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for a project creating a web-based system for submitting wetland permit applications, photographs, and plans for restoration projects electronically. “Wetlands play a significant role in protecting our nation’s water supply,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “By taking action to protect and restore these valuable resources, MDE is protecting sources of drinking water, preventing flooding, and making us more resilient to climate change.” For full press release, click here.

MI: Michigan court upholds penalty for filling wetland

By Eric Freedman – Great Lakes Echo – November 30, 2016
Property owners who converted wetlands to a horse pasture without a state permit must restore the site and pay a $10,000 civil fine, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled. The three-judge appeals panel unanimously upheld a trial judge’s order that Hernan and Bethany Gomez remove 1.2 acres of fill material they illegally placed in a wetland on their 54-acre Livingston County parcel between 2005 and 2010. For full story, click here.

NY: Yorktown Town Board to Propose New Wetlands Ordinance

By Gabrielle Bililk – Tapinto – December 2, 2016
An amended version of the town’s wetland ordinance is being drafted and reviewed by town officials and employees. This revision of the law follows the board’s repeal of the town’s existing affordable housing law last month and the adoption of a revised tree ordinance in September. Since January, when the new board was sworn in, Supervisor Michael Grace has said the board intends to continue to sort through and update the code as it deems necessary. “These things should be up for review every half-dozen years at least,” Grace said. For full story, click here.

OH: 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program announces statewide expansion

By Matt Reese– Ohio Country Journal – December 12, 2016
While Lake Erie has garnered much of the water quality attention in the state, more efforts are shifting to the state’s other bodies of fresh water, including the Ohio River, that are also experiencing issues with harmful algal blooms. At an event last week, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program announced the expansion of the voluntary retailer program to the full state of Ohio, allowing nutrient service providers across the state to participate in the efforts to reduce nutrient runoff into waterways. For full story, click here.

OR: A Step in the Right Direction for the Upper Deschutes

Deschutes River Conservancy – December 7, 2016
Beginning this winter, the Deschutes River will flow at a minimum of 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) from September 16th to March 30th. The river community is celebrating the addition of this water to critically low winter flows that have dropped as low as 20 cfs in past years. “It’s unfortunate that these results were achieved through litigation,” said DRC Executive Director, Tod Heisler. “While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t solve the long-term flow issues that face the Deschutes River. We see this 100 cfs as a foundation for further flow restoration and we sincerely hope that additional flows can be restored through continued partnership and collaboration within the basin.” For full blog post, click here.

PA: Study: Lancaster County farmland provides environmental benefits worth $676 million

By Ad Crable– Lancaster Online – December 16, 2016
Lancaster County’s farmland provides environmental benefits worth more than $676 million annually, a new study says. And, that’s not counting the staples such as milk and corn. For the first time, the study commissioned by the Lancaster County Agriculture Council looked at “intangible” contributions made by local agriculture. So, what are those intangibles? For full story, click here.

PA: Survey finds Pa. farmers have done much to protect Chesapeake Bay water quality

Contact Jeff Muhollem – Penn State News – December 15, 2016
Many Pennsylvania farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have voluntarily implemented, at their own expense, practices aimed at improving water quality, according to newly released survey research conducted by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The study — built around a survey that nearly 7,000 farmers responded to — presents the first comprehensive inventory of farmers' voluntary use of water-quality best management practices. For full story, click here.

VA: Volunteers needed to grow and restore bay grasses

The Progress Index – December 15, 2016
Virginia volunteers are needed to grow underwater grasses in their homes, schools, or businesses as part of CBF's Grasses for the Masses restoration program. These grasses are submerged plants vital to the health of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, but have been seriously depleted over the years by pollution and cloudy water. "This is the perfect chance to play a part in bringing back key habitat for local wildlife," said CBF Virginia Grassroots Coordinator Blair Blanchette. "Volunteers will be part of the whole restoration process, starting with seeds and ending months later with planting grasses in established grass beds in the James and Potomac rivers." For full story, click here.

VA: DuPont to pay $50M over mercury-contaminated Virginia rivers

By Sarah Rankin – AP – December 15, 2016
Chemical giant DuPont will pay more than $50 million but admit no fault under a proposed environmental settlement after releasing toxic mercury for decades into the Shenandoah Valley waterways, authorities announced Thursday. The deal would resolve state and federal litigation over pollution from a company factory in Waynesboro. It amounts to the largest environmental damage settlement in Virginia history and the eighth largest in the nation, officials said. The money would go to wildlife habitat restoration, water quality enhancement and improvements to recreational areas. For full story, click here.

VA: Federal funds help Virginia increase wetland benefits

By David Malmquist – William and Mary – December 9, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced two major grants designed to help Virginia protect and restore its wetlands. These watery habitats — which range from forested swamps to tidal marshes — nurture countless species of wildlife and play a key role in keeping pollutants from flowing into Chesapeake Bay. One grant is a $356,000 award to William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and its Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM). The other provides $750,000 to Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Both grants will support three years of effort to advance and refine the Commonwealth’s latest State Wetlands Program Plan — a blueprint for not only preventing any net loss of wetlands, as specified by the U.S. Clean Water Act, but for increasing Virginia’s wetland acreage and ecological function. For full story, click here.


Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

Florida’s White Ibises May Be Spreading Disease

By Brian Owens – Hakai Magazine – December 14, 2016
If you’re golfing in Florida this winter, resist the urge to feed the friendly white ibises congregating around the water hazards—they might just give you salmonella. The birds, native to Florida’s dwindling wetlands, have been moving to urban golf courses and parks. There they come into close contact with people—even being hand-fed in some cases—and leave their droppings on benches and buildings. Each point of contact has the potential to infect people. Florida has between 5,000 and 6,000 cases of salmonella poisoning a year. The majority are not associated with food-borne outbreaks, and the most significant sources have yet to be identified. Wild birds are frequent carriers of salmonella bacteria, so Sonia Hernandez, a wildlife disease researcher at the University of Georgia, wondered whether the white ibises might be contributing to the toll. For full article, click here.

El Niño on a warming planet may have sparked the Zika epidemic, scientists report

By Chelsea Harvey– The Washington Post – December 19, 2016
In a world characterized by rising temperatures, deforestation and other human influences on the environment, the spread of infectious disease is a hot topic. Many recent studies suggest that environmental changes can affect the transmission of everything from malaria to the Zika virus — and it’s increasingly important to understand these links, scientists say. This week, a new study has provided new evidence that environmental changes can increase the threat of disease. It concludes that unusually warm temperatures caused by 2015’s severe El Niño event — probably compounded by ongoing climate change — may have aided in the rapid spread of the Zika virus in South America that year. For full story, click here.

Newly discovered soil microbes may have helped eat methane after Porter Ranch natural gas leak

By Amnia Khan – Los Angeles Times – December 16, 2016
The Aliso Canyon gas leak that forced thousands of people to leave their homes in Porter Ranch also had a dramatic impact on the area’s microscopic residents, new research shows. In the area around the breach, Caltech scientists found a massive increase in previously unknown microbes that inhabit the soil and appear to consume ethane and possibly methane. For full story, click here.

New map reveals shattering effect of roads on nature

By Dmian Carrington – The Guardian – December 15, 2016
Rampant road building has shattered the Earth’s land into 600,000 fragments, most of which are too tiny to support significant wildlife, a new study has revealed. The researchers warn roadless areas are disappearing and that urgent action is needed to protect these last wildernesses, which help provide vital natural services to humanity such as clean water and air. The impact of roads extends far beyond the roads themselves, the scientists said, by enabling forest destruction, pollution, the splintering of animal populations and the introduction of deadly pests. New roads also pave the way to further exploitation by humans, such as poaching or mining, and new infrastructure. For full story, click here.

Service Announces Final Rule to Further Conserve, Protect Eagles through Revised Permitting, Monitoring Requirements

Contact: Laury Parramore – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – December 14, 2016
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it has finalized a rule that will help protect and conserve eagle populations through revised permitting processes and monitoring requirements. The revised rule engages a variety of industries more fully in eagle conservation and helps the Service better understand how human activities across the landscape affect eagles. The rule includes revisions to the permitting system for unintentional prohibited impacts to eagles and will help protect local populations by providing much-needed information to support greater scientific understanding and decision-making. For full news release, click here.

Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says

Environmental News Network – December 13, 2016
Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several U.S.-based institutions. And that is good news for now, the researchers said. Florida State University research scientist Rachel Wilson and University of Oregon graduate student Anya Hopple are the first authors on a new study published today in Nature Communications. The study details experiments suggesting that carbon stored in peat—a highly organic material found in marsh or damp regions—may not succumb to the Earth's warming as easily as scientists thought. For full story, click here.

The Arctic just received its annual report card, and it's not good

By Doyle Rice – USA Today – December 13, 2016 – Video
The world’s air conditioner is on the fritz. Unprecedented, record-breaking warmth in the Arctic
this year triggered declines in sea ice, snow, the Greenland ice sheet and a remarkable delay in the annual freeze of sea ice in the fall. Overall, the Arctic experienced its warmest year ever recorded. “Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic research program, which released its annual Arctic Report Card on Tuesday. Even more worrisome: The trends are deepening and show no signs of letting up anytime soon. "All signs point to continuing on this trajectory," Mathis said. Changes in Arctic climate have now seeped into the winter months, instead of just the summer, Mathis said. "It's not just the loss of sea ice in the summer, it's year-round now," he said. For full story, click here.

Bee's knees: A new $4m effort aims to stop the death spiral of honeybees

By Alison Moodie – The Guardian – December 11, 2016
On the 33-acre Prairie Drifter Farm in central Minnesota, farmers Joan and Nick Olson are cultivating more than just organic vegetables. Alongside their seven acres of crops – including tomatoes, cucumbers and onions – they’ve also planted flowering plants, dogwood and elderberry hedgerows to accommodate species of bees and butterflies essential for the health of the crops. The Olsons are not beekeepers, but they are part of a movement to reconnect sustainable farming to a healthy environment. For full story, click here.

Santa in trouble? Reindeer shrink in Arctic as climate changes

By Alister Doyle – Reuters – December 11, 2016
Reindeer are shrinking on an Arctic island near the North Pole in a side-effect of climate change that has curbed winter food for animals often depicted as pulling Father Christmas' sleigh, scientists said on Monday. The average weight of adult reindeer on Svalbard, a chain of islands north of Norway, has fallen to 48 kg (106 lb) from 55 kg (121 lb) in the 1990s as part of sweeping changes to Arctic life as temperatures rise, they said. For full story, click here.

Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills are Destroying the Gulf

By Emma Grey Ellis – WIRED – December 9, 2016
Hurricane Ivan would not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking. For full story, click here.

These Fish Evolved to Live in Extremely Toxic Water

By Lindsey Konkel – National Geographic – December 8, 2016
Minnow-like Atlantic killifish spend their entire lives swimming in a toxic stew of chemicals in some of the United States’ most polluted waters. Now scientists have figured out why they are not just surviving, but thriving. In four severely polluted East Coast estuaries, these little striped fish have evolved with genetic mutations that leave them tolerant of normally lethal doses of industrial pollution, according to a study led by University of California, Davis researchers to be published Friday in the journal Science.
Experts say this discovery may hold clues for better understanding how chemical pollutants affect people and animals. For full story, click here.

EPA’s National Lakes Assessment Finds Nutrient Pollution in Most Lakes

By Tricia Lynn – Press Release Point – December 8, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the results of a national assessment showing that nutrient pollution is widespread in the nation’s lakes, with 4 in 10 lakes suffering from too much nitrogen and phosphorus. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms, lower oxygen levels, degraded habitat for fish and other life, and lower water quality for recreation. The National Lakes Assessment also found an algal toxin – microcystin – in 39 percent of lakes but below levels of concern. Low concentrations of the herbicide atrazine were found in 30 percent of lakes. For full story, click here.

High-Resolution Satellite Images Capture Stunning View of Earth's Changing Waters

By Brian Handwerk – Smithsonian Magazine – December 7, 2016
Where and when surface water occurs on Earth is vitally important for all life. But that water is constantly in flux. Lakes, rivers and wetlands naturally ebb and flow; humans divert water for their own use and dam it up into reservoirs. Now researchers have mapped millions of high-resolution satellite images to document Earth's surface water history going back three decades—revealing humanity’s dramatic influence as well as the natural variability of water patterns. Agricultural engineer Jean-Francois Pekel and colleagues have created a kind of virtual time machine, showing past changes in surface water and providing a baseline for charting the changing future of our watery world. To achieve this feat, Pekel and colleagues used more than 3 million LANDSAT images of Earth's lakes, wetlands, and rivers taken between 1984 and 2015. They quantified global water system changes over that timeline on a month-to-month basis. Then, they analyzed this veritable ocean of satellite data with the Google Earth Engine cloud-computing platform. For full article, click here.

Scientists Confirm: “the Blob” Really Messed Up the Northeast Pacific

By Alex Dropkin – Hakai – Magazine – December 6, 2016
The Blob helped create the bloom. Beginning in the fall of 2013, “the Blob” has sat off the Pacific coast of North America. This massive swathe of abnormally warm water raised the average temperature of the sea by 2.5 °C, and is thought to have thrown the marine ecosystem for a massive loop. Throughout its run, scientists speculated that the Blob was responsible for a whole host of damages, from mass bleaching of Hawai‘ian coral and irregular fish migration, to sea lion beachings, and warmer seasons. For full article, click here.

The Clam That Sank a Thousand Ships

By Sarah Gilman–Hakai Magazine – December 5, 2016
Early on a calm June morning, Nancy Treneman picks her way along the wrack line of a stretch of southwestern Oregon coast. The biologist has short, curly hair that furls in small wings from beneath her baseball cap and wears jeans patched at the knee with a denim heart. Every so often, she pauses to scrutinize a plastic bottle or lonely flip-flop, or retrieves a hatchet from her pack and skims shavings from a piece of driftwood sticking out of the bony assemblage of logs where the beach meets a steep hillside. “The debris tells a story,” Treneman explains as she makes notes in a waterproof yellow book. “It tells you what’s going on out there. When the fishing boats are out there. When the crabbing is happening. When the hagfishing is going on.” For full article, click here.

Extreme downpours could increase fivefold across parts of the U.S.

Environmental News Network – December 5, 2016
At century's end, the number of summertime storms that produce extreme downpours could increase by more than 400 percent across parts of the United States — including sections of the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, and the Southwest — according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, also finds that the intensity of individual extreme rainfall events could increase by as much as 70 percent in some areas. That would mean that a storm that drops about 2 inches of rainfall today would be likely to drop nearly 3.5 inches in the future. For full story, click here.

Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change

Econo Times – December 4, 2016
While carbon pollution gets all the headlines for its role in climate change, nitrogen pollution is arguably a more challenging problem. Somehow we need to grow more food to feed an expanding population while minimizing the problems associated with nitrogen fertilizer use. In Europe alone, the environmental and human health costs of nitrogen pollution are estimated to be €70-320 billion per year. Nitrogen emissions such as ammonia, nitrogen oxide and nitrous oxides contribute to particulate matter and acid rain. These cause respiratory problems and cancers for people and damage to forests and buildings. For full story, click here.

“Ghost Forests” Are, Surprisingly, a Sign of Resilience

By Lyndsey Gilpin – Hakai Magazine – December 1, 2016
Matthew Kirwan’s great-great-grandparents built their home on a piece of property along the Blackwater River in Robbins, Maryland. From the time he was a child, Kirwan explored and hunted there in a small forest grove near the water. But 15 years ago, he started noticing the sea encroaching on the property. In the years since, much of the land has been flooded, and the forest—once lush and green—is now full of snags waiting to fall. Everywhere, there are roots and stumps, reminders of where trees once stood. The living ones loom over the water, teetering on the edge of death. Watching his family’s land drown at such an alarming rate inspired Kirwan, now a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, to study these so-called “ghost forests”—dead coastal forests that are transforming into marshland. For full article, click here.

Salting the Earth: The Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills

By Lindsey Konkel– Environmental Health Perspectives – December 2016
For five days in July 2014, a broken pipe spilled more than 1 million gallons of wastewater produced by unconventional oil drilling into a steep ravine filled with natural springs and beaver dams on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The briny spill cut a brown swath across the North Dakota landscape, soaking into the soil and killing all vegetation in its path before it seeped into Bear Den Bay on Lake Sakakawea. This reservoir on the Missouri River is where the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation gets its drinking water. For full article, click here.

Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening

By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – November 30, 2016
At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further. In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades. For full story, click here.

Global Warming May Send More Hurricanes to Northeast U.S.

By Bob Berwyn – InsideClimate News – December 1, 2016
From a Central American cave comes research that holds a dire warning for the Northeastern U.S.: global warming may be sending more hurricanes your way. New research shows a long-term northward shift of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. By studying rainfall history derived from a stalagmite in a cave in Belize, scientists concluded that storms that once would have crashed ashore in Central America, the Gulf Coast or Florida are curving northward, a trend that puts major cities in the Northeast U.S. in the path of destructive storms. For full story, click here.

Climate change will stir 'unimaginable' refugee crisis, says military

By Damian Carrington – The Guardian – December 1, 2016
Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”. The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. Military leaders have long warned that global warming could multiply and accelerate security threats around the world by provoking conflicts and migration. They are now warning that immediate action is required. For full story, click here.

Salting roads found to reverse sex of frogs

By Ella Wilks-Harper – Independent – November 24, 2016
Salting roads and pavements during winter is harming frog populations, causing would-be female frogs to change sex, experts have warned. Researchers from Yale University found that naturally occurring chemicals in de-icing substances, including sodium chloride, is altering the sex of female frogs during development. In a series of experiments, scientists found that the impact can reduce frog populations by as much as 10 percent. For full story, click here.

How Much of Obama's Climate Agenda Can Trump Undo With the Stroke of a Pen?

By Sabrina Shankman – InsideClimate News – November 23, 2016
President Barack Obama issued 263 executive orders during his eight years in office, at least 35 of them dealing with climate change, energy or the environment. When President-elect Donald Trump takes office, revoking some of those executive orders could be among his first acts, because it can be done without Congress, by the simple stroke of a pen. For full story, click here.

Under Trump, NASA May Turn a Blind Eye to Climate Change

By Lee Billings – Scientific American – November 23, 2016
Emerging victorious from a campaign in which he called climate change a hoax, promised to reinvigorate coal mining and vowed to overturn major international agreements and domestic regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, President-elect Donald Trump’s next target in his political denial of human-driven global warming might be NASA’s $2-billion annual budget for Earth science. Trump himself has been relatively mum about his plans for NASA. But in an op–ed published weeks before the election, two Trump space policy advisors—the former congressman Robert Walker and the economist Peter Navarro—wrote that the agency is too focused on “politically correct environmental monitoring” of climate change. For full story, click here.

The gulf oil spill literally caused wetlands to sink beneath the waves, scientists say

By Chelsea Harvey – The Washington Post – November 21, 2016
Six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill devastated the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are still taking stock of the damage it caused. And increasingly, they’re reporting that widespread shoreline erosion and loss of wetlands — which can hurt important salt marsh ecosystems and leave coastal areas, and the city of New Orleans, more vulnerable to sea-level rise — was a major side-effect of the disaster. For full story, click here.

Investors press meat producers to cut water pollution

By Lisa Baertlein – Reuters – November 21, 2016
Forty-five large investors collectively managing $1.2 trillion in assets are pressing some of the nation's largest meat producers to set policies for reducing water pollution in their feeding, slaughtering and processing operations. The investors, who are members of sustainability non-profit advocate Ceres and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), sent letters to Cargill Inc. [CARG.UL], JBS, Perdue Farms and Smithfield Foods [SFII.UL]. In those letters, they asked the companies to assess the pollution impacts of their direct operations and supply chains to develop comprehensive plans for protecting waterways, safely storing and managing animal waste and minimizing fertilizer runoff from feed production. For full story, click here.

1.3 Million Awarded for Community-Based Projects to Improve Health and Ecosystem of Long Island Sound

Contact: Mike Smith, John Martin, and Peter Brandt – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – November 14, 2016
Today, top federal and state environmental officials from New York and Connecticut announced 25 grants totaling $1.3 million to local government and community groups to improve the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Fifteen projects, totaling $815,000, are in New York. The projects, which are funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, will restore 27 acres of habitat, including coastal forest, dunes, and salt marshes for fish and wildlife. This grant program combines funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For full news release, click here.

All Hands Needed to Control Nutrient Pollution

By Tom Damm – EPA’s Healthy Waters in the Mid-Atlantic – November 10, 2016
When a harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie contaminated the Toledo area water supply two years ago, my first thoughts turned to my niece Jen and her family. They were among the hundreds of thousands warned not to drink their water, cook with it, give it to their pets or ingest it any way after tests found the toxin, microcystin, above the standard for consumption. Jen found out about the water ban when she turned on the TV at around 8 a.m. By then, there were scenes of panicky residents buying out cases of water from store shelves. For full blog post, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

Rebuilding with resilience - Lessons learned from projects after Hurricane Sandy

Georgetown Climate Center – 2016
After Hurricane Sandy, the innovative competition known as Rebuild by Design (RBD) was launched to inspire affected communities to rebuild differently and enhance its resilience to future events. In the past two years, US$335 million was allocated to build a mixture of structural and nature-based defenses and recreational amenities in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. The results of these initiatives are shown in the Georgetown Climate Center report, which aims to share lessons learned from the novel projects generated through this competition. Find the full report here.

EPA Releases Updated Federal Interagency Report on Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate

Federal Water Resources and Climate Change Workgroup – November 2016
An updated report addressing ways to build resilience to climate change for water resources has been released by the Federal Water Resources and Climate Change Workgroup. "Looking Forward: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate" updates a 2011 National Action Plan and outlines priority actions to make progress in three key areas: data and research; planning and decision support; and training and outreach. Fourteen federal agencies were involved in developing this report and are undertaking efforts to build the nation's preparedness to extreme events. Read the Full Report.

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

Largest all-female expedition braves Antarctica to fight inequality, climate change

By Umberto Bacchi – Planet Ark – December 19, 2016
The largest all-female expedition to Antarctica, comprising 76 scientists, is due to set sail from Argentina on Friday in a quest to promote women in science and highlight the impact of climate change on the planet. The international team will brave sub-zero temperatures to undergo a 20-day bootcamp on the frozen continent aimed at developing their leadership skills and challenging male dominance of senior scientific roles. Women make up only 28 percent of the world's researchers and are particularly under-represented at senior levels, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says. Yet greater female leadership is needed to fight climate change, which disproportionately affects women, according to Fabian Dattner, co-founder of the Antarctica initiative, Homeward Bound. For full story, click here.

U.S. to give 30-year wind farm permits; thousands of eagle deaths seen

By Laura Zuckerman– Reuters – December 14, 2016
Wind farms will be granted 30-year U.S. government permits that could allow for thousands of accidental eagle deaths due to collisions with company turbines, towers and electrical wires, U.S. wildlife managers said on Wednesday. The newly finalized rule, to go into effect on Jan. 15, extends the current five-year term for permits that allow for the accidental deaths of bald and golden eagles. The bald eagle is the national emblem of the United States. The permits, which are meant for any activity that could disturb or kill eagles but will mostly apply to wind farms, are required under federal law. Wind energy companies had sought the change from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing they needed the longer permits to provide more stability to investors in the growing renewable power industry. For full story, click here.

When nature gets sick, so do we

By Brandon Keim – Anthropocene Magazine – December 14, 2016
That human health and Earth’s health are intertwined can sound like a truism—more of a bumper sticker or poetic truth than scientific fact. Yet a growing body of research suggests that disrupted ecologies may indeed produce more disease. The latest such study comes from French Guiana, where researchers led by ecologist Aaron Morris of Imperial College London wanted to understand the origins of Bruli’s ulcer, a debilitating skin disease caused by the bacteria Myobacteria ulcerans. The first cases of Bruli’s ulcer were documented in the late 1940s; since then incidence has risen, with 2,200 cases reported in 2014, but the disease’s precise origins and reasons for its spread have remained mysterious. Scientists did know, though, that Bruli’s ulcer is most common in people who live near or work around fresh water, and several insect species are implicated in its transmission. For full article, click here.

An Inside Look at How Ordinary Citizens Saved Public Land

By Bob Marshall – Field & Stream – The Conservationist – December 9, 2016
Buzz Hettick, a Wyoming elk hunter, asked me to relay a message to America’s sportsmen: “You’re wrong if you think you can’t help protect public lands.” (What’s that Buzz? Oh, you had a second message…) OK, here it is: “Get off your butts and get involved before it’s too late.” The weeks since Donald Trump became president-elect have been dark times for the sportsmen’s conservation community for this very scary reason: There is now no dependable stop on the GOP congressional agenda that has been largely hostile to key sportsmen’s issues. For full blog post, click here.

How engineers see the water glass in California

By Jay R. Lund – California WaterBlog – December 5, 2016
Depending on your outlook, the proverbial glass of water is either half full or half empty. Not so for engineers in California.

Civil engineer: The glass is too big.
Flood control engineer: The glass should be 50 percent bigger.
Army Corps levee engineer: The glass should be 50 percent thicker.
Mexicali Valley water engineer: Your leaky glass is my water supply.
Delta levee engineer: Why is water rising on the outside of my glass?
For full blog post, click here.

First polluted river in the world discovered

The Times of India – December 4, 2016
Scientists have discovered what could be the world's first polluted river, contaminated about 7,000 years ago by Neolithic humans who may have been producing copper metals from ores. In the now-dry riverbed in the Wadi Faynan region of southern Jordan, Professor Russell Adams from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and colleagues found evidence of early pollution caused by the combustion of copper. For full story, click here.

Bringing the U.S. Government Together to Improve Human Rights & Protect the Environment

Environmental Justice in Action – November 10, 2016
The United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, not well known to the American public, is a unique intersection of international human rights mechanisms with national and local laws and policies. This process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, asks each UN member state to report on its domestic human rights record once every five years, which provides an opportunity and a formal setting for fellow UN member states to make recommendations on how to improve human rights conditions in that state. For full blog post, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

WEBINARS

   

MEETINGS

 

TRAINING

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

 
WEBINARS
       
JANUARY 2017
       
January 11, 2017
9:00 a.m. EST
  Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation and the Canadian Rivers Institute Webinar: Development of River Restoration Planning and Analysis Tool
 
       
January 18, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  AWRA Webinar: Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West  
       
January 18, 2017
2:00 p.m. EST
  Forester University Webinar: When Basic BMPs Are Not Enough
 
       
January 19, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  The Swamp School Webinar: 2017 Wetland Status and Trends  
       
January 25, 2017
10:30 a.m. EST
  CILER/GLERL Great Lakes Seminar Series: Spatial variability and potential long-term trends in Great Lakes Carbon  
       
FEBRUARY 2017
       
February 15, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  AWRA Webinar: Climate change and Water Management in Eastern States: Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Regulated Riparianism  
       
MARCH 2017
       
March 9, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org): Implications of spatial connectivity and climate change for the design and application of MPAs  
       
March 22, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  AWRA Webinar: Innovations in Sediment Monitoring
 
       
APRIL 2017
       
April 13, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST
  Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org): Microplastics: What we know and discussion of research needs  
       
MEETINGS
 
JANUARY 2017
       
January 4-6, 2017
Acme, MI
  Northern Michigan Waterways Hazardous Material Spill Planning Committee (No-Spills): 27th Annual No-Spills Conference
 
       
January 4-8, 2017
New Orleans, LA
  Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting  
       
January 5-8, 2017
Litchfield Park, AZ
  Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: 2017 Mid-Winter Conference  
       
January 10-11, 2017
Garden City, KS
  Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams: Playa Lake Workshop and Tour
 
       
January 13-14, 2017
East Lansing, MI
  The Stewardship Network 2017 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
 
       
January 27-28, 2017
New Haven, CT
  Yale 2017 International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) Conference: Tropical Forests in a Connected World: Collaborative Solutions for a Sustainable Future
 
       
FEBRUARY 2017
       
February 2-5, 2017
Towson, MD
  Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Conference: Investigate & Create: The Science & Art of Environmental Education
 
       
February 5-8, 2017
Lincoln, NE
  77th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference  
       
February 6-9, 2017
New Orleans, LA
  Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference  
       
February 6-9, 2017
North Charleston, SC
  Coastal GeoTools 2017  
       
February 6-10, 2017
Reno, NV
  The Western Section of the Wildlife Society: 2017 Annual Meeting. Abstract deadline is October 20, 2016.
North American Pika Consortium (NACP):4th meeting will be held on February 6-7, 2017.
 
       
February 7-9, 2017
Fort Collins, CO
  14th Annual Tamarisk Coalition Conference: The Future is Now: Forward-Thinking Restoration, Planning, and Adaptation
 
       
February 13-15, 2017
Denver, CO
  17th Annual International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF)  
       
February 13-16, 2017
Washington, D.C.
  Native Seed Network: 2017 National Native Seed Conference
 
       
February 16-19, 2017
Little Rock, AR
  2017 Annual SEPARC Meeting: "Aligning Conservation Goals"  
       
February 25-March 1, 2017
Washington, DC
  National Association of Counties 2017 Legislative Conference  
       
February 26-March 3, 2017
Honolulu, HI
  Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2017 Conference: “From the Mountains to the Sea”.
 
       
February 28–March 1, 2017
Virginia Beach, VA
  Virginia Turfgrass Council 2017 Come to the Bay  
       
February 28–March 2, 2017
Stevens Point, WI
  Wisconsin Wetlands Association's 22nd annual Wetland Science Conference
 
       
MARCH 2017
       
March 1-2, 2017
Atlanta, GA
  EUCI 2107 Plant Retirement: Mitigation of Risk, Project Execution, and Redevelopment
 
       
March 1-2, 2017
Toronto, Canada
  50th International Conference: Water Management Modeling. Call for papers deadline is December 31, 2016.  
       
March 1-3, 2017
Chicago, IL
  Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry: Climate Leadership Conference: Connecting People, Innovation, and Opportunity
 
       
March 4-11, 2017
Spokane, WA
  Wildlife Management Institute 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference  
       
March 7-9, 2017
New Orleans, LA
  RES/CON  
       
March 10-12, 2017
St Francis Xavier University Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
  Science Atlantic Student Conference: Biology, Aquaculture & Fisheries
 
       
March 14-16, 2017
Washington, DC
  Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day  
       
March 15-16, 2017
Saratoga Springs, NY
  Land Trust Alliance: 2017 New York Land Trust Symposium  
       
March 16-17, 2017
University of Denver
Denver, CO
  Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law: 26th Annual Western Places/Western Spaces Conference. Additional workshops will be held on March 15, 2017.  
       
March 22-24, 2017
Bartlett, Boksburg, Africa
  Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress: Water & Climate 2017
 
       
March 24-26, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI
  Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration: Annual Meeting: Assembling the Restoration
 
       
March 26-28, 2017
Scottsdale, AZ
  National Flood Determination Association: 20th Annual NFDA Conference
 
       
March 29-April 1, 2017
Montgomery, AL
  Association of Southeastern Biologist: 2017 Annual Meeting
 
       
APRIL 2017
       
April 4, 2017
Online and remote hub locations
  Center for Watershed Protection Association 2017 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference
 
       
April 4-6, 2017
Front Royal, VA
  EcoAgriculture Partners: Landscape Leadership 3-Day Intensive Workshop  
       
April 4-7, 201
Montréal, Canada
  International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Conference: Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change
 
       
April 5-9, 2017
Boston, MA
  American Association of Geographers meeting: Decolonizing Water: Indigenous water politics, resource extraction, and settler colonialism. Proposals due by October 20, 2016.  
       
April 9-11, 2017
Norfolk, VA
  Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: 73rd Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference  
       
April 9-13, 2017
Baltimore, MD
  US-International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE): 2017 Annual Meeting, People, Places, Patterns: Linking Landscape Heterogeneity and Socio-Environmental Systems. Abstracts due by December 18, 2016  
       
April 15, 2017
Antioch University New England Keene, NH
  12th Annual Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Symposium: New Approaches to Conservation Conflicts. Abstract deadline is January 17, 2017.  
       
April 17-21, 2017
Coral Springs, FL
  Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration (GEER 2017) Conference  
       
April 26-27, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  Green Technology: Green California Summit  
       
April 30-May 3, 2017
Snowbird, UT
  2017 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference: Connecting the Dots: The Emerging Science of Aquatic System Connectivity. Abstract deadline is January 9, 2017.  
       
April 30-May 5, 2017
Kansas City, MO
  2017 ASFPM Conference: "Flood Risk Management in the Heartland"  
       
MAY 2017
       
May 4-6, 2017
Lancaster, PA
  2017 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference: Where Land Meets Water: Protecting Our Farmland, Natural Lands, and Waterways  
       
May 9-12, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference: Invest in the Environment
 
       
May 15-19, 2017
Detroit, MI
  IAGLR's 60th Annual Conference: From Cities to Farms: Shaping Great Lakes Ecosystems
 
       
May 17-20, 2017
Saint Paul, MN
  Citizen Science Association: CitSci2017
 
       
May 31-June 2, 2017
Detroit, MI
  Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference: Integrated Stormwater Management from Duluth to Quebec  
       
May 31-June 3, 2017
Haw River State Park
Browns Summit, NC
  4th Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology:
Making urban stream rehabilitation a co-evolutionary process
 
       
JUNE 2017
       
June 4-9, 2017
Raleigh, NC
  Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting: Designing Our Freshwater Futures
 
       
June 5-8, 2017
San Juan, Puerto Rico
  Society of Wetland Scientists’ 2017 Annual Meeting: Celebrating Wetland Diversity Across the Landscape: Mountains to Mangroves
 
       
June 15-16, 2017
San Antonio, TX
  Land Trust Alliance: Sixth Symposium on Advanced Legal Topics in Land Conservation  
       
June 19-21, 2017
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon
  International Conference: Engineering and Ecohydraulics for Fish Passage  
       
June 19-22, 2017
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  University of Alberta: 11th North American Forest Ecology Workshop  
       
June 25-28, 2017
Tysons, VA
  2017 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference: Climate Change Solutions: Collaborative Science, Policy and Planning for Sustainable Water Management. Abstracts due by February 6, 2017.
 
       
June 27-29, 2017
New Orleans LA
  US Water Alliance: One Water Summit 2017  
       
JULY 2017
       
July 21-24, 2017
Franklin County, OH
  National Association of Counties: 2017 Annual Conference
 
       
July 25-27, 2017
Duluth, MN
  Michigan Technological University workshop: Science and Management of Ash Forests after Emerald Ash Borer. Abstract deadline is February 28, 2017.  
       
AUGUST 2017
       
August 6-11, 2017
Portland, OR
  2017 ESA Annual Meeting: Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world
 
       
August 21-25, 2017
Beijing, China
  12th International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL 2017 Beijing): Ecology and Civilization in a Changing World
 
       
August 24-26, 2017
Corum, Montpellier, France
  Biodiversity and Ecosystem Scenarios Network (ScenNet): Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision Making  
       
August 27-September 1, 2017
Stockholm, Sweden
  SIWI World Water Week: Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse’. Abstract deadline is January 22, 2017.  
       
OCTOBER 2017
       
October 14-17, 2017
Iselin, NJ
  Association of State Floodplain Managers: National Flood Mitigation & FloodProofing Workshop  
       
October 26-28, 2017
Denver, CO
  Land Trust Alliance: Rally 2017 National Land Conservation Conference  
       
TRAINING
   
JANUARY 2017  
       
January 6-7, 2017
Saukville, WI
  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Workshop: Ecology and Physiology of Plants in Winter: Surviving the Big Chill
 
       
January 9-12, 2017
Raleigh, NC
  The Swamp School Course: Wetland Delineation Training
 
       
January 9-April 2, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
 
       
January 9-April 2, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Hydric Soils Investigator  
       
January 9-April 28, 2017
Online
  Montana State University On-line Training Course: Wetland and Riparian Ecology and Management
 
       
January 10, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
  Floodplain Management Association Course: 2D HEC-RAS Modeling Course
 
       
January 12, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Course: CEQA: A Step-by-Step Approach  
       
January 13-14, 2017
Charlotte, NC
  Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc. Wetland Permitting Training
 
       
January 16-February 19, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Conducting Effective Ecological Risk Assessments  
       
January 18, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Online Course: Overview of California Water Law and Policy
 
       
January 18-19, 2017
February 16-17, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Course: Planning in California: An Overview  
       
January 18-19, 2017
Kirkland, WA
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration. This course will also be held in September.  
       
January 23, 2017-June 5, 2017
Online
  Wetland Training Institute, Inc. eSession: Principles of Wetland Ecology
 
       
January 27, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Online Course: CEQA Update, Issues and Trends
 
       
January 30-February 2, 2017
Emmitsburg, MD
  FEMA's Emergency Management Institute Course: E194 Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts
 
       
FEBRUARY 2017  
       
February 1-March 29, 2017
Online
  Forester University Online: Water Communications Master Class Series  
       
February 6-April 30, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training  
       
February 6-April 30, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Hydrologist  
       
February 7-8, 2017
Austin, TX
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management. This course will also be held in April, June, and September  
       
February 8, 2017
Online
  UC Davis Extension Online Course: Environmental Justice and NEPA: Overview and Update on Recent Developments  
       
February 10, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Online Course: Endangered Species Regulation and Protection  
       
February 13-March 19, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment  
       
February 13-March 19, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment  
       
February 14-17, 2017
Vicksburg, MS
  Stream Mechanics: Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop  
       
MARCH 2017
       
March 6, 2017
eLearning
  The Swamp School Workshop: Data Collection for Environmental Professionals  
       
March 6-May 28, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
 
       
March 6-May 28, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Botanist
 
       
March 13-April 9, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Habitat Conservation Plans  
       
March 15-16, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Course: Successful CEQA Compliance: An Intensive Two-Day Seminar
 
       
March 24, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Course: Clean Water Act Section 404: Nationwide and Other Specialized Permits  
       
APRIL 2017
       
April 3-June 25, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Principles of Wetland Design  
       
April 3-June 25, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
 
       
April 3-June 25, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Delineator
 
       
April 4-5, 2017
St. Louis Park, MN
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management. This course will also be held in February, June, and September  
       
April 10-May 14, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Conducting Effective Ecological Risk Assessments  
       
April 10-May 14, 2017
Online
  The Swamp School Online Course: Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment  
       
MAY 2017
       
May 2-4, 2017
Boulder, CO
  CUAHSI Training Workshop: The Community WRF-Hydro Modeling System  
       
May 16-19, 2017
Flagstaff, AZ
  CUAHSI Course: Water Sustainability in a Global Economy Master Class
 
       
JUNE 2017
       
June 7, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  UC Davis Extension Online Course: NEPA Case Law and Policy Update  
       
June 20-21, 2017
Sacramento, CA
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management. This course will also be held in February, April, and September.  
       
June 26-July 20, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Field Ecology  
       
June 26-July 7, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Conservation Ecology
 
       
June 26-July 21, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Seminars in Ecology and Resource Management  
       
JULY 2017
       
July 10-21, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Landscape Ecology  
       
July 24-August 4, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Stream Ecology  
       
July 24-August 4, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Alpine Ecology  
       
AUGUST 2017
       
August 7-18, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Ecology of Forests and Grasslands  
       
August 7-18, 2017
Polson, MT
  Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Drone Remote Sensing of Freshwater Ecosystems
 
       
SEPTEMBER 2017      
       
September 19-20, 2017
Arlington, VA
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management. This course will also be held in February, April, and June.  
       
September 20-21, 2017
Arlington, VA
  Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration. This course will also be held in January.
 
       
SPECIAL EVENTS
       
January 28, 2017
Richmond, VA
  Shiver in the River
 
       
February 2, 2017   World Wetlands Day  
       
April 22, 2017   Earth Day
 
       

For more wetland events, meetings, conferences, and courses nationwide, visit the ASWM calendar.

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2016


INDEX

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Outgoing EPA chief: Science is ‘fundamental to absolutely everything we do.
  • Big Bird in the City
  • With floods rising, cities enlist nature to tame the risks
  • EPA Launches Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determination Website
  • The thousands of U.S. locales where lead poisoning is worse than in Flint
  • What happens if the Trump Administration scraps the Waters of the U.S. Rule?

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Restrict Offshore Oil Drilling
  • Navajo Nation Seeks $160 Million in Damages for Gold King Mine Spill
  • Obama Signs WIIN Act, One Week After Passing Senate
  • It's up to scientists to call Trump out if he tramples on evidence, Obama official says
  • Trump Picks Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to Head Interior
  • Feds withheld key documents from Standing Rock Sioux
  • Reversing Course, E.P.A. Says Fracking Can Contaminate Drinking Water
  • Agency won't ID workers who attended climate meetings
  • Rex Tillerson, Exxon C.E.O., Chosen as Secretary of State
  • USDA urges against Supreme Court review of wetland lawsuit
  • Congress OKs Pechanga water rights settlement
  • Mohawks Become First Tribe to Take Down a Federal Dam
  • Senate passes water bill authorizing $2 billion for Everglades
  • Rep. Bishop aims to repeal landmark conservation law
  • USDA Invests $33 Million to Improve Water Quality in High-Priority Watersheds
  • NRCS Washington Announces $10.1 Million in Financial Assistance Available to Help States, Private Partners Protect and Restore Grasslands, Wetlands, and Working Lands
  • Gulf Coast residents upset by BP settlement funds
  • NRCS to Expand Targeted Conservation Effort for Wildlife on Agricultural Lands
  • Obama administration moves to block mining near Yellowstone
  • Democracy and Water in a New Presidential Era

STATE NEWS

  • AK: White House Announces Actions to Protect Natural and Cultural Resources in Alaskan Arctic Ocean
  • CA: California case could set national precedent on Native Americans' water rights
  • CA: Last Tree Standing
  • CA: Human Use of Restored and Naturalized Delta Landscapes
  • DE: Federal grant will help boost wetlands conservation efforts
  • FL: $8.8M saltmarsh wetland parcel donated to UNF
  • FL: Everglades' water at risk from sea-level rise, scientists say
  • FL: Fight over exotic fern threatens future of South Florida wildlife refuge
  • GA: Army Corps pours big drink for Ga. in tri-state war
  • IA: Report: Iowa, states failing to cut nutrient pollution without EPA push
  • LA: Energy Dept. offers $2B loan to La. carbon-storage project
  • LA: N.O.’s air, soil and water need continued EPA oversight
  • MD: Army Corps resumes oyster restoration in Tred Avon River sanctuary
  • MD: Congress asks for more funding to clean up bay
  • MD: EPA Awards $537,000 to Maryland to Protect Wetlands
  • MI: Michigan court upholds penalty for filling wetland
  • NY: Yorktown Town Board to Propose New Wetlands Ordinance
  • OH: 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program announces statewide expansion
  • OR: A Step in the Right Direction for the Upper Deschutes
  • PA: Study: Lancaster County farmland provides environmental benefits worth $676 million
  • PA: Survey finds Pa. farmers have done much to protect Chesapeake Bay water quality
  • VA: Volunteers needed to grow and restore bay grasses
  • VA: DuPont to pay $50M over mercury-contaminated Virginia rivers
  • VA: Federal funds help Virginia increase wetland benefits

WETLAND SCIENCE

  • Florida’s White Ibises May Be Spreading Disease
  • El Niño on a warming planet may have sparked the Zika epidemic, scientists report
  • Newly discovered soil microbes may have helped eat methane after Porter Ranch natural gas leak
  • New map reveals shattering effect of roads on nature
  • Service Announces Final Rule to Further Conserve, Protect Eagles through Revised Permitting, Monitoring Requirements
  • Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says
  • The Arctic just received its annual report card, and it's not good
  • Bee's knees: A new $4m effort aims to stop the death spiral of honeybees
  • Santa in trouble? Reindeer shrink in Arctic as climate changes
  • Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills are Destroying the Gulf
  • These Fish Evolved to Live in Extremely Toxic Water
  • EPA’s National Lakes Assessment Finds Nutrient Pollution in Most Lakes
  • High-Resolution Satellite Images Capture Stunning View of Earth's Changing Waters
  • Scientists Confirm: “the Blob” Really Messed Up the Northeast Pacific
  • The Clam That Sank a Thousand Ships
  • Extreme downpours could increase fivefold across parts of the U.S.
  • Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change
  • “Ghost Forests” Are, Surprisingly, a Sign of Resilience
  • Salting the Earth: The Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills
  • Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening
  • Global Warming May Send More Hurricanes to Northeast U.S.
  • Climate change will stir 'unimaginable' refugee crisis, says military
  • Salting roads found to reverse sex of frogs
  • How Much of Obama's Climate Agenda Can Trump Undo With the Stroke of a Pen?
  • Under Trump, NASA May Turn a Blind Eye to Climate Change
  • The gulf oil spill literally caused wetlands to sink beneath the waves, scientists say
  • Investors press meat producers to cut water pollution
  • 1.3 Million Awarded for Community-Based Projects to Improve Health and Ecosystem of Long Island Sound
  • All Hands Needed to Control Nutrient Pollution

RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

  • Rebuilding with resilience - Lessons learned from projects after Hurricane Sandy
  • EPA Releases Updated Federal Interagency Report on Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate

POTPOURRI

  • Largest all-female expedition braves Antarctica to fight inequality, climate change
  • U.S. to give 30-year wind farm permits; thousands of eagle deaths seen
  • When nature gets sick, so do we
  • An Inside Look at How Ordinary Citizens Saved Public Land
  • How engineers see the water glass in California
  • First polluted river in the world discovered
  • Bringing the U.S. Government Together to Improve Human Rights & Protect the Environment

WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING

  • Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation and the Canadian Rivers Institute Webinar: Development of River Restoration Planning and Analysis Tool
  • AWRA Webinar: Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West
  • Forester University Webinar: When Basic BMPs Are Not Enough
  • The Swamp School Webinar: 2017 Wetland Status and Trends
  • CILER/GLERL Great Lakes Seminar Series: Spatial variability and potential long-term trends in Great Lakes Carbon
  • AWRA Webinar: Climate change and Water Management in Eastern States: Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Regulated Riparianism
  • Implications of spatial connectivity and climate change for the design and application of MPAs
  • AWRA Webinar: Innovations in Sediment Monitoring
  • Microplastics: What we know and discussion of research needs

Meetings

  • Northern Michigan Waterways Hazardous Material Spill Planning Committee (No-Spills): 27th Annual No-Spills Conference
  • Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting
  • Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: 2017 Mid-Winter Conference
  • Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams: Playa Lake Workshop and Tour
  • The Stewardship Network 2017 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
  • Tropical Forests in a Connected World: Collaborative Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  • Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Conference: Investigate & Create: The Science & Art of Environmental Education
  • 77th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference
  • Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
  • Coastal GeoTools 2017
  • The Western Section of the Wildlife Society: 2017 Annual Meeting
  • 14th Annual Tamarisk Coalition Conference: The Future is Now: Forward-Thinking Restoration, Planning, and Adaptation
  • 17th Annual International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF)2017 National Native Seed Conference
  • Aligning Conservation Goals
  • National Association of Counties 2017 Legislative Conference
  • Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2017 Conference: “From the Mountains to the Sea”
  • Virginia Turfgrass Council 2017 Come to the Bay
  • 22nd Annual Wetland Science Conference
  • EUCI 2107 Plant Retirement: Mitigation of Risk, Project Execution, and Redevelopment
  • 50th International Conference: Water Management Modeling
  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry: Climate Leadership Conference: Connecting People, Innovation, and Opportunity
  • Wildlife Management Institute 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
  • RES/CON
  • Science Atlantic Student Conference: Biology, Aquaculture & Fisheries
  • Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day
  • Land Trust Alliance: 2017 New York Land Trust Symposium
  • Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law: 26th Annual Western Places/Western Spaces Conference
  • Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress: Water & Climate 2017
  • Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration: Annual Meeting: Assembling the Restoration
  • National Flood Determination Association: 20th Annual NFDA Conference
  • Association of Southeastern Biologist: 2017 Annual Meeting
  • Center for Watershed Protection Association: 2017 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference
  • EcoAgriculture Partners: Landscape Leadership 3-Day Intensive Workshop
  • International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Conference: Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change
  • American Association of Geographers meeting: Decolonizing Water: Indigenous water politics, resource extraction, and settler colonialism
  • Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies: 73rd Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference
  • 2017 Annual Meeting, People, Places, Patterns: Linking Landscape Heterogeneity and Socio-Environmental Systems
  • 12th Annual Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Symposium: New Approaches to Conservation Conflicts
  • Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration (GEER 2017) Conference
  • Green Technology: Green California Summit
  • 2017 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference: Connecting the Dots: The Emerging Science of Aquatic System Connectivity
  • 2017 ASFPM Conference: "Flood Risk Management in the Heartland"
  • 2017 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference: Where Land Meets Water: Protecting Our Farmland, Natural Lands, and Waterways
  • National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference: Invest in the Environment
  • IAGLR's 60th Annual Conference: From Cities to Farms: Shaping Great Lakes Ecosystems
  • Citizen Science Association: CitSci2017
  • Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference: Integrated Stormwater Management from Duluth to Quebec
  • 4th Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology: Making urban stream rehabilitation a co-evolutionary process
  • Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting: Designing Our Freshwater Futures
  • Society of Wetland Scientists’ 2017 Annual Meeting: Celebrating Wetland Diversity Across the Landscape: Mountains to Mangroves
  • Land Trust Alliance: Sixth Symposium on Advanced Legal Topics in Land Conservation
  • International Conference: Engineering and Ecohydraulics for Fish Passage
  • University of Alberta: 11th North American Forest Ecology Workshop
  • 2017 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference: Climate Change Solutions: Collaborative Science, Policy and Planning for Sustainable Water Management
  • US Water Alliance: One Water Summit 2017
  • National Association of Counties: 2017 Annual Conference
  • Michigan Technological University workshop: Science and Management of Ash Forests after Emerald Ash Borer
  • 2017 ESA Annual Meeting: Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world
  • 12th International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL 2017 Beijing): Ecology and Civilization in a Changing World
  • Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision Making
  • SIWI World Water Week: Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse’
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers: National Flood Mitigation & FloodProofing Workshop
  • Land Trust Alliance: Rally 2017 National Land Conservation Conference

Training

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Workshop: Ecology and Physiology of Plants in Winter: Surviving the Big Chill
  • The Swamp School Course: Wetland Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Hydric Soils Investigator
  • Montana State University On-line Training Course: Wetland and Riparian Ecology and Management
  • Floodplain Management Association Course: 2D HEC-RAS Modeling Course
  • UC Davis Extension Course: CEQA: A Step-by-Step Approach
  • Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc. Wetland Permitting Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Conducting Effective Ecological Risk Assessments
  • UC Davis Extension Online Course: Overview of California Water Law and Policy
  • UC Davis Extension Course: Planning in California: An Overview
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration
  • Wetland Training Institute, Inc. eSession: Principles of Wetland Ecology
  • UC Davis Extension Online Course: CEQA Update, Issues and Trends
  • FEMA's Emergency Management Institute Course: E194 Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts
  • Forester University Online: Water Communications Master Class Series
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Hydrologist
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management
  • UC Davis Extension Online Course: Environmental Justice and NEPA: Overview and Update on Recent Developments
  • UC Davis Extension Online Course: Endangered Species Regulation and Protection
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
  • Stream Mechanics: Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop
  • The Swamp School Workshop: Data Collection for Environmental Professionals
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Botanist
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Habitat Conservation Plans
  • UC Davis Extension Course: Successful CEQA Compliance: An Intensive Two-Day Seminar
  • UC Davis Extension Course: Clean Water Act Section 404: Nationwide and Other Specialized Permits
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Principles of Wetland Design
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Certified Wetland Delineator
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Conducting Effective Ecological Risk Assessments
  • The Swamp School Online Course: Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment
  • CUAHSI Training Workshop: The Community WRF-Hydro Modeling System
  • CUAHSI Course: Water Sustainability in a Global Economy Master Class
  • UC Davis Extension Online Course: NEPA Case Law and Policy Update
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Field Ecology
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Conservation Ecology
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Seminars in Ecology and Resource Management
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Landscape Ecology
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Stream Ecology
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Alpine Ecology
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Ecology of Forests and Grasslands
  • Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana Course: Drone Remote Sensing of Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands: Science and Regulatory Management
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Shiver in the River
  • World Wetlands Day
  • Earth Day

 

Wetland Breaking News - December 2015

Wetland Breaking News - March 2016


The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News (WBN)
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. WBN chronicles the legislative, national and state news relevant to wetland science and policy, wetland regulations and legal analysis of Supreme court cases from the past month; it also links to new publications and resources available to wetland professionals as well as events and training opportunities for those Wetland Breaking News - December 2016working in water resources and related fields. Wetland Breaking News has been published for over fifteen years and ASWM has been a think-tank and source for wetland science and policy news and discussion for over 30 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 .

"WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by Marla Stelk, Editor; Laura Burchill and Sharon Weaver, Assistant Editors. Executive Director: Jeanne Christie. Association of State Wetland Managers, 32 Tandberg Trail, Ste. 2A, Windham, ME 04062. Telephone: 207-892-3399 Fax: 207-892-3089

All photos by Jeanne Christie, ASWM


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