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Good Day and Good Winter My Friends,
It’s time to get your long johns out, find a good book, and settle in for the winter with your favorite warm drink. The short days and cold nights may have a tendency to get you down, but do not let that happen to you. It is time to spend more time with the family, learn a new skill, and spread the holiday cheer to others.
This year I am going to win the battle of the winter time blues. I am going to turn on all the lights in the house, crank up the furnace and pretend its summer all over again. I may have to ask for a loan to pay off some electric bills but at least they will be offset by my lower winter time blues therapy sessions. See, it is working already.
This year make it your turn to bring cheer to others and enjoy the holidays together!
Let me start off this winter with a story of my own to delight you.
A little over a year ago, a kitten was abandoned at our garage. We live about 7 miles out of town in the country, so when I say it was abandoned; we really didn’t know where it came from. She’s a great little cat, about teenage years in cat years now so she is growing up and not spending as much time with her “folks” as she did when she was little. How lifelike, eh?
Her name is Gabby and she loves to catch mice and an occasional chipmunk. Since we live out in the country we have plenty of both. I think her numbers for catching mice are up in the 30’s now. Gabby has not caught that many chipmunks but the excitement of a chipmunk in the house overrides the pure numbers of mice.
One afternoon Gabby brought a chipmunk inside the house, let it go, and was enjoying the chase throughout the house. Usually I am all for a good run around the house for exercise but a chipmunk is just too big to be running full blast through a nicely decorated house. There came a time when enough was enough. Neither me, my wife, nor Gabby could stop that little scoundrel. We came up with a plan: aim it in one room, close the door, leave Gabby in the room, and let her do her stuff. We would wait five or ten minutes, then go in and grab little “Alvin” went he was tired. We had a plan!
After about ten minutes, it seemed our plan was working. We entered the room, the chipmunk seemed to be slowing down and I was sure we were on the brink of closure. Little to my surprise, "Älvin” picked up a head of steam and starting running wildly around the room - here there, back forth - we could not catch him.
Then before I could even jump out of the way, sure as I am writing this editorial, Alvin ran up one side of my pajamas leg….IN THE INSIDE!!! I am not kidding you; I had a chipmunk running inside of my pants. He ran all the way up one side of my leg and across my buttocks. As he was running inside my pants, all I could think was DONT BITE. As he made it across my backside, he did a 180 degree turn back across again and down my leg, all the time I was shaking like I was dancing to Twist and Shout. After a few seconds, Alvin finally made it out and I could breathe again. You may be saying, NO WAY, but I am telling you YES WAY, I had a chipmunk taking a tour of the insides of my PJ’s. We finally grabbed Alvin and put him outside to play with his own PJ-less buddies.
I and the staff of ASWM appreciate all your hard work this year. Keep up the good work and remember to keep your pant legs shut!
Alan Grant, Editor
Wetland Breaking News
National Wetland Plant List Announcement
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – 2014
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the process to request evaluation of specific wetland plant ratings on the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). In 2012, an extensive update of the NWPL was finalized. In an effort to continue improving the quality of wetland ratings on the NWPL, the NWPL’s national panel is releasing an online questionnaire designed to identify those plant species for which wetland ratings may need revision, as well as species that should be considered for addition and/or deletion from the list. A link to the questionnaire and an example of a completed questionnaire for an individual plant species can be found on the NWPL website here. To read the full announcement, please click here.
The Russia-USA Wetland Center Exchange Program: Linking People and Wetlands
Seeks Wetland Centers for Project Participation
Having been awarded a grant through the US State Department's US-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, The Wetlands Institute (TWI), Wetland Link International (WLI) and Wetlands International Russia (WIR) have teamed up to generate a beneficial international dialogue between wetland centers in the US and Russia. This project, Russia-USA Wetland Center Exchange Program: Linking People and Wetlands, seeks to identify the shared challenges of those working in wetland education and outreach throughout the US and Russia and assemble cases of best practice and delivery. This project is currently seeking six (6) wetland centers, divided equally between the US and Russia, to participate in an international exchange program and conference, develop a proven methodology for use of social media, data sharing and outreach materials, and produce a final manual for advising wetland centers on the best practices for public education and engagement as they pertain to wetland education. For complete project details and to download participant applications, click here. Applications must be received by Friday, January 16, 2015.
House passes bill to reform EPA science panel
By Cristina Marcos – The Hill – November 18, 2014
The House on Tuesday passed legislation to overhaul the Environmental Protection Agency's Scientific Advisory Board. Passed 229-191, the measure, H.R. 1422, would change the process of selecting members of the Scientific Advisory Board and the terms of office. Among other provisions, the measure would require the Scientific Advisory Board, which consults the EPA on its regulations, to have at least ten percent of members from state, local or tribal governments. The bill is part of the House GOP's package of legislation this week to limit the EPA's ability to issue new regulations. Later this week, the House will vote on bills to require the EPA to make public its scientific data to justify regulations and limit updates to air pollution rules. For full story, click here.
USDA and Partners Complete First-of-Its-Kind Sale of Carbon Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands
USDA – November 17, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today said a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant has helped initiate a partnership that is improving the environment, creating a market for carbon credits generated on working grasslands. Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, recently purchased almost 40,000 carbon dioxide reduction tons generated on working ranch grasslands in the Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota. "This announcement is the first-of-its-kind. The amount of carbon dioxide removed from our atmosphere by Chevrolet's purchase of carbon credits equals the amount that would be reduced by taking more than 5,000 cars off the road," Secretary Vilsack said. "This public-private partnership demonstrates how much can be achieved with a modest federal investment and a strong commitment to cut carbon pollution." For full press release, click here.
Senate GOP steeling for battle against EPA
By Timothy Cama – The Hill – November 9, 2014 – Video
Senate Republicans are gearing up for a war against the Obama administration’s environmental rules, identifying them as a top target when they take control in January. The GOP sees the midterm elections as a mandate to roll back rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, with Republicans citing regulatory costs they say cripple the economy and skepticism about the cause of climate change. For full story and to view video, click here.
Climate change denier Jim Inhofe in line for Senate's top environmental job
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian – November 6, 2014
The Senate’s top environmental job is set to fall to Jim Inhofe, one of the biggest names in US climate denial, but campaigners say Barack Obama will fight to protect his global warming agenda. Oklahoma Republican Inhofe has been denying the science behind climate change for 20 years – long before it became a cause for the conservative tea party wing. Following midterm elections which saw the Republicans take control of the senate, he is now expected to become the chairman of the senate environment and public works committee. However, advocates believe Obama will work to protect his signature power plant rules from Republican attacks, and to live up to his earlier commitments to a global deal to fight climate change. For full story, click here.
Prairie Pothole Wetlands Imperiled by their Protectors
By Kirsten Stade – Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – November 6, 2014
Press Release: Washington, DC
The federal program to protect one of the most important wetland regions in the world, home to more than half of North American migratory waterfowl, is itself plagued by potholes, according to government reports posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Nearly two-thirds of the wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region composed of the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota have already been drained or altered for agricultural use. For full release, click here.
In the fight against green slime on Lake Erie, farmers try to clean up their act
By Karen Schaefer – Public Radio International – October 27, 2014
Fishing boats line the docks near a small processing plant in Kingsville, Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Erie. But the stacks of brightly colored plastic crates to hold the day's usual catch of walleye and perch are sitting empty. It’s a familiar site around here these days, and Dan Martin knows why. “It's the green slime, (the same stuff) that they're getting on the beaches in Ohio and Pelee Island," he says. What Martin calls green slime, scientists call cyanobacteria. It's also known as blue-green algae. Whatever you call it, Martin says, it's making things a lot harder for Lake Erie fishermen like him. That's because the algae basically sucks oxygen out of the water. The fish can't breathe, so they move somewhere else. “[If] you stay ahead of them, you'll catch fish,” Martin says. “Where the slime is, they're not there.” For full story, click here.
Expert: Drone technology a game-changer in agriculture
By April Van Buren – Great Lakes Echo – October 16, 2014
We were first introduced to drones by the United States military, which has been using them, controversially: it must be pointed out, for years in places like Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and Yemen. But like many other technologies that have been pioneered by the military, such as computers, duct tape and GPS, drones have numerous commercial applications. And one of the biggest sectors where drones could become a game-changer is in agriculture. For full story, click here.
Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Variable Width Riparian Areas Mapping: a Robust GIS Approach – November 19, 2014
WMC webinar: The variable width riparian areas mapping webinar will be held on November 19, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Sinan A. Abood, PhD, USDA Forest Service. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
ASWM’s Members’ Webinar: Wetlands Supplement: Incorporating Wetlands into Watershed Planning – November 26, 2014
Members Webinar: Wetlands Supplement: Incorporating Wetlands into Watershed Planning webinar will be held on November 26, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Kerry Ann Weaver, Life Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. For more information, click here.
ASWM’s Wetland Restoration Webinar: Atlantic Coast Coastal Marshes and Mangrove Restoration – December 9, 2014
Wetland Restoration Webinar: Atlantic/Gulf Coast Coastal Marshes and Mangrove Restoration will be held on December 9, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presenters will be Robin Lewis, Lewis Environmental Services, Inc. & Coastal Resource Group, Inc.; John Teal, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Scientist Emeritus); Joseph Shisler, ARCADIS; Jim Turek, NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Mapping with Ecological Site Descriptors – December 17, 2014
Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Mapping with Ecological Site Descriptors will be held on December 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Richard A. Weber, P.E. Wetland Hydraulic Engineer, NRCS. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
U.S.-China climate change deal already facing challenges
By Christi Parson, Julile Makinen and Michael A. Memoli – Los Angeles Times – November 12, 2014
Landmark agreement on climate change between the U.S. and China, the world's top two polluting nations, faced immediate challenges from experts who warned that it would require an overhaul of China's economy and from Republicans in Congress who vowed to undermine the deal. President Obama's ramped-up push on environmental issues set up a clash with GOP leaders, who blasted the far-reaching agreement with China as bad for business and promised to try to block the regulations necessary to meet its targets for curbing carbon emissions. Administration officials asserted that they would not be deterred. For full story, click here.
USDA Seeks Comments on New Conservation Stewardship Rule
Contact: Sylvia Rainford – USDA – November 5, 2014
As the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rapid implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill continues, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced proposed changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs for working agricultural lands. "Farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial forestland owners enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program are our nation's conservation leaders as they go the extra mile to conserve our natural resources," Vilsack said. "This program continues to enable owners and managers of private lands to reach the next level of conservation." The rule also establishes the role of CSP as one of the programs to help the Regional Conservation Partnership Program accomplish its purposes. Vilsack said participants will be delivering more conservation benefits than ever under the revised program rules. USDA published an interim final rule containing the statutory changes to CSP in the Federal Register today. USDA is seeking public comment on the rule through Jan. 5, 2015. The public comments will be used to finalize the interim final rule. The CSP interim final rule can be viewed at nrcs.usda.gov and the Federal Register. For full news release, click here.
The surprising reason abandoned US mines haven't been cleaned up
By Rachael Bale – The Center for Investigative Reporting – November 4, 2014
Hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines litter the West: gold, silver, lead, copper. Some are left from the California gold rush; some were abandoned just a few decades ago. Today, acidic water and heavy metals from mines slowly leach into groundwater, lakes and streams. Corrosive water destroys aquatic ecosystems. Fish – the ones that don’t die – become loaded with arsenic or mercury. People swim in contaminated lakes. They hike over contaminated soil, breathing in dust laced with lead and arsenic. There are about 500,000 abandoned mines in the U.S., contaminating tens of thousands of miles of waterways. To say the least, America has a problem with abandoned mines. For full story, click here.
Lake Erie isn’t only lake with algae headaches; Lake Ontario also on the hook
By Collin Krizmanich – Great Lakes Echo – November 3, 2014
While news coverage of algal blooms has focused heavily on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario also faces similar problems, experts say. Lyman Welch, the water quality director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago, called algae and blooms “a real threat to our entire Great Lakes region, not just Lake Erie.” Last summer’s toxic phytoplankton — also known as blue-green — blooms made headlines internationally when a drinking water ban was imposed on Toledo, Ohio. Lake Erie is the most susceptible of the Great Lakes to blooms due to its shallow waters and the extensive agriculture-related industry along its shores. The growth in algal blooms directly relates to increased pollution from phosphorous used in farm fertilizers, according to scientists. For full story, click here.
As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions of Gallons of Water Lost
By David Schaper – NPR – October 29, 2014
Imagine Manhattan under 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it. That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters. Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover. For full story, click here.
U.S takes the helm of council assigned to deal with fast-changing Arctic
By Christa Marshall – E & E Publishing, LLC – October 20, 2014
The Obama administration is pushing to make climate change a focal point as the United States becomes the new leader of the international Arctic Council, a move that is winning praise from environmentalists, even though it's unclear how it may translate into action. Many environmentalists are cheering about recent remarks from U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic Adm. Robert Papp Jr., who indicated via speeches that climate change would be a main theme at the council, with new efforts on things like controlling black carbon and reducing methane. For full story, click here.
Drugs flushed into the environment could be cause of wildlife decline
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian – October 12, 2014
Potent pharmaceuticals flushed into the environment via human and animal sewage could be a hidden cause of the global wildlife crisis, according to new research. The scientists warn that worldwide use of the drugs, which are designed to be biologically active at low concentrations, is rising rapidly but that too little is currently known about their effect on the natural world. For full story, click here.
Request for Proposals for Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant
EPA – October 9, 2014
EPA is soliciting proposals for the management of the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant. The purpose of the grant is to accelerate and expand the strategic protection of healthy freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds across the country. EPA expects to issue a cooperative agreement to fund a single grantee to manage the Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant program and issue subawards on a competitive basis. Eligible applicants for this RFP are non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, interstate agencies, and inter-tribal consortia which are capable of undertaking activities that advance healthy watershed programs on a national basis. Eligible entities for the subawards include public and private nonprofit institutions / organizations, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, states, local governments, U.S. territories or possessions, and interstate agencies. Anticipated federal funding under the competition is approximately $3.75 million over six years. Proposals are due January 5, 2015. For more information, click here.
Building comm. resilience by strengthening America’s natural resources
The White House Council on Environmental Quality –October 8, 2014
President Obama has made it clear that we have a moral obligation to our children and future generations to leave behind a planet that is not polluted and damaged. That is why, as part of his effort to combat climate change, the President launched a Climate Action Plan last year to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. The Climate Action Plan recognizes that even as we act to curb the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, we must also improve our ability to prepare for the climate impacts we are already seeing across the country. States, cities, and communities depend on America’s bountiful natural resources, and climate change is putting many of these vital resources at risk. For full press release, click here.
AK: As Alaska warms, a goose forgoes a 3,300-mile migration
By Marianne Lavelle – Environmental Health News – October 30, 2014
The vast marshes on the southwestern tip of the Alaskan peninsula must look like a buffet to a seagrass-loving goose like the Pacific black brant. Right now virtually the entire population – about 160,000 birds – is gathered in the sheltered and remote wetlands within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, feasting on the most extensive beds of eelgrass on Earth. In the past, the Izembek was just a stopover in the brant's autumn journey down North America's western coastline. After a short stay to fatten up, the sated sea geese would lift off together and head south on a 3,300-mile, nonstop migration to Mexico's Baja California. But nature doesn't follow that predictable course anymore. Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead. Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that Izembek had seen in more than a decade. For full story, click here.
AK: Mystery epidemic hits sea stars in Sitka Sound
By Anne Brice – KCAW – October 27, 2014
A trip to the coast usually means you’re going to see sea stars. But a mysterious disease has been wiping out sea star populations up and down the West Coast. Researchers had hoped Alaska might be spared the epidemic — until scientists working with the Sitka Sound Science Center detected the first mass die-off in the state. Local researchers are tracking the spread of the disease — and they’ve reported some disturbing findings. For full story, click here.
CA: Alien fish poisoned by the thousands to save S.F.’s Mountain Lake
By Peter Fimrite – SFGate – November 12, 2014
The end came quickly Wednesday for the invasive fish that had turned San Francisco’s historic Mountain Lake into a mucky swamp-like pond filled with gluttonous aliens. The carcasses began floating up shortly after 9 a.m. when workers in blue hazmat suits started pumping 47 gallons of a poisonous solution from a slow-moving motorboat into the 4-acre San Francisco Lake. For full story, click here.
CA: Kale or fracking? Farmers and corporations fight it out for water
By Suzanne McGee – The Guardian – November 6, 2014
Which would you rather have: lettuce and carrots for your salads, or affordable gasoline for your car? Affordable food prices or affordable electricity? You’ll have to make the choice. In fact, if you like a ready supply of tasty, affordable produce – and low food prices generally – this may be the time to start worrying. And not just about the drought in California, where desperate, panicky farmers are responding to the years-long dry spell by hiring dowsers – water witches – to scour their land for hidden wells, or the the south-west, which is in the grip of a “megadrought”. For full story, click here.
CA: Drought overcomes newts and frogs
By Leslie Willoughby – Santa Cruz Sentinel – October 28, 2014 – Video
The drought huffs its way into every California conversation. It dusts everything from business profits to tooth brushing habits. These dry years are tough on frogs, toads and newts, too. In times of drought, some amphibians dig deeper underground and stay there longer, but evasive action isn't enough. When drought attacks their wetland homes, amphibians dry up and die. The drought isn't the only problem. Early settlers drained wetlands, areas of standing water and aquatic plants, to create farmland and to mine gold. More recently, real estate development required draining more wetlands. More than 90 percent of California wetlands have been drained, according to ecologist Tom Biebighauser who is working to reverse that trend. For full story and to view video, click here.
CA: Restored wetlands welcome wildlife and protect against future floods in San Francisco Bay Area
PBS Newshour – October 9, 2014
Much of our reporting on climate change has focused on the impact it could have on people or on the environment in which they live. But one area that tends to get less attention is how climate change will affect wildlife. There’s a major habitat restoration project in San Francisco Bay that’s trying to address that very issue. For full story, click here.
CA: 'Drought' beer: California breweries hit a dry spell
By Jane Wells – NBC News – October 20, 2014 – Video
How many bottles of water go in that beer on the wall? A lot. "Beer has to have water," said Luis Cayo, general manager for the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Los Angeles, which has survived many droughts over the last 60 years. "The amount of water in a standard can of beer is about 92 percent." This drought, however, is the most severe on record, and there's no end in sight. Agriculture operations and manufacturers across California are drilling deeper, paying more, and competing with each other, with wildlife and with residents for water. But in the brewing business, it's not just the water going into the cans which is now at a premium. It's the water used to clean tanks. For full story and to view video, click here.
CA: Bay Area Wetlands Restoration Going Strong
By Dan Ashley – abc7 News – September 3, 2014 – Video
Construction is ramping up on two major projects to restore wetlands around San Francisco Bay. More than 85 percent of bay wetlands were drained over the last 150 years, but partnerships between non-profit and government agencies are slowly turning back the clock. Together they make up the largest coastal wetlands restoration effort in the country. The two newest links are in the North Bay. For full story and to view video, click here.
CO: Colorado girds for proliferating people and increasingly scarce water
By Bruce Finley – The Denver Post – November 9, 2014
Colorado is looking for 163 billion gallons of water, and a long-awaited state plan for finding it calls for increased conservation, reusing treated wastewater and diverting more water from the Western Slope. The plan, ordered by Gov. John Hickenlooper to deal with a massive projected water shortfall, is about to be unveiled. Rising demand from population growth and industry, if continued through 2050, threatens to leave 2.5 million people parched. But water suppliers east and west of the Continental Divide are clashing over details that the draft plan does not specify. For full story, click here.
CO: Gas wastewater likely triggered 2011 quake in Colorado: USGS
By Laura Zuckerman – Rueters – October 29, 2014
Underground disposal of wastewater from gas production likely triggered a moderate earthquake in Colorado in 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday in a study that may fuel debate over the impact of the U.S. energy boom. The finding in the Journal of Geophysical Research is the latest research suggesting the injection into wells of wastewater generated by oil and gas extraction can induce earthquakes. Researchers believe fluids seep into seismic faults and cause them to slip, triggering temblors. For full story, click here.
DE: Where bulkheads fail, living shorelines thrive
By Rachael Pacella – Delaware Online – October 25, 2014
The banks of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal may not be disappearing at the same acre-per-day pace as the Delaware Bay, but there are clear signs of erosion. The grass abruptly cuts off looking east from the Little League field in Lewes, and where there was once a shoreline there is simply a mudflat. Now one section is being restored by the creation of a living shoreline, which scientists say is a good alternative to bulkheads, which ultimately damage the environment. For full story, click here.
FL: Water demand shrinks even as state, U.S. grow
By Andy Reid and Kevin Spear – Sun Sentinel – November 7, 2014
Across the country and in Florida, Americans are only using as much water as almost 45 years ago, even though the population has grown by more than 100 million people, the U.S. Geological Survey reported this week. Environmentalists point to efficient toilets, low-flow showers and limits on lawn sprinkling, saying water conservation is the way to go. For full story, click here.
FL: Tumors in Florida’s endangered sea turtles linked to polluted oceans
By Jenny Staletovich – Miami Herald – November 1, 2014
For decades, green sea turtles, once considered a delicacy of the sea and nearly hunted to extinction in Florida and around the world, have been plagued by a virus that causes cauliflower-like tumors to sprout from their eyes, mouths, fins and soft tissue. Now researchers think they have an answer for what’s causing the tumors: pollution. And that discovery may have wider implications about the oceans’ health. For full story, click here.
FL: In Florida, a water-pollution warning that glows at night
By John Warrick and Darryl Fears – The Washington Post – October 26, 2014
Karen McLaughlin normally carries a flashlight for her nighttime kayak trips along Florida’s Banana River to spot any alligators resting on the banks. But these days, it’s the river itself that glows in the dark. “It’s beautiful!” McLaughlin, an eco-tour guide, said as her boat’s wake set off an eerie light show on a moonless October night. Each dip of her paddle stirred up bioluminescent plankton that have invaded this eastern Florida waterway in record numbers since late summer. Like millions of tiny fireflies, they lit a jumping fish in a geyser of emerald light. A manatee out for the evening glowed like an alien spaceship as it passed underneath. For full story, click here.
FL: A Florida city voted to split the state in two because of concerns over climate change
By Hunter Schwarz – The Washington Post – October 22, 2014
The South Miami City Commission voted 3 to 2 for Florida’s 23 southern counties to secede and form a new state named South Florida because of frustration over environmental issues and a lack of concern by state leaders. The average elevation in southern Florida is lower than in the north, and global warming and rising sea levels threaten the region, the city said in a resolution this month. However, getting Tallahassee to pay attention to the growing problem is difficult, the city said. For full story, click here.
IA: New clean water rule goes into effect
The Des Moines Register – October 26, 2014
A new Iowa clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement when manure spills pollute waterways is now in effect, after more than a year of hearings and deliberations by government agencies. The new rule, supported by farm groups, took effect Wednesday. It establishes new inspection and permit processes for livestock farms but does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups wanted. For full story, click here.
KS: K-State expert explains best water management under limited irrigation
By Katie Allen – Osage County Online – October 25, 2014
Getting the most value out of irrigation water is likely on the minds of many Kansas farmers. As groundwater supplies diminish, pumping rates decline and talk of local water conservation policies surface in the state, these farmers face even more difficulty in determining how to best manage limited water. Nathan Hendricks, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, recently examined how the value of agricultural production declines as water availability decreases. He specifically looked at two general management methods to determine which is more effective: deficit irrigation on a larger number of acres versus more intense irrigation on a smaller number of acres. For full story, click here.
LA: BP spill left 'bathtub ring' of oil across more than 1,200 square miles of Gulf seafloor, new study says
By Mark Schleifstein – NOAL.com – The Times-Picayune – October 27, 2014 – Video
Scientists have found evidence of a "bathtub ring" of oil particles from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill covering more than 1,200 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor, according to a study published online Monday (Oct. 27) in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of scientists with the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of California-Irvine, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute tested more than 3,000 samples of sediment taken from 534 locations in the Gulf for the chemical hepane, a constituent of crude oil that was found in the oil released from BP's Macondo well. For full story and to view video, click here.
LA: Louisiana shrimp safe to eat after BP Gulf of Mexico spill, local study says
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch – NOAL.com – The Times-Picayune – October 24, 201
Louisiana shrimp was safe to eat following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a new study concluded, reaffirming previous federal and state studies. The new research focused on the Vietnamese-American community in eastern New Orleans, and said that even among frequent shrimp eaters, there are "no acute health risks or excess cancer risk." For full story, click here.
LA: Construction begins this week on artificial reef at site of old Pickets
By Todd Masson – NOAL.com – The Times-Picayune – October 17, 2014
Most South Louisiana anglers couldn't care less about fishing structures in the Gulf and big bays this time of year. They don't hold a lot of fish in the autumn and winter, and you'd have to drive over a whole bunch of speckled trout and redfish to get to them anyway. So the removal of the Pickets in Ship Shoal 26 isn't really in the forefront of any angler's mind right now, but it likely will be again when the sun is a whole lot closer to the Tropic of Cancer. The oilfield platform will be entirely gone, but there will be a new artificial reef in its place. Construction is beginning this week. For full story, click here.
MA: A mysterious killer of common eiders
By Doug Fraser – Cape Cod Times – October 30, 2014
Anchored in the lee of Great Island, the half-dozen wildlife biologists in two camouflaged aluminum boats were somewhat protected from the remnants of a fading storm whose wind whipped up the bay. The southern storms of spring push songbirds north, but in the fall migratory ducks ride big nor'easters as they return from summer breeding and molting grounds in Canada and Maine. For full story, click here.
MA: How Boston is rethinking its relationship with the sea
By Joanna Jolly – BBC News Magazine – October 26, 2014
Sea levels are rising, the land is sinking. It's going to become a big problem for some cities on the US East Coast, so in Boston people are thinking the unthinkable - copying Venice and Amsterdam, and becoming a city of canals. Two years ago, when the still vicious tail-end of Hurricane Sandy slammed into Boston, it was luck rather than planning that saved the city's streets from deep floods. For full article, click here.
MI: Michigan sites no longer environmental areas of concern
By Jim Lynch – The Detroit News – October 30, 2014
Two Michigan sites, tainted by major environmental contamination for decades, have officially been removed from the U.S. and Canada’s official list of Areas of Concern. White Lake in Muskegon County and Deer Lake in Marquette County have been taken off the list created under 1972’s Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the two countries. The original list included 43 sites throughout the Great Lakes region on both sides of the border, and removal has been a rare occurrence. For full story, click here.
MI: Michigan's sewer overflows raise regional concerns
By Eric D. Lawrence – USA Today – October 26, 2014
Almost 10 billion gallons of sewer overflows poured into southeast Michigan's waters in the historic August flooding, according to a Detroit Free Press review of data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. That number includes more than 44 million gallons of raw sewage from sanitary sewers and almost 3 billion gallons from combined sewer and storm water systems, all untreated, raising concerns about deteriorating water quality in the Great Lakes system. For full story, click here.
NJ: Steel wall in Brick and Mantoloking ushers in showdown on beachfront easement
By MaryAnn Spoto – New Jersey.com – October 21, 2014
As crews wrap up the installation of a $23.8 million protective steel wall along the oceanfront in Brick and Mantoloking, state Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said the state will move to take property easements before the end of the year from oceanfront homeowners who have resisted beach replenishment projects. For full story, click here.
NY: New York Plants Curbside Gardens to Soak Up Storm-Water Runoff
By Matt Flegenheimer – The New York Times – November 7, 2014
The gardens appeared suddenly along an industrial corridor of Brownsville, Brooklyn — one, two, a half-dozen — as if airlifted from a cul-de-sac upstate. In what officials have billed as one of the most ambitious programs of its kind in the United States, New York City has, with little fanfare, embarked on a roughly 20-year, $2.4 billion project intended to protect local waterways, relying in large measure on “curbside gardens” that capture and retain storm-water runoff. For full story, click here.
NY: Conservation project hopes to bring back New York's oysters
By Peter Mellgard – The Guardian – October 28, 2014
The woman sat in the muck beside the Bronx River in the northern part of New York City, measured the oyster between a pair of calipers, and called out to her partner. “31 ... no, 32 millimeters. Um, dead. No, alive! Wait.” She paused, noticing the two halves of the oyster shell had separated and filled with mud. “Dead,” she said sadly. Live oysters were what this small group of volunteers, scientists and activists fervently hoped to find in this distant corner of New York City, called Soundview, on that crystal clear morning in May. For full story, click here.
OH: First 'green' sites unveiled in $3 billion effort to keep sewage out of Lake Erie
By Andrew J. Tobias – Cleveland.com – October 27, 2014 – Video
Officials on Monday unveiled the first of a series of ''green' projects that use natural landscaping, rather than underground pipes, to absorb rainwater and help reduce sewage overflows into Lake Erie. This project involves three sites on cleared lots in the foreclosure-blighted Slavic Village neighborhood. Each features a man-made basin designed to collect and absorb rain water that otherwise would flow into sewers. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District officials envision the projects as a component of their $3 billion effort to dig giant underground storage tunnels to keep storm runoff from flooding sewers and sending untreated sewage into Lake Erie. For full story and to view video, click here.
PA: Changing climate changing forests: How best to help Pennsylvania’s woods
By Susan Phillips – State Impact NPR – November 7, 2014
In a 19th-century farmhouse deep in northern Pennsylvania’s Bradford County, Nancy Baker is looking at family photos dating back four generations. “When we inherited this land from my mother I said, ‘OK, it’s our turn to steward the land,’” said Baker. “But how are we going to do this?” It’s a question a lot of foresters are debating in the age of climate change. But they don’t all agree on what to do. For full story, click here.
PA: New Data Out Of PA Links Drilling To Water Contamination
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – October 17, 2014
Pennsylvania environmental regulators have released new data on sites where drinking water wells have allegedly been contaminated by drilling wastewater. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cited "some 243 cases...since the drilling boom began six years ago. They involve both conventional natural gas wells and unconventional shale gas wells, and environmentalists say the number is disturbing," CBS Pittsburgh reported. For full story, click here.
PA: Testimony: Obsolete tests tainted shale analysis
By Don Hopey – Power Source Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – October 6, 2014
State regulators did not consider available water chemistry test results and had limited knowledge of past spills and leaks at Range Resources’ Yeager Farm shale gas development site in Washington County before deciding the operation did not contaminate the nearby private water supply of Loren Kiskadden, according to testimony last week in the ongoing case before the state Environmental Hearing Board in Pittsburgh. For full story, click here.
SC: Army Corps presents $509 million project to deepen harbor
By Stacy Jacobson – abc News 4 – October 21, 2014
The S.C. Ports Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers have finalized a plan to deepen the Charleston harbor. They still need public input and to go through more than a year of a formal approval process. They presented the $509 million project to the public Tuesday night; $343 million from state funds and $166 million from federal funds. Officials described the deepening as necessary to be able to accommodate the growing size of ships. For full story, click here.
TX: Can Trees, Wetlands Reconnect Downtown With The Trinity River?
By Doyle Rader – Front Row – October 15, 2014
In 2013, Dallas was introduced to the Connected City Design Challenge. The Challenge’s purpose is to link the downtown core back to the Trinity River. The goal is to activate the existing wetlands found in these locations, improving some while leaving others as they currently are, creating a natural water purification system. Three major wetland locations in the meander of the old river will be created with the largest being near Reunion. Establishing the wetlands will, in turn, allow for the creation of terraced water gardens. By terracing the wetlands and gardens the existing system of wetlands will be able to retain more water than at present. This will also accommodate for flooding. Along the water will be a series of boardwalks linking the wetlands, water gardens, and other natural amenities. In all, there will be seven to 10 acres of wetlands and approximately 20 acres of water gardens. These features will serve as the core to all future development. For full article, click here.
WA: Environmentalists sue over nuclear reactor's impact on Columbia River
By Nicholas K. Geranios – The Columbian – October 30, 2014
Three environmental groups sued a state agency Thursday over the effects of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant on the water quality of the Columbia River. The Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Northwest Environmental Advocates and Columbia Riverkeeper filed the lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court against the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council. The council in 2006 issued the water pollution permit for Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, which is on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The station uses 20 million gallons of water from the river every day to cool the nuclear reactor. For full story, click here.
WA: Agencies develop plan to restore 5,000 acres of Sound shoreline habitat
The Olympian – October 17, 2014
Public comments are being sought on a tentative proposal to restore more than 5,000 acres of central and northern Puget Sound shoreline habitat. A 45-day comment period on the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project draft feasibility report and environmental impact statement will run through Nov. 24. In addition, the proposal will be discussed at a public meeting from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 5, in the council chambers of Burlington City Hall, 833 South Spruce St. The project is a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Work on the proposed plan began in 2001, as the Army Corps and state agency worked to identify large-scale projects that could reverse human-caused degradation of the Puget Sound shoreline and nearshore environment, according to Theresa Mitchell, project manager for the department. For full story, click here.
WI: Judge blames toxic Kewaunee County wells on ‘massive regulatory failure’
By Ron Seely – The Cap Times – October 31, 2014
An administrative law judge says "massive regulatory failure" led to groundwater contamination in a dairy farming region and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must use its powers to prevent further pollution. In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Boldt ordered the DNR to modify a discharge permit for Kinnard Farms, an industrial-sized dairy farm in Kewaunee County, by requiring the operation to install at least six monitoring wells. Two of the wells should be on fields where manure is being spread, Boldt said. He also ordered the agency to cap the number of cows allowed on the big dairy, though he did not specify a maximum. For full story, click here.
Report: Giant pool of silt looks scary, but it isn’t a major threat to the Chesapeake Bay
By Darryl Fears – The Washington Post – November 13, 2014
For years, scientists described a giant pool of sediment behind Maryland’s Conowingo Dam as a muddy boogeyman that threatened to turn the Chesapeake Bay’s blue waters into a creamy brown mess. But state and federal experts who steward the bay have abruptly changed course, saying that a two-year analysis released Thursday revealed that the sediment isn’t nearly as threatening to the bay’s water quality as first thought, and that spending up to $3 billion to remove it isn’t worth the cost. For full story, click here.
Climate change expected to expand majority of ocean dead zones
By Kristen Minogue – Smithsonian Science – November 10, 2014
A full 94 percent of the dead zones in the world’s oceans lie in regions expected to warm at least 2 degrees Celsius by the century’s end according to a new report from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center published Nov. 10 inGlobal Change Biology. The paper states that warmer waters—mixed with other climate change factors—make for a dangerous cocktail that can expand dead zones. For full story, click here.
31 species of migratory animals given UN protection
The Sydney Morning Herald – November 10, 2014
Polar bears, whales, sharks, rays and gazelles were among 31 new species granted new protection status by a UN conservation body, following six days of intense talks by leading conservationists in Quito, Ecuador. Protecting these animals is key for overall environmental conservation. For full story, click here.
Climate Tools Seek to Bend Nature’s Path
By Henry Fountain – The New York Times – November 9, 2014
The solution to global warming, Olaf Schuiling says, lies beneath our feet. For Dr. Schuiling, a retired geochemist, climate salvation would come in the form of olivine, a green-tinted mineral found in abundance around the world. When exposed to the elements, it slowly takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Olivine has been doing this naturally for billions of years, but Dr. Schuiling wants to speed up the process by spreading it on fields and beaches and using it for dikes, pathways, even sandboxes. Sprinkle enough of the crushed rock around, he says, and it will eventually remove enough CO2 to slow the rise in global temperatures. For full story, click here.
Eelgrass could save the planet
By Derrick Z. Jackson – The Boston Globe Opinion – November 9, 2014
Standing in a cove off Massachusett’s North Shore, Juliet Simpson holds a tube filled with some of the most precious mud in the world, mud that could have significant impact in the fight against climate change. But first, that mud needs to revolutionize how we think of sea grass. Simpson, a coastal ecologist at MIT’s Sea Grant program, is on the search for carbon, and in this particular mud sample, which came from a sea grass bed about eight feet below the water’s surface in Nahant Harbor, chances are she’ll find quite a bit. Sea grass, also called eelgrass, photosynthesizes carbon out of the water column and then stores, concentrates, and locks it into the soils beneath it. There, because there is little to no oxygen, bacteria can take centuries to millennia to break it down and to re-release it back into the water and atmosphere. For full story, click here.
Cranes crowd Staten Island as other Valley habitat dries up
By Edward Ortiz – The Sacramento Bee – November 7, 2014
Every fall and winter at sunset, the sky above Staten Island fills with majestic sandhill cranes alighting in the fields. The sight is more spectacular than usual this year, as the number of cranes wintering on the island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has doubled over the same time in 2013. Scientists say they’re not sure what’s causing the population boom but suspect the drought and a shift in what farmers are growing may be at its root. For full story, click here.
Saline soils, plant growth problems linked to tillage practices
Manitoba Co-Operator – November 4, 2014
The discovery provides insight into the health of a forest. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plant growth and productivity, but in streams, it can be a pollutant. In many places in the basin, however, farmers are noticing areas of fields not producing well in recent years. For full story, click here.
Everglades "River of Grass" to Flow Again - Experimentally
By Jon Campbell – USGS Science Features – November 4, 2014
The Everglades, a “River of Grass” as described by Florida writer Marjory Stoneman Douglas, once flowed unimpeded through a vast expanse of deep-water sloughs between sawgrass ridges and around tree islands to the Gulf of Mexico. Now the heart of the Everglades is disconnected by canals and levees and the sheet flow of water across the wetland is nearly imperceptible. How can the Everglades be reconnected and how much flow is needed? These are complex questions that are being addressed by careful modeling and assessments as a part of the congressionally authorized Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. For full blog post, click here.
Invasive species compound toxic algae risk
By Tom Henry – The Blade – November 3, 2014
Conventional wisdom says western Lake Erie’s toxic algae is supported by commercial farm runoff, animal manure, sewage spills, faulty septic tanks, and other major sources of nutrients responsible for putting much of the excessive phosphorus and nitrogen in the water. But that’s not the whole story. As Great Lakes scientists probe deeper into the weeds on this issue, they find such contributing factors as invasive species and climate change also foster algal growth. For full story, click here.
Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality
Science Daily – November 3, 2014
Even during summer dry spells, some isolated patches of soil in forested watersheds remain waterlogged. These patches act as hot spots of microbial activity that remove nitrogen from groundwater and return it to the atmosphere, researchers from several institutions, including Virginia Tech, report in a leading scientific journal. The discovery provides insight into the health of a forest. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plant growth and productivity, but in streams, it can be a pollutant. For full article, click here.
Nutrient Pollution: A Persistent Threat to Waterways
By John Manuel – Environmental Health Perspectives – November 2014
Passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 brought many improvements to surface waters by curbing much of the toxic and organic pollution going into waterways. But 42 years later, we have yet to make significant reductions in two major pollutants in our rivers, lakes, and coastal sounds—the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus. Although nitrogen pollution overall has gone down in U.S. streams and rivers since 2004, it remains a serious problem in many waterways, and phosphorus pollution has gone up significantly.1 The problem is especially challenging in that the deleterious effects of nitrogen and phosphorus often occur hundreds or thousands of miles from where the nutrients originate. For full article, click here.
Seabird losses from Deepwater Horizon oil spill estimated at hundreds of thousands
By Jennifer Balmer – Science Magazine – October 31, 2014
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is often cited as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history—yet its impacts on the marine life of the Gulf of Mexico have gone largely undetermined. Now, new findings published this month in Marine Ecology Progress Series estimate that the number of seabirds lost as a result of the spill may number well into the hundreds of thousands. Birds are especially vulnerable to oil, which can coat their feathers and cause death by dehydration, starvation, or drowning. Seabird mortalities can easily be underestimated following a spill as bodies are lost at sea or go undiscovered. So researchers turned to two different estimation methods—one whereby total mortalities were estimated from the actual number of dead birds recovered, and another in which information on the geographic extent of the oil slick and seabird densities were used to estimate potential mortalities. The scientists found that although the two approaches were based on different data sets, they returned roughly similar estimates of 600,000 and 800,000 oil-related seabird deaths, respectively. Although the number of seabird mortalities from the spill likely centers around 700,000, sources of uncertainty in the estimates indicate the number of deaths could actually lie anywhere between 300,000 and 2 million. For full article, click here.
9 significant scientific findings too recent to be included in the new IPCC report
By C. Forbes Tompkins and Kelly Levin – World Resources Institute – October 30, 2014
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its landmark synthesis report this weekend. The report—which summarizes findings released in Assessment Reports over the past year—underscores three major facts about climate change: It’s happening now, it’s already affecting communities and ecosystems around the world, and the most dangerous impacts can still be avoided if we act now. For full story, click here.
Reversing Course on Beavers
By Tim Robbins – The New York Times – October 27, 2014
Once routinely trapped and shot as varmints, their dams obliterated by dynamite and bulldozers, beavers are getting new respect these days. Across the West, they are being welcomed into the landscape as a defense against the withering effects of a warmer and drier climate. Beaver dams, it turns out, have beneficial effects that can’t easily be replicated in other ways. They raise the water table alongside a stream, aiding the growth of trees and plants that stabilize the banks and prevent erosion. They improve fish and wildlife habitat and promote new, rich soil. And perhaps most important in the West, beaver dams do what all dams do: hold back water that would otherwise drain away. For full story, click here.
In East Coast Marshes, Goats Take On a Notorious Invader
By Crystal Gammon – Environment360 – October 22, 2014
Over the past 30 years, land managers in the eastern U.S. and Canada have spent countless man-hours and millions of dollars trying to tame a pernicious, invasive reed known as Phragmites australis. Originally from Europe, phragmites (pronounced “frag-MY-tees”) grows in dense, tall stands that choke off native vegetation and litter wetlands with thick mats of decaying biomass. Toxic herbicides, controlled burns, and even bulldozers have been the go-to solutions to the problem. But recent research out of Duke University suggests another, less aggressive fix: goats. For full story, click here.
U.S. Oil Exports Would Worsen Global Warming, Government Auditors Say
By John H.Cushman, Jr. – Inside Climate News – October 20, 2014
Looked at from the vantage point of the climate crisis, GAO report discussing several benefits of lifting the oil export ban is more disturbing. Allowing United States oil producers to export crude would not only sway markets at home and abroad, it would also worsen global warming and present other environmental risks, the Government Accountability Office said in a new survey of experts. For full story, click here.
Study urges action on Lake Erie bacteria blooms
By John Flesher – The Detroit News – October 15, 2014
Climate change and invasive mussels may have made Lake Erie a more inviting host for toxic bacteria in recent years, suggesting that ambitious goals are needed for reducing phosphorus runoff that feeds large blooms like the one that forced a temporary tap water shutdown in and near Toledo, Ohio, scientists said Wednesday. Ever-larger mats of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, have formed on Erie since the early 2000s. They produce microcystin, a toxin that has killed pets and livestock and causes liver damage in humans. The soupy green glop prompted do-not-drink orders for two days in August that affected about 400,000 residents of northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. For full story, click here.
Sea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for Coastal Cities
By John Upton – Climate Central – October 8, 2014
Coastal American cities are sinking into saturated new realities, new analysis has confirmed. Sea level rise has given a boost to high tides, which are regularly overtopping streets, floorboards and other low-lying areas that had long existed in relatively dehydrated harmony with nearby waterfronts. The trend is projected to worsen sharply in the coming years. A new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists late on Tuesday, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that’s also expected to be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists. For full story, click here.
Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – October 5, 2014
Rising carbon dioxide levels in oceans adversely change the behaviour of fish through generations, raising the possibility that marine species may never fully adapt to their changed environment, research has found. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, found that elevated CO2 levels affected fish regardless of whether their parents had also experienced the same environment. For full story, click here.
Flooding Fixes - Long Waits, Big Bucks...and a lot of Jobs
Wetlands Watch November 2014
Wetlands Watch just released a study showing that flood mitigation and sea level rise adaptation needs are growing and people with damaged properties are stuck with unacceptable waits for help. In just five Hampton Roads Virginia cities, we found nearly $431,000,000 in pending costs to fix flood-damaged structures. At current payment rates for government assistance, these folks will wait between 78 and 188 years for help! And in that time, with sea level rise, many more structures will come onto these lists. For more information and to download the study, click here.
New Vernal Pool Mapping Report Available
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – October 14, 2014
This report, Changes in the Distribution of Great Valley Vernal Pool Habitats, documents the changes in extent and condition of vernal pool habitat in California’s Great Valley between 2005 and 2012. For full report, click here.
Guide to Tools for Landscape Conservation Planning Released
By Patrick Crist, Kat Maybury, et. al. – NatureServe – October 2014
NatureServe/EBM Tools Network are very pleased to announce the release of a guide to tools that support landscape-level conservation in the face of climate change (Tools for Landscape-Level Assessment and Planning: A Guide for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative). The guide was developed with funding from the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and focuses on tools currently in use in the North Pacific region of the United States and Canada. Much of the guide is applicable to landscape-scale conservation planning in other regions as well. The guide and slides for a presentation about the guide can be downloaded here.
40% of Wisconsin 'Frac Sand' Producers Violated Environmental Rules, Study Says
By Zahra Hirji – Inside Climate News – November 12, 2014
Over 40 percent of frac sand producers in Wisconsin have broken state environmental rules in recent years, according to a new report. This isn't the case of a "few bad apples" disregarding the law, said Bobby King, an organizer who contributed to the report by the Land Stewardship Project, an advocacy group. "It's an industry that's willing to routinely violate rules that are designed to protect communities, protect air quality, protect water quality," he said. For full story, click here.
Human-like fish that could be used to test China's water quality
By Stephen Chen – South China Morning Post – November 9, 2014
A fish with a genetic code similar to humans' may soon be used by the government to monitor water quality. The tiny zebrafish, native to the River Ganges in eastern India, is prized by biologists because more than 90 percent of its genetic code is identical to ours. Embryonic zebrafish also develop important organs, such as the brain and heart, in the same way as human embryos, making the species an important subject for scientific research. Though many countries use zebrafish to test new drugs, China could become the first to use it in the fight against water pollution, which threatens the health and livelihood of tens of millions of citizens. For full story, click here.
Ozone hole remains size of North America, NASA data shows
By John Vidal – The Guardian – October 31, 2014
The Antarctic ozone hole, which was expected to reduce in size swiftly when manmade chlorine emissions were outlawed 27 years ago, is stubbornly remaining the size of North America, new data from NASA suggests. The hole in the thin layer of gas, which helps shield life on Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet solar radiation that can cause skin cancers, grows and contracts throughout the year but reached its maximum extent on 9 September when monitors at the south pole showed it to cover 24.1m square km (9.3m sq miles). This is about 9% below the record maximum in 2000 but almost the same as in 2010, 2012 and 2013. For full story, click here.
A Heart Risk in Drinking Water
By Deborah Blum Well Blog – The New York Times October 30, 2014
Dr. Ana Navas-Acien can’t quite recall the moment when she began to worry about arsenic in drinking water and its potential role in heart disease. Perhaps it was when she read a study suggesting a link among people in Bangladesh. And a similar study in Taiwan. And in Chile. Several years ago, Dr. Navas-Acien, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, decided to see if similar links could be found in the United States. For full blog post, click here.
Who Should Pay To Fix The World's Salt-Damaged Soils?
By Alison Bruzek – NPR Blog The Salt – October 28, 201
Imagine losing about 5,000 acres, or 15 average-sized farms in Iowa, every day. That's how much productive farmland has succumbed to salt damage in the last 20 or so years, according to a paper published Tuesday by a group of international researchers. And, they say, all that degraded land is costing farmers $27.3 billion a year. For full blog post, click here.
Over 50% of China's coastal wetlands gone due to land reclamation
Want China Times – October 27, 2014
Unregulated land reclamation has caused serious coastal erosion across the intertidal zones of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea, threatening flocks of migratory birds and local environmental conditions, not to mention local residents' daily lives, Shangahi's China Business News reports. Thus far, an total area of about 2,000sq km has been reclaimed from the Bohai Sea over the past two decades and the area is still expanding. The coast of Bohai Bay and the northwestern Yellow Sea are critical for water birds migrating along the East Asia-Australasian flyway. Three major migratory bird sites are located in the reclaimed area. For full story, click here.
|CALENDAR OF EVENTS|
|November 19, 2014
3:00 p.m. ET
|ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Variable Width Riparian Areas Mapping: a Robust GIS Approach|
|November 19, 2014
3:30 p.m. EST
|Northeast Climate Science Center (NCSC) webinar:Making decisions in complex landscapes: Headwater stream management across multiple agencies using structured decision making|
|November 26, 2014
3:00 p.m. EST
|ASWM Members’ Webinar: EPA Region 5 Watershed Handbook|
|December 2, 2014
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET
|EPA 2014 Green Infrastructure Webcast Series: Green Infrastructure for Localized Flood Management|
|December 9, 2014
3:00 p.m. ET
|ASWM Wetland Restoration Webinar: Atlantic Coast Coastal Marshes and Mangrove Restoration|
December 10, 2014
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET
ASWM Members’ Webinar: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message
Webinar Part 1: Demystifying the Science Filmmaking ProcessWebinar Part 2: An Introduction to Science Videography
|December 17, 2014
3:00 p.m. ET
|ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Mapping With Ecological Site Descriptors|
|November 24, 2014
New York, New York
|Climate-Smart Coastal Impoundments: Replacing Projected Lost Functions and Values Workshop|
|December 2-3, 2014
|The Council of Scientific Society President: The World Science Summit on Climate Engineering: Future Guiding Principles and Ethics|
|December 11-14, 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana
|International Symposium on Sediment Dynamics: From the Summit to the Sea is part of a series of symposia organized under auspices of The International Commission on Continental Erosion (ICCE) and International Association of Hydrological Sciences.
December 15-19, 2014
|American Geophysical Union’s 47th annual Fall Meeting|
|January 23-24, 2015
East Lansing, Michigan
|Stewardship Network: The Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference|
|January 29-31, 2015
|Local Government Commission: 14th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities|
|February 8-11, 2015
|Partnership for River Restoration and Science in the Upper Midwest: Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium|
|February 11-12, 2015
San Jose, California
|Citizen Science Association: Citizen Science 2015|
|February 16-19, 2015
|Consortium for Ocean Leadership: 2015 Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference|
February 23-25, 2015 Washington, DC
|Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Climate Leadership Conference|
|February 24-26, 2015
|Wisconsin Wetlands Association 20th Anniversary Wetland Science Conference: Telling Our Stories
|March 10-12, 2015
Ft. Collins, Colorado
High Altitude Revegetation Committee and Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration joint 2015 Conference and Workshop: The High Altitude Restoration Science & PracticeAbstracts due by November 28, 2014.
|March 12-13, 2015
|2015 Annual Land Use Conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities|
|March 24-26, 2015
Las Cruces, New Mexico
|Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop: Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources|
|March 25, 2015
|New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC): Stormwater Utility Workshop|
|March 25-27, 2015
|Abstract deadline: November 1, 2014.|
|March 30-April 1, 2015
Los Angeles, California
|2015 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Spring Specialty Conference on Water for Urban Areas|
|March 30-April 2, 2015
North Charleston, South Carolina
|Association of State Floodplain Managers: Coastal GeoTools Conference|
|April 10-11, 2015
Vancouver, British Columbia
|International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses|
|May 3-5, 2015
|American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE): Climate Change Symposium - Adaptation and Mitigation|
|May 6-7, 2014-11-19
Castlegar, BC, Canada
|Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology: Regulated Rivers: Environment, Ecology, and Management Conference|
|May 12-14, 2014
St. Louis, Missouri
EcoAdapt: National Adaptation ForumProposal deadline: October 24, 2014
|May 25-29, 2015
International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR): 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes ResearchSession Proposals due: October 24, 2014
|May 31-June 4, 2015 Providence, Rhode Island
2015 Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting: Changing climate. Changing wetlandsAbstract deadline: October 31, 2014
|June 15-17, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana
|American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Specialty Conference: Climate Change Adaptation
Abstracts due by February 13, 2015.
|June 22-24 2015
Groningen, The Netherlands
University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Fish Passage 2015Important Dates
|July 5-10, 2015
|9th Annual IALE World Congress: Crossing Scales, Crossing Borders; Global Approaches to Complex Challenges
Call for presentations deadline: March 1, 2015
|July 21-23, 2015
|Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference|
|July 27-August 2, 2015
XIX INQUA Congress Quaternary Perspectives on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and CivilizationAbstract deadline: December 20, 2014
|August 2-5, 2015
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
21st International Conference on Environmental Indicators
|August 9-14, 2015
The Ecological Society of America: Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA's CentennialAbstract deadlines
|August 23-28, 2015
La Crosse, Wisconsin
|Abstract deadline: January 7, 2015|
|September 23-25, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland||
Resource Institute, Inc.: Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration ConferenceAbstract deadline: January 15 2015
|December 4-5, 2014
|Duncan & Duncan course: Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation - Piedmont|
|December 8-9, 2014
St. Michaels, Maryland
|Environmental Concern course: Winter Woody Plant ID|
|December 12, 2014
|Duncan & Duncan course: Endangered Species Act Overview|
|January 26-27, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
|Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education course: Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter|
|January 26-29, 2015
|Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training|
|February 9-12, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training|
|February 9-13, 2015
San Diego, California
|Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Basic Wetland Delineation|
|March 16-18, 2015
|Everglades Wetland Research Park course: Treatment Wetlands|
|March 23-26, 2015
|Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training|
|June 22-25, 2015
State College, Pennsylvania
|Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed|
|February 2, 2015||World Wetlands Day 2015: Wetlands for our Future|
|April 24-25, 2015
Great Bend, Kansas
|The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, along with Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, The Nature Conservancy, and the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, hosts this 2-day birding festival every other year on odd numbered years.|
For more wetland events, meetings, conferences, and courses nationwide, visit the ASWM calendar.
- National Wetland Plant List Announcement
- The Russia-USA Wetland Center Exchange Program: Linking People and Wetlands
Seeks Wetland Centers for Project Participation
- House passes bill to reform EPA science panel
- USDA and Partners Complete First-of-Its-Kind Sale of Carbon Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands
- Senate GOP steeling for battle against EPA
- Climate change denier Jim Inhofe in line for Senate's top environmental job
- Prairie Pothole Wetlands Imperiled by their Protectors
- In the fight against green slime on Lake Erie, farmers try to clean up their act
- Expert: Drone technology a game-changer in agriculture
- Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Variable Width Riparian Areas Mapping: a Robust GIS Approach – November 19, 2014
- ASWM’s Members’ Webinar: Wetlands Supplement: Incorporating Wetlands into Watershed Planning – November 26, 2014
- ASWM’s Wetland Restoration Webinar: Atlantic/Gulf Coast Coastal Marshes and Mangrove Restoration – December 9, 2014
- Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Mapping with Ecological Site Descriptors – December 17, 2014
- U.S.- China climate change deal already facing challenges
- USDA Seeks Comments on New Conservation Stewardship Rule
- The surprising reason abandoned US mines haven't been cleaned up
- Lake Erie isn’t only lake with algae headaches; Lake Ontario also on the hook
- As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions of Gallons of Water Lost
- U.S. takes the helm of council assigned to deal with fast-changing Arctic
- Drugs flushed into the environment could be cause of wildlife decline
- Request for Proposals for Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant
- Building comm. resilience by strengthening America’s natural resources
- AK: As Alaska warms, a goose forgoes a 3,300-mile migration
- AK: Mystery epidemic hits sea stars in Sitka Sound
- CA: Alien fish poisoned by the thousands to save S.F.’s Mountain Lake
- CA: Kale or fracking? Farmers and corporations fight it out for water
- CA: Drought overcomes newts and frogs
- CA: Restored wetlands welcome wildlife and protect against future floods in San Francisco Bay Area
- CA: 'Drought' beer: California breweries hit a dry spell
- CA: Bay Area Wetlands Restoration Going Strong
- CO: Colorado girds for proliferating people and increasingly scarce water
- CO: Gas wastewater likely triggered 2011 quake in Colorado: USGS
- DE: Where bulkheads fail, living shorelines thrive
- FL: Water demand shrinks even as state, U.S. grow
- FL: Tumors in Florida’s endangered sea turtles linked to polluted oceans
- FL: In Florida, a water-pollution warning that glows at night
- FL: A Florida city voted to split the state in two because of concerns over climate change
- IA: New clean water rule goes into effect
- KS: K-State expert explains best water management under limited irrigation
- LA: BP spill left 'bathtub ring' of oil across more than 1,200 square miles of Gulf seafloor, new study says
- LA: Louisiana shrimp safe to eat after BP Gulf of Mexico spill, local study says
- LA: Construction begins this week on artificial reef at site of old Pickets
- MA: A mysterious killer of common eiders
- MA: How Boston is rethinking its relationship with the sea
- MI: Michigan sites no longer environmental areas of concern
- MI: Michigan's sewer overflows raise regional concerns
- NJ: Steel wall in Brick and Mantoloking ushers in showdown on beachfront easements
- NY: New York Plants Curbside Gardens to Soak Up Storm-Water Runoff
- NY: Conservation project hopes to bring back New York's oysters
- OH: First 'green' sites unveiled in $3 billion effort to keep sewage out of Lake Erie
- PA: Changing climate changing forests: How best to help Pennsylvania’s woods
- PA: New Data Out Of PA Links Drilling To Water Contamination
- PA: Testimony: Obsolete tests tainted shale analysis
- SC: Army Corps presents $509 million project to deepen harbor
- TX: Can Trees, Wetlands Reconnect Downtown With The Trinity River?
- WA: Environmentalists sue over nuclear reactor's impact on Columbia River
- WA: Agencies develop plan to restore 5,000 acres of Sound shoreline habitat
- WI: Judge blames toxic Kewaunee County wells on ‘massive regulatory failure’
- Report: Giant pool of silt looks scary, but it isn’t a major threat to the Chesapeake Bay
- Climate change expected to expand majority of ocean dead zones
- 31 species of migratory animals given UN protection
- Climate Tools Seek to Bend Nature’s Path
- Eelgrass could save the planet
- Cranes crowd Staten Island as other Valley habitat dries up
- Saline soils, plant growth problems linked to tillage practices
- Everglades "River of Grass" to Flow Again - Experimentally
- Invasive species compound toxic algae risk
- Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality
- Nutrient Pollution: A Persistent Threat to Waterways
- Seabird losses from Deepwater Horizon oil spill estimated at hundreds of thousands
- 9 significant scientific findings too recent to be included in the new IPCC report
- Reversing Course on Beavers
- In East Coast Marshes, Goats Take On a Notorious Invader
- S. Oil Exports Would Worsen Global Warming, Government Auditors Say
- Study urges action on Lake Erie bacteria blooms
- Sea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for Coastal Cities
- Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean
- Flooding Fixes - Long Waits, Big Bucks...and a lot of Jobs
- New Vernal Pool Mapping Report Available
- Guide to Tools for Landscape Conservation Planning Released
- 40% of Wisconsin 'Frac Sand' Producers Violated Environmental Rules, Study Says
- Human-like fish that could be used to test China's water quality
- Ozone hole remains size of North America, NASA data shows
- A Heart Risk in Drinking Water
- Who Should Pay To Fix The World's Salt-Damaged Soils?
- Over 50% of China's coastal wetlands gone due to land reclamation
- ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Variable Width Riparian Areas Mapping: a Robust GIS Approach
- Northeast Climate Science Center (NCSC) Webinar: Making decisions in complex landscapes: Headwater stream management across multiple agencies using structured decision making
- ASWM Members’ Webinar: EPA Region 5 Watershed Handbook
- EPA 2014 Green Infrastructure Webcast Series: Green Infrastructure for Localized Flood Management
- ASWM Wetland Restoration Webinar: Atlantic Coast Coastal Marshes and Mangrove Restoration
- ASWM Members’ Webinar: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message
- ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: Mapping With Ecological Site Descriptors
- Climate-Smart Coastal Impoundments: Replacing Projected Lost Functions and Values Workshop
- The World Science Summit on Climate Engineering: Future Guiding Principles and Ethics
- Sediment Dynamics: From the Summit to the Sea
- American Geophysical Union (AGU) 47th Annual Fall Meeting
- The Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
- Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities
- Upper Midwest: Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium
- Citizen Science Association: Citizen Science 2015
- 2015 Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference
- Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: Climate Leadership Conference
- Wisconsin Wetlands Association 20th Anniversary Wetland Science Conference: Telling Our Stories
- The High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice
- Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities
- Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources
- Stormwater Utility Workshop
- Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century
- Water for Urban Areas
- Coastal GeoTools Conference
- International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
- Climate Change Symposium - Adaptation and Mitigation
- Regulated Rivers: Environment, Ecology, and Management Conference
- National Adaptation Forum
- 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research
- Changing climate. Changing wetlands
- Fish Passage 2015
- Crossing Scales, Crossing Borders; Global Approaches to Complex Challenges
- Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference
- Quaternary Perspectives on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Civilization
- 21st International Conference on Environmental Indicators
- Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA's Centennial
- 4th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science
- Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
- Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation - Piedmont
- Winter Woody Plant ID
- Endangered Species Act Overview
- Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter
- Wetland Delineation Training – January 2015
- Wetland Delineation Training – February 2015
- Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Basic Wetland Delineation
- Treatment Wetlands
- Wetland Delineation Training.- March 2015
- Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed Wetlands
- Wetlands for our Future
- Wings N Wetlands Birding Festival
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by Alan Grant and Marla Stelk, Editors; 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