WETLAND BREAKING NEWS - CURRENT ISSUE
- Senate approves farm bill in 66-27 bipartisan vote
- Five Western senators question Obama on proposed Alaskan mine
- IN: Trees, wetlands used to reclaim I-69 area in Indiana
- AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: USGS Economic Analysis of Anacostia River Shows Potential Value of Restoring Urban Streams Nationwide
- NC: Compensatory Stream and Wetland Mitigation in North Carolina: An Evaluation of Regulatory Success
- State Constraints: State - Imposed Limitations on the Authority of Agencies to Regulate Waters Beyond the Scope of the Federal Clean Water Act
- Tom Vilsack: USDA: Farmers Must Both Recognize Climate Change and Become a Part of the Solution
- Its Top Regulator a Petro Insider, Alberta Faces New Major Spill
- Funding to improve drinking water has come at a slow drip
- Indiana University researcher makes case for restoring wetlands on agricultural lands
- Don't neglect protection of marshes, wetlands in RESTORE projects (Opinion from Ben Raines)
- EPA Survey Shows $384 Billion Needed for Drinking Water Infrastructure by 2030
- How Climate Change And Budget Cuts Could Make This The Most Dangerous Hurricane Season Ever
- Wal-Mart Toxic Dumping Leads to $110 Million in Federal and State Fines
- No tardy slips: First Circuit declines to compel EPA to act on long-pending NPDES permit renewal applications
- Rebuilding the coastlines but at what cost?
- New Data Shows Mitigation Banks Can Speed Approval Process
- Funding for wetlands projects, additions to National Wildlife Refuges announced
- DE: DNREC's latest Wetlands 101 video now available on YouTube
- MN: Duluth streams being fixed with future floods in mind
- FL: Department of Environmental Protection Rejects Bid for Wetlands Permit
- MI: Wetlands destroyed with dam removal
- IA: Goats help Davenport wetlands area control plants
- MD: $3 Million Awarded for Chesapeake Bay Restoration in Anacostia and Little Patuxent Watersheds
- SC: S.C. group to sue to protect freshwater wetlands
- MI: Anishinabek say project could restore fish, knowledge, weather cycle
- MD: Throwing Pennies to Protest Stormwater Fee
- WV: Herbicides likely source of growing intersex fish problem
- WI: The unexpected consequences of fighting Eurasian Watermilfoil, preventing fish from successfully reproducing?
- FL: When Sugar was sued, it turned to Legislature for relief
- VA: Groups clash over Nansemond River pollution issues
- CA: Bay Area Wetlands Slowly Drowning as Seas Rise
- LA: State officials, engineers tour local floodgate sites
- MI: Senate bill is sneak attack on wetlands
- MI: Groups disagree over proposed wetland law changes
- CA: U.S. EPA Announces $5 Million in S.F. Bay Watershed Restoration Grants Available SAN FRANCISCO
- VA: Chesapeake Bay: Owners, neighbors split on plan to preserve marsh
- OR: A Wetlands Solution?
- MS: Gulf Biz Smacked with $1m Fine for Mucking Wetlands
- WI: Professors Receive $550,000 Federal Grant to Study Wetlands
- WA: La Center’s shoreline master program gains final approval
- AL: Company fined $1 million for illegally filling Hancock County wetlands
- WV: Canaan Valley Institute restores fish habitat, wetlands areas on historic Cheat Mountain
- NJ: New Staff: New Programs at Wetlands
- NY: Discovery Wetlands Cruise Season Begins Sightseeing Tours Along Long Island’s North Shore
- OH: OEC Applauds State's Move to Save Wetlands
- MD: Restoration of Lower Booze Creek contains 4000 feet and 35 habitat improvements
- WV: Green Bank Students Build Wetland
- OH: New Water Science Tools Help Communities Prepare for Floods
- LA: CWPPRA Task Force Approves New 20 Year Life Decision Matrix
- Volume 7 of the USGS Cooperative Water Program Quarterly Highlights, June 2013
- USFWS Surface Waters and Wetlands Product Summary
- USGS Documents Threats of Pesticides to Waterways
- EPA Releases Guide and Online Module for Developing Effective Watershed Plans
- Vilsack: Climate change will soon affect agriculture
- Eelgrass continues its comeback in coastal bays
- Loss of Wetlands in Dakotas a Problem For the Entire United States: A Study
- The Power Of Historical Ecology: A Case Study In Cape Cod's Wetlands
- Wetlands Reserve Program boosts frog populations
- U.K. coastline, biodiversity under threat from climate change
- Presentations from the Southwest Stream Restoration Conference are now on the web!
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces additional Emergency Watershed Protection funding to states affected by natural disasters
- Wolves 'no longer face the threat of extinction' -- FWS
- NRCS, landowners improve habitat for at-risk species
- What Is Your Water Footprint?
- Connect with EPA through Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, YouTube and Greenversations
- Wetland restorations offer environmental, economic benefits
- Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies: The Great Lakes Legacy Act
- Media Fails to Report Big Oil Funding Ties to Climate Change Contrarians
- Environmentalist say OFA is dodging Keystone – Obama talks energy agenda in Atlanta – NRDC launches Pebble Mine ad buy
- DiCaprio's Environmental Charity Art Auction Raise $33 Million
- When Valuing Wetlands Local Perspectives Matters Most
- Study Shows Scientists Agree on Anthropogenic Climate Change
- The Way We Build Cities Is Making Them Flood
- EPA Features Locally Led Efforts in Urban Water Restoration via Video Series
- Environmental Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty
- There Will Be Drought: America's Water Situation Keeps Getting Worse
- Inventory and Mapping: A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Inventory and Digital Mapping of Nontimber Forest Products on Small Private Forestlands
- North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012: Action Plan Completed
- KY: Stream Restoration
- Webinar Summer Series: Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin
- Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Conference
- Course: NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands
- Ohio Wetlands Association Annual Meeting and Jamboree
- Course: NJDEP Coastal Project Review
- Native and Traditional Environmental Science Workshop
- Wetland Plant ID Basics, MD
- HEC-RAS for Stream Restoration Workshop, NC
- Creating Vibrant Coastal Communities Workshop, MI
- 38th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, CO
- Field Indicators of Hydric Soils Course, CA
- River Course 435 - Management of Invasive and Exotic Vegetation in Riparian Areas
- Wetland Delineation Training, NY
- Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, OR
- 2013 Water Education Summit: Making a Difference in Your Community, TN
- SWS SAC/FAESS/SW FAEP 2013 Conference
- Association of Climate Change Officers Launches Inaugural Climate Strategies Forum
- Lake Michigan: State of the Lake Great Lakes Beach Association Conference, WI
- State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference 20/20 Vision: Past Reflections, Future Directions
- Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
- 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, AL
- 2014 Climate Leadership Conference, CA
Hello My Wetland Friends and Peeps,
Throughout my career I always talked about my “Peeps”. Peeps are my special people that I rely on for information that would hopefully lead me to make better decisions.
I had several peeps while working as Supervisor of the Water Quality Certification Section in Kentucky. The position required working with so many organizations and agencies it was difficult to stay attune with all the changes in regulations, statues, memorandums, and various interpretations that went with all those documents. I needed my peeps.
Today, some might call this networking. But it is more; it is relationships that are closer than networking. Used appropriately, peep networking is probably the best means of positive communications that we know.
You may already have a working network of peeps. If you don’t, now is the time to start organizing a real “Peep Network”. This could turn out to be one of your most important professional organization tasks you have completed.
Please add ASWM to your peep network. Get to know the staff here and add us to your list of peeps. When I was working, there were several times I would call Jeanne and ask her about different topics, or who should I contact about this or that problem. The staff here has a vast array of contacts. Use us. We want to be one of your peeps.
To my past and present Peeps, thanks for all your help!
Thanks to Ruth Ladd, New England District Corps of Engineers; John Dorney, Atkins; Christina Uranowski, Southwest Florida Water Management District; and Thomas R. Biebighauser, Wetland Restoration and Training and others who recommended stories for this issue of WBN.
Thank you all,
Editor, Wetland Breaking News
Senate approves farm bill in 66-27 bipartisan vote
By Amanda Peterka – E & E Publishing, LLC – June 11, 2013
Conservationists and farm groups have largely applauded the bill. For the first time since the mid-1990s, the bill would require farmers to comply with basic conservation measures in order to receive subsidies for crop insurance on highly erodible land and wetlands (E&ENews PM, May 14). The bill also would limit subsidies for farmers who plant crops on recently converted native grassland, in a program known as "sodsaver." "We are very pleased with the Senate's version of the farm bill and congratulate the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate leadership for all their hard work," said Julie Sibbing, director of agriculture and forestry programs for National Wildlife Federation. For full story, click here.
Five Western senators question Obama on proposed Alaskan mine
By Juliet Eilperin – The Washington Post – June 9, 2013
Five Democratic senators are asking President Obama to consider blocking a proposed mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a move that could heighten pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to veto the project. In a letter Monday, the group of senators from Washington, Oregon and California, led by Maria Cantwell (Wash.), argue that their states could suffer economically if a huge gold-and-copper mine moves forward. The EPA is conducting a scientific review of how the project, underwritten by mining giants Northern Dynasty and Anglo American, would affect the region’s aquatic life. For full story, click here.
IN: Trees, wetlands used to reclaim I-69 area in Indiana
Courier-Journal – May 12, 2013
The Indiana Department of Transportation’s federally required mitigation plan includes planting about 332,000 trees and protecting 690,000 other trees along a 27-mile section of the highway being built in Greene and Monroe counties. The stretch is scheduled to open during late 2014 and 2015. The first 67 miles of the 142-mile Evansville-to-Indianapolis highway opened in November. For full story, click here.
AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: USGS Economic Analysis of Anacostia River Shows Potential Value of Restoring Urban Streams Nationwide
Contacts: Cathy Thomas and Mark Secrist – U.S. Geological Survey – May 2, 2013
The U.S. Geological Survey today released an analysis of the Watts Branch of the Anacostia River in Prince Georges County, Md. and Washington, D.C. that documents how restoration work on this urban tributary has had a substantial impact on the local economy, directly or indirectly accounting for 45 jobs, $2.6 million in local labor income and $3.4 million in value added to the local D.C. metropolitan area in 2011. "The USGS study confirms the value of re-greening our urban landscapes around the nation," said David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior. "Restoring one of the most degraded urban streams in the Anacostia watershed while also addressing sewage infrastructure benefited a struggling local economy, provided an improved park and green space for residents, and enhanced wildlife habitat. Restoring a stream is helping restore a community and demonstrates the power of partnerships." The Anacostia watershed is one of the priority areas for interagency cooperation in both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. For full article, click here.
NC: Compensatory Stream and Wetland Mitigation in North Carolina: An Evaluation of Regulatory Success
By Tammy Hill, Eric Kulz, Breda Munoz, John R. Dorney – Springer Link – May 2013
A probability sample were used to estimate wetland and stream mitigation success from 2007 to 2009 across North Carolina (NC). “Success” was defined as whether the mitigation site met regulatory requirements in place at the time of construction. Analytical results were weighted by both component counts and mitigation size. Overall mitigation success (including preservation) was estimated at 74 % (SE = 3 %) for wetlands and 75 % (SE = 4 %) for streams in NC. Compared to the results of previous studies, wetland mitigation success rates had increased since the mid-1990s. For full article, click here.
State Constraints: State - Imposed Limitations on the Authority of Agencies to Regulate Waters Beyond the Scope of the Federal Clean Water Act
Environmental Law Institute – May 2013
The Environmental Law Institute conducted a 50 state study to identify and analyze state laws that could limit the ability of state environmental or natural resource agencies to do so. What did the study find? Over two – thirds of all U.S. states have on their books laws that could restrict the authority of state agencies to regulate activities affecting wetlands, streams, and other water resources no longer covered by the CWA , or whose coverage is now uncertain. For full study, click here.
Tom Vilsack: USDA: Farmers Must Both Recognize Climate Change and Become a Part of the Solution
By Sasha Lyutse – Civil Eats – February 28, 2013
On the heels of his agency’s release of a comprehensive report on climate change and its effects on U.S. agricultural production, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said yesterday that America’s farmers and ranchers are a critical part of the solution and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be there to help them step up to the plate. For full story, click here.
Its Top Regulator a Petro Insider, Alberta Faces New Major Spill
By Andrew Nikiforuk – The Tyee – June 17, 2013A Houston-based pipeline company responsible for three major oil spills in Alberta in three consecutive years has a questionable safety record in both the United States and Canada, according to regulatory documents. On June 15 Plains Midstream, a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipelines reported a 1,000 barrel condensate spill near Manning, Alberta. For full story, click here.
Funding to improve drinking water has come at a slow drip
By Jessica Garrison – Los Angeles Times – June 16, 2013
Officials have been slow to spend state and federal funds to address tainted water, snarling small communities in red tape that has delayed fixes for years, advocates say. A bright metal drinking fountain is mounted on the wall in the community center of this tiny town west of Fresno. No one pays it any mind: The water is drawn from a well that has been contaminated with arsenic for years. For full story, click here.
Indiana University researcher makes case for restoring wetlands on agricultural lands
Indiana University News Release – June 6, 2013
New research by an Indiana University scientist reveals the value of restoring wetlands and riparian habitat on agricultural lands. The study is among the first to demonstrate the water quality benefits of converting farmland back to natural habitats. For full news release, click here.
Don't neglect protection of marshes, wetlands in RESTORE projects (Opinion from Ben Raines)
By Ben Raines – All Alabama – June 5, 2013
After months of deliberation, federal officials released a draft version of the "Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast's Ecosystem and Economy," which details how the RESTORE Act funds will be spent along the Gulf Coast. While full of broad goals and lots of language about ensuring the Gulf region is restored and becomes more resilient, the plan fails to do the one thing that could accomplish those goals. Put simply, the plan does not require the Gulf states to spend a nickel buying and protecting coastal marshes, wetlands or beaches. For full story, click here.
EPA Survey Shows $384 Billion Needed for Drinking Water Infrastructure by 2030
eNews Park Forest – June 5, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released results of a survey showing that $384 billion in improvements are needed for the nation’s drinking water infrastructure through 2030 for systems to continue providing safe drinking water to 297 million Americans. EPA’s fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment identifies investments needed over the next 20 years for thousands of miles of pipes and thousands of treatment plants, storage tanks and water distribution systems, which are all vital to public health and the economy. The national total of $384 billion includes the needs of 73,400 water systems across the country, as well as American Indian and Alaska Native Village water systems. For full story, click here.
How Climate Change And Budget Cuts Could Make This The Most Dangerous Hurricane Season Ever
By Kiley Kroh – Think Progress – May 31, 2013
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on Saturday and despite warnings of an above-average season and increasingly intense storms driven by climate change, key agencies are facing mandatory cuts that threaten their ability to prepare and protect at-risk communities. In releasing its annual hurricane season outlook last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an “active or extremely active” season, with 13 to 20 named storms — 7 to 11 of which could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes. For full story, click here.
Wal-Mart Toxic Dumping Leads to $110 Million in Federal and State Fines
By Leticia Domenech – Headlines & Global News – May 29, 2013
Walmart plead guilty to charges of crimes against the environment, and more specifically admitted to violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and related legislation, on Tuesday and will pay $110 million in fines as a result. In the cases filed in California and Missouri, prosecutors made complaints against Walmart indicating the multinational retail corporation violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and other environment protection laws. For full story, click here.
No tardy slips: First Circuit declines to compel EPA to act on long-pending NPDES permit renewal applications
By Brian Glass – Warren Glass Law – May 21, 2013
In a two-page judgment entered earlier this month whose brevity belies its potential significance, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied a petition for a writ of mandamus submitted by environmental groups seeking to compel EPA to take action on applications submitted by two steam electric generating facilities to renew NPDES permits that had expired – one 15 years ago and one 17 years ago – but that have both been administratively continued. For full story, click here.
Rebuilding the coastlines but at what cost?
By Jenny Anderson – The New York Times – May 18, 2013
When a handful of retired homeowners from Osborn Island in New Jersey gathered last month to discuss post-Hurricane Sandy rebuilding and environmental protection, L. Stanton Hales Jr., a conservationist, could not have been clearer about the risks they faced. “I said, look people, you built on a marsh island, it’s oxidizing under your feet — it’s shrinking — and that exacerbates the sea level rise,” said Dr. Hales, director of the Barnegat Bay Partnership, an estuary program financed by the Environmental Protection Agency. “Do you really want to throw good money after bad?” Their answer? Yes. For full story, click here.
New Data Shows Mitigation Banks Can Speed Approval Process
By Jemma Penelope – Ecosystem Marketplace – May 13, 2013
Mitigation bankers have long claimed that their combination of simplicity, commodification, and regulation offers the most environmentally effective and economically efficient vehicle for approving development projects that require mitigation. Data has long supported the environmental argument, but the economic argument has been more difficult to make – until now. For full story, click here.
Funding for wetlands projects, additions to National Wildlife Refuges announced
Capitol Reports Environmental – September 18, 2006
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved $28.9 million from the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund for 30 conservation projects in 17 U.S. states and 12 Canadian provinces. U.S. partners in 26 projects will add nearly $130 million, including more than $55 million in obligated match, to restore more than 209,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands. Partners in four Canadian projects will add more than $7.5 million to improve more than 24,000 acres of habitat. For full story, click here.
DE: DNREC's latest Wetlands 101 video now available on YouTube
Cape Gazette – June 17, 2013
Visitors to DNREC’s website are invited to check out the second installment in the Wetlands 101 video series on YouTube’s Delaware DNREC channel, produced with the Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program. The series is designed as an introduction to Delaware’s wetlands. For full story, click here. To view videos, click here.
MN: Duluth streams being fixed with future floods in mind
By John Myers – Duluth News Tribune – June 17, 2013
The resource experts look at blown-out Duluth streams like Chester Creek and Mission Creek and see a chance to restore the waterways to their original flood plain. Streams need more than just a narrow, shallow channel for their normal load but also a low-level flood plain over which to spread flood water, usually once every other year or so. Streams, the experts said, need to meander to work right.
“It’s the streams like Mission Creek (in Fond du Lac), where they tried to make it into a straight channel, the ones most impacted by human activity, that had the worst problems, that caused the most flooding,” Anderson said. “Now, Mission Creek has sort of reclaimed its old, meandering path. It’s reclaimed its old flood plain … Chester Creek the same way.” For full story, click here.
FL: Department of Environmental Protection Rejects Bid for Wetlands Permit
By Craig Pittman – The Ledger – June 16, 2013
Florida's top environmental regulator has denied a permit for a controversial wetlands project, saying it failed to offer a reasonable assurance that it would work. The decision late Friday by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. in effect upholds the warnings of the DEP's top wetlands expert, Connie Bersok, who was relieved of duty, investigated and taken off the case last year.
The permit was for the Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank, created in 2008 when a politically influential private equity firm named the Carlyle Group formed a joint venture with a Jacksonville company, Hassan & Lear Acquisitions. They spent $15 million buying a 1,575-acre pine plantation next to Jennings State Forest. For full story, click here.
MI: Wetlands destroyed with dam removal
Battle Creek Enquirer – June 14, 2013
The management of Fort Custer State Recreational Area recently made a destructive decision to remove a large beaver dam, which had been in place for years, on a little stream flowing out of Eagle Lake. The more than eight feet long beaver dam had effectively created a beautiful and important wetland in a wild, undeveloped area north of Eagle Lake. This protected wetland was the home of numerous wild creatures. For full story, click here.
IA: Goats help Davenport wetlands area control plants
Seattle PI – June 14, 2013
Managers of a wetlands area near Davenport are turning to goats to rid it of invasive plants. The Quad-City Times reported facilitator Brian Ritter decided to give goats a try after failing at other efforts to remove invasive plants that crowd out native varieties in the Nahant Marsh area. Ritter said the 24 goats that arrived from Wisconsin in late May have made a huge difference at the wetlands area west of Davenport. For full story, click here.
MD: $3 Million Awarded for Chesapeake Bay Restoration in Anacostia and Little Patuxent Watersheds
By K. King – Maryland DNR – June 12, 2013
The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded two environmental organizations grants totaling $3 million to restore wetlands and streams in the Anacostia and Little Patuxent watersheds in coordination with local, state and federal partners. These projects will help Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties meet Chesapeake Bay restoration goals by decreasing nutrient and sediment pollution. For full story, click here.
SC: S.C. group to sue to protect freshwater wetlands
By Sarita Chourey – Online Athens – June 10, 2013
Days after a federal judge approved a settlement to allow the deepening of the Savannah River, a new conflict has landed in court. But instead of a 38-mile stretch of river, business and environmental interests are now clashing over the fate of 700 acres of sensitive freshwater wetlands. The land sits west of U.S. 17 before the Talmadge Bridge and adjacent to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County, SC. Opponents warn the project could release pollutants, such as pesticides and radioactive contaminants, harm crucial bird habitats, affect the nearby national refuge and destroy precious freshwater wetlands to create more common salt marsh. For full story, click here.
MI: Anishinabek say project could restore fish, knowledge, weather cycle
By Talli Nauman – Great Lakes Echo – June 7, 2013
For generations untold, a colossal fish known as the name(pronounced nah’ may) was crucial to survival for the indigenous people of the Great Lakes region. Well-worn paths lead to spawning grounds at the sandbar where Bear Creek meets the Kalamazoo River in Southwest Michigan. For full story, click here.
MD: Throwing Pennies to Protest Stormwater Fee
By Tom Pelton – Bay Daily – June 6, 2013
Frederick County has decided to launch a penny protest of Maryland’s new stormwater pollution control law. Sadly, the protest will prove costly to county residents over the long term, in contaminated streams, flooded basements, lost recreational opportunities, and reduced property values. For full story, click here.
WV: Herbicides likely source of growing intersex fish problem
By Neal Augenstein – WTOP – June 6, 2013 – Video
Ten years after the discovery of the first intersex fish in the Potomac River, leading researchers are closing in on the chemicals and sources producing fish with immature eggs in the sex organs of male smallmouth- and largemouth bass. "What we've found in the past few years is the presence of certain chemicals and hormones that are typically associated with agricultural activities are associated with the severity of intersex in smallmouth bass," says research biologist Luke Iwanowicz, with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Fish Health Research Laboratory. For full story and to view video, click here.
WI: The unexpected consequences of fighting Eurasian Watermilfoil, preventing fish from successfully reproducing?
By Eric Engbretson – Structure Spot – June 5, 2013
In 2012, Greg Matzke, a fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, made a startling discovery on Florence County’s Lake Ellwood. During a comprehensive fish survey which included spring, summer and fall netting and electrofishing surveys, Matzke discovered that all of the lake’s largemouth bass were older than 5 years of age, with approximately 91% of the largemouth bass population being at least seven years old. The absence of younger fish indicated a recruitment failure for a number of years. Such failures in largemouth bass recruitment over multiple years are unprecedented in the state of Wisconsin. For full article, click here.
FL: When Sugar was sued, it turned to Legislature for relief
By Aaron Deslatte – Orlando Sentinel – May 30, 2013
When environmentalists filed a lawsuit earlier this year to force Florida's powerful sugar industry to cut a better deal with the state for Everglades restoration, Sugar took its fight to safer confines: the Florida Legislature. Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed into law an environmental-regulation bill that does everything from easing permit requirements for boat shows and marina expansions to expediting natural-gas-pipeline construction and placing new restrictions on cities and counties that environmentalists say will make it harder for them to slow down bad development. For full story, click here.
VA: Groups clash over Nansemond River pollution issues
By Cherise M. Newsome – The Virginian-Pilot – May 30, 2013
A developer and an environmental group have clashed over strategies to combat pollution in the Nansemond River. The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance has pushed the city to more strictly enforce environmental regulations for shoreline developments that could contribute to the problem. Those efforts have frustrated officials with Parker Crossing LLC - a developer of the River Bluff waterfront community - who question the group's tactics. For full story, click here.
CA: Bay Area Wetlands Slowly Drowning as Seas Rise
By Craig Miller – KQED Blog – May 30, 2013
Rising sea levels are likely to virtually wipe out San Francisco Bay’s remaining wetlands by the end of the century — and new research suggests some could be gone much sooner than that. Using the most precise land measurements and plant data yet assembled, scientists at the US Geological Survey now expect that some of the Bay’s major marshlands, like Marin County’s Corte Madera Marsh, will be gone in 40 years. For full blog post, click here.
LA: State officials, engineers tour local floodgate sites
By Nikki Buskey – Houmatoday – May 30, 2013
State officials, local landowners and engineers toured the new Houma Navigation Canal and Bayou Grand Caillou floodgates Thursday in advance of the 2013 hurricane season. Officials also visited the site of the future Houma Navigation Canal Lock, which is being pitched as a method to help control salt water intrusion into Terrebonne Parish through the canal, which runs directly from the Gulf of Mexico into the heart of Houma. For full story, click here.
MI: Senate bill is sneak attack on wetlands
The Times Herald News – May 28, 2013
A wetlands bill has not grabbed many headlines as it makes its way through the legislative process in Lansing, but its significance should not be downplayed. Wetlands are a very big deal in Michigan. Two centuries ago, before the virgin forests were replaced by farmland and urban sprawl, the state had 11 million acres of wetlands. Over the years, that number has fallen to 5.83 million acres, but it still represents 15 percent of the state’s land mass. For full story, click here.
MI: Groups disagree over proposed wetland law changes
Soo Evening News – May 26, 2013
For the second time in recent years, the Michigan Legislature is rewriting environmental law in ways that critics say would accelerate development of sensitive wetlands, although business interests contend the revisions would provide adequate protections while boosting the economy. The state Senate this week approved and sent to the House a measure that would make numerous changes in laws dealing with wetlands such as swamps, marshes and bogs, which absorb floodwaters and provide vital wildlife habitat. Some of the provisions deal with farming. Others would provide more flexibility for developers who are required to create new wetlands in place of those they damage. For full story, click here.
CA: U.S. EPA Announces $5 Million in S.F. Bay Watershed Restoration Grants Available SAN FRANCISCO
EPA – May 21, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is now accepting proposals for nearly $5 million dollars in grants intended to protect and restore San Francisco Bay watersheds, wetlands and prevent polluted runoff. Projects funded under this award will receive between $800,000 and $2 million, and will focus on water quality results, such as the restoration of impaired waters and the enhancement of aquatic life. All proposals must be submitted to EPA no later than July 9, 2013. For more information on the request for proposals, including the grant selection process, click here.
VA: Chesapeake Bay: Owners, neighbors split on plan to preserve marsh
By Rex Springston –Times Dispatch – May 19, 2013
The owners of Curles Neck Farm say they want to preserve that sprawling property on the James River, home to nesting eagles and other wildlife. For full story, click here.
OR: A Wetlands Solution?
By Kathy Ursprung – The Dalles Chronicle – May 18, 2013
In the saga of local building projects like Walmart and the regional jail’s Dakine building, the U.S. Clean Water Act’s wetlands rules have been seen as the “ogre” that has held development at bay, in some cases for years, but a new committee is working on a way to resolve wetlands issues before specific construction is even contemplated. The newly formed Technical Advisory Committee is in the beginning stages of work to develop what is called a Regional General Permit. The permit will be an agreement that defines high-priority wetland areas that demand protection, high-priority development areas vital to the community’s economic development, and measures to compensate for other wetlands that must be filled in. For full story, click here.
MS: Gulf Biz Smacked with $1m Fine for Mucking Wetlands
By R. L. Nave – Jackson Free Press – May 16, 2013
Mississippi-based Hancock County Land LLC (HCL) pleaded guilty today to the unpermitted filling of wetlands near Bay St. Louis, Miss., and agreed to pay a $1 million fine and take remedial measures for two felony violations of the Clean Water Act, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Gregory K. Davis. HCL admitted causing the unauthorized excavation and filling of wetlands on a 1,710 acre parcel of undeveloped property in Hancock County, west of the intersection of Route 603 and Interstate 10. For full blog post, click here.
WI: Professors Receive $550,000 Federal Grant to Study Wetlands
Newswise – May 16, 2013
The effects of development and other environmental changes on small wetlands in the Chippewa Valley will be studied by University of Wisconsin-Stout faculty and their students through a $550,000 federal grant. For full story, click here.
WA: La Center’s shoreline master program gains final approval
Contacts: Linda Kent and Dale Miller – Washington State Department of Ecology News Release – May 16, 2013
La Center’s shoreline program will result in significant improvements in the protection, use, development and restoration of approximately 1 mile of shoreline and the water quality of the East Fork Lewis River in the city and its urban growth areas. For full news release, click here. For the La Center Shoreline Master Program: Comprehensive Update, click here.
AL: Company fined $1 million for illegally filling Hancock County wetlands
By Robin Fitzgerald – SunHearald – May 16, 2013
An Alabama-based real estate investment company has agreed to pay a $1 million fine for damaging wetlands and polluting waters in a development project in Hancock County. For full story,
WV: Canaan Valley Institute restores fish habitat, wetlands areas on historic Cheat Mountain
Hampshire Review – May 16, 2013
In another, erosion is being reduced, spruce forest re-created and wetlands habitat created on Bartons Bench. Both projects are located in the Monongahela National Forest and involve multi-group partnerships and creative designs that are the specialty. For full story, click here.
NJ: New Staff: New Programs at Wetlands
By Alex Davis – Shore News Today – May 15, 2013
Visitors to The Wetlands Institute can build a solar car, sort shells and compare different kinds of fish. Things have become more hands on at the facility along Stone Harbor Boulevard in Middle Township. The Wetlands Institute has a mission of promoting appreciation, understanding and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through programs in research, education and conservation. For full story, click here.
NY: Discovery Wetlands Cruise Season Begins Sightseeing Tours Along Long Island’s North Shore
Long Island Exchange – May 14, 2013
Learn the importance and fragility of a wetlands ecosystem, enjoy the sweeping panorama of a salt marsh moraine and be amazed at the untouched beauty of Long Island’s North Shore this summer aboard the “Discovery” Wetlands Cruise, 90-minute sightseeing tours. For full story, click here.
OH: OEC Applauds State's Move to Save Wetlands
Bucyrus Online – May 14, 2013
The Ohio Environmental Council is applauding the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) decision this week to terminate its contract with a private developer to swap a rare, forested, urban wetland for a larger but ecologically inferior tract of land. For full story, click here.
MD: Restoration of Lower Booze Creek contains 4000 feet and 35 habitat improvements
By Aaron Kraut – Bethesda Now – May 13, 2013
The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection on Saturday will host a tour of its completed restoration project of the Lower Booze Creek, a four-square mile watershed near the Bannockburn neighborhood. The project included the construction of 35 habitat improvement structures along 4,000 feet of stream, the realignment of eight exposed WSSC sewer lines, the removal of invasive vines and the reforestation of 3.5 acres of stream buffer. For full story, click here.
WV: Green Bank Students Build Wetland
By Suzanne Stewart – The Pocahontas Times – April 25, 2013
The science students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School got their hands dirty last week when they created a wetland habitat behind the school on National Radio Astronomy Observatory land. For full story, click here.
OH: New Water Science Tools Help Communities Prepare for Floods
Contacts: Scott Jackson, Jim Morris and Marisa Lubeck – U.S. Geological Survey News Release – March 18, 203
New flood inundation maps (bottom) are now available for Findlay, Killbuck, and Ottawa, Ohio. These maps show where flooding would occur at various high river levels. They are just one example of U.S. Geological Survey products and services developed in the 100 years since Ohio’s devastating Great Flood of 1913. The USGS prepared the new maps to help emergency managers and the public make more informed decisions when flooding is forecast. Flood inundation maps are connected to real-time river levels at USGS streamgages to help communities identify immediate risks during a flood. Since the historic flood of March 23-27, 1913, which caused more than 400 deaths and $300 million in damages throughout the Ohio River Valley, the USGS has developed streamgage networks and tools to better support flood preparedness and provide flood warnings. For full news release, click here.
LA: CWPPRA Task Force Approves New 20 Year Life Decision Matrix
The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Task Force is pleased to announce that several of its Louisiana wetland restoration projects have been built for 20 years and these projects are nearing the culmination of their intentioned initial duration. The CWPPRA Technical Committee and CWPPRA Planning & Evaluation Subcommittee have developed a formal decision matrix to assess each individual project as it nears the completion of its lifespan. For full story, click here. During the recent CWPPRA Task Force meeting held in Lafayette, LA the two aforementioned committees shared their recent "20-Year Life Decision Matrix" with the public and Task Force. The new matrix was reviewed by the public, accepted unanimously by the CWPPRA Task Force, and can be viewed here.
RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS
Volume 7 of the USGS Cooperative Water Program Quarterly Highlights, June 2013
USGS CWP Highlights – June 2013
Information on Water Availability and Water Use, Water Quality and Drinking Water, Hazards, Ecosystems, Climate/Land Use Change, Energy in various states. Please click here, for more information.
USFWS Surface Waters and Wetlands Product Summary
USFWS National Wetlands Inventory – May 28, 2013
The SWI dataset is a more comprehensive characterization of all surface water features on the landscape. It stems from the need to represent all surface waters and wetlands as polygons in a geospatial dataset to facilitate accurate area calculations and provide consistent, standardized ecological classification to allow for adaptive management, geospatial summaries, and modeling. For full summary, click here.
USGS Documents Threats of Pesticides to Waterways
E News Park Forest – May 20, 2013
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a national assessment that shows the distribution and trends of pesticide use from 1992-2009, providing visible evidence that contamination of pesticides in our nation’s water is clearly a continuing threat. Meanwhile, U.S. Senators are gearing up to put their version of the Farm Bill on the table that would eliminate common sense protections from pesticide applications into our nation’s waterways. These highly controversial amendments would undermine the Clean Water Act and put our health and the environment at risk. For full story, click here.
EPA Releases Guide and Online Module for Developing Effective Watershed Plans
EPA – May 2013
EPA has released a guide to developing watershed plans to restore and protect our waters, which summarizes a 2008 handbook for developing watershed plans to restore and protect our waters, as well as a companion online module, "An Introduction to Watershed Planning." The guide and module provide a summary of the handbook and also highlight some new watershed-related tools that have been developed since 2008 that can be used for more effective decision-making leading to improved management of our water resources. Together, the handbook, guide and module provide information on how to incorporate the nine minimum elements from the Clean Water Act section 319 Nonpoint Source Program's funding guidelines into the watershed plan development process. Click here to access the guide and click here to view the module.
Vilsack: Climate change will soon affect agriculture
By Christopher Doering – DesMoines Register – June 6, 2013
U.S. farmers and ranchers must adapt or risk getting left behind as climate change becomes an increasingly influential part of the agricultural landscape, the head of the U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday. During a speech in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said better technological advancements through products such as seed so far have been enough to maintain production levels despite more intense storms, forest fires and an increase in invasive species. For full story, click here.
Eelgrass continues its comeback in coastal bays
By Tamara Dietrich – Daily Press – June 3, 2013 – Video
Eelgrass once thrived in Virginia's coastal bays — lush meadows of slender blades undulating just below the surface. The species of seagrass provided critical habitat to scallops, blue crabs, shrimp and other marine creatures. It trapped sediment and improved water quality. But by the 1930s, eelgrass was in trouble, devastated by a wasting disease that was slowly wiping it out. Then a powerful hurricane estimated at Category 1 strength slammed into Hampton Roads in 1933 and finished the job. Bay ecosystems were irrevocably altered. The commercial bay scallop fishery collapsed. For full story and to view video, click here.
Loss of Wetlands in Dakotas a Problem For the Entire United States: A Study
By Tamarra Kemsley – Nature World News – May 27, 2013
Wetlands in eastern North and South Dakota are shrinking at a rapid pace, according to research conducted by Carol Johnston, a South Dakota State University professor. By comparing wetland maps from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, Johnston of the school’s Natural Resource Management Department was able to identify those areas that, though once wetlands, have since been converted into cropland. For full story, click here.
The Power Of Historical Ecology: A Case Study In Cape Cod's Wetlands
By Caitlin Kight – Science 2.0 – May 27, 2013
Since the colonization of North American in the 17th century, few ecosystems have been so routinely and extensively disturbed as the salt marshes of Cape Cod. Among other things, residents have dug drainage ditches throughout the wetlands in order to make them less habitable to mosquitoes; developed the shoreline to facilitate the introduction of industrial, maritime, and residential facilities; and harvested huge numbers of edible wildlife off the coast. Over the past century or so, the human population has increased by approximately six-fold, placing extreme pressure on the wetland habitat. The most recent evidence of this burden is the spread of salt marsh die-offs, or "loss of foundation plant species to herbivores as a result of trophic dysfunction." Besides being unattractive, these die-offs threaten biodiversity and ecosystem function and may compromise the structural integrity of the wetland habitat. For full story, click here.
Wetlands Reserve Program boosts frog populations
By Nikki Buskey – Daily Comet – May 23, 2013
A federal program aiming to restore wetland and flooded forest habitat on agricultural land is providing a boost to frog populations, which are on the decline nationwide. The southeastern United States, including Louisiana, is home to more than 140 species of frogs, toads and salamanders, and it is the center of amphibian biodiversity in the U.S. Scientists around the world have noticed that amphibians seem to be experiencing some of the worst population declines among vertebrates. Amphibians rely on water for part or all of their life cycle. But while habitat loss is the No. 1 reason for population declines, research suggests disease, invasive species, contaminants and perhaps other factors contribute to declines in protected areas. Climate change could also be a factor. For full story, click here.
U.K. coastline, biodiversity under threat from climate change
Science Blog – May 13, 2013
Researchers from the University of East Anglia have helped create the first report to show how Britain’s landscape and wildlife are under threat from climate change and extreme weather. Published today, the report reveals what is happening in the UK’s countryside, how climate change is contributing to those changes, and what could happen in the future. It reveals how birds, bugs, butterflies, plants and some mammals are in free fall decline – as extreme weather, climate change and man’s desire for land combine to make this one of the worst times ever for British wildlife. For full blog post, click here.
Presentations from the Southwest Stream Restoration Conference are now on the web!
The Southwest Stream Restoration Conference was held on May 28-30, 2013 in San Antonia, Texas and provided an opportunity for natural resource professionals from throughout the Southwest to share knowledge, experiences, and innovations in stream restoration. The conference included presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, and professional networking focused on ecosystem restoration. Practitioners, managers, scientists, and regulators are encouraged to share experiences, network with colleagues, and become involved in shaping the future of watershed restoration in the Southwest. To view presentations, click here.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces additional Emergency Watershed Protection funding to states affected by natural disasters
Contact: Sarah Maxwell – USDA NRCS News Release – June 10, 2013
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will send an additional $66.8 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program funds to help disaster recovery efforts in 15 states. For full news release, click here.
Wolves 'no longer face the threat of extinction' -- FWS
By Phil Taylor – E & E Publishing, LLC – June 7, 2013
The Interior Department today formalized plans to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in most of the lower 48 states, a move that drew immediate praise from Western Republicans but was condemned by environmental groups. For full story, click here.
NRCS, landowners improve habitat for at-risk species
Contact: Sarah Maxwell – USDA NRCS News Release – June 7, 2013
Through voluntary conservation, American farmers, ranchers and forestland owners are restoring and protecting habitat for seven at-risk wildlife species. Working Lands for Wildlife is a partnership between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that helps producers make voluntary improvements to their lands that benefit wildlife and their agricultural operations. Millions of acres of habitat for these species were created or managed through this and other similar NRCS-led efforts. These conservation activities range from reviving longleaf pine ecosystems for gopher tortoises in the Southeast to restoring stream banks essential to the Southwest willow flycatcher. For full news release, click here.
What Is Your Water Footprint?
Take a water tour with us through your home, yard, diet, energy, and consumer choices! Then, pledge to cut your water footprint and help return more water to rivers, lakes, wetlands, underground aquifers, and freshwater species. For full story, click here.
Connect with EPA through Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, YouTube and Greenversations
EPA – June 5, 2013
Social media refers to web-based and mobile technologies that people use to share information and ideas online. These technologies let people create and share content in innovative and interesting ways. Social media offers many exciting possibilities for government agencies to communicate and collaborate with the public. It allows people to share new ways to use information that offer new insights or ways to solve problems. EPA is using social media technologies and tools in the firm belief that by sharing and experimenting with information we greatly increase the potential for everyone to gain a better understanding of environmental conditions and solutions. But at the same time, we also make every effort to proceed deliberately, for example, to observe any requirements related to federal activities such as transparency, public process, or privacy. EPA doesn't endorse any particular social media site or technique. Check out their recently posted short video on connecting with EPA through YouTube.
You can also connect with EPA on these other social media sites:
More EPA social media
Wetland restorations offer environmental, economic benefits
By Michelle Banks – Famers Advance – May 29, 2013
Scientists with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service recognize the environmental and economic benefits regional wetlands provide and the importance of preserving wetland resources. More than 220 million acres, or over 50 percent, of the nation's wetlands no longer function, and some states lost over 90 percent of their wetland acres due to factors such as logging, construction and stream channeling.In recent years, public education about the value and functions of wetlands and successful restorations are helping restore natural wetlands. For full article, click here.
Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies: The Great Lakes Legacy Act
Contact Susan White – Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant – May 28, 2013
A new video highlighting Great Lakes Legacy Act restoration is now available from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Wisconsin Sea Grant with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Great Lakes, a vital asset to 35 million residents, have a legacy of pollution due to our nation's industrial past. The Great Lakes Legacy Act funds projects that revitalize rivers, lakes, and harbors, helping to restore lost benefits.
Michigan has benefited hugely from this program, receiving tens of millions of dollars for projects at Muskegon Lake, on the St. Marys and Detroit Rivers and other legacy sites. For a more complete list, visit the EPA Legacy Act webpage.
This new video teaches about not only the process of the Legacy Act, but the many benefits remediating and restoring an Area of Concern can bring. It emphasizes the power of community involvement and how locals can get involved. The video simplifies and personalizes the Legacy Act, targeting both laypeople and active AOC citizens.
To view the new video, click here.
Media Fails to Report Big Oil Funding Ties to Climate Change Contrarians
By Bill DiBenedetto – Triple Pundit – May 24, 2013
Label this one under the category of the news that’s not too surprising, but somewhat depressing nonetheless. In an effort to provide “fair and balanced” coverage on climate change, the mainstream press and media “routinely cites climate contrarian think tanks without reporting their ties to the fossil fuel industry,” according to a Union of Concerned Scientists investigation. For full story, click here.
Environmentalist say OFA is dodging Keystone – Obama talks energy agenda in Atlanta – NRDC launches Pebble Mine ad buy
By Talia Buford – Politico Morning Energy – May 20, 2013
Climate activists worry that President Barack Obama’s grassroots organization, Organizing for Action, may be telegraphing his upcoming decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by not coming down on one side or the other of the project. OFA says it is echoing Obama’s stance on the pipeline — that he’s waiting on the State Department to finish its review of the project — but environmentalists say the group should be pushing Obama toward a decision. For full story, click here.
DiCaprio's Environmental Charity Art Auction Raise $33 Million
Environmental News Network – May 17, 2013
DiCaprio says that his foundation is "dedicated to protecting the last wild places on Earth and the critically endangered species that inhabit them." For full story, click here.
When Valuing Wetlands Local Perspectives Matters Most
Eurasia Review – May 17, 2013
For example, “understanding who currently benefits from a wetland, in which way and who would benefit or lose from a change in the wetland is a fundamental part of decision analysis anywhere on the planet,” notes environmental economist Patrick ten Brinks of the non-profit Institute for European Environmental Policy located in Brussels, Belgium. “A social and stakeholder assessment is an invaluable and essential part of a valuation. If not done, important social, economic and environmental issues risk being overlooked.” For full story, click here.
Study Shows Scientists Agree on Anthropogenic Climate Change
Environmental News Network – May 16, 2013
A comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming and climate change has revealed an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent warming is human-caused. For full story, click here.
The Way We Build Cities Is Making Them Flood
By Emily badger – The Atlantic Cities – May 15, 2013
That map comes from a new report [PDF] by the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology that amassed an impressive database of 177,000 local flood insurance claims, worth a total of $660 million over the five-year span, covering 96 percent of the zip codes in Cook County (this represents a flood claim for one in every six properties in the county). The analysis found no correlation between damage payouts and floodplains. For full story, click here.
EPA Features Locally Led Efforts in Urban Water Restoration via Video Series
EPA – February 28, 2013
EPA has released Urban Waters Voices, a series of 12 video interviews featuring locally led efforts to restore urban waters in communities across the United States. These videos feature local efforts and strategies to improve urban water quality while advancing local community priorities. This week's video spotlights Bob Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association, describing some of the improvements seen in recent years, as well as challenges still faced by Charles River communities (e.g. legacy contamination). The Massachusetts organization uses science, advocacy, and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. Watch the video. To view other videos in this series, click here.
Environmental Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty
The National Academies Press – February 8, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of several federal agencies responsible for protecting Americans against significant risks to human health and the environment. As part of that mission, EPA estimates the nature, magnitude, and likelihood of risks to human health and the environment; identifies the potential regulatory actions that will mitigate those risks and protect public health1 and the environment; and uses that information to decide on appropriate regulatory action. Uncertainties, both qualitative and quantitative, in the data and analyses on which these decisions are based enter into the process at each step. As a result, the informed identification and use of the uncertainties inherent in the process is an essential feature of environmental decision making.
EPA requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convene a committee to provide guidance to its decision makers and their partners in states and localities on approaches to managing risk in different contexts when uncertainty is present. It also sought guidance on how information on uncertainty should be presented to help risk managers make sound decisions and to increase transparency in its communications with the public about those decisions. Given that its charge is not limited to human health risk assessment and includes broad questions about managing risks and decision making, in this report the committee examines the analysis of uncertainty in those other areas in addition to human health risks.Environmental Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty explains the statement of task and summarizes the findings of the committee. For more information and to download report, click here.
There Will Be Drought: America's Water Situation Keeps Getting Worse
By Michael Byrne – Motherboard – December 11, 2012
The Western US is running out of water. It didn't have much in the first place, of course: it was a founding concern of the region. Planners overcame the arid environment early on by engineering vast networks of reservoirs and aqueducts, ensuring that nary a drop of rain or snowfall runoff makes it into an ocean without first passing through a lettuce field or human body. By the time the Colorado River, the Southwest's main source of fresh water, reaches the Mexican border and its last stretch before the Gulf of California, it's not much more than sun-baked dirt. For full blog post, click here.
Inventory and Mapping: A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Inventory and Digital Mapping of Nontimber Forest Products on Small Private Forestlands
By Eric T. Jones, Rebecca McLain, and Lita Buttolph – Institute for Culture and Ecology – December 2012
This guide will provide landowners like yourself information on how to conduct a basic inventory of nontimber forest products on your land and digitally map your data. You can use free, widely available digital mapping tools that are increasingly a part of everyday life. A glossary of key terms is provided at the end of this guide. After learning some basic steps, you will be able to inventory and map features on your land, to show scenarios for possible future management activities, and to visually monitor changes on your land over time through the maps you create. To download the guide, click here.
North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012: Action Plan Completed
North American Waterfowl Management Plan – 2012 – Video
The NAWMP Action Plan, companion document to the 2012 NAWMP provides initial guidance and strategic ideas for implementing the 2012 NAWMP. As its title implies, the Action Plan is a call to action. In addition to identifying key actions for each of the seven recommendations in the 2012 NAWMP, it contains technical details and ideas to advance creation of an integrated waterfowl management enterprise. To download the NAWMP Action Plan and to view video, click here.
KY: Stream Restoration
HMB Professional Engineers, Inc.
Clean, healthy streams and aquatic habitat are vital to the quality of life of people and wildlife. Streams continue to decimate as a result of erosion. HMB has a staff of natural channel stream design experts that work to restore eroding streams by using certain design techniques. Located in Bath County, KY, Salt Lick Creek is a tributary to the Licking River. It provides a critical habitat for numerous fish, mussels and other aquatic inhabitants, and affords recreational fishing opportunities. For full story, click here.
Webinar Summer Series: Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin
Webinars in the Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin series will be held at 3 p.m. on June 17, July 15, August 19, and September 16. Scientists and managers have long recognized the utility and efficiency in connecting floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, and wetland management, but government resources are not allocated in such a manner as to foster collaboration among these institutions. Funding is often tied to specific agency priorities and hazard mitigation and habitat conservation staff rarely collaborate. The goal of the Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin webinar series is to identify opportunities for emergency, floodplain, and wetland management agencies to work together to maximize the flood control and ecosystem service benefits of our wetlands, thereby saving financial and environmental resources and building community resilience to climate change. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and other local and state agencies and organizations all have a hand in shaping our landscape and mitigating flood hazards, but there is room to improve the coordination of their efforts in order to maximize shared priorities and benefits. For more information and to register, click here.
Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Conference
June 19-21, 2013. The 10th Annual Meeting & Conference: Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative will be held in Marquette, Michigan. Every year, the annual meeting and conference of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative brings together municipal, provincial, state and federal officials, along with their staff, concerned citizens and many other stakeholders. This event is the perfect opportunity to discuss issues and solutions to ensure the protection, restoration and promotion of an invaluable resource – the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Agenda items will include accelerating climate adaptation, innovations in Great Lakes tourism, sustainable water management, mining, shoreline protection, recent impacts of low lake levels and more! For more information, click here.
Course: NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands
June 20, 2013. Rutgers University, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station will hold a course on Freshwater Wetlands from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Process your permit efficiently and get the job done! Learn the ins and outs of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules. Participants will learn when and how to apply for Letters of Interpretation, General Permits, Individual Freshwater Wetlands and State Open Water Fill Permits, as well as Transition Area Waivers. For more information and to register, click here.
Ohio Wetlands Association Annual Meeting and Jamboree
June 22, 2013. The Ohio Wetlands Association Annual Meeting and Jamboree will be held at the Homer Page Farm near Milan, Ohio. Activities include canoe and kayak trips, horseshoes, kite-flying and other outdoor leisure. It is a no fee, pot-luck, musical get together that celebrates the wetlands community and enjoys a day in the sun. As an annual meeting, they get together to join the board members and leaders of OWA with the many dues-paying members who make their work possible. Save the date and join us for another great day with friends and wetlanders. For more information, click here.
Course: NJDEP Coastal Project Review
June 26, 2013. Rutgers University, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station will hold a course on Coastal Project Review from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Toms River, New Jersey. In this one-day seminar, you will learn how the coastal zone management regulations and NJ state laws affect coastal zone management through a discussion of the jurisdiction of the following coastal laws: The Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA); Wetland Act of 1970; Waterfront Development Act of 1914 and Coastal General Permits. Application requirements for residential, commercial and marina development will be presented, along with discussions of delineating areas of special concern. Common problems and questions associated with permit review will be addressed. For more information and to register, click here.
Native and Traditional Environmental Science Workshop
July 9-10, 2013. Native and Traditional Environmental Science will be the focus of the New Journeys Workshop. This 2-day workshop will prepare you to work more effectively with tribal communities, especially on issues like climate change. This is a unique opportunity to learn about Native peoples and perspectives and relationship to the Earth along with teaching ideas, special guests and authors, who will provide a rich experience.
The workshop will be held at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 County Highway G, Ashland, WI 54806, located on the edge of Lake Superior in the heart of Ojibwe Indian Country. The Center features exhibits that illustrate the heritage and history of the Lake Superior Region, taking you back in time from the Ice Age to present day; illustrating stories of the people who made this land their home.
Come Early! On July 8 at 2:00 there will be a guided boat tour of the pristine 13,000 acre Kakagon Slough, Lake Superior and the traditional wild rice beds of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa. This area has been given a RAMSAR designation as a water body of international significance and is one of the Lake’s largest freshwater estuaries. Two hour tour. Cost is $50.00.
Nearby hotels offer overnight accommodations. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Lake Superior Lodge, 30600 US-2, Ashland, WI. Rate is $70/night. Please make reservations by June 21. The block is under "NOAA New Journeys Workshop".
Registration for the workshop will be open until June 21, 2013. Registration fee of $50.00 for the 2-day workshop should be paid to the Friends of the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Payment should be sent when you register. Please send a check to Friends of the Norther Great Lakes Visitory Center (FOCAL), Attn: Donna Kurilla, NGLVC, 29270 County G, Ashland, WI 54806 to include the registration fee and the optional boat tour. You can register online here.
Wetland Plant ID Basics, MD
July 9-10, 2013. Environmental Concern will hold a course on Wetland Plant ID Basics in St. Michaels, Maryland. Designed for wetland professionals to improve vegetation identification, this two-day field course will focus on both tidal and non-tidal wetland plant identification. Emphasis will be on key field characteristics of select vascular plant families. Instructor-led and group keying will teach the necessary skills for field id of wetland indicator species. For more information, click here.
HEC-RAS for Stream Restoration Workshop, NC
July 9-11, 2013. The North Carolina State University will hold a workshop on HEC-RAS for Stream Restoration at the NSCU Centennial Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. This three day workshop will cover applications of hydraulic modeling and its use to support stream restoration design work. Participants will gain experience with targeting and setting up a modeling effort, and the various types of analysis that can be used for improving stream restoration designs. For more information, click here.
Creating Vibrant Coastal Communities Workshop, MI
July 11, 2013. The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes Department of Environmental Quality will hold a workshop on Creating Vibrant and Resilient Coastal Communities: Techniques, Tools and Resources to Advance Placemaking in Waterfront Areas in Muskegon, Michigan. The workshop will discuss placemaking as a strategy to fuel economic growth and community revitalization, focusing on opportunities in coastal communities and illustrating local examples. This is an introductory workshop intended for planning professionals and others working on economic development, tourism, waterfront development, watershed management and coastal restoration. The workshop will present introductory portions of a comprehensive People, Places and Placemaking curriculum designed for those interested in building quality places. It will be customized to focus on unique opportunities in waterfront areas and supplemented with examples of how coastal communities are successfully leveraging water resources to strengthen economic growth. For more information, click here.
38th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, CO
July 13-16, 2013. The Natural Hazards Center will host the 38th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Application Workshop at the Omni Interlocken Resort, Broomfield, Colorado. The International Research Committee on Disasters Researchers Meeting and the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Practitioners Meeting will immediately follow the main Workshop from Tuesday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 17. For more information, click here.
Field Indicators of Hydric Soils Course, CA
August 12, 2013. Wetland Training Institute, Inc. will hold a course on Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in San Diego, California. This is a half day of lecture and a half day of field for those who have been conducting wetland delineations independently and have some understanding of soil dynamics. This session will greatly improve the participants’ command of the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the US, a major aspect of the Corps Regional Supplements. This course will provide participants with informed insights and field techniques to quickly determine the appropriate hydric soil indicator. Field exercises provide ample opportunity to ask in-depth questions of a knowledgeable instructor. Part lecture, part field emphasizing the field indicators appropriate for the class vicinity. Lecture notes, Pocket Guide to Hydric Soil Field Indicators, and a CD containing the current Regional Supplements and other publications, will be provided. For more information, click here.
Wetland Delineation Training, NY
August 26-28, 2013. The Swamp School will hold a course on Wetland Delineation Training in Auburn, New York. The new Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Regional Supplements are published and many of them are being used for permit decisions. Even if you are an experienced wetland delineator, you need this class. Each Regional Supplement presents unique challenges that warrant training to fully understand. For more information, click here.
Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, OR
September 5-6, 2013. This year will mark the 4th annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference which will be held in Portland, Oregon. The conference provides a forum for researchers and practitioners to convene and exchange scientific results, challenges, and solutions related to the impacts of climate on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest. The conference attracts a wide range of participants including policy- and decision-makers, resource managers, and scientists, from public agencies, sovereign tribal nations, non-governmental organizations, and more. As such, the conference emphasizes oral presentations that are comprehensible to a wide audience and on topics of broad interest. This conference is an opportunity to stimulate and showcase decision-relevant climate science in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, click here. Call for abstracts due July 12, 2013.
2013 Water Education Summit: Making a Difference in Your Community, TN
September 24-26, 2013. The 2013 Water Education Summit: Making a Difference in Your Community will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Water quality and availability are major issues affecting everyone from homeowners and farmers to community leaders and elected officials. The 2013 Water Education Summit in Chattanooga is your opportunity to network with and learn from leading educators working to improve all aspects of water resources protection and management. Topics will range from private well protection to farmer best management practices to youth education to watershed planning and low impact development. Presentations, discussions, workshops, and tours will emphasize innovative approaches for using information, technology transfer, and hands-on learning experiences to change behaviors and inspire water stewardship. For more information, click here. Abstract deadline has been extended to June 25, 2013.
SWS SAC/FAESS/SW FAEP 2013 Conference
October 7-9, 2013. Come join the Society of Wetland Scientists South Atlantic Chapter (SWS SAC), Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists (FAESS), and Southwest Chapter of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (SW FAEP) in Tampa, Florida for the 2013 joint scientific meeting on October 7-9, 2013. The primary purpose of the workshop is to promote an exchange of information and connect scientists and others from within and outside the state. Day 3 will be dedicated to soil, wetland evaluation, and other workshops in the field. For more information, click here.
Association of Climate Change Officers Launches Inaugural Climate Strategies Forum
October 14-17, 2013. The Association of Climate Change Officers will host its inaugural Climate Strategies Forum in Washington, D.C. to launch in-depth training programs in conjunction with their recent publication of Core Competencies for Climate Change Officers. The Forum will feature prominent leaders from across sectors in a plenary format and a series of half-day boot camps aligned with the core competencies. Plenary sessions will focus on climate and energy, and boot camps will focus on topics including adaptation planning, implementing change management schemes, and building a public-private partnership project. For more information, click here.
Lake Michigan: State of the Lake Great Lakes Beach Association Conference, WI
October 15-17, 2013. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Beach Association and Lake Michigan LAMP Forum invite you to participate and share your research and management outcomes during their joint conference which will be held at the Blue Harbor, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Abstract submissions for both oral and poster presentations are welcome. Papers that address key stressors on the Lake Michigan ecosystem or Great Lakes beaches and remedial or management actions and tools are encouraged. Abstract deadline is June 15, 2013. The joint conference typically draws 350 resource managers, scientists, coastal planners, local officials, and interest groups working together to improve and protect Great Lakes beaches and Lake Michigan. In addition to eighteen sessions on Lake Michigan and Great Lakes beach issues, there will be an evening poster reception, workshops, and field trips. Sessions cover current topics such as Lake Michigan biodiversity, invasive species and the Lake Michigan food web, nuisance algae and nutrient dynamics, emerging contaminants, coastal hazards, Great Lakes beach remediation and monitoring, the use of predictive and rapid tools at beaches, working waterfronts and sustainable coastal communities, among others. For more information, click here.
State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference 20/20 Vision: Past Reflections, Future Directions
October 29-30, 2013. San Francisco Estuary Partnership will hold State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference 20/20 Vision: Past Reflections, Future Directions in Oakland, California. Expert speakers will discuss the Estuary’s current and emerging issues– such as climate change and sea level rise, Delta inflows, contaminants, invasive species, and other threats to our fish and wildlife populations. Together, they will debate and discuss the actions needed as they anticipate the major changes coming to their Estuary. Presenters will also examine the ways in which government and decision-makers can better engage Bay Area communities in critical decision-making around these challenges. Call for poster abstracts due by July 17, 2013. For more information, click here.
Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
October 30-November 1, 2013. The 6th Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference will be held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place. This year's conference will focus on science, engineering and technology. The conference will provide an opportunity for stream restoration practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share ideas and lessons learned in stream restoration planning, assessment, design, construction and evaluation, and other topical stream issues. Scientists and practitioners are encouraged to share experiences, network with colleagues, and become involved in shaping the future of stream restoration in not just the Mid-Atlantic but the Northeast region too. Call for abstracts deadline is June 15, 2013. For more information, click here.
2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, AL
January 27-29, 2014. The 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference will be held in Mobile, Alabama and they are soliciting proposals from the community for sessions to address the Conference Themes and Integrative Topics. Themes include Ecosystem assessment, vulnerability, and resilience, ongoing science, technology, monitoring, and mitigation strategies with respect to the DWH Oil spill response, valuing ecosystem services and quantifying effects of oil spills on ecosystem services through environmental, public health, and socioeconomic science, and promoting scientific literacy, perception, and expectations about oil spill research among stakeholders. For guidelines and submission instructions, please click here. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2013.
2014 Climate Leadership Conference, CA
June 24-26, 2014. The 2014 Climate Leadership Conference will be held in San Diego, California. The Climate Leadership Conference is your annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community gather to explore energy and climate related solutions, introduce new opportunities, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations. Besides offering attendees comprehensive educational engagement, the Climate Leadership Conference is your platform for powerful collaboration. For more information, click here.
There are new jobs posted on the Wetland Jobs board. For the latest wetland jobs, click here.
The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News is a monthly e-newsletter. Wetland Breaking News is an edited compilation of wetland-related stories and announcements submitted by readers and gleaned from listservs, press releases and news sources from throughout the United States. 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 working in water resources and related fields. Wetland Breaking News has been published for over ten years and ASWM has been a think-tank and source for wetland science and policy news and discussion for 30 years.
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"WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by Alan Grant, 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