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Wetland Breaking News: April 2014








         
    IN THIS ISSUE:

    EDITOR'S NOTE

    EDITOR'S CHOICE

    NATIONAL NEWS

    STATE NEWS

    WETLAND SCIENCE

    RESOURCES &  
    PUBLICATIONS

    POTPOURRI

    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    INDEX

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    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014




    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    EDITOR'S NOTE  

    What are the go-to agencies IN YOUR state to report wetland violations?

    A few months ago, I was contacted by an individual who stated that his neighbor had destroyed both his and the neighbor’s own wetlands by digging an eight foot deep ditch and draining them.  The neighbor draining the wetlands wanted the land for agricultural reasons. However, the person who contacted me wanted to retain his wetlands.  Would the neighbor’s ditching and draining actions in this case be a violation in your state?

    If this happened in your state, where would the person who had his wetlands destroyed go to file a complaint?  Is it a violation in your state if a neighbor’s actions have a negative (removal) impact on wetlands on an abutting property?  What agencies should this person contact and what is his basis for mitigation?  Is the process of how to report violators in your state well-advertised?  Who should they call or what agency handles environmental violations in your area?

    During my years as Water Quality Certification Supervisor, several of our certifications resulted from violations. Most of our violation notices came from working with our ten Division of Water field offices throughout the state.  They would see the water quality violation, write up the situation, and forward their findings to our section (401 WQC).  We would then work with the field office and the violator to correct the negative impact.  If the violator did not cooperate, our next step would be to have our enforcement division work with us and the field office to require the violator to mitigate the impact.

    Don’t let violators take away your resources.  Have a clear process by which those in the community can be a positive influence on the water quality violations in your state.  Make your reporting process easy and even anonymous if needed. Protect your reporting community as well as your wetlands.

    Good Luck and Many Successes,

    Alan Grant, Editor

    Wetland Breaking News


      









    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    EDITOR'S CHOICE

    Watchdog: EPA inflating success of wetlands programs

    Fox News Politics – April 16, 2014
    An EPA inspector general report suggests the agency is inflating the success of its wetland preservation programs.

    The finding comes after the agency declared there was "no net loss" of wetlands under a key regulatory program between fiscal 2009 and 2011.

    The program, overseen in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, dates back decades and applies to those seeking permits for everything from dams to highways to mining projects that could spew materials into U.S. wetlands. For full story, click here. Direct link to the Inspector General's report.

    EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation's Streams and Wetlands 

    Contact: Julia Q. Oriz – EPA – March 25, 2014
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) today jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act. The agencies are launching a robust outreach effort over the next 90 days, holding discussions around the country and gathering input needed to shape a final rule. For full news release,
    click here.

    Senators Seek to Curb EPA Authority on Mine Waste Disposal 

    By Kate Sheppard – Huffington Post – April 15, 2014
    A pair of senators have introduced legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using its authority to preemptively block or to revoke permits for mine waste disposal. The move has roiled those in Alaska who want EPA to use this authority to block a massive copper and gold mine that could put a major salmon fishery at risk. 

    The bill, from Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), would limit the time period in which the EPA can deny permits. It would preclude the agency from invoking its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect certain areas before a company has formally applied for a permit, and would also prevent the agency from revoking a permit once it has been issued. For full story, click here.

    BP, Coast Guard end spill cleanup on Gulf shoreline

    By Collin Eaton – Fuel Fix – April 15, 2014
    Nearly four years after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday declared an end to cleanup operations that cost the company $14 billion and once covered 778 miles of shoreline on the Gulf Coast. 

    The Coast Guard has finished its last patrols of the three remaining miles of beach that had been soaked in oil after a blowout at BP’s Macondo well sent millions of barrels of crude into the ocean on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig and the spill lasted more than 85 days. For full blog post, click here.

    GOP Bill Takes On EPA Water Authority

    By Sara Jerome – Water Online – March 27, 2014
    Water policy has become a rallying point for conservatives in Congress this year. The right is backing legislation known as the Defense of Environment and Property Act. The bill aims to cut back the federal government's authority to regulate wetlands. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, who introduced the bill in his chamber, said the legislation would rein in the EPA. For full story, click here.

    Mississippi Basin Water Quality Declining Despite Conservation

    By Brian Clark Howard – National Geographic Daily News – April 11, 2014
    U.S. federal scientists say water quality has declined in the massive Mississippi River Basin in recent years due to the combined effects of agricultural and urban infrastructure, despite decades of conservation efforts. That's a concern both for those who rely on the river system and for those downstream on the Gulf of Mexico, where a huge "dead zone" hurts fishing and recreational opportunities.

    Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) sampled the main stem and four tributaries of the Mississippi River and found that levels of nitrate increased at more than half the sites from 1980 to 2010. Overall, nitrate levels increased by 14 percent during that period, the USGS reported in a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill Friday.

    The new findings are a warning about water quality health nationwide, and raise a troubling issue: even when policymakers and environmental advocates try to clean up the waterways, their efforts are not always successful. For full story, click here.

    Obama Administration Launches Climate Data Initiative

    The White House – March 19, 2014
    Delivering on a commitment in the President's Climate Action Plan, released in June 2013, the Obama Administration has launched the Climate Data Initiative - a broad effort to leverage the federal government's extensive, freely-available climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate-change preparedness. Initially, in this pilot phase, data and resources related to coastal flooding, sea level rise, and their impacts can be found. Over time, one will be able to find additional data and tools relevant to other important climate-related impacts, including risks to human health, the food supply, and energy infrastructure. To view the fact sheet, click here. To learn more, click here.

    Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar

    Using Land Cover Change Data to Better Understand Wetland Trends – Nate Herold, Physical Scientist, NOAA Coastal Services Center. This webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. EDT

    NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) produces nationally standardized land cover and change information for the coastal regions of the U.S. that are updated every five years. This presentation will summarize C-CAP availability, how it can be accessed, improvements to wetland mapping accuracies, and how this change can inform more detailed mapping efforts (such as National Wetland Inventory mapping). Several example areas will show the audience what C-CAP data can and cannot do in terms of helping users understand wetland change, and the valuable insights this information can provide.

    For more information, click here. To register for this webinar, click here.


    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    NATIONAL NEWS

    EPA scores big win to limit mercury in power plants

    By Erica Martinson – POLITICO – April 15, 2014
    The Environmental Protection Agency took home a sweeping victory Tuesday when an appeals court upheld the agency’s pollution limits for mercury and air toxics from power plants.

    The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA’s rule, known as MATS, denying challenges from states, utilities and industry groups that argued the rules came out of a flawed regulatory process and illegally imposed exorbitant costs on power producers that will force dozens of power plants to shut down. For full story, click here.

    Recovery from acid rain speeding up in Northeast lakes

    Environmental Health News – April 15, 2014 
    Lakes in the U.S. Northeast are recovering from acid rain faster now than in the past, according to a new study.

    In many parts of the world, lakes turned more acidic beginning in the 1970s due to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted by power plants, factories and vehicles. In upstate New York and New England, some lakes have been recovering very slowly or not at all, even though acid rain has declined.

    Acid rain can kill fish and other aquatic life, deplete forest soils of nutrients and increase toxic metals, such as aluminum and mercury, in lakes and streams. For full story, click here.

    Water supply forecast shows record snow in northern parts of West

    By Spencer Miller – Natural Resources Conservation Service – April 14, 2014 – Video
    March storms increased snowpack in the northern half of the West but didn’t provide much relief for the dry southern half, according to data from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) in its April 2014 water supply forecast.

    According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Washington, most of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and northern parts of Colorado and Utah are expected to have near normal or above normal water supplies, according to the forecast. Far below normal streamflow is expected for southern Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah and western Nevada. For full story and to view video, click here.

    Secretary Jewell Releases Landscape-Scale Mitigation Strategy to Encourage Dual Objectives of Smart Development and Conservation

    U.S. Department of the Interior – April 10, 2014
    To advance landscape-scale, science-based management of America's public lands and wildlife, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a strategy to implement mitigation policies and practices at the Department that can more effectively encourage infrastructure development while protecting natural and cultural resources. For full press release, click here.

    46 House members urge Great Lakes cleanup fund cuts reversed

    By David Shepardson – The Detroit News –  April 8, 2014
    A bipartisan group of 46 House lawmakers, including six from Michigan, want Congress to reject proposed cuts by the White House to a Great Lakes cleanup fund. Last month, the Obama administration proposed cutting the budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which cleans up pollution and restores fish and wildlife habitats, from $300 million to $275 million, a 9 percent cut. For full story, click here.

    Big El Niño Coming?

    Living on Earth – April 4, 2014 – Video
    Conditions in the western Pacific Ocean point to an unusually intense El Niño weather pattern for 2014/15. Climate scientist Kevin Trenberth tells host Steve Curwood that the last extreme El Niño event in 1997/98 coincided with drought in Australia and Africa, severe ice storms in Northeastern North America, and the Pacific Ocean’s most active hurricane year on record. To view video and to read the transcript, click here.

    Playing catch-up with runoff: Farmers plow new ground on water quality

    By Scott Cooper Williams – Green Bay Press Gazette – March 22, 2014 
    Randy Hallet hauled his cow manure out into the field to fertilize his soil every single day. Even in winter, he kept up the routine, knowing that the ground was frozen and that most of the manure would wash away into nearby creeks and streams. For generations, farmers throughout Northeastern Wisconsin have adhered to the same regimen. In the process, they have contributed to what is widely regarded as the region’s most serious threat to water quality. But a growing number of farmers are changing their ways and implementing practices aimed at protecting the environment by controlling runoff pollution from agriculture. For full story, click here.

    NOAA: $5.5 Billion FY 2015 Budget Request Promotes Environmental Intelligence

    Ocean News – March 18, 2014
    President Obama's fiscal year 2015 discretionary budget request for NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, totals $5.5 billion. This is $174 million over the 2014 enacted budget, an increase of 3.2 percent. The proposed budget will enhance public safety and community resiliency to weather and climate disasters. It also makes smart investments in critical infrastructure and innovative science to better position NOAA for the future and continues efforts to strengthen the agency’s oceanic and coastal programs, its internal and extramural programs, all while maintaining strong fiscal discipline. The budget proposal supports vital NOAA missions and environmental priorities under the Commerce Department’s Open for Business Agenda. For full story, click here.

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    STATE NEWS

    AK: In some of Alaska's most pristine parks, fish show traces of banned pesticides

    By Yereth Rosen – Alaska Dispatch – April 13, 2014
    Traces of pesticides that were likely never used in Alaska and have -- in some cases -- long been outlawed are showing up in some Alaska fish, new research shows.

    A study led by the National Park Service found “historic-use” contaminants in fish at three Alaska parks famous for their wilderness qualities and reputations of being pristine and protected: Lake Clark National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Katmai National Park.

    The study, which also examined contaminant levels in five high-altitude national parks in the western United States, also found PCB concentrations, with loads in Alaska fish exceeding those in the Lower 48 sites. The Lower 48 parks in the study were Yosemite, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain, Lassen Volcanic and Sequoia and Kings Canyon. For full story, click here.

    AK: In latest blow to Pebble prospect, mining giant Rio Tinto is pulling out

    By Sean Cockerham – Anchorage Daily News – April 7, 2014
    Global mining giant Rio Tinto is pulling out of the Pebble mine project in Alaska, the latest blow to the controversial plan to build an open pit mine in the best wild salmon stronghold in the world.

    Rio Tinto said Monday that it will donate its share in the project to a pair of Alaskan non-profits, the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corp. Education Foundation.

    Rio Tinto's decision comes after the Environmental Protection Agency moved closer in recent weeks to blocking the mine. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Pebble would "likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the salmon of Bristol Bay." She said her agency would decide on action to protect the salmon under the Clean Water Act, which could lead to a veto of the project. For full story, click here. 

    CA: Conventional farmers drop their plows in favor of conservation

    By Nathanael Johnson – Grist – April 15, 2014
    The primary innovation that Michael and Adam Crowell have adopted is to simply stop plowing their fields. They grow a mix of grasses for the cows in the winter, then cut that hay and plant corn directly into the sod in the summer. When I asked the Crowells what had convinced them to experiment with these newfangled conservation techniques, Michael gave me a one-word answer: “economics.” For full story, click here.

    CA: Cultivation Dries Up Some California Streams

    By Rau, Duke – The 420 Times– April 14, 2014
    Marijuana cultivation along some parts of the Northern California coast is soaking up all the natural water and drying up streams, state officials said recently.

    This is bad news on a few different levels: State Fish and Wildlife officials say there isn’t enough water for the burgeoning marijuana cultivation industry they’ve seen along the north coast even in wet years. But we’re looking at a historic drought.

    And, as we’ve noted, California’s historic drought could lead to a marijuana shortage for America’s largest medical cannabis market. At least one expert says prices could skyrocket as a result.

    Drying up natural water sources certainly wouldn’t help. For full story, click here.

    CA: Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

    By Chris Clarke – KCET– April 10, 2014
    A joint state and federal drought management plan released this week for the summer includes bad -- but not particularly surprising -- news for the Central Valley's wetlands.

    The plan reaffirms that wildlife refuges and other managed wetlands in the California's largest valley will receive just 40 percent of the water from the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) in 2014 that they get in a typical year.

    And to make matters worse, a typical year's deliveries from the CVP aren't enough to keep those wetlands and their wild inhabitants healthy. At best, such so-called "Level 2" deliveries provide only about half the water Valley wetlands need, and plan says this year's cuts mean those wetlands will only get between 15 and 30 percent of the water they need in 2014. For full story, click here.

    CA: Pop-up wetlands help California farmers and migratory birds

    By Margaret Badore – TreeHugger – April 8, 2014 – Slideshow
    Millions of birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway each year, traveling along an aerial highway that stretches from Mexico up to the Arctic. Although birds cover impressive distances along the way, they still need places to rest. California was once home to an estimated 4 million acres of wetlands in the pre-settlement 1800s. But today, 90 to 95 percent of that habitat has disappeared.

    In seasons of drought, like the one we’ve experienced in the past year, the lack of wetlands can be devastating to bird populations. However a new program in California’s Central Valley is temporarily using farmland to create “pop-up” wetlands, which serve as rest stops for traveling birds. For full story, click here. 

    CA: The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance

    By Jeremy Miller – High Country News – April 2, 2014
    I stand in flooded farmland on a dead end dirt road in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Overhead, dozens of greater sandhill cranes make a jagged line against the gray winter sky, descending into the beige fields with an eerie clatter. Snowy egrets and great blue herons stalk the shallow water, while flocks of starlings launch from the roadside and coalesce into great swarms. The wild avian display here on Staten Island – one of 60 islands scattered across the Delta’s waters – is a jarring contrast to the human drama unfolding across the region. For most people outside this watery region, where the state’s two largest rivers end and its greatest water engineering projects begin, the Delta is typically seen through a veil of conflict – one pitting endangered fish against the needs of water-starved farms in the Central Valley and cities in southern California. For full story, click here.

    CA: The Nature Conservancy Releases Reducing Climate Risks Report

    Storm Water Solutions – March 26, 2014
    The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) California Climate Change Initiative released a new report entitled, “Reducing Climate Risks with Natural Infrastructure.” The report draws on experience from nine case studies in California, and makes a case for conservation as an effective tool to reduce risks of a changing climate. For full story, click here. To view report, click here.

    CA: Biologists move 500 red-legged frog eggs to mountain wetlands

    By Louis Sahagun – Los Angeles Times – March 12, 2014
    Federal biologists clad in waders and armed with long-handled nets this week moved hundreds of red-legged frog eggs from a San Fernando Valley stream to carefully selected wetlands 10 miles away in the first attempt to expand the threatened species' range in Southern California. Five hundred eggs transported from the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve to the Santa Monica Mountains are expected to hatch any day. When they do, they will reintroduce red-legged frog tadpoles to historic haunts that are free of predatory fish, snails and crayfish that could tear them apart. About two years from now, if all goes according to plan, the mating calls of the largest native frog west of the Mississippi will rejoin the natural sounds in remote mountainous terrain where the species has not been seen in nearly half a century. For full story, click here.

    DE: Nominations sought for Delaware’s 2014 Wetland Warrior; deadline June 27

    Cape Gazette – April 9, 0214
    The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is seeking nominations for the 2014 Delaware Wetland Warrior Award to recognize exemplary efforts to protect wetlands and the critical services they provide to all Delawareans.

    The Wetland Warrior Award is presented annually to a citizen, organization, business or other group that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands through outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection. The award will be presented on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 24, at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. For full story, click here.

    DE: Freshwater wetlands plan loses key vote

    By Jeff Montgomery – Delaware Online - The News Journal – April 9, 2014
    Farm, business and county-level interests blocked a recommendation for state takeover of key freshwater wetland programs Wednesday morning, the latest in a long history of setbacks for the proposal.

    Gov. Jack Markell personally urged Wetland Advisory Committee members to approve state, rather than federal, management of non-tidal wetlands, saying that the move would reduce frustrations, costs and uncertainties for landowners, developers and businesses.

    Although a majority of the committee – which will make a recommendation to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – supported the new state rule, the proposals failed to get a needed two-thirds majority. For full story, click here.

    DE: Delaware Governor Announces Clean Water Initiative

    Stormwater Report – March 20, 2014 – Video
    In Delaware, 377 water bodies are impaired, and 30 state waterways are not fishable. However, Gov. Jack Markell announced a plan March 4 to pay for stormwater, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure upgrades. The initiative, Clean Water for Delaware’s Future, would impose a “clean water fee” on residential, commercial, and industrial property owners. For full story and to view video, click here.

    FL: Florida Lawmakers Proposing a Salve for Ailing Springs

    By Lizette Alvarez – The New York Times – April 14, 2014
    To the untrained eye, Manatee Springs is an idyllic refuge in Central Florida: The cool water is so clear in parts that the sand glistens like polished aluminum. A vast series of underwater caves beckons thousands of divers. Deer wander by as do manatees, turtles, owls. Eagles soar overhead.

    But Annette and Mark Long, who live a stroll away from the cypress-filled park, know differently. The natural springs here are ailing, as are many of the 900 other springs in the state. For decades, fertilizer and cow manure from nearby dairy farms have seeped into the porous ground at Manatee Springs and by extension the aquifer, which supplies most of the state’s drinking water, scientists said. The nitrates from the fertilizer have bubbled up into the springs, killing off eelgrass and fish, and raising toxicity levels.

    Today, Manatee Springs is one of the most polluted springs in the state. For full story, click here.

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014FL: Central Everglades pollution plan gets key go-ahead

    By Andy Reid – Sun Sentinel – April 10, 2014
    A nearly $2 billion plan to help the Everglades and ease coastal pollution stayed alive Thursday when the South Florida Water Management District agreed to potentially pay half of the steep cost.

    That could make South Florida property taxpayers, with help from state coffers, responsible for paying for much of the Central Everglades plan — aimed at moving more Lake Okeechobee water south to Florida's famed "River of Grass."

    The next tricky step involves persuading Congress to pay for the other half of the project so that a final deal can be OK'd by the district. Then the lengthy construction work can begin.

    For full story, click here.

    FL: Urban wetland offers glimpse at successful Everglades restoration

    By Jenny Staletovich – Miami Herald – April 9, 2014
    Much of the massive plan to restore the Everglades exists in theory, a vast and complicated circuit of interconnected canals, culverts, gates and reservoirs, mostly located far inland and far from people. Few sections have been built. Far more exist only in computer models.

    But in the last two years, engineers have been fine-tuning a small but uniquely accessible project: an urban wetland sandwiched between tennis courts and walled McMansions near Palmetto Bay.

    Located on the Deering Estate and an adjacent old mango farm, and part of the much bigger Biscayne Bay wetland restoration, the mini project represents the science behind the grand but stalled Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Known as CERP, the far-reaching plan is intended to cure the ailing ecosystem by restoring the flow and breadth of the River of Grass. For full story, click here.

    FL: Mead Garden restoration plans could transform wetland

    By Tim Freed – Winter Park/Maitland Observer – April 9, 2014 
    A restoration project for the Lake Lillian Wetlands at Mead Botanical Garden could bring new life to the dark, murky habitat – an effort that could eliminate other wildlife and vegetation in the process.

    Mead Botanical Garden Inc. and the city of Winter Park hope to revitalize a piece of wetlands right beside the outdoor pavilion in Winter Park’s botanical haven. The half-acre section of wetlands will be dredged and revitalized into a new lake, creating a serene background behind the amphitheater.

    But the real benefit will be the boost of wildlife in the area, said Cynthia Hasenau, executive director for Mead Botanical Garden Inc. For full story, click here. 

    FL: Florida State University: Researchers Finds Methane from Oil Spill has Entered Food Web

    Ocean News & Technology – March 18, 2014
    When millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, so did large volumes of methane, or natural gas.

    Now, researchers from Florida State University and Florida A&M University have confirmed that methane-derived carbon has entered the Gulf's food web through tiny organic particles floating in the Gulf.

    FSU professor of chemical oceanography Jeffrey Chanton.

    "All this methane was released into the Gulf and then in a few months, it disappeared," said Jeffrey Chanton, professor of chemical oceanography at Florida State. "What happened to it? It got absorbed by bacteria and that bacteria got incorporated into the food web." For full story, click here.

    ID: Tundra swans flock to restored Idaho wetlands

    By Becky Kramer – The Spokesman-Review – March 13, 2014
    Hundreds of tundra swans suddenly rose off of a marsh, the strokes of their powerful wings making a whistling sound as they flew. They landed a short distance away at another marsh, where other tundra swans were gliding over the water like a flotilla of toy sailboats. Mike Schlepp doesn’t know what triggers the swans’ abrupt change of location, but he observes the flights of the showy birds daily. About 3,000 migrating swans are using the wetlands on his farm south of Rose Lake, Idaho. Schlepp and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials couldn’t be happier. This is the first year they’ve counted large numbers of tundra swans on the farm, where nearly 400 acres of clean-feeding areas were established in 2007 through a conservation easement. For full story, click here.

    IL: EPA seeks public input on Ill. Carbon-capture plan

    Courier Press – April 51 2014
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on a plan to inject carbon dioxide beneath southern Illinois.

    FutureGen Industrial Alliance wants to capture carbon dioxide from a coal-burning power plant in the Morgan County village of Meredosia, then inject it into underground wells near Jacksonville, about 20 miles to the east. For full story, click here.

    IL: Sangamon River watershed life challenged at every turn

    By Emily Steele – Herald Review – March 28, 2014
    The Sangamon River supplies water to hundreds of thousands of homes on its 215-mile path through Central Illinois. It is home to aquatic life and winds through dozens of conservation areas, providing scenic views for nature lovers. But despite its essential role, life in Central Illinois has taken a toll on the river's health, including Lake Decatur. As reported in the 2014 Impaired Waters of Illinois list, mercury, PCBs and fecal coliform were discovered in parts of the Sangamon River, making fish unsafe to eat and physical contact, such as swimming or water skiing, potentially hazardous. For full story, click here.

    IN: Funding to Improve Wildlife Habitat is Available to Indiana Landowners

    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – April 16, 2014
    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana is accepting applications from landowners interested in establishing wildlife habitat through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP). The former Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) has been folded into the EQIP and funds will be available to target eligible applications containing a core set of wildlife habitat development practices. Anyone interested in these voluntary programs should contact their local NRCS office. The previously announced EQIP application deadline of May 16, 2014 will also apply for applications that target wildlife habitat. For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, click here.

    KS: Kansas metal finishing company charged with violating Clean Water Act

    By Trevor Graff – Kansas Health Institute – April 16, 2014
    A Minneapolis plating company and its owner, a former city council member, have been charged with 20 counts of violating the federal Clean Water Act and four counts of false reporting after allegedly dumping chemicals used in the company's metal finishing operations into the city's sewer system.

    The public works division began working with KDHE to sample water in the sewer system downstream of C&R in August 2013. In 59 days of testing, the samples from 55 days exceeded the daily limit for zinc. The company claimed to meet compliance levels of 2.61 milligrams per liter in its filings, but the city’s testing showed average levels of 40 milligrams per liter. The highest daily level recorded was 648 milligrams per liter, more than 250 times the maximum compliance level. For full story, click here.

    KY: Proposed pipeline route would pass through streams, rivers and wetlands, documents show

    The Republic – April 12, 2014
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents show that a planned pipeline project in Kentucky would affect more than 750 rivers, streams, wetlands and ponds during construction.

    The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids through more than a dozen Kentucky counties on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. For full story, click here.

    LA: Students spend Spring Break restoring wetlands

    By Paul Babineaux – The Daily Reveille – April 10, 2014
    For the sixth consecutive spring break, Andy Nyman, associate professor of wetland wildlife management, and his service-learning students plan to spend Spring Break differently from those students flooding the beaches of Florida.

    Nyman’s team will be traveling to the Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area at the mouth of the Mississippi River to conduct wetland restoration projects.  For full story, click here.

    LA: Bill to derail levee suit moves to Senate

    By Will Sentell – The Advocate – April 7, 2014
    Despite pleas from retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré , a state Senate panel approved legislation Thursday aimed at squashing a highly charged lawsuit filed against nearly 100 oil and gas firms.

    The proposal, Senate Bill 553, won approval in the Senate Transportation Committee without objection.

    State Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, chairman of the panel and sponsor of the bill, said it is needed because the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East failed to follow state law when it hired lawyers to launch the legal challenge. For full story, click here.

    ME: ‘Large’ kerosene spill reported in Old Orchard Beach wetlands

    By Beth Brogan – Bangor Daily News – March 30, 2014
    The Maine Department of Environmental Protection went to West Tioga Street on Sunday morning after a report that “a large volume of kerosene” had leaked into the wetlands. Old Orchard Beach Fire Department personnel were notified about 11 a.m. that kerosene had leaked from an old tank in a home and been carried by stormwater into the nearby wetlands, according to Chandler Green, a firefighter and EMT. For full story, click here.

    MD: University of Maryland Study Examines Effective Chesapeake Bay Management Practices

    Stormwater Report – March 31, 2014
    A new report by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) looks at 40 case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to determine which management practices have been most effective. According to the report, “New Insights: Science-based evidence of water quality improvements, challenges, and opportunities in the Chesapeake,” upgrading water resource recovery facilities, lowering vehicle and power plant emissions, and reducing runoff from farmland have been most effective at reducing sediment and nutrients. For full story, click here.

    MI: Millions of dollars slated to protect wetlands & bird habitats

    UpNorthLive – April 7, 2014
    Michigan is getting a share of $61 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance wetlands and other areas that are migratory bird habitats. The Michigan Upper Peninsula Coastal Wetland Project is getting $1 million to target habitat gaps and habitat management limitations. And a Michigan project involving the U.P.'s Garden Peninsula also is getting $1 million to help protect land. The Arcadia Marsh Expansion Project in Manistee County is getting nearly $70,000. The Manistee County project will protect threatened sedge meadow and marsh habitat within Arcadia Marsh, at the drowned river mouth of Bowens Creek. For full story, click here.

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    MI: Study: Great Lakes levels will continue to fluctuate

    By John Flesher – The Mining Journal – March 29, 2014
    Great Lakes levels will continue rising and falling in often unpredictable ways and people should learn to deal with the changes instead of trying to tame nature with costly engineering projects, experts said Thursday. Donald Scavia, director of the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute, announced a wide-ranging study of ways to adapt to up-and-down water levels during a seminar at which about 50 Great Lakes policymakers, scientists and advocates debated whether further efforts to control the inland seas would be worth the trouble. "Lake levels are varying and they're going to continue to vary," Scavia said. "The question we should be focusing on is, how do you live with the variability instead of where do you put the next dam." For full article, click here.

    MI: BP confirms oil spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery

    By Michael Hawthorne – Chicago Tribune – March 25, 2014
    Less than a year after BP started up a new unit to process Canadian tar sands at its Whiting refinery, the company reported today that a malfunction allowed a slug of crude oil into Lake Michigan a few miles away from the Chicago city limits.

    It remains unclear how much oil spilled into the lake or how long the discharge continued. Workers at the refinery reported an oil sheen on the water about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the leak was plugged by the time he arrived at 9 p.m.

    Mike Beslow, the EPA’s emergency response coordinator, said there appeared to be no negative effects on Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs. The 68th Street water intake crib is about eight miles northwest of the spill site, but there were no signs of oil drifting in that direction. For full story, click here.

    MN: DNR eyes water supply in Central Minnesota

    By Kirsti Marohn – SCTimes – April 7, 214
    BELGRADE The name suggests a land of bounty, where water has always been in plentiful supply. But farmers such as Jim Anderson remember the time before irrigation transformed the Bonanza Valley's dry, sandy soil into some of the most productive farmland in Central Minnesota. "It was very dramatic," said Anderson, whose family has farmed near Belgrade for generations. He doubts he would be farming in the area if pumping water from the ground weren't an option. For years, there was little concern over the availability of water beneath the ground, but that is changing. The number of gallons of water being pumped is on the rise, and there are some indications that trend could be affecting the supply, as well as the quality of nearby lakes, streams and wetlands. For full story, click here.

    MO: Speakers blast Ameren plan for ash landfill in Missouri River floodplain

    By Jacob Barker – St. Louis Post-Dispatch – April 9, 2014 – Video
    Speaker after speaker drew applause Tuesday night as they railed against Ameren Missouri’s plan for a coal ash landfill along the banks of the Missouri River.

    For Ameren, the packed Knights of Columbus meeting hall in Washington, Mo., was not a friendly audience. Only one person out of more than 100 present spoke in favor of the utility’s plan to build a landfill to store the ash waste produced by its Labadie power plant — the largest in its generation fleet.

    For years, nearby residents and environmental groups have fought Ameren’s proposal, warning that its location in the river’s floodplain was a recipe for disaster.  For full story and to view video, click here.

    MT: NRCS Montana Sets Program Funding Application Deadline for June 1

    Contact: Erik Suffridge – Natural Resources Conservation Service – April 15, 2014
    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has set a June 1, 2014, application deadline for agricultural operators to be considered for 2015 conservation program funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. For full news release, click here.

    NJ: Edison Wetlands Association will host Earth Day Festival at its Edison ranch

    By Sue Epstein – NJ.com – April 11, 2014
    Edison Wetlands Association, an environmental activist group, will hold its 12th annual Earth Day event on April 26 at the Triple C Ranch and Nature Center in Edison.

    The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. with a rain date of May 3, at the ranch which is located at 206 Tyler Road in Edison.

    Dana Patterson, program supervisor for the association, said there will be a ceremony honoring the late environmental activist Jane Tousman of Edison. For full story, click here.

    NJ: Seeking a Plan to Rein In the Floodwaters Through the South Mountain Reservation

    By Lisa W. Foderaro – The New York Times – April 13, 2014
    Striding through the South Mountain Reservation, a patch of wilderness in an otherwise highly developed corner of New Jersey, Fred R. Profeta Jr. does not see the stands of oaks and maples or the shimmering streams so much as their absence.

    A lifelong hiker and former mayor of nearby Maplewood, Mr. Profeta is in the vanguard of a movement to stop what he says is the planned destruction of the heart of the reservation, a county park more than a century old through which the west branch of the Rahway River flows. For full story, click here.

    NJ: Pascack Valley towns prepare for Bi-State Watershed Cleanup

    By Lianna Albrizio – North Jersey.com – April 10, 2014
    Five Pascack Valley towns are gearing up for the Second Annual Bi-State Watershed Cleanup of the Hackensack River. Organized by the Park Ridge Green Team, in partnership with United Water, Bergen County Clean Communities and Adopt-A-Beach, Woodcliff Lake, River Vale, Montvale and Hillsdale have thus far registered for the April 26 cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the respective towns. Pearl River and Blauvelt in New York have also registered for the cleanup along with Old Tappan and Demarest. For full story, click here.

    NM: Hundreds of earthen dams pose dangers across state

    By Staci Matlock – Santa Fe New Mexican – April 12, 2014
    Doña Ana County commissioners received a dire warning last September. It predicted a disaster if rains overwhelmed dams and drainage systems in La Union, a colonia of about 300 homes near the U.S./Mexico border.

    Two days later, on Sept. 12, the prediction came true. A torrent of rain fell and water breached a small earthen dam upstream from La Union. Homes flooded, streets were wiped out and residents were without gas, power or drinking water for several days. A sinkhole swallowed one resident’s vehicle. For full story, click here.

    NY: Congressman Chris Collins Leads Fight Against EPA’s Expansion of Clean Water Act

    Congressman Chris Collins – U.S. House of Representatives – April 15, 2014
    Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) is attempting to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from expanding federal control under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Both agencies are seeking a rule change to give the federal government more authority by expanding the already overly broad definition of ‘navigable waters’ in the Clean Water Act.  Collins detailed his effort at a stop at Stein Farms in LeRoy, NY today where he was joined by members of the Stein family and Dean Norton, President of the New York State Farm Bureau. For full press release, click here.

    NY: New York City Announces $6 Million in Green Infrastructure Grants

    Stormwater Report – March 25, 2014
    On March 4, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $6 Million in new grants for community groups, nonprofits, and property owners implementing green infrastructure. Grants will be awarded to applicants that engage local communities in environmental awareness through education and green job training. This is the fourth year the city has offered this grant program. Over the last three years, $11 million in funds have helped establish 29 projects, preventing an estimated 13 million gallons of stormwater from entering the combined sewer system annually. For full story, click here.

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014NC: Coal Waste May Cause Carcinogen Spikes in Drinking Water

    By Gabe Rivin – North Carolina Health News – April 7, 2014
    Terry Shelton was on a hunt for clues.

    Shelton is the director of environmental services for the city of Eden, in Rockingham County, which draws its drinking water from the Dan River. Up until 2011, the city had had few problems with the health of its drinking water.

    But early that year, Shelton and his colleagues noticed something troubling with the water that Eden distributes outside the city center. The treated water was showing a spike in trihalomethanes, byproducts of the treatment process that, research has found, can be harmful to human health.

    Shelton and others began to sample water from the Dan, moving incrementally upstream in hopes of finding the source of their problems. For full story, click here.

    NC: Opponents Assail White House Plan to Close NOAA Lab in North Carolina

    By Puneet Kollipara – Science Insider – April 7, 2014
    A proposal by the Obama administration to close a historic marine research laboratory near Beaufort, North Carolina, is drawing pushback from the scientific community and local members of Congress. Although the administration frames it as a tough choice in a time of fiscal restraint, critics argue that the proposed closure of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab would endanger crucial marine research.

    Founded more than 100 years ago, the NOAA laboratory on Pivers Island near Beaufortconducts research into a variety of marine science subjects, including fish stocks, ecosystem function, and the health of aquatic creatures. Its work has helped scientists improve how they forecast harmful algal blooms, and it set in place the first study of invasive lionfish in the South Atlantic, those familiar with the lab say. And it is the only NOAA lab between Miami, Florida, and Sandy Hook, New Jersey. For full story, click here.

    NC: Feds checking for dirty pool in forest wetlands

    The Times News – April 2, 2014
    Two federal agencies are investigating whether managers at North Carolina State University's massive Hofmann Forest illegally drained wetlands.

    The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency are looking into the allegations, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

    Mickey Sugg with the corps in Wilmington says his agency has reviewed extensive ditch draining in the forest near Jacksonville. Sugg says some of the work appears to be illegal and the Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the case to determine if the work is covered by an exemption that allows some drainage work for tree farming. For full story, click here.

    OH: Fourth dumping defendant pleads guilty

    Vindy.com – April 14, 2014
    A fourth defendant charged with violating the Clean Water Act in the dumping of oil-field waste into a Mahoning River tributary has pleaded guilty in federal court.

    Mark A. Goff, 46, of Newton Falls, will be sentenced July 7. Goff was charged in an information, meaning he waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury.

    Lupo has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing at 10 a.m. June 16. Guesman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. The case against Hardrock is pending.

    According to the information, Goff emptied liquid waste from storage tanks on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown into a storm- water drain at Lupo’s direction on nine nights between Oct. 1 and Nov, 12, 2012. For full story, click here.

    OR: The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

    By Cassandra Profita – Jefferson Public Radio – April 8, 2014 – Slideshow
    Every winter on Oregon's north coast, the Necanicum River spills out over its banks during heavy rains and swallows the road just south of Seaside. This happens at least once -– and up to seven times -- a year.

    But not this year.

    Last summer, highway officials teamed up with a local landowner to use a nearby wetland as a natural sponge for floodwater. By removing a mile-long wall of dirt, they freed the river to spread out into its natural flood plain. Since then, even when the Necanicum has over-topped its banks, it hasn't sent its waters to flood the highway. For full story, click here.

    OR: Rare bee search is on at Deschutes meadow

    By Dylan Darling – The Bulletin – March 14, 2014
    A small group hoping to stop the U.S. Forest Service from returning a meadow near Bend to wetlands is calling for help in searching for a rare species of bumblebee. If the Western bumblebee is found at Ryan Ranch, a meadow just south of Dillon Falls along the Deschutes River, the Forest Service may have to change its plan, said Laurie Bynum, of Bend, one of the leaders of the Friends of the Meadow group. Although not listed for federal protection, the white-bottomed bumblebee is considered a sensitive species by the agency. For full story, click here.

    TX: Galveston Bay spill not massive, but still challenging

    By Rick Jervis – USA Today – March 27, 2014
    On the surface, the recent oil spill into Galveston Bay may appear to be a much smaller, more manageable version of past catastrophic spills.

    The amount of oil that seeped into the bay when a container ship collided with a fuel tanker over the weekend — 168,000 gallons — is a fraction of the estimated 100 million gallons that gushed from an underwater well during the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe four years ago. And it's much smaller than the 11 million gallons that spilled into Alaska's Prince William Sound during the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.

    But the spill impacting Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel presents a unique set of challenges that could lead to thornier recovery issues. For full story, click here.

    TX: Texans try to cope with lingering hangover from record drought

    By Daniel Lippman – E & E Publishing – March 26, 2014
    After Texas got hit by a historic drought in 2011 that caused major damage to its agricultural sector, many farmers and ranchers in the state had hoped their dry spell would be over by now.

    But although conditions have somewhat improved since then, moderate to exceptional drought is still affecting 64 percent of the state, hurting farmers' crops and animals and biting deeply into their profits. In a big state, it still sprawls. For example, much of Texas' hay, corn, winter wheat and cattle is currently affected by drought, according to a March 18 U.S. Drought Monitor report. For full story, click here.

    TX: 319 Success Story: West Fork Trinity River, Texas

    EPA – March 6, 2014
    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) placed the West Fork Trinity River above Bridgeport Reservoir (segment 0812, which includes two assessment units [AUs]) on the state's 1998 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for failure to meet surface water quality standards for chloride. Project partners addressed total dissolved solids (TDS) and chloride contamination from oilfield activities in the Trinity River drainage basin by sealing abandoned, unplugged, noncompliant oil and gas wells; resealing improperly plugged wells; and implementing other best management practices (BMPs). Following restoration, TCEQ determined that segment 0812 met the state's standard for chloride and removed the segment from Texas' 2012 CWA section 303(d) list. For full story, click here.

    VT: Ottauquechee Conservation District Awarded Vermont Watershed Grant

    VTDigger.org – April 10, 2014
    The Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District (ONRCD) has been awarded a Vermont Watershed Grant through the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and Fish and Wildlife Department(VTF&W) to further develop “The River Roadshow” for community outreach: showing members of the public how rivers “work,” school education: helping students discover the principles of river dynamics, and operator awareness: enabling machine operators to see how their work can beneficially or adversely affect rivers. For full story, click here.

    VT: Department of Environmental Conservation Schedules Public Comment Meetings

    VTDigger.org – April 10, 2014
    A series of public comment meetings will be held in April to gather feedback on the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Draft Passumpsic and Upper Connecticut River Basin Tactical Water Quality Management Plan.

    The Passumpsic and Upper Connecticut River Tactical Basin Plan was developed with the purpose of improving both water quality and aquatic habitats, and presents the recommendations of State and Federal resource agencies, watershed partner organizations, planning commissions, municipalities, and individual citizens.  For full story, click here.

    VT: Missisquoi wetlands designated for protection

    By Judy Simpson – WCAX.com – April 9, 2014 – Video
    A small corner of Vermont has just been recognized as globally important and unique by an international convention designed to protect wetlands.

    The wetlands at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Swanton are waking up after a long, cold winter. "Yes, it's actually louder than it was last week. Every day something new happens," said Ken Sturm, the Refuge's Manager.

    The refuge and Missisquoi Delta are home to thousands of species of animals and plants, including the largest silver maple floodplain forest in the state. It is also contains the Maquam Bog, which is the largest bog in Vermont -- home to a rare pitch pine plant community. These are just two of the reasons why this region was designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. For full story and to view video, click here.

    WV: Independent scientist group says WV water is safe

    By Jonathan Mattise – SFGate – April 1, 2014
    Almost three months after tainted tap water became part of 300,000 West Virginians' daily lives, independent scientists reviewed lab rat studies and hospital reports to reassure residents their water is safe, even if it still contains trace chemicals. For full story, click here.

    WI: Milwaukee Sinks as Ebbing Groundwater Undermines Its Foundations

    By Tim Jones and Marie Rohde – Bloomberg – April 2, 2014
    Milwaukee is sinking.

    The walls and foundations of dozens of downtown buildings that stayed structurally afloat for more than 100 years on wooden pilings are deteriorating as once-sturdy Wisconsin pines, oaks and cedars rot. The culprit is declining groundwater that preserved the supports. From Boston to the seaside town of Coos Bay, Oregon, pilings are rotting, undermining homes and neighborhoods. Drought, over-use of water and crumbling subterranean drains that channel away moisture are to blame in Milwaukee, hydrologists say. While Wisconsin courts hear a fight over who should pay, there’s a growing realization that water scarcity is no longer the singular worry of dry and newly built regions. For full story, click here.

    WI: Two Years Later, Wisconsin Residents Still Without Tap Water

    By Sara Jerome – Water Online – April 1, 2014
    In a small Wisconsin town, many residents have gone without clean tap water since 2012. But now it appears they will have clean tap water restored by the end of the summer.

    It all started with a gasoline pipeline break nearly two years ago.

    "A leak under the Town of Jackson discovered on July 17, 2012 spilled an estimated 55,000 gallons of gasoline product into the soil, contaminating many wells with benzene,” WISN reported.

    Even with filtration, "the tap water for dozens of families with private wells has been declared unsafe by the state," WISN said in a previous report.  Residents were able to use the compromised tap water for cleaning, but not drinking.

    The solution is coming soon in the form of a new water pipeline, according to the report. For full story, click here.

    WI: Thaw threatens water supplies with manure runoff

    By Lee Bergquist – Journal Sentinel – March 30, 2014
    With warmer weather finally on the way, state officials are warning farmers and the public that there is a potentially high risk across most of Wisconsin for manure to pollute groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes.

    Following the highest number of manure spills in seven years in 2013, this year's threat is due to melting snow and rainfall that could send soil and animal waste into streams.

    Under the right conditions, manure also could soak into aquifers, from which drinking water is drawn. For full story, click here.


    WETLAND SCIENCE

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014

    Study shows climate change disrupts natural relationships between species

    By Ally Catterick – PHYS.org – April 15, 2014
    A collaborative study released today involving scientists from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative has shown that climate change is altering species distributions and populations, seemingly through shifting interactions between species rather than direct responses to climate.

    An ecosystem is made up of a multitude of species interacting with each other; this study has shown that many of the climate-related impacts on a given species occur as a result of changes in population and behavior of other species within the ecosystem, which then cascade through the food chain. For full story, click here.

    Paying Farmers to Welcome Birds

    By Jim Robbins – The New York Times – April 14, 2014
    The Central Valley was once one of North America’s most productive wildlife habitats, a 450-mile-long expanse marbled with meandering streams and lush wetlands that provided an ideal stop for migratory shorebirds on their annual journeys from South America and Mexico to the Arctic and back.

    Farmers and engineers have long since tamed the valley. Of the wetlands that existed before the valley was settled, about 95 percent are gone, and the number of migratory birds has declined drastically. But now an unusual alliance of conservationists, bird watchers and farmers have joined in an innovative plan to restore essential habitat for the migrating birds.

    The program, called BirdReturns, starts with data from eBird, the pioneering citizen science project that asks birders to record sightings on a smartphone app and send the information to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in upstate New York. For full story, click here.

    Lost in an acid sea: A fish's sense of smell

    By Brian Bienkowski – The Daily Climate – April 14, 2014 – Video
    Acidic ocean water blunts the sense of smell in fish, making them bolder – perhaps recklessly so, according to a new study offering a glimpse of the oceans of the future.

    The findings suggest that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, fish could suffer debilitating behavioral effects.

    "If reef fish behavior does not adapt to rising CO2 levels over coming generations, there could be serious consequences for the structure and function of future reef communities," the authors wrote in the study published in Nature Climate Change.

    The researchers, however, were surprised to find fish populations near the carbon seeps about as diverse and abundant as the fish from normal reefs. For full story and to view video, click here.

    Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says

    PHYS.org – April 10, 2014
    A new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society finds that several iconic Adirondack birds are in trouble, with declines driven by the size of their wetland habitats, how connected these wetlands are to one another, and how near they are to human infrastructure. The Adirondack Park represents the southern range extent for several species of boreal forest birds in eastern North America. Like any species at the edge of its range, they face challenges in this environment. The habitats of these boreal specialists – cool, wet, sphagnum-draped bogs and swampy woods – are thought to be vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Adirondacks where they are more fragmented than in forest to the north. For full story, click here.

    Climate changes to result in bird, reptile shifts

    By Susan Montoya Bryan – SFGate – April 9, 2014
    As temperatures climb across the Southwest, researchers have found some species will win, but others stand to lose — and lose big. The U.S. Geological Survey and researchers from the University of New Mexico and Northern Arizona University released a report this week that takes a closer look at some of the effects climate change is likely to have on species such as the desert tortoise and the pinyon jay. The jay stands to lose nearly one-third of its breeding range, while other birds could lose as much as 80 percent by the end of the century. On the other hand, the tortoise is the only reptile studied that isn't projected to see a decrease in suitable habitat. For full story, click here.

    2014 Annual Update USACE National Wetland Plant List

    U.S. Arm;y Corps of Engineer – 2014
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the 2014 annual update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). For additional information on the 2014 NWPL, click here or visit the NWPL website.

    What chickadees can tell us: Studying the tiny birds and their territory gives university students insight into how our changing climate is altering the world around us

    By Sandy Bauers – Portland Press Herald – March 30, 2014
    About 15 years ago, Villanova University biology professor Robert Curry was looking for a project that would allow his students to investigate something interesting without much travel. He found it in a cheeky little bird with a black cap, familiar to anyone with a backyard feeder: the chickadee. His idea was to catch a lot of birds (with special nets), band them to identify individuals and keep track of all they did – who was nesting with whom and where, how many offspring they had, where the young went when they set out on their own. Little did Curry know how quickly this creature, weighing less than two quarters, would provide clear evidence of birds moving northward – at quite a clip – in association with climate change. For full story, click here.

    Horseshoe crabs are now in danger

    WTSP.com – March 30, 2014
    In matters of love, nothing says romance like a moonlit beach. Especially if you're a lusty horseshoe crab and the tide is high.

    Every spring, from Florida to New Jersey, crabs that look more like fossils than a postcard for passion make their way ashore by the thousands when the moon is bright to lay millions of eggs that provide critical food for migrating shorebirds. But in the 1990s, their numbers began falling. Scientists aren't sure why but they suspect the continuing decline stems from fishing, loss of habitat and a global demand for their sky-blue blood, which is used to screen for toxins in injectable drugs. For full story, click here.

    Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind - IPCC report

    By Suzanne Goldberg – The Guardian – March 31, 2014
    A United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level on Monday, warning of sweeping consequences to life and livelihood. The report from the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time – melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters. And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said. “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC. For full story, click here.

    Proposed wetland protection model put to public

    By Elizabeth McSheffrey – Daily Herald Tribune – March 30, 2014
    The City of Grande Prairie could be moving towards stronger standards for protecting local riparian and wetland areas. Last week, the community growth committee discussed a newly developed Riparian Setback Matrix Model that would enable the city to identify environmental reserves and implement setbacks on a case-by-case basis. The city currently has a “one-size-fits-all” development setback of 15 metres from watercourses and wetlands, regardless of the area’s ecosystem sensitivity. For full story, click here.

    Exxon: Climate change rules won't halt oil and gas; fuels too important for global development

    Global Post – March 31, 2014
    On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future. Exxon Mobil issued a report Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability, by coincidence on the same day as the latest paper by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Nobel Prize-winning United Nations group assembled to assess the science and risks of climate change. For full story, click here.

    Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science

    By Elizabeth Shogren – NPR – March 22, 2014
    On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it. Twenty-five years of research following the Exxon Valdez disaster has led to some startling conclusions about the persistent effects of spilled oil. To read or listen to the full story, click here.

    Localities get bigger role in cleaning up stormwater

    By Rusty Dennen – Fredericksburg.com – March 22, 2014
    Stormwater runoff is a big source of pollution in streams and rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay, and for some area localities, it’s looming as a major expense linked to new efforts to clean up the bay. For example, Stafford County’s proposed budget includes the creation of a countywide stormwater service district, with a cost projected at $42 million over the next 15 years. Local tax dollars would go toward improvements to reduce runoff to streams, thereby lessening impacts on aquatic life and water quality. For full story, click here.

    Americans Don't Attribute Colder Weather to Climate Change

    By Jeffrey M. Jones – Gallup Politics – March 14, 2014
    Two in three Americans say their local area is experiencing colder-than-usual temperatures this winter, and one in four say their area is experiencing drought. When asked why they think these extreme weather events are happening, many more say they are attributable to normal yearly variation in temperature or rainfall than to human-caused climate change or global warming. Democrats are much more inclined than Republicans to attribute the extreme weather to global warming or climate change. Forty-seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who perceive colder temperatures in their areas attribute this to climate change, compared with 11% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who perceive colder temperatures. For full story, click here.

    Democrats hold all-night 'talkathon' on climate change on Senate floor

    Fox News Politcs – March 11, 2014 – Video
    Democrats took to the Senate floor Monday night to talk about global warming and did not let up until morning. "Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is solvable," said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. In Schatz's view, the debate, such as it was, showed that a growing number of senators are committed to working together on climate change, even if no Republicans were among them. "This is where intractable, longstanding issues get solved," he said of the Senate. For full story and to view video, click here.


    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS

    The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems

    By Micheal Conathan, Jeffrey Buchanan, and Shiva Polefka – Center for American Progress – April 9, 2014
    America’s coastal cities expanded throughout the 19th century, the wetlands were often considered a nuisance that stood in the way of progress and development. Marshy areas seemed little more than endless founts of pesky insects or quagmires blocking access between drier uplands and navigable waters. As cities outgrew their dry land footprints and sought additional space to grow, the obvious answer was to simply turn the wet places into dry places. Today, these regions—from Boston’s Back Bay to New York’s Wall Street to Miami’s South Beach—comprise some of the most valuable real estate in the world. To read more and to download the report, click here.

    IPCC report on climate impacts and adaptation released 

    By Scott K. Johnson – Ars Technica – March 31, 2014 – Video
    A few months ago, we covered the release of the first section of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which dealt with the physical science of climate and climate change. After one last meeting in Yokohama, Japan, the authors of the section on climate “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” have released the final draft of their work. (One additional section will be released in just a couple of weeks, with a synthesis report and the full, official release due at the end of October.) This thirty-chapter report on climate impacts is the product of 679 scientists from around the world, and it cites over 12,000 studies. Its goal is to summarize observed climate impacts, lay out future risks, and describe types of adaptation that could help manage those risks. For full story and to view video, click here. For Final Draft Report, click here.

    Government Accountability Office (GAO) Releases Report on Climate Change Risks to Energy Infrastructure

    U.S. Government Accountability Office – March 4, 2014
    According to assessments by the National Research Council and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, U.S. energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a range of climate change impacts-particularly infrastructure in areas prone to severe weather and water shortages. Climate changes are projected to affect infrastructure throughout all major stages of the energy supply chain, thereby increasing the risk of disruptions. GAO was asked to examine the vulnerability of the nation's energy infrastructure to climate change impacts. This report examines: (1) what is known about potential impacts of climate change on U.S. energy infrastructure; (2) measures that can reduce climate-related risks and adapt energy infrastructure to climate change; and (3) the role of the federal government in adapting energy infrastructure and adaptation steps selected federal entities have taken. GAO reviewed climate change assessments, analyzed studies and agency documents, and interviewed federal agency officials and industry stakeholders, including energy companies that have implemented adaptive measures. To access the report, click here.

    Permits for Voluntary Wetland Restoration: A HandbookVoluntary Wetland Restoration Handbook

    ASWM – November 2013
    Wetland managers -- whether conducting regulatory oversight, implementing restoration projects, or managing blocks of wetland on public or private lands -- are united in a common goal of maintaining and improving a key natural resource that provides tremendous benefits to the American people. While recognizing that these subsets of managers each have distinct roles and responsibilities, it is the common goal that brings us together to work cooperatively and efficiently.

    This handbook has been prepared by the Association of State Wetland Managers with significant input from both wetland regulators and wetland restoration practitioners. Our goal is to assist those seeking regulatory approval in understanding the dredge and fill permit process, and to share the experience of regulatory agencies that have developed measures to streamline the process in an effective and positive way. We also seek to encourage understanding among regulatory agencies of the manner in which restoration practitioners undertake wetland restoration – based on the best available science, and tied to international, national, state, and regional wetland plans assembled by diverse partners. Of course, our ultimate goal is to encourage and support the voluntary restoration of wetland resources. To download Permits for Voluntary Wetland Restoration: A Handbook, click here.

    Wetland Breaking News: April 2014POTPOURRI

    Scientists Frustrated by Factory Farms

    By Jim Lundstrom – Peninsula Pulse – April 11, 2014
    Professor Robert Lawrence is in a select company of researchers.

    "I think the only other group of scientists who probably are more frustrated than we are are the climate scientists," Lawrence said in a recent telephone call.

    Lawrence is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in Baltimore, Md., where he also holds the title of the Center for a Livable Future Professor in Environmental Health Sciences Professor, Departments of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy and Management, and International Health Director. The Center's mission is to engage "in research, policy analysis, education, advocacy and other activities guided by an ecologic perspective that diet, food production, the environment, and public health are interwoven elements of a single complex system."

    The reason for the phone call was a March 27 letter Lawrence and five colleagues sent to the group Kewaunee Cares regarding health and environmental concerns of manure from intensive livestock operations.  For full story, click here.

    Meet One More Big Funder That's Freaking Out About Watersheds

    Inside Philanthropy – April 9, 2014
    The Richard King Mellon Foundation is a major philanthropic player in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and gave out nearly $90 million last year to improve the area's economy, schools, and social safety net. But RKMF also gave out $14 million last year for conservation, which is decent money in this field. Conservation is a broad term that can cover a wide variety of projects. So what sort of conservation is the foundation actually funding?

    Well, one thing is for sure: RKMF cares about protecting watersheds and inland waterways, an increasingly hot area for many funders.  For full story, click here.

    Farming for improved ecosystem services seen as economically feasible

    Science Codex – April 9, 2014
    By changing row-crop management practices in economically and environmentally stable ways, US farms could contribute to improved water quality, biological diversity, pest suppression, and soil fertility while helping to stabilize the climate, according to an article in the May issue ofBioScience. The article, based on research conducted over 25 years at the Kellogg Biological Station in southwest Michigan, further reports that Midwest farmers, especially those with large farms, appear willing to change their farming practices to provide these ecosystem services in exchange for payments. And a previously published survey showed that citizens are willing to make such payments for environmental services such as cleaner lakes. For full story, click here.

    Texas Hoping for Edge Over New Mexico in Water Battle

    By Cathaleen Qiao Chen – The Texas Tribune – April 2, 2014
    With the official support of the U.S. government, Texas now hopes it has a substantial edge over New Mexico in an interstate legal battle over water from the Rio Grande.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the U.S. solicitor general’s motionto sit on the same bench as Texas in the state’s suit against New Mexico.

    For the Texas Commission on Environment Quality and other supporting parties, this puts the state one step closer to regaining rights — and water — for Texas farmers. For full story, click here.

    Guatemala’s treasured Lake Atitlán is dying

    By Anna-Claire Bevan – The Tico Times – March 30, 2014
    Once described by Aldous Huxley as the Lake Como of Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is a justified staple on the Central American tourist trail. However, over the past few years, agrochemicals, raw sewage, litter and shore development have taken their toll, turning the fresh blue water a murky shade of brown, turning tourists away.

    This week a joint initiative by the Italian and Guatemalan governments called “Yo soy Atitlán” aims to raise the profile of Lake Atitlán’s problems and work with environmental organizations, experts and the surrounding communities to combat the contamination that threatens to destroy one of the world’s most picturesque places. For full story, click here.

    Marsh Magic: 7 Amazing Wetlands to Visit This Spring

    The Weather Channel – April 3, 2014
    The arrival of spring means the marshes and intracoastal waterways along the Eastern and Gulf coasts are exploding with warmth, life and color, attracting migrating birds and spawning new marine life. Offering mystery and discovery around every bend, these magical waterways and wetlands are the perfect setting for spring vacation activities such as kayaking, birding, wildlife watching, boating, fishing and crabbing. For full story and to view photos, click here.

    Climate change reports of CNN, Fox News may mislead public: Report

    By Alexander Saltarin – Tech Times – April 8, 2014
    A new study shows that two of the top U.S. cable news companies are guilty of airing misleading reports about climate change. The study also showed that of the top three cable networks, MSNBC aired the most accurate reports on climate issues. The study was conducted by Aaron Heurtas and Rachel Kriegsman from the Union of Concerned Scientists. The aim of the study was to assess the accuracy of cable new coverage relating to climate science, climate change and other climate-related issues. For full story, click here.


    WEBINARS


    MEETINGS


    TRAINING


    SPECIAL EVENTS
     









    WEBINARS














    APRIL














    April 23, 2014
    1:00 p.m.-2 p.m. EST






    EPA Webinar on Water Quality Mobile Website "How's My Waterway"
    To register for this webinar, click here. Click on the "Training Tab" to register.









    April 23, 2014
    1:00 p.m.-2 p.m. EST






    EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar: Communicating Climate Risks

    Click on the "Training Tab" to register.








    April 24, 2014
    12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET







    The Ohio State University’s Webinar: Climate Change and Extreme Weather: historical trends and future forecasts








    MAY














    May 6, 2014
    1:00 p.m.-2 p.m. EST






    EPA Webinar: More Bang for the Buck: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Existing Public Works Projects








    May 6, 2014
    1:00 p.m. EDT






    AWRA Webinar: What are Ecosystem Services? A Primer








    May 8, 2014
    2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET






    Water for Energy and Energy for Water: Challenges and Opportunities for Utilities is a series of three webinars sponsored by the Association for Metropolitan Water Agencies, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

    Webinar 1: An overview of water/energy issues from national and federal perspectives. To register, click here.

    Webinar 2: Partnerships between water and energy utilities to address water/energy challenges. Date and speakers TBD
    Webinar 3: Effective stakeholder engagement on water and energy issues. Date and speakers TBD.

    For more information, click here.








    May 28, 2014
    1:00 p.m.-2 p.m. EST







    EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar: Financing Adaptation. Click on the "Training Tab" to register.









    JUNE














    June 11, 2014
    1:00-3:00 p.m. EST







    The Center for Watershed Protection Webcast: How To Pick The Right Vegetation for Bioretention & Its Cousins








    June 12, 2014
    2:00 p.m. EST






    Webinar: The unique legal, scientific, and ethical challenges of restoration in wilderness: a preliminary framework to help make defensible decisions presented by NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service








    June 23, 2014
    3:00 p.m. EST






    Webinar: National guidelines for metrics used for monitoring oyster restoration projects: A review of the Oyster Habitat Restoration Monitoring and Assessment Handbook presented by NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service








    JULY














    July 15, 2014
    2:00 p.m. ET






    Webinar: Restoration of Lake Apopka’s North Shore Marsh: High Hopes, Tough Times, and Persistent Progress presented by NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service








    SEPTEMBER














    September 10, 2014
    1:00-3:00 p.m. EST






    Center for Watershed Protection Webcast: Stream Restoration as a Pollutant Reduction Strategy








    OCTOBER/NOVEMBER














    October 8, 2014 1:00-3:00 p.m. EST

    November 12, 2014 1:00-3:00 p.m. EST







    Webcast: Series 2: Implementing TMDLs

    Series 2, Session 1: Local TMDLs & Regional/River Basin TMDLs: A Happy Engagement or a Shotgun Wedding? (October)

    Series 2, Session 2: Retrofitting Existing Stormwater Ponds & Basins (November)









    MEETINGS














    APRIL














    April 28-29, 2014
    Charlotte, North Carolina






    Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) will host Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference








    MAY














    May 2, 2014
    Lansing, Michigan






    New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists presents Basics of Wetlands, Floodplains & Wetland Delineations Workshop








    May 4-7, 2014
    Denver, Colorado






    NGWA Groundwater Summit 2014








    May 5, 2014
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina






    UNC Environmental Finance Center will host "The Future of Environmental Finance," from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Live streaming of the event will be available.








    May 5-8, 2014
    Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Arizona






    Wetland Restoration and Creation Workshop hosted by Sky Island Alliance








    May 7-8, 2014
    St. Lawrence College
    Cornwall, Ontario







    St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences: 21st Annual River Symposium: Preparing for the Future St. Lawrence/Great Lakes Environments








    May 8-9, 2014
    Lansing, Michigan







    Michigan Department of Environmental Quality: Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference: Protecting Water Resources and Promoting Economic Development









    May 12-14, 2014
    Washington, D.C.







    The Association of Climate Change Officers: Climate Strategies Forum









    May 15-17, 2014
    Portland, Oregon







    3rd Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology









    May 19-20, 2014
    Phoenix, Arizona






    Renewable Energy Development on Tribal and Indian Country Lands








    May 19-21, 2014
    Manchester, New Hampshire






    Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference & Educators Summit hosted by Antioch University New England and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Regions 1 and 2








    May 22, 2014
    Washington, DC






    Will the New WOTUS Rule Float? (an ELI Professional Practice Seminar)








    May 26-29, 2014
    Tallinn, Estonia, Germany







    6th IEEE/Oceanic Engineering Society Baltic Symposium 2014: “Measuring and Modeling of Multi-Scale Interactions in the Marine Environment”








    May 26 30, 2014
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada







    International Association for Great Lakes Research 57th Annual Conference: Ecosystem in Transition









    JUNE














    June 1-5, 2014
    Portland, Oregon






    EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2014








    June 1-6, 2014
    Seattle, Washington







    Association of State Floodplain Mangers Annual National Conference: Making Room for Floods & Fish









    June 9-11, 2014
    University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin







    University of Massachusetts Amherst: International Conference: Engineering & Ecohydrology for Fish Passage (Fish Passage 2014)









    June 13-15, 2014
    Denver, Colorado







    20th International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment. Call for papers deadline is May 1, 2014.









    June 22-June 25, 2014
    Broomfield, Colorado







    39th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop









    JULY














    July 27-July 30, 2014
    Lombard, Illinois






    Soil and Water Conservation Society 69th International Annual Conference: Making Waves in Conservation: Our Life on Land & Its Impact on Water








    July 27-August 1, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas






    16th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference









    July 28-August 1, 2014 New Orleans, Louisiana







    CEER: Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration: Evaluating the Science and Practice of Restoration








    AUGUST














    August 10-15, 2014
    Sacramento, California







    99th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All Ecology









    SEPTEMBER














    September 1-5, 2014
    Perugia, Italy






    The 15th World Lake Conference: Lakes: The Mirrors of the Earth: Balancing Ecosystem Integrity and Human Wellbeing








    September 6-12, 2014
    Duncan, Comox, and Courtenay, BC






    The BC Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Institute Workshop: Eastern Vancouver Island Wetland Institute-2014









    September 14-18, 2014
    Huesca, Spain







    International Wetlands Conference: Wetland Biodiversity and Services: Tools for Socio-Ecological Development.

    Abstract deadline is June 1, 2014.








    September 15-17, 2014
    Kansas City, Missouri






    U.S. Water Alliance will host One Water Leadership Summit: Water Sustainability in a Changing Climate








    September 24-26, 2014
    New York, New York






    2014 Rising Seas Summit, New York, NY hosted by the Association of Climate Change Officers. This will be part of Climate Week on September 22-28, 2014.








    September 29-30, 2014
    Buffalo, New York






    Great Lakes Commission 2014 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting








    OCTOBER













    October 13-15, 2014
    Berkley, California






    SAVE THE FROGS! Wetland Restoration Workshop.  Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.








    NOVEMBER














    November 3-6, 2014
    Tysons Corner, Virginia







    2014 AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference. Abstract deadline is May 23, 2014









    November 4-6, 2014
    Fairlee, Vermont






    The Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association Conference: More Than the Manual. Abstracts are due by June 1, 2014.








    November 17-20, 2014
    Charlotte, North Carolina







    North Carolina State University: EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference.

    Abstract deadline is June 1, 2014.








    TRAINING














    APRIL














    April 22-25, 2014
    Dallas, Texas






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Federal Wetland / Waters Regulatory Policy








    April 28, 2014
    Great Bend, Kansas







    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. is offering a course on Basic Wetland Delineation. Other dates:  May 5-9, 2014, Portage, WI; May 12-16, 2014, Poolesville, MD; June 2-6, 2014, Mesquite, TX; August 18-22, 2014, Arlington, WA; September 15-19, 2014, Covington, LA; and October 6-10, 2014, Portage, WI.









    April 2930, 2014
    Oahu, Hawaii






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. is offering a course on Basic Wetland Delineation with Field Session (eSession). Other dates: May 20-21, 2014, Poolesville, MD; June 10-11, 2014, Omaha, NE; June 23-24, 2014, Williamsport, PA; July 9-10, 2014, Toledo, OH; July-17-18, 2014, Portage, WI; July 22-23, 2014, Anchorage, AK; August 6-7, 2014, Santa Fe, NM; August 12-13, Laramie, WY; August 14-15, 2014, Arlington, WA; October 1-2, 2014, Bedford, NH; October 15-16, 2014, Richmond, VA; and November 4-5, Memphis, TN








    April 29-May 2, 2014
    Watershed Stewardship Center, Parma, Ohio







    Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop offered by Stream Mechanics is partnering with Cleveland Metroparks and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District









    MAY














    May 5-6, 2014
    Orange County, California






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Plant Identification for Coastal Southern California. This course will also be held on June 9-10, 2014, San Diego, CA








    May 5-9, 2014
    Portage, Wisconsin






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Basic Wetland Delineation

    Also offered on May 12-16, 2014, Poolesville, MD; June 2-6, 2014, Mesquite, TX; August 18-22, 2014, Arlington, WA; September 15-19, 2014, Covington, LA; and October 6-10, 2014, Portage, WI








    May 6-7, 2014
    Sacramento area, California






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Advanced Hydric Soils

    This course will also be held on May 12-13, 2014, State College, PA; July 30-31, 2014, Portage, WI; and August 25-26, 2014, Arlington, WA








    May 12-July 24, 2014
    University of Louisville Speed School of Enginering






    Online Wetland Design Class, University of Louisville

    Speed School Summer Session, Graduate Level, 3-credits. Registration is open until April 12 for new U of L graduate students. The course begins May 12 and ends July 24, 2014.

    Contact Instructor Tom Biebighauser for more information.








    May 13-14, 2014
    Portage, Wisconsin






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Identifying Flora of the Upper Midwest. This course will also be held on July 22-24, 2014, Portage, WI and September 23-25,2014, Portage, WI








    May 13-15, 2014
    Fort Collins, Colorado






    Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands (FACWet)









    May 13-15, 2014 Asheville, North Carolina







    North Carolina State University is offering a course on Natural Channel Design Principles For a complete course schedule, click here.









    May 23-May 25, 2014
    Rossland, BC







    BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) Wetlandkeepers Course









    May 30-June 1, 2014 Meadow Creek, BC







    BC Wildlife Federation Workshop: Wetland Restoration Design









    JUNE














    June 2-6, 2014
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania






    Identifying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes offered by Wetland Training Institute, Inc.








    June 3-6, 2014
    Hays, Kansas






    Identifying and Keying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes offered by Wetland Training Institute, Inc.








    June 10-17, 2014
    Williams, Arizona







    Duck Lake Restoration Project Workshop

    Please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to reserve a place at one or both days.









    June 15-21, 2014
    Steuben, Maine







    Eagle Hill Institute is offering a course on Sedges and Rushes Identification and Ecology. For a list of other courses, click here.








    June 15-21, 2014
    Steuben, Maine






    Eagle Hill Institute is offering a course on Wetland Identification, Delineation, and Associate Ecology. For a list of other courses, click here.









    June 16-17, 2014
    Valle Crucis, North Carolina








    River Course 131: Assessment and Identification of Riparian VegetationNorth Carolina State University  

    For a list of other courses offered, click here.










    June 17-20, 2014
    Raleigh, North Carolina






    Stream identification course, Raleigh, NC

    Contact:  John Dorney at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for additional information.








    June 23-26, 2014
    State College, Pennsylvania






    Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed Wetlands course offered by Wetland Training Institute









    June 24-25, 2014
    Mass Audubon Long Pasture Sanctuary,  Barnstable, Massachusetts







    Wetland Restoration Workshop for Professionals

    Please contact Ian Ives for more information.









    June 30-August 8, 2014







    Online Wetland Restoration Techniques Class, State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Summer Session II. Undergraduate and Graduate level, 3-credits. Instructed by Tom Biebighauser.

    Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information, or visit ESF.









    JULY














    July 8-10, 2014
    Raleigh, North Carolina







    North Carolina State University Course: HEC-RAS for Stream Restoration.

    For a list of other courses offered, click here.









    July 13-19, 2014
    Steuben, Maine






    Eagle Hill Institute is offering a course on Climate Change: Sea Level Rise and Temperature Change. For a list of other courses, click here.








    July 15-16, 2014
    Portage, Wisconsin






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course Regional Supplement Seminar and Field Practicum








    July 22-24, 2014
    Houston, Texas






    Keying Wetland Grass and Grasslike Species offered by Wetland Training Institute, Inc. This course is also offered on August 5-7, 2014, New Braunfels, TX








    July 22-24, 2014
    Asheville, North Carolina







    North Carolina State University, Stream Restoration Program Course: Introduction to Taxonomy and Pollution Ecology of Aquatic Insects

    For a list of other courses offered, click here.









    July 29-30, 2014







    Wetland Restoration Techniques Practicum Course,

    State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Summer Session II.

    Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information, or visit ESF.









    AUGUST














    August 19-22, 2014
    Hays, Kansas






    Plant Identification course offered by Wetland Training Institute, Inc.








    August 23-24, 2014
    Mohawk, Michigan






    Gratiot Lake Conservancy Workshop: Wetland Plant Identification








    SEPTEMBER














    September 8-13, 2014
    Whitefish, Montana






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Wetland Delineation with Emphasis on Soils and Hydrology








    September 11-12, 2014
    San Diego, California






    Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course on Riparian Habitat Restoration








    September 13-19, 2014
    Logan Lake, BC







    British Columbia Technical Institute (BCIT) Wetland Restoration Techniques Field Course

    Contact Dr. Doug  Ransome for more information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it









    OCTOBER














    October 20-22, 2014
    Naples, Florida







    Everglades Wetland Research Park Course: Creation and Restoration of Wetlands

    Instructors: William J. Mitsch and Roy R. “Robin" Lewis, III.









    SPECIAL EVENTS       








    May 2014





    American Wetlands Month: Learn! Explore! Take Action!








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


    JOBSWetland Breaking News: April 2014

    There are new jobs posted on the Wetland Jobs board. For the latest wetland jobs, click here.









    INDEX

    EDITOR'S NOTE

    What are the go-to agencies IN YOUR state to report wetland violations?

    EDITOR'S CHOICE

    Watchdog: EPA inflating success of wetlands programs

    EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation's Streams and Wetlands

    Senators Seek to Curb EPA Authority on Mine Waste Disposal

    BP, Coast Guard end spill cleanup on Gulf shoreline

    GOP Bill Takes On EPA Water Authority

    Mississippi Basin Water Quality Declining Despite Conservation

    Obama Administration Launches Climate Data Initiative

    Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar

    NATIONAL NEWS

    EPA scores big win to limit mercury in power plants

    Recovery from acid rain speeding up in Northeast lakes

    Water supply forecast shows record snow in northern parts of West

    Secretary Jewell Releases Landscape-Scale Mitigation Strategy to Encourage Dual Objectives of Smart Development and Conservation

    46 House members urge Great Lakes cleanup fund cuts reversed

    Big El Niño Coming?

    Playing catch-up with runoff: Farmers plow new ground on water quality

    NOAA: $5.5 Billion FY 2015 Budget Request Promotes Environmental Intelligence

    STATES NEWS

    AK: In some of Alaska's most pristine parks, fish show traces of banned pesticides

    AK: In latest blow to Pebble prospect, mining giant Rio Tinto is pulling out

    CA: Conventional farmers drop their plows in favor of conservation

    CA:  Cultivation Dries Up Some California Streams

    CA: Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

    CA: Pop-up wetlands help California farmers and migratory birds

    CA: The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance

    CA: The Nature Conservancy Releases Reducing Climate Risks Report

    CA: Biologists move 500 red-legged frog eggs to mountain wetlands

    DE: Nominations sought for Delaware’s 2014 Wetland Warrior; deadline June 27

    DE: Freshwater wetlands plan loses key vote

    DE: Delaware Governor Announces Clean Water Initiative

    FL: Florida Lawmakers Proposing a Salve for Ailing Springs

    FL: Central Everglades pollution plan gets key go-ahead

    FL: Urban wetland offers glimpse at successful Everglades restoration

    FL: Mead Garden restoration plans could transform wetland

    FL: Florida State University: Researchers Finds Methane from Oil Spill has Entered Food Web

    ID: Tundra swans flock to restored Idaho wetlands

    IL: EPA seeks public input on Ill. Carbon-capture plan

    IL: Sangamon River watershed life challenged at every turn

    IN: Funding to Improve Wildlife Habitat is Available to Indiana Landowners

    KS: Kansas metal finishing company charged with violating Clean Water Act

    KY:  Proposed pipeline route would pass through streams, rivers and wetlands, documents show

    LA: Students spend Spring Break restoring wetlands

    LA:  Bill to derail levee suit moves to Senate

    ME: ‘Large’ kerosene spill reported in Old Orchard Beach wetlands

    MD: University of Maryland Study Examines Effective Chesapeake Bay Management Practices

    MI: Millions of dollars slated to protect wetlands & bird habitats

    MI: Study: Great Lakes levels will continue to fluctuate

    MI: BP confirms oil spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery

    MN: DNR eyes water supply in Central Minnesota

    MO: Speakers blast Ameren plan for ash landfill in Missouri River floodplain

    MT: NRCS Montana Sets Program Funding Application Deadline for June 1

    NJ: Edison Wetlands Association will host Earth Day Festival at its Edison ranch

    NJ: Seeking a Plan to Rein In the Floodwaters Through the South Mountain Reservation

    NJ: Pascack Valley towns prepare for Bi-State Watershed Cleanup

    NM: Hundreds of earthen dams pose dangers across state

    NY: Congressman Chris Collins Leads Fight Against EPA’s Expansion of Clean Water Act

    NY: New York City Announces $6 Million in Green Infrastructure Grants

    NC: Coal Waste May Cause Carcinogen Spikes in Drinking Water

    NC: Opponents Assail White House Plan to Close NOAA Lab in North Carolina

    NC: Feds checking for dirty pool in forest wetlands

    OH: Fourth dumping defendant pleads guilty

    OR: The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

    OR: Rare bee search is on at Deschutes meadow

    TX: Galveston Bay spill not massive, but still challenging

    TX:  Texans try to cope with lingering hangover from record drought

    TX: 319 Success Story: West Fork Trinity River, Texas

    VT: Ottauquechee Conservation District Awarded Vermont Watershed Grant

    VT: Department of Environmental Conservation Schedules Public Comment Meetings

    VT: Missisquoi wetlands designated for protection

    WV: Independent scientist group says WV water is safe

    WI: Milwaukee Sinks as Ebbing Groundwater Undermines Its Foundations

    WI: Two Years Later, Wisconsin Residents Still Without Tap Water

    WI: Thaw threatens water supplies with manure runoff

    WETLAND SCIENCE

    Study shows climate change disrupts natural relationships between species

    Paying Farmers to Welcome Birds

    Lost in an acid sea: A fish's sense of smell

    Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says

    Climate changes to result in bird, reptile shifts

    2014 Annual Update USACE National Wetland Plant List

    What chickadees can tell us: Studying the tiny birds and their territory gives university students insight into how our changing climate is altering the world around us

    Horseshoe crabs are now in danger

    Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind - IPCC report

    Proposed wetland protection model put to public

    Exxon: Climate change rules won't halt oil and gas; fuels too important for global development

    Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science

    Localities get bigger role in cleaning up stormwater

    Americans Don't Attribute Colder Weather to Climate Change

    Democrats hold all-night 'talkathon' on climate change on Senate floor

    RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

    The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems

    IPCC report on climate impacts and adaptation released

    Government Accountability Office (GAO) Releases Report on Climate Change Risks to Energy Infrastructure

    Voluntary Wetland Restoration Handbook

    POTPOURRI

    Scientists Frustrated by Factory Farms

    Meet One More Big Funder That's Freaking Out About Watersheds

    Farming for improved ecosystem services seen as economically feasible

    Texas Hoping for Edge Over New Mexico in Water Battle

    Guatemala’s treasured Lake Atitlán is dying

    Marsh Magic: 7 Amazing Wetlands to Visit This Spring

    Climate change reports of CNN, Fox News may mislead public: Report

    WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENTS

    Webinars

    EPA Webinar on Water Quality Mobile Website "How's My Waterway"

    EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar: Communicating Climate Risks

    The Ohio State University’s Webinar: Climate Change and Extreme Weather: historical trends and future forecasts

    EPA Webinar: More Bang for the Buck: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Existing Public Works Projects

    AWRA Webinar: What are Ecosystem Services? A Primer

    Water for Energy and Energy for Water: Challenges and Opportunities for Utilities is a series of three webinars

    EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar: Financing Adaptation

    The Center for Watershed Protection Webcast:  How To Pick The Right Vegetation for Bioretention & Its Cousins

    Webinar: The unique legal, scientific, and ethical challenges of restoration in wilderness: a preliminary framework to help make defensible decisions

    Webinar: National guidelines for metrics used for monitoring oyster restoration projects: A review of the Oyster Habitat Restoration Monitoring and Assessment Handbook

    Webinar: Restoration of Lake Apopka’s North Shore Marsh: High Hopes, Tough Times, and Persistent Progress

    Center for Watershed Protection Webcast:  Stream Restoration as a Pollutant Reduction Strategy

    Webcast: Series 2: Implementing TMDLs

    Meetings

    Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference

    Basics of Wetlands, Floodplains & Wetland Delineations Workshop

    NGWA Groundwater Summit 2014

    The Future of Environmental Finance

    Wetland Restoration and Creation Workshop

    21st Annual River Symposium: Preparing for the Future St. Lawrence/Great Lakes Environments

    Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference: Protecting Water Resources and Promoting Economic Development

    Climate Strategies Forum

    3rd Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology

    Renewable Energy Development on Tribal and Indian Country Lands

    Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference & Educators Summit

    Will the New WOTUS Rule Float?

    Measuring and Modeling of Multi-Scale Interactions in the Marine Environment

    International Association for Great Lakes Research 57th Annual Conference: Ecosystem in Transition

    EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2014

    Association of State Floodplain Mangers Annual National Conference: Making Room for Floods & Fish

    Engineering & Ecohydrology for Fish Passage (Fish Passage 2014)

    20th International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment

    39th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop

    Making Waves in Conservation: Our Life on Land & Its Impact on Water

    16th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference

    CEER: Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration: Evaluating the Science and Practice of Restoration

    99th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All Ecology

    Lakes: The Mirrors of the Earth: Balancing Ecosystem Integrity and Human Wellbeing

    Eastern Vancouver Island Wetland Institute-2014

    Wetland Biodiversity and Services: Tools for Socio-Ecological Development

    One Water Leadership Summit: Water Sustainability in a Changing Climate

    2014 Rising Seas Summit

    2014 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting

    SAVE THE FROGS! Wetland Restoration Workshop

    2014 AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference

    Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association Conference

    EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference

    Training

    Federal Wetland / Waters Regulatory Policy

    Basic Wetland Delineation, KS

    Basic Wetland Delineation with Field Session (eSession)

    Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop

    Plant Identification for Coastal Southern California

    Basic Wetland Delineation, WI

    Advanced Hydric Soils

    Online Wetland Design Class

    Identifying Flora of the Upper Midwest

    Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands

    Natural Channel Design Principles

    Wetlandkeepers Course

    Wetland Restoration Design

    Identifying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

    Identifying and Keying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

    Duck Lake Restoration Project Workshop

    Sedges and Rushes Identification and Ecology

    Wetland Identification, Delineation, and Associate Ecology

    Stream identification course, Raleigh, NC

    Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed Wetlands

    Wetland Restoration Workshop for Professionals

    Online Wetland Restoration Techniques Class

    HEC-RAS for Stream Restoration

    Climate Change: Sea Level Rise and Temperature Change

    Regional Supplement Seminar and Field Practicum

    Keying Wetland Grass and Grasslike Species

    Introduction to Taxonomy and Pollution Ecology of Aquatic Insects

    Wetland Restoration Techniques Practicum Course

    Plant Identification

    Wetland Plant Identification

    Wetland Delineation with Emphasis on Soils and Hydrology

    Riparian Habitat Restoration

    Wetland Restoration Techniques Field Course

    Creation and Restoration of Wetlands

    American Wetlands Month: Learn! Explore! Take Action!


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    Wetland Breaking News



    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.

    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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

    "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

    All photos by Jeanne Christie, ASWM

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