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Enough is enough!
Hello My Frozen Wetlanders,
I expect many of you feel the same way as I do. This winter has to stop! I woke up this morning and it was 10 degrees. Much too cold for Kentucky in the middle of February. Snow and ice have been on the ground for weeks without a break. I think I am a candidate for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), whew!
There have been car pile ups from the Southeast to the Northeast. Several schools will have to continue into the summer to finish their work. Thousands have been without electric for days. Snowfalls this season are above yearly record measurements. As I write, this coming weekend is forecasted to bring another snow and ice storm from Georgia to Maine.
Enough complaining about the weather; as if I can do anything about it. In my younger years I would enjoy taking a few days off and go out and play. But my older bones like the warm sunny days. I just have to wait it out and keep the bright lights burning. Hang in there all, just a few more weeks and we will be complaining that it’s too hot!
I do have one great thing to look forward to though. I am attending a national wetland managers coordination meeting in March. The purpose of this annual meeting is to support state and tribal wetland program managers, federal agencies and other wetland professionals as they respond to challenges in the coming year.
As a former Water Quality Certification Section Supervisor, attending national coordination meetings like this is a must. Not only for the information you will receive but for the great people you will meet. It is without saying that one of the greatest assets you can obtain is the relationships you make.
Alan Grant, Editor
Wetland Breaking News
USDA to Invest in Prairie Pothole Landscape Effort
USDA Office of Communications – February 14, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that up to $35 million will be provided during the next three years to help landowners conserve grasslands and wetlands in the Prairie Pothole region. The announcement was made on the Secretary's behalf by Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie.
Farmers, ranchers and conservation partners will have access to a mix of financial and technical assistance opportunities through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore wetlands and grasslands. For full news release, click here.
Farm bill passes after three years of talks
By Ed O’Keefe – The Washington Post – February 4, 2014 Video
Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping overhaul of a broad range of federal farm and nutrition policies affecting what farmers grow, how food is packaged and sold and how the government helps poor people pay for their groceries. The 959-page bill authorizes the end of billions of dollars in direct subsidy payments to the nations farmers. In their place, farmers will be able to take advantage of a new crop insurance program. The agreement also saves billions by consolidating government conservation programs and cuts about $8 billion in funding for food stamps by tweaking eligibility rules. The bill is supposed to cut roughly $16 billion in government spending over the next decade, according to government estimates. For full blog post and to view video, click here.
Wetlands Conservation Extension Act Advances
By Kate Bissell – The Wildlife Society News – February 11, 2014
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently advanced the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act—a bill (S. 741) that would reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2017. NAWCA was originally passed in 1989 to support some of the activities of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which provides a strategy for cooperation among North American countries relating to the protection of wetlands and their associated upland habitats. For full story, click here.
Interior Secretary Jewell, Director Ashe Announce $16.5 Million in Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands
eNews Park Forest – January 24, 2014
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director Dan Ashe yesterday announced $16.5 million in grants to support 21 critical coastal wetland projects in 12 states and Puerto Rico under the National Coastal Grants Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute an additional $18.2 million to these projects, which include acquiring, restoring or enhancing coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats. For full story, click here.
Senate committee approves Tahoe Restoration Act
RGJ.com – February 7, 2014
A U.S. Senate Committee has passed a bill authorizing hundreds of millions of dollars for environmental projects at Lake Tahoe. The bill sponsored by Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller of Nevada and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California authorizes more than $400 million over 10 years. It targets storm water and invasive species management, forest fuel reduction projects, native fish recovery and research. For full story, click here.
ASWM to Host Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar on Mapping Forested Wetland Inundation
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. EST
Topic – Mapping Forested Wetland Inundation with the Landsat Historic Record– Megan Lang, Senior Research Scientist with Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and Coordinator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Mid-Atlantic Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project
Topic – Mapping the Relationship between Inundation and Stream Flow using Landsat Time Series Data – In-Young Yeo, Assistant Professor of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland
For more information, click here. To register for this webinar, click here.
ASWM Members’ February Webinar
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. EST
Topic – Arid Land Restoration, Blue Lake Wetlands Project – Tom R. Biebighauser, Center for Wetlands and Stream Restoration
Natural ephemeral wetlands throughout the west have been modified by humans for livestock and waterfowl. Unfortunately, the practice of digging deep ponds and ditches to create perennial water has often resulted in significantly shortening the hydro-period of these wetlands. This webinar will show how Blue Lake, a natural ephemeral wetland that was dried by human activity years ago was repaired on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. For more information and to register, click here.
Keystone XL Pipeline: 4 Animals and 3 Habitats in Its Path
By Mel White – National Geographic Daily News – February 14, 2014
Climate change has been the focus of much of the opposition to TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. But many conservationists are also concerned about more immediate environmental consequences.
They're worried about the pipeline construction's impact on wildlife and ecosystems, and of possible spills of the heavy crude oil that will flow through the pipeline at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day. For full article, click here.
Farm Bill Compromise Will Change Programs and Reduce Spending
By Ron Nixon – The New York Times – January 27, 2014
House and Senate negotiators on Monday agreed on a new five-year farm bill that will eliminate or consolidate dozens of agriculture subsidy programs, expand government-subsidized crop insurance and cut about $8 billion from the food stamp program over the next decade. The bipartisan agreement, two years after lawmakers began work on the nearly $1 trillion bill, is a major step forward in reauthorizing hundreds of farm and nutrition programs that must be renewed every five years. And, at least for now, it brings an end to the partisan fighting that stalled two previous attempts to pass the legislation. The bill would reduce spending by about $23 billion over the next 10 years. For full story, click here. For the 2013 Farm Bill: A Comparison of the Senate-Passed (S.954) and House-Passed (H.R. 2642, H.R. 3102) Bills with Current Law, click here.
In the State of the Union, Obama pledges strong action on climate
By Ryan Cooper – The Washington Post - The Plum Line – January 28, 2014
During President Obama’s speech tonight, he announced many different ways he would use the executive branch to pursue strong action on climate change. For longtime readers, this is old hat by now; I’ve been over how the EPA can use its pollution authority to cut back on carbon emissions several times. The policy framework hasn’t changed. Instead, this is a good signal that President Obama intends to finish what he has started. To a first approximation, climate change is about coal. The oldest and filthiest coal-fired power plants are already being retired, squeezed by cheap natural gas and ever-cheaper renewables on one side, and the EPA on the other. With a bit of luck, and if the president keeps up the pressure, by the time he hands off to his successor coal will be on a permanently downward trajectory. For full blog post, click here.
Support for wetland restoration dramatically increased over past decade, survey shows
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch – NOLA-The Times-Picayume – February 11, 2014
A survey commissioned by America's WETLAND Foundation shows that support for restoring coastal wetlands has increased dramatically in Louisiana over the past decade. The recent poll of 400 randomly sampled Louisiana voters also showed that concern was nearly bipartisan, with 85 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Independents agreeing that “saving our state’s coast is the most important issue of my lifetime. For full story, click here.
US study: Puerto Rico estuary highly contaminated
By Danica Coto – WRAL.com – February 6, 2014
A federal study has found that a large estuary in southwest Puerto Rico has one of the highest concentrations of pollutants ever measured in the history of a U.S. monitoring program launched nearly three decades ago, scientists said Thursday. Researchers found that Guanica Bay has unusually high levels of chlordane, once used as a pesticide, and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, a banned substance once used in part as coolant fluid for transformers. The bay also has high levels of the metals chromium and nickel, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has run a nationwide contaminant monitoring program since 1986. For full story, click here.
From Alaska to Florida, 21 attorneys general join fight to halt Chesapeake Bay cleanup
By Daryl Fears – The Washington Post – February 5, 2014
Attorneys general in 21 states are backing an attempt to derail the Obama administration’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, fearing that the government will use that authority to regulate wastewater in other watersheds, including the Mississippi River Basin.
State attorneys general, most of them Republicans, from as far as Alaska and Montana joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in its fight to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying out its plan to clean up the nation’s largest estuary. Impaired waters have led to fish-killing dead zones and other marine life die-offs for decades. For full story, click here.
Mexico Unveils Wetlands Protection Plan
Latin American Herald Tribune – February 5, 2014
The National Protected Natural Areas Commission (Conanp) has released a plan to protect the 139 wetlands in Mexico, the country with the second-largest number of protected wetlands in the world. “The national wetlands policy comes from a recognition that these ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to climate change,” Conanp director Luis Fueyo said during the plan’s presentation Tuesday in the Igh-Haa Lol Xaan region of the southeastern state of Campeche. Wetlands are vital to the well-being of Mexico’s people, “making their loss extremely costly from an economic, social and environmental standpoint,” Fueyo said. For full story, click here.
Drugs in drinking water higher than expected
By Tom Meyer – WKYC.com – February 2, 2014 Video
The people of Charleston, W.Va., aren't the only ones who should be concerned about chemicals in their drinking water.
The case of chemical contamination there is extreme and prevented people from drinking the water or even bathing in it for weeks.
But a new study commissioned by the EPA shows that our drinking water has far more chemical contamination -- thanks to the prescription and over-the-counter drugs Americans take -- than anyone ever thought. For full story and to view video, click here.
Monarch butterflies drop, migration may disappear
By Mark Stevenson – SF Gate – January 31, 2014
The stunning and little-understood annual migration of millions of Monarch butterflies to spend the winter in Mexico is in danger of disappearing, experts said Wednesday, after numbers dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993.
Their report blamed the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, extreme weather trends and the dramatic reduction of the butterflies' habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter. For full story, click here.
Environmentalists slam new bay pact
By Tim Wheeler – The Baltimore Sun – January 30, 2014
Environmentalists are slamming a new draft Chesapeake Bay restoration agreement for failing to address toxic pollution or even mention climate change as a complicating factor in the three-decade effort to revive the ailing estuary. The Chesapeake Bay Program, a "partnership" of the Environmental Protection Agency and the six states that drain into the bay - including Maryland - released Wednesday a draft agreement "to guide the next chapter of restoration across the watershed." Officials said it "clarifies" the "visions and values" of the multistate effort. For full blog post, click here.
USDA Offers Hurricane Sandy Victims a New Opportunity to Enroll Land into Easements
Contact: Sarah Maxwell – USDA – January 27, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept applications for easements from landowners who want to enroll floodplains impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Applications will be accepted until April 18, 2014. This is the second round of applications to be accepted.
"Floodplain easements are a long-term solution to provide relief for landowners while preventing future damage from flooding," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The Obama Administration is continuing to work with states, local governments and the private sector to help the victims of Sandy recover. This new round will allow eligible landowners to apply to place more critical floodplain acres under easement." For full news release, click here.
EPA's 5-Year Plan Gets Mixed Reactions from Water Industry
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – January 24, 2014
Industry interests and advocacy groups are sounding off on the EPA's plans for the next five years. The agency released its strategic plan for 2014 to 2018, and asked stakeholders to file comments. The input, documented in 25,003 submissions, has been mixed. The Association for Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) pushed for more clarity on how the EPA will carry out its goals. For full story, click here.
Northern Mystery: Why Are Birds of the Arctic in Decline?
By Ed Struzik – Environment 360 – January 23, 2014
On Coats Island, in northern Hudson Bay, thick-billed murres — members of the auk family — have been under assault on several fronts in recent years. Polar bears, faced with a sharp decline in the sea ice from which they hunt ringed seals, have retreated to the island and are eating the murres’ eggs. As the sea ice disappears, the murres now have to fly farther and work harder to get food that they normally find along the ice edges. And as temperatures around Hudson Bay rise, mosquitoes are hatching earlier in the season. So many mosquitoes have swarmed on Coats Island in recent years that some of the nesting murres have perished from blood loss, according to biologist Anthony Gaston of Environment Canada, who has been studying the murre colonies on the island since 1984. For full story, click here.
Sea Change: Struggling With the Next Steps
By Craig Welch – The Seattle Times – January 22, 2014
When U.S. Rep. Brian Baird tried a few years ago to get his colleagues to put more money toward ocean-acidification research, few even understood the issue.
One congressman, Baird said, confused souring seas with acid rain, and asked, “Didn’t we deal with that 20 years ago?”
The corrosion of the oceans by carbon-dioxide emissions has barely made a ripple among Washington, D.C.’s power brokers. Little money gets earmarked for research. Ocean change has inspired few stabs at curbing CO2. For full article, click here.
Service and Conservation Corps Will Soon Add “Waders in the Water”
By Levi Novey – The Corps Network – January 22, 2014
America’s Service and Conservation Corps have always been known for training a ready and able workforce of Americans, but today’s Corpsmembers will not only provide “Boots on the Ground,” they will also soon have “Waders in the Water.” Thanks to a new public-private partnership between The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters, Inc., a national innovator in restoring the protective qualities of streams, rivers and wetlands, members of The Corps Network will gain enhanced capacity to complete aquatic restoration projects. Simultaneously Corpsmembers will obtain industry-recognized credentials and additional pathways to a conservation career—all while improving the health, beauty, and climate-resiliency of our public streams, rivers, and wetlands. Functioning and healthy floodplains, wetlands, and marshes reduce flooding, storm damage, protect infrastructure, and improve water quality and quantity. For full press release, click here.
EPA Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants to Support Research to Protect America’s Urban Watersheds with Green Infrastructure
Contact: Donna Heron – EPA – January 21, 2014
EPA has announced nearly $5 million in grants to five universities to evaluate innovative green infrastructure practices in urban areas, using Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the pilot area. The universities that will receive this funding are: Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania; Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Temple University, Ambler, Pennsylvania; University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These grants stem from a cooperative partnership between EPA and Philadelphia's Green City, Clean Waters program that represents a broad, long-term investment in implementing green infrastructure stormwater management practices. For full news release, click here.
Chemical spill in West Virginia only latest, most high-profile case of coal tainting US waters
By Diana Cappiello and Seth Borenstein – Daily Journal – January 18, 2014
The chemical spill that contaminated water for hundreds of thousands in West Virginia was only the latest and most high-profile case of coal sullying the nation's waters. For decades, chemicals and waste from the coal industry have tainted hundreds of waterways and groundwater supplies, spoiling private wells, shutting down fishing and rendering streams virtually lifeless, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal environmental data. For full story, click here.
Secretary Jewell Presents 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards
U.S. Department of the Interior – January 16, 2014
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today presented the Department of the Interior’s 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards to 20 public-private partnerships that have achieved exemplary conservation results through cooperation and community engagement. Together, the 20 award-winning partnerships include recipients representing more than 260 organizations and individuals from across the United States and the world. For full press release, click here.
EPA Announces Request for Applications for National Center for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Modeling Research
EPA – January 14, 2014
EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing the creation of a National Center for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Modeling Research that facilitates technology transfer of open source water infrastructure models and shares green infrastructure tools and research advancements with local communities and stakeholders. EPA will review the initial applications based on the review criteria and the submitters of the highest-ranked initial applications will be asked to submit full applications. Prior to submitting full applications, finalists will be invited to meet with EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. The solicitation period opened on January 13, 2014 and closes on March 10, 2014. For more information on the request for applications, click here.
Planning for Sea Level Rise Adaptation at the Site Scale in New Jersey
NOAA Digital Coast
Providing public access to coastal resources in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, the most urban estuary in the nation, is a challenge, and this task will become more difficult with sea level rise. While many valuable large-scale efforts to plan for sea level rise exist, there are limited examples of planning for sea level rise adaptation at specific sites. This kind of specific information can be important when towns or municipalities need to make decisions at the site scale, as well as at the landscape scale. For full story, click here.
AK: EPA releases Bristol Bay Assessment
Contact: Hanady Kader – Yosemite EPA – January 15, 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released its final Bristol Bay Assessment describing potential impacts to salmon and ecological resources from proposed large-scale copper and gold mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The report, titled "An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska," concludes that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses risks to salmon and Alaska Native cultures. Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, producing nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon with runs averaging 37.5 million fish each year. For full news release, click here.
AK: Native Alaskans Grapple With Global Warming
By Lauren Gardner – Roll Call – January 14, 2014
A group of Native Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to plead for congressional action on climate change as they grapple with its dramatic impacts. Residents of the village of Shishmaref, located on a barrier island off Alaska’s northwest coast, described their community’s drastically changing landscape and the effects of the warming climate on their culture to the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change on Tuesday. For full story, click here.
CA: Golf course to revert to wetland under plan
By J. Harry Jones – U~T San Diego – February 16, 2014
A plan to buy the San Luis Rey Downs Country Club and Golf Course in Bonsall, then demolish it and return the 185-acre property to natural wetlands, has some golfers and nearby residents screaming bogey.
The golf course was built in 1963 and has hosted countless rounds over the decades. But the golf industry is very competitive and not as profitable as it once was. Two years ago, the course owners decided to sell.
Enter a company called Conservation Land Group Inc., which has an exclusive option to buy the property through a subsidiary called Moosa Creek LLC. The group’s purchase is contingent on getting approval from several government agencies — including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — on a plan to completely dismantle the course and turn it into a land bank, also known as a mitigation bank. For full story, click here.
CA: San Joaquin River restoration flow stopped early to save water
By Mark Grossi – The Fresno Bee – February 3, 2014
Federal authorities are shutting down water releases for the San Joaquin River restoration, making the water available for 30,000 people in small communities who face the possibility of summer with dry taps.
The restoration releases, which began in 2009, won't resume until at least March 2015, according to the federal Bureau of Reclamation, owner and operator of Friant Dam at Millerton Lake. For full story, click here.
CA: Bay Area Democrats, Central Valley GOP clash over water
By Carolyn Lochhead – SF Gate – January 29, 2014
Republican leaders are expected to pave the way for House consideration as early as next week of a bill to halt the restoration of the San Joaquin River and send water south to Central Valley farms.
The move by GOP Reps. Devin Nunes of Tulare, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and David Valadao of Hanford (Kings County) infuriated Bay Area Democrats, who noted that the bill would do nothing for communities, mostly in Northern California, that the state says are on the verge of running out of water. For full story, click here.
CA: California drought threatens coho salmon with extinction
By Peter Fimrite – SF Gate – January 28, 2014
The lack of rain this winter could eventually be disastrous for thirsty California, but the drought may have already ravaged some of the most storied salmon runs on the West Coast.
The coho salmon of Central California, which swim up the rivers and creeks during the first winter rains, are stranded in the ocean waiting for the surge of water that signals the beginning of their annual migration, but it may never come. For full story, click here.
CA: During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break
By Lauren Sommer – Quest – January 27, 2014
California’s severe drought is taking a toll on wildlife around the state. Millions of birds migrate through this time of year, but the waterways and wetlands they rely on are largely dry.
In the Sacramento Valley, one environmental group is working with farmers and citizen scientists to provide some help by creating temporary “pop-up” wetlands. For full story, click here.
CO: Developer Dips in Wetlands
By Bob Berwyn – Boulder Weekly – February 6, 2014
A Boulder-based developer building a new shopping center in Frisco — to be anchored by a Whole Foods grocery store — has run afoul of federal regulators with unauthorized construction in a wetlands area.
Work at the site by Brynn Grey Partners violated the terms of a federal permit and could drain a wetlands area near the intersection of Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 9. The wetlands help moderate flooding risks during wet times and also help sustain base flows in a nearby mountain stream during the dry season.
Essentially, the pad for the new grocery store was excavated in a way that may cause water to drain out of the wetlands. For full story, click here.
DE: EPA tries to map a toxic legacy on and under Metachem site
By Jeff Montgomery – Delaware Online – January 16, 2014 – Video
Snow flurries rode a faint chemical breeze across Red Lion Creek marsh near Delaware City on Thursday as Environmental Protection Agency contractors maneuvered a sediment probe across cold muck and crackling reeds. The labor, science and mothball-like aromas were legacies of the Standard Chlorine/Metachem debacle, a 2002 chemical plant bankruptcy that followed years of spills, loose regulation and illegal operations that left state and federal taxpayers with a cleanup bill last estimated at $100 million. For full story and to view video, click here.
DE: Delaware DNREC releases “Wetlands 101: Wetlands & Sea Level Rise” YouTube Video
Delaware DNREC – January 6, 2014 – Video
Welcome back to our wetlands classroom. Today we are going to talk about Sea Level Rise, erosion, and coastal wetland loss, and their effects on coastal flooding and human safety. We will visit three sites that have experienced loss and take a look at some of the innovative steps DNREC is taking to protect Delaware's residents. For view video, click here.
FL: Whales beaching at unusual rate in Florida
By Ken Kaye – Sun Sentinel – February 4, 2014 – Video
More than 90 whales have become stranded on Florida beaches in the past two months, almost three times the average, baffling marine biologists and making them wonder if a deadly common denominator is at play.
The series of cold fronts that marched across Florida in the past month could be a factor. "Any kind of front or a hurricane disorients the animals, and they come in," said Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries. For full story and to view video, click here.
FL: Swiftmud launches largest restoration project ever in Tampa Bay
By Craig Pittman – Tampa Bay Times – February 3, 2014
On a postcard-perfect blue-sky day, with a flock of white pelicans taking flight from a nearby forest, a collection of local and state officials gathered Monday to salute the official start of the biggest environmental restoration project ever undertaken around Tampa Bay.
The project, known as the Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration, covers more than 1,000 acres and has been in the works for more than a decade, according to Jennette Seachrist of the Southwest Florida Water Management District — Swiftmud for short.
Prior owners of the property on the Hillsborough-Manatee county line ditched and drained its wetlands to make it suitable for agriculture, she explained. Over the next two years, Swiftmud and its partners at the Hillsborough County Commission will spend about $11 million to bring back the wetlands and other natural features. For full story, click here.
FL: Record 829 Manatee Deaths in 2013 Puzzle Scientists
By Mel White – National Geographic Daily News – January 22, 2014 –Video
The year 2013 was an unlucky one for manatees, the gentle, rotund sea mammals that live along the coastline of the Florida peninsula. The 829 known deaths last year were the highest annual total since biologists began keeping records of this endangered species. For full story and to view video, click here.
FL: Advocates Say Canal Project Improving Florida Bay
Miami CBS – January 18, 2014
A major Everglades restoration project is exceeding expectations after its first year of operations, according to environmental activists. The so-called C-111 Spreader Canal opened in January 2013. It was designed to plug an existing canal and keep millions gallons of water from seeping out of Everglades National Park. Audubon Florida officials say the project has redirected water into a slough that leads through the park into Florida Bay, helping to rehydrate wetlands that have lost too much water to a flood control system and other development in Miami-Dade County. For full story, click here.
HI: Some say erosion at Kuhio Beach due to sand replenishment project
By Lara Yamada – KITV.com – October 15, 2013 – Video
Waikiki Beach is being ravaged by erosion, even after a multimillion dollar project to shore it up. Some say that very project only made things worse.
Just last year, the state spent more than $2 million fattening up Kuhio Beach with some 24,000 cubic yards of offshore sand.
An aerial shot from Google Maps still shows the two jetties that were also removed by the state during the beach replenishment project. For full story and to view video, click here.
IL: Record levels of banned insecticide found in Illinois otters
By Eric Freedman – Great Lakes Echo – February 7, 2014
The river otter – sleek swimmer, audience-magnets at zoos and aquariums, whiskered diver, aquatic frolicker, correct answer to crossword puzzle clue for “playful mammal.”
And biomonitor to track toxics that damage the health of an environment or ecosystem.
North American river otters play that role because they’re “apex consumers” in the aquatic ecosystem – meaning they’re at the top of the food chain. They eat primarily aquatic animals such as fish, turtles, amphibians and crayfish.
“Thus otters serve as biomonitors – organisms that contain information on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the environment – of wildlife exposure,” according to a new study. They also serve as biomonitors for human health because the same toxic chemicals found in otters have also been found in people who eat contaminated fish. For full story, click here.
IA: Groups seek to strengthen Clean Water Act rules
Iowa’s proposed Clean Water Act rules do not go far enough in requiring large-scale livestock operators to get permits necessary to enforce cleanup of the state’s rivers and lakes, a coalition of environmental groups said Monday.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Iowa Sierra Club, and the Environmental Integrity Project released a draft copy of a new Clean Water Act permit rule proposed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. They hope by releasing an early version of the rule and publicizing its flaws, they can get public support for pushing the DNR to require permits for livestock farms with a history of manure spills or leaks. For full story, click here.
KS: Big drop in Missouri River water levels becoming critical problem
By Lynn Horsley – The Kansas City Star – January 20, 2014
It’s easy to take the Missouri River for granted. It just rolls along through the Kansas City area, seemingly everlasting and unchanging. But the Big Muddy is in fact changing, and not in a good way. Truth is, it isn’t as muddy as it used to be, and in some ways it isn’t muddy enough. The river bed and water levels have been slowly dropping for decades to the point that it’s becoming a real threat to area utilities, not to mention bridges and levees. Agencies warn that if the problem isn’t addressed soon it could become a crisis. For full story, click here.
KY: Louisville looks to expand natural filtration of Ohio River drinking water
By James Bruggers – The Courier-Journal – February 12, 2014 – Video
When a chemical spill moved down the Ohio River from West Virginia in mid-January, some questioned why the Louisville Water Co. didn’t shut down its intake pumps — as Cincinnati did — as a precaution.
Louisville officials said they didn’t need to do so because they could treat the water, though they acknowledged that the company does not have a lot of reservoir capacity.
If the board decides later this year to move into engineering and final design, the company could better safeguard the water supply from Ohio River spills, officials said — using nature to filter whole new emerging classes of micro-pollutants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might someday regulate. For full article and to view video, click here.
LA: New Louisiana plan relies heavily on diversions to reduce nutrients causing Gulf 'dead zone'
By Mark Schleifstein – NOAL.com The Times-Picayune – February 13, 2014
Louisiana plans to use existing and proposed sediment and freshwater diversions as part of a new plan for removing a small share of the fertilizers and other nutrients from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers that are linked to springtime low-oxygen "dead zones" along the state's coastline each year. The plan also relies on a series of existing programs to voluntarily reduce the release of nutrients from farmlands, urban wastewater treatment plants, rural homes and industries in the state. The plan was developed by the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and Departments of Agriculture and Forestry, Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources. For full story, click here.
LA: Dolphins in 'bad shape' after BP oil spill: study
Terra Daily – February 1, 2014
Bottlenose dolphins with missing teeth, lung disease, and abnormal hormone levels were found swimming in the Gulf of Mexico a year after the BP oil spill, US researchers say.
Pneumonia, liver disease and a pregnant female carrying a dead fetus were also reported in the first major study of dolphin health after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Half of the 32 dolphins studied off the coast of Louisiana in August 2011 -- a year and four months after the worst oil spill in US history began -- were judged to be seriously ill or in danger of dying. For full story, click here.
ME: As ocean becomes more acidic, will ‘dead mud’ consume Maine’s bountiful shellfish flats?
Coastal News Today – January 14, 2014
The spread of “dead mud” among Maine’s shellfish flats could have disastrous implications for clammers, lobstermen, oyster farmers and others whose livelihoods depend on healthy coastal ecosystems.
What’s the source of this new threat to one of the state’s most important natural resource industries? Several indicators point to the acidity of the ocean as the culprit. For full story, click here.
MD: Maryland Water Supplier Gets Sued for Violating Clean Water Act
Environmental Protection – February 12, 2014
The lawsuit was filed by the Environmental Integrity Project, on behalf of the Potomac Riverkeeper, and attorneys from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, against The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), owner of the Potomac Water Filtration Plant, for violating the Clean Water Act and polluting the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Located in Maryland, the Potomac Water Filtration Plant released more than 15 million gallons of wastewater containing sediments and aluminum into the Potomac River each day. The facility has been operating under a five-year license that expired more than a decade ago. For full story, click here.
MD: EPA, MDE, Prince George’s County Announce Public, Private Partnership Model to Accelerate Green Stormwater Controls and Support Local Job Creation
Contact: David Sternberg – EPA – January 10, 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and Prince George’s County today announced a $100 million initiative to demonstrate how community-based, public-private partnerships can spur green infrastructure-driven stormwater controls, while creating thousands of local jobs and boosting economic growth.
EPA and MDE have joined forces with Prince George’s County to provide technical and regulatory support for developing and implementing the Prince George’s County Urban Stormwater Retrofit Public-Private Partnership Demonstration Pilot. For full news release, click here.
MA: Recycling companies settle environmental violation allegations in Massachusetts
By Bryan Cohen – Legal Newsline – February 12, 2014
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a $125,000 agreement on Monday with two recycling companies that allegedly filled and excavated protected wetlands.
Allied Recycling Center Inc. and Recycling Walpole LLC also allegedly engaged in the improper storage of solid and hazardous waste materials at a scrapyard in Walpole. Coakley alleged the companies began illegally filling and altering wetland areas at and around their 17-acre property since as early as 1988.
Coakley also alleged the defendants failed to report releases of oil to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and failed to properly dispose of asbestos-containing materials. For full story, click here.
MA: Chatham homeowner faces 11 wetland violations
Orleans Wicked Local – February 6, 2014
A front-end loader stuck in the marsh off Stage Harbor was a pretty clear indication that wetland protection laws had been broken. - The conservation commission agreed and at a special meeting Wednesday voted to have Andres issue a $3,300 per day fine until the commission is satisfied the damage to what is one of the most sensitive and productive environments protected under law is resolved. Eleven wetlands violations are involved. For full story, click here.
MI: Science in the sky: Acquisition of unmanned vehicle to help with CMU wetland research
By Mark Johnson – CM Lilfe – February 16, 2014
For professor Benjamin Heumann, wetlands research would be a lot easier with a pair of eyes in the sky.
For him and a group consisting of professors, graduate students and undergraduates, Central Michigan University’s new, 6-foot long, unmanned helicopter will help them in ways they never thought possible.
Heumann, an assistant professor in the department of Geography and director of the Center for Geographic Information Science, will use the UAV for strictly noninvasive, nonintrusive purposes, such as studying different aspects of specific ecosystems.
The helicopter is outfitted with a hyperspectral camera, which is key to this type of research, Heumann said. The use of the UAV will also cut research costs significantly. For full story, click here.
MI: Michigan rivers polluted by human, animal waste more than double previous estimates
By Jeff Alexander – Bridge Magazine – January 22, 2014
Pathogen pollution in Michigan’s lakes and rivers – caused by human and animal waste draining into surface waters – is far more widespread than previously documented, according to new state data.
The identification of rivers impaired by potentially harmful pathogens has more than doubled in recent years – from 3,359 miles in 2008 to 7,232 miles in 2012, according to a draft of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s 2014 impaired waters report obtained by Bridge.
Kevin Goodwin, a DEQ senior aquatic biologist, attributed the increase in pathogen pollution to local and state agencies testing more rivers for fecal matter. For full article, click here.
MI: Emergency harbor dredging: Who pays? How much?
By Scott Sullivan – The Allegan County News – January 15, 2014
“Everyone talks about the weather,” said Mark Twain. “But no one does anything about it.”
Locally, everyone talks about the Kalamazoo Lake harbor filling up with silt. Now, almost eight years after release of a $40,000 report calling the waterway, last dredged comprehensively in 1936, the “lifeblood” and “economic engine” of the communities, the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck want to know how best to keep it open to navigation and who will pay. For full story, click here.
MI: Removing Dam Improves Dissolved Oxygen Levels in River
Contact: Joe Rathbun – EPA – January 2014
High sediment oxygen demand in a reservoir behind a dam contributed to low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in Michigan’s Thornapple River. Therefore, in 2010 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) added a 27-mile reach of the Thornapple River to the state’s Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for low DO concentrations. After removing the dam, DO concentrations improved; the waterbody now meets water quality standards and supports its designated use as a warmwater fishery. DEQ intends to remove DO as a cause of impairment for the Thornapple River in the state’s 2014 CWA section 303(d) list. The segment remains listed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. For full story, click here.
MN: Seasons of the St. Louis River Photo Contest
St. Luis River Alliance
The St. Louis River Alliance (SLRA) is sponsoring a photo contest to celebrate the seasons and beauty of the largest U.S. River that flows into Lake Superior. They are looking for striking digital images that highlight the diverse flora, wildlife, and recreational activities that connect people to their natural habitat as well as images of the harbor activity.
The St Louis River Alliance plans to feature many of the photographs submitted to this contest in its work to help protect the river’s amazing diversity of wildlife, people, plants and habitats.
The contest is open to all photographers, except employees of the St Louis River Alliance and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and their immediate families, and all persons directly involved with sponsoring and promoting the contest and the final judging. For more information, click here. All images must be submitted though the St. Louis River Alliance Facebook page. Deadline for submitting entries is February 21, 2014 at 11:59 a.m.
NH: NH landowner, developer to pay $40K in wetlands violations
The Republic – February 11, 2014
A New Hampshire property owner and a developer have agreed to pay the state $40,000 to resolve violations of wetlands laws.
The state said in a lawsuit that David Minghella excavated an 800-foot-long trench in wetlands on land in Moultonborough that was to be subdivided for development. The work was done at the direction of landowner Robert DeCrescenzo without a permit.
The state said the total impact to wetlands was about an acre. DeCrescenzo has since re-graded the site in accordance with a restoration plan approved by the Department of Environmental Services.
The settlement imposed an $80,000 civil penalty on the defendants. Half of that was suspended, provided that DeCrescenzo continues to monitor the restoration and the defendants don't violate the state's wetlands laws for two years. For full story, click here.
NH: UNH Stormwater Center Awarded Nearly $1M from EPA for Philadelphia Green Infrastructure Project
Contact: David Deegan – EPA News Release – January 22, 2014
The University of New Hampshire is one of only five universities or colleges selected to share grant funding to study green infrastructure practices in urban areas, using Philadelphia as a pilot project. Further, due to the UNH Stormwater Center’s significant expertise on urban stormwater issues, UNH is the only institution outside of Philadelphia area selected in this program.
UNH is receiving the grant of $992,759 as part of EPA’s safe and sustainable water resources research program. The project, Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Philadelphia Communities, will help build municipal capacity in a subset of the greater Philadelphia urban watershed for green infrastructure, which uses soils and vegetation to manage rainwater where it falls. For full news release, click here.
NJ: Long Branch Beach Restoration Update
By Jack Kearns – Word on the Shore – January 16, 2014
Hurricane Sandy cleanup continues in Long Branch with the Manson Construction Co. recovering more than 700,000 cubic feet of sand from the ocean, pumping it back onto city beaches. The beach replenishment project runs 24/7 under the watchful eye of the Army Corps of Engineers. For full story, click here.
NM: Senators seek plan to help bring back the beavers and protect wetlands
By Staci Matlock – Santa Fe New Mexican News – February 13, 2014
Wildlife biologists contend beavers could be the most low-tech, inexpensive answer that drought-plagued New Mexico has for storing up precious water and rescuing dwindling wetlands— but some of the animals are still killed every year by people who consider them nuisances.
The state Senate is considering a memorial sponsored by Sens. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, and Bobby Gonzales, D-Taos, asking several agencies to develop a statewide beaver-management plan to rein in conflicts between property owners and unwanted animals and to support populations where beavers are needed. Senate Memorial 4 passed the Senate Rules Committee Thursday and is scheduled to be heard next in the Conservation Committee. For full story, click here.
NM: State maintains Copper Rule; environmentalists fear ground water pollution
By Susan Dunlap – Sliver City Sun-News – January 28, 2014
A unanimous decision Jan. 8 by the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to maintain the so-called Copper Rule will allow Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. to pollute ground water within a nine-square-mile area of the Tyrone Mine, according to Bruce Frederick, staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.
"The Copper Rule makes a bad situation worse," Frederick said.
The Copper Rules was passed last year to amend the Water Quality Control Act of 1977, which prohibits groundwater pollution beyond water quality standards. For more than 30 years, this has kept New Mexico's ground water relatively safe to drink. That could soon change, advocates said. For full story, click here.
NY: Fourth tank discharging into kill
By Barbara Reina – Register-Star – February 15, 2014
A fourth 20,000-gallon tank containing treated toxins, approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, began releasing treated toxins Thursday into the Valatie Kill from a newly completed water treatment plant at the Dewey Loeffel Toxic Landfill federal Superfund site in Nassau.
The tank is the fourth approved for content discharge since January. Samples taken from the 20,000-gallon tanks of treated groundwater and leachate were below EPA standards for discharging into the Valatie Kill, said EPA Region 2 Deputy Director of Public Affairs Mary Mears. For full story, click here.
NY: Pete Seeger's advocacy for Hudson River endures
Lohud.com – January 28, 2014 – Video
Pete Seeger, the musician and activist, would often lend his voice to environmental causes, speaking out in recent years against hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
But his name will forever be linked with the Hudson River, for a conversation about the river’s transformation from sewer to treasured waterway can’t be done without mentioning Seeger. He founded the flagship vessel of the waterway’s rebirth, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and set his love of America’s river to music. For full story and to view video, click here.
NY: Clammers sue city for post-Hurricane Sandy sewage pollution that tainted shellfish
By Barbara Ross and Ginger Adams Otis – New York Daily News – January 25, 2014
A group of fishermen who say Hurricane Sandy pollution ruined their catch want the city to pay them a whole lotta clams.
The Baymen’s Protective Association — representing 76 clammers — filed a million-dollar lawsuit against the city in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday.
The city allowed billions of gallons of raw sewage to spill into the Hudson River and New York Harbor after Superstorm Sandy, the lawsuit alleged. The result was two months of shellfish that the clammers couldn’t harvest because the clams were tainted. For full story, click here.
NC: Duke: 2nd leaking pipe at coal ash dump no danger
The Washington Post – February 14, 2014
Duke Energy says a second pipe under a coal ash dump in North Carolina is not in immediate danger of collapse, despite concerns from state regulators that the pipe could fail and trigger another toxic spill into the Dan River. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that video taken inside the pipe shows potentially contaminated water leaking in through gaps and then out into the river. For full story, click here. For other related news stories, click here, click here, click here.
OK: Peoria Tribe-NEO wetlands nearing completion
By Ryan Richardson – The Joplin Globe – February 16, 2014
When Mark Grigsby looks out over a five-acre tract of land near Tar Creek in Miami, he sees a golden opportunity for education and environmental cleanup.
Grigsby, who is the science and math department chairman at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, has worked for the past three years with the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma to establish a wetlands on NEO’s campus as part of a passive water treatment system. This system will reintroduce native grasses and plants to establish a wetlands area that could help clean up the creek, long polluted with mine water, by absorbing the heavy metals in it. For full story, click here.
OR: Scientists, Conservation Groups Oppose Oregon Logging Plan
Contact: Steve Holmer – American Bird Conservancy – February 5, 2014
The proposed O & C Land Grant Act, S. 1784, would increase the risk of extinction for the Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl, two species protected by the Endangered Species Act and President Bill Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan, according to scientists as well as local, regional, and national conservation groups including American Bird Conservancy (ABC). For full news release, click here.
OR: Oregon Minnow Is the First Fish Recovered From Endangered Species List
By Cassandra Profita – Earth Fix Oregon Public Broadcasting – February 3, 2014
Officials say a tiny, unsung fish that lives only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the first endangered fish in the U.S. to be recovered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday its petition to remove Oregon chub from the Endangered Species List and touting the success story of a minnow that’s no more than three inches long. For full story, click here.
OR: Mushrooms used to clean up urban streams
By Anthony Rimel – Gazette-Times – January 20, 2014
A local group is attempting to clean the waters in Corvallis’ Sequoia Creek — and potentially the Willamette River beyond it — using an unusual tool: mushrooms. The process used by volunteers with the Ocean Blue Project, an ecological restoration nonprofit, is to place mushroom spawn and a mixture of coffee grounds and straw in burlap bags that mushrooms can grow in, and then place the bags so that water entering storm drains will filter through them. The technique is attempting to take advantage of the natural ability of mycelium — the underground part of fungi — to break down toxins like oil and pesticides and metabolize harmful bacteria like E. coli. For full story, click here.
PA: Train carrying Canadian oil derails, leaks in Pennsylvania
By Robert Gibbons and Elizabeth Dilts – Reuters – February 13, 2014
A 120-car Norfolk Southern Corp train carrying heavy Canadian crude oil derailed and spilled in western Pennsylvania on Thursday, adding to a string of recent accidents that have prompted calls for stronger safety standards.
There were no reports of injury or fire after 21 tank cars came off the track and crashed into a nearby industrial building at a bend by the Kiskiminetas River in the town of Vandergrift.
Nineteen of the derailed cars were carrying oil, four of which spilled between 3,000 and 4,000 gallons of oil, Norfolk Southern said. The leaks have since been plugged. The two other derailed tank cars held liquefied petroleum gas. For full story, click here.
PA: Mitigation banks see green in Marcellus drillers' permit crunch
By Annie Snider – E & E News – February 12, 2014 Unlike the arid Southwest, where drilling companies are most at home, the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York has abundant water. The formation underlies 681,697 acres of wetlands and 64,098 miles of streams in Pennsylvania alone, according to federal data.
Oil and gas drillers want to work in those areas. The Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees wetland permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, reports skyrocketing workloads in Marcellus areas.
The Army Corps' Baltimore District, which is responsible for the Susquehanna River watershed, a large swath of central Pennsylvania, had received 785 general permit applications from July 2011 through mid-December of last year, up from 73 applications that it received during the entire five-year period that preceded that. For full story, click here.
TX: Harris County Flood Control District creates, restores wetlands on the Katy Prairie
Cypress Creek Mirror– February 13, 2014
The Harris County Flood Control District has completed a project to create and restore approximately 95 acres of wetland habitat on the Katy Prairie, near Cypress Creek in northwest Harris County.
The wetlands construction project is in support of conditions set out in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Clean Water Act (Section 404) permits in connection with two Flood Control District stormwater detention basin projects in northwest Harris County. Formally identified as K700-01-00-E001, the wetlands construction project will serve as environmental mitigation for unavoidable wetlands impacts related to those basins. For full story, click here.
TX: New testing finds contamination in North TX water spreading
By Ramit Plushnick-Masti – The Republic – January 17, 2014
Texas' oil and gas regulator has opened a new investigation into allegations that methane is contaminating North Texas water after residents complained that independent sampling by university researchers revealed high levels of the explosive gas in their residential wells, the state agency and scientists said. For full story, click here.
TX: Dredge Disposal Kills Seagrass
By Richard Moore – Valley Central – January 1, 2014 – Video
The muck rises up out of the placid waters of the Lower Laguna Madre like an underwater volcano.
Only, this is a man made eruption from a recent dredging operation in the Intracoastal Waterway east of Laguna Vista.
Periodic dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway that runs the length of the Laguna Madre from Corpus Christi to the Port of Brownsville is required to maintain the channel to a depth of 12 feet to accommodate barge traffic.
However, when the muck dredged from the channel is piped into the open bay it covers and kills seagrasses which angers many fishermen like Captain Janie Petty. For full story and to view video, click here.
VA: Proposed fracking in national forest meets broad opposition
By Neela Banerjee – Los Angeles Times – January 22, 2014
The headwaters of the Potomac River rise amid the hills and hollows of George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Small creeks dart past oak, white pine and hickory, become streams that nourish farmland and towns, and create a river that courses through two states and the nation's capital.
About 4 million people depend on that water. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service identified preserving its purity as the top priority for the national forest. Now, the agency is considering allowing George Washington to become the first national forest to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. For full story, click here.
WA: Grays Harbor wetlands among three awarded federal grant funding for restoration
By Dave Haviland – Washington State Department of Ecology – February 14, 2014
The Washington Department of Ecology, in partnership with the Chehalis River Basin Land Trust was recently awarded $310,000 to permanently protect 175 acres of high quality coastal surge plain and six miles of sloughs at the head of Grays Harbor, in Grays Harbor County. The department was awarded $2.2 million in grant funding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support three critical coastal wetland projects in Washington state. Washington was one of 12 states and Puerto Rico to receive funding under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. For full story, click here.
WA: Feds Declare Salmon Fishery Disaster for Washington Tribes
Earth Fix Oregon Public Broadcasting – January 28, 2014
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared the Fraser River sockeye salmon run a “fishery disaster” for nine tribes and non-tribal fishers in Washington state.
The Fraser River empties out near Vancouver, British Columbia. The sockeye salmon from that river are a key resource for the state and tribal fishing industries in Washington.
The Fraser River sockeye salmon runs are worth more than $4 million each year, and they’ve been in decline for 30 years. The fishery was closed altogether in 2013. For full story, click here.
WV: 'Significant' slurry spill blackens Kanawha creek
By Ken Ward, Jr. and David Gutman – WV Gazette – February 11, 2014
More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry poured into an eastern Kanawha County stream Tuesday in what officials were calling a "significant spill" from a Patriot Coal processing facility.
Emergency officials and environmental inspectors said roughly six miles of Fields Creek had been blackened and that a smaller amount of the slurry made it into the Kanawha River near Chesapeake. For full story, click here.
WV: Mon Forest getting grant to help streams, habitat
WV Gazette – February 7, 2014
West Virginia will receive nearly $3 million for improving stream quality, wildlife habitat and forest resiliency under a multistate Landscape Restoration Partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The partnership will invest $30 million in 12 states this year. In West Virginia the money will be used to "leverage the technical and financial resources by collaborating not only with the Forest Service but also with our nonfederal partners across the state," said Kevin Wickey, state conservationist for the NRCS. For full story, click here.
WV: Senate passes chemical storage tank bill
By Racel Molenda – WV Gazette – January 28, 2014
Legislation to create new standards for above-ground chemical storage tanks passed without opposition Tuesday in the West Virginia Senate. The bill was introduced in response to a Jan. 9 chemical leak that left people in nine counties without potable drinking water. "I believe this bill, if it would have been implemented, would have greatly reduced the [chance of that] incident occurring," said Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, from the Senate floor. For full story, click here.
WV: DEP order: Dismantle Freedom tank farm
By David Gutman – WV Gazette – January 25, 2014
The Freedom Industries tank farm responsible for the Elk River chemical contamination is going to be shut down and dismantled, according to an order from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection that was announced Saturday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
All chemicals must be removed from the facility by March 15.
Freedom must begin the process of dismantling, removing and disposing of all of its above-ground tanks and all associated piping and machinery by that same day, according to the order. For full story, click here.
WV: MCHM leak inquiry will take about a year
By David Gutman – WV Gazette – January 24, 2014
The federal Chemical Safety Board has not discovered any holes in Freedom Industries' secondary containment wall, but the agency's investigation probably will last a year, and it's too early to know if the wall failed, CSB officials said Friday. A CSB investigative team has been at Freedom Industries, the site of the chemical leak that contaminated the region's drinking water, since Jan. 13, but investigations of this type generally take about a year, CSB lead investigator Johnnie Banks told a special joint legislative committee on water resources. For full story, click here.
WI: Agencies Work to Restore Cat Island Barrier Chain
By Mary Reed – Construction Equipment Guide – January 4, 2014 – Video
Several local, state, and federal agencies are cooperating in an unusual and long-awaited project to restore Wisconsin's Cat Island barrier chain, which has been eroded by water, waves, and weather over the years.
“The Cat Island project will restore an important part of Lower Green Bay. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the partners, this effort will provide important spawning, nursery, and rearing habitat for fish and other aquatic species,” said Charlie Wooley, the service's Midwest regional deputy director. For full story and to view video, click here.
Researchers Predict Future Bird/Wetland Scenarios Under Climate Change
By John Davis – Texas Tech Today – February 12, 2014
Using a mountain of satellite photographic data and decades of waterfowl counts, a Texas Tech University biologist said she and others have found a correlation with the amount of waterfowl and the amount of wetlands available across the plains from Canada to Texas.
More wetlands meaning more waterfowl may sound like a no-brainer, but researchers were able to land at conclusion using macrosystems ecology said Nancy McIntyre, a professor of biological sciences and curator of birds at the Natural Science Research Laboratory. For full story, click here.
U.S. Geological Survey Climate Projection Portal Available for Use
U.S. Geological Survey – February 11, 2014
This web portal allows visualization and downloading of future climate projections from a group of "statistically downscaled" global climate models (GCMs). Temperature and precipitation projections from these models have been used to calculate derivative climate indicators that measure the number of days that exceed certain thresholds. For more information, click here.
EPA Releases Climate Assessment Update to National Stormwater Calculator
EPA – January 29, 2014
EPA has released Phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package. The updated calculator includes future climate vulnerability scenarios. The calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location. The calculator now includes changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate change scenarios. The updated calculator includes climate models that can be incorporated into the calculation of stormwater runoff. Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff. This information shows users how adding green infrastructure, which mimics natural processes, can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce stormwater runoff. For more information on the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package, click here. To learn about EPA's Green Infrastructure research, click here.
Hydropower Struggle: Dams Threaten Europe's Last Wild Rivers
By Philip Bethge – Spiegel Online International – January 17, 2014
Europe's last remaining wild rivers flow through the Balkans, providing stunning scenery and habitat to myriad plants and animals. But hundreds of dam projects threaten to do irreparable harm to the region's unique biospheres -- to provide much needed electricity to the people who live there. How did Europe's rivers look before they were tamed -- back when they were allowed to flow freely through the beds they spent centuries carving out? For full story, click here.
Climate change means we will have to get used to flooding
By Professor Nigel Arnell – Independent – February 11, 2014
The latest UN climate report last year was clear that man-made activities over the past 100 years are causing unprecedented climate change. Global temperatures have increased, Arctic sea ice is melting, sea levels are rising and the oceans are getting warmer.
The policymakers asked scientists for consensus and they have it – leaving climate change for future generations to deal with is a phenomenally high-risk option.
Scientists cannot attribute individual weather events to climate change – but coming hot on the heels of major floods in 2007 and 2012, there could well be a link. For full story, click here.
Penguins, even in Argentina, at risk from climate change, study says (+video)
By Noelle Swan – The Christian Science Monitor – January 29, 2014
Global climate change is killing chicks in the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins, according to a new report, suggesting that the threat is spreading from ice-bound Antarctica to more temperate zones.
In recent decades, extreme weather events have placed unprecedented strain on penguin breeding grounds. Heavy rains and high temperatures put penguin chicks at risk of either freezing or sweltering to death, says P. Dee Boersma, a University of Washington biology professor and director of the Magellanic Penguin Project in Punta Tombo, Argentina. For full story and to view video, click here.
Funding cuts spell end of oilsands peatlands research
By Sheila Pratt – Edmonton Journal – January 16, 2014
The study of how oilsands pollution is affecting the massive peatlands in the northeast will come to an abrupt halt this spring as two scientists found out last week their funding has been cut. In an unexpected move, the new federal-provincial Joint Oilsands Monitoring (JOSM) agency did not include wetlands (peatlands, bogs and muskeg) or groundwater in its monitoring plans — even though peatlands cover 40 per cent of the landscape in the northeast oilsands area. For full article, click here.
FEMA: Caught Between Climate Change and Congress
By Katherine Bagley – Inside Climate News – January 27, 2014
Thanks to climate change, extreme weather disasters have hammered the United States with increasing frequency in recent years—from drought and wildfires to coastal storms and flooding. It is perhaps surprising, then, that the U.S. agency in charge of preparing for and responding to these disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), doesn't account for climate change in most of its budget planning and resource allocation or in the National Flood Insurance Program it administers. For full story, click here.
Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change
By Coral Davenport – New York Times – January 23, 2014
Coca-Cola has always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating license in India because of a serious water shortage there in 2004, things began to change. Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force. For full story, click here.
NASA: Cracked sea ice stirs up Arctic mercury concern
By Carol Rasmussen – NASA Global Climate Change – January 15, 2014
Vigorous mixing in the air above large cracks in Arctic sea ice that expose seawater to cold polar air pumps atmospheric mercury down to the surface, finds a NASA field campaign. This process can lead to more of the toxic pollutant entering the food chain, where it can negatively affect the health of fish and animals who eat them, including humans. For full story, click here.
NOAA Releases Regional Climate Impacts and Outlooks
NOAA – January 3, 2014
In late December, NOAA and its partners released the regional climate outlooks for the first quarter of 2014. NOAA’s Regional Climate Services Directors lead the production of these quarterly syntheses of climate impacts and outlooks for many regions of the United States. The syntheses discuss the major climate events during the past three months and contain historical seasonal assessments as well as future climate outlooks, utilizing NOAA’s monitoring and assessment capacity. This effort, which began in 2012, now includes as many as 10 unique regional prototypes, all produced collaboratively with partner organizations. For more information and to view reports, click here.
Global Analysis - December 2013
NOAA National Climatic Data Center – November 2013
- The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for December 2013 was the third highest for December since records began in 1880, at 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F).
- The globally-averaged land surface temperature for December 2013 tied with 1998 as the fifth highest for December on record, at 1.16°C (2.09°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature tied with 2004 as the seventh highest for December on record, at 0.46°C (0.83°F) above average.
- The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January–December 2013 tied with 2003 as the fourth warmest such period on record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average.
For full Analysis, click here.
RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS
Banking of Nature Report
By Erin Carver and James Caudill, Ph.D. – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – October 2013
The peer reviewed report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Banking on Nature, finds refuges contributed an average $4.87 in total economic output for every $1 appropriated in Fiscal Year 2011. “This study shows that national wildlife refuges repay us in dollars and cents even as they enrich our lives by protecting America’s natural heritage and providing great recreation,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “That’s inspiring and important news, especially as our economy continues to gain strength.” For more information, click here. To download report, click here.
Daylighting Streams: Breathing Life into Urban Streams and Communities
By Amy Trice – American Rivers
Robust scientific research consistently shows the importance of small streams to downstream communities. Preserving and protecting small streams, therefore, is the best approach to conserve ecosystem function, but in highly urbanized areas where headwater streams are often buried, hidden, and forgotten, this approach is not an option. With the understanding that most urbanized streams are buried and therefore unable to be preserved, this report analyzes the effectiveness of daylighting streams as a way to improve water quality and habitat, reduce flooding, and revitalize communities. As the current policy framework does not expressly support these types of projects, the report includes policy recommendations for how to better protect small streams within the urban landscape and integrate daylighting into the current policy structure. For more information, click here or to download full report, Daylighting Streams: Breathing Life Into Urban Streams and Communities, click here.
Put people at the centre of wetland protection – report
By Megan Rowling – Thomson Reuters Foundation – February 2, 2014
The best way to protect wetlands and the incomes of millions who depend on them is not to shut people out, but to find the right balance between farming and conservation, a report said on Sunday.
Agriculture is regarded as one of the biggest threats to the survival of wetlands, but stopping it is not the answer, the report said. Thinking has now shifted towards meeting local people's needs while safeguarding wildlife, birds and water resources, said the study released on World Wetlands Day. For full story, click here. The report on Wetlands and People can be downloaded here.
Why global water shortages pose threat of terror and war
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian – February 8, 2014
On 17 January, scientists downloaded fresh data from a pair of NASA satellites and distributed the findings among the small group of researchers who track the world's water reserves. At the University of California, Irvine, hydrologist James Famiglietti looked over the data from the gravity-sensing Grace satellites with a rising sense of dread. The data, released last week, showed California on the verge of an epic drought, with its backup systems of groundwater reserves so run down that the losses could be picked up by satellites orbiting 400km above the Earth's surface. "It was definitely an 'oh my gosh moment'," Famiglietti said. "The groundwater is our strategic reserve. It's our backup, and so where do you go when the backup is gone?" For full story, click here.
How bad swamps became good wetlands
By Fred Pearce – Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog – January 31, 2014
Drain the swamp! It is an old cry. Swamps are where bad things happen, right? They are wastelands. Malaria breeds. Mists settle. Tracks disappear. Criminals lurk. Ever since the Dutch began installing windmills to pump out the boggy places where the Rhine met the North Sea, engineers have been on the case big-time. An estimated half of all the world’s wetlands – swamps, bogs, river banks, lake margins, mires, oases, river deltas, mangroves, tidal flats, floodplains and the rest – have been drained, or dried out by upstream barrages and dams.
In their places are cities, infrastructure of all sorts and farmland – released, it is said, from the menace of flooding. For full blog post, click here.
Dumping of dredge spoil approved by Great Barrier Reef authority
The Australian – January 31, 2014
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of up to three million tonnes of dredge spoil inside the park's boundary.
The decision, related to the Abbot Point coal port expansion north of Bowen, was announced in Townsville.
The Abbott government had already given its approval for the contentious dredging plan, which was strongly opposed by environmental groups. For full story, click here.
City Sea Otters Live Better Than Their Country Cousins [Slide Show]
By Nsikan Akpan – Scientific American – January 27, 2014
Despite Monterey’s environmental sins, city otters are catching fewer diseases, finding food more easily and having more success at reproducing. To learn this, a team of 25 marine biologists and veterinarians became a quasi-National Security Agency for otters. Employing an arsenal of surveillance tools they monitored 140 otters, split evenly between Big Sur and Monterey, day and night from 2008 to 2012.
The otters were retrofitted with radio biosensors that transmitted their locations and measured indicators such as bodily temperature or how deep the playful marine mammals would dive to collect food. “Every time we add a new technique it opens new doorways and raises new questions,” Tinker says. “We can now see if they are fighting an infection up to four weeks before they die. Females have a distinct temperature signal when they’re in estrous, then again when they're closer to pregnancy, and when they give birth—so now we have a much better understanding of reproduction in this species.” For full article and to view slide show, click here.
You Can’t Stop Urban Flooding
By Will Doig 1– 00 Resilient Cities – January 27, 2014 – Video
On September 12, 2013, the rain woke Eve and Walt Feese. Over the din of water thrashing their double-wide, Eve could hear voices outside. “As I walked to the front of the trailer I saw red lights,” she says. It was two in the morning, and people were racing to their cars. A neighbor pulled up and rolled down his window. “He said, ‘Eva, you and Walt are gonna have to get out of here now. The river’s coming.’” For full blog post and to view video, click here.
3 Tips for Utilities On Effective Consumer Outreach
By Kevin Westerling – Water Online – January 16, 2014
California is in a water crisis. The National Weather Service states that 2013 was the driest on record, and the trend has thus far continued into 2014. State and local officials clearly recognize the gravity of the situation: Governor Jerry Brown recently ordered the creation of a Drought Task Force, and municipalities across the state are rolling out water-use restrictions. The key to successfully overcoming drought and water scarcity, however, ultimately rests with the consumers’ appreciation for the value of water. Well aware of this, California has adopted some pretty aggressive and novel (even funny) community outreach campaigns. These efforts can serve as an example and inspiration for utilities nationwide, as the value-of-water concept doesn’t simply pertain to conservation, but also to rate-setting and the ongoing support of water/wastewater infrastructure and services. For full story, click here.
March 18, 2014
1:00-4:30 p.m. CDT
March 19, 2014
8:00-9:00 a.m. CDT
|Webinar: 2014 Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference |
|March 19, 2014|
1:00-2:00 p.m. EST
EPA Webinar: Threshold Analysis to Support Decision Making
To register for this webinar, click here.
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, California
2014 Climate Leadership Conference, CA
Learn more about Side Events being offered.
|February 26-27, 201|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|International Stormwater and Urban Water Systems Modeling Conference |
|March 1, 2014|
|Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) Annual Environmental Conference|
|March 3, 2014|
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the University of North Carolina: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Planning and Design Workshop
The workshop will also be held on April 3, 2014 in Hickory, North Carolina.
|March 4-6, 2014|
Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day
March 5-7, 2014
|Southeastern Natural Resources Graduate Student Symposium hosted by the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University|
March 10-14, 2014
79th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference
March 13-14, 2014
|Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law: 2014 Annual Conference on Moving Beyond Recession: What’s Next?|
March 13-14, 2014 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
|AWRA Wisconsin Section 38th Annual Meeting: Mining and Wisconsin Waters|
March 17-20, 2014
San Antonio, Texas
Stream Mechanics Workshop 2: Geomorphic and Function-Based Assessments
The concepts learned in Workshop 1 will be applied in Workshop 2 to complete geomorphic and function-based assessments. If you did not attend Workshop 1 and would like to attend Workshop 2, please contact Will Harman at 919-747-9448 before registering.
|March 18-19, 2014|
2014 Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference:
Accelerating Progress in BUI Removals and AOC Delisting
March 19-20, 2014 Raleigh, North Carolina
Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) 16th Annual Conference
March 20, 2014
17th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists: Research, Case Studies & Anecdotes: The Latest in Wetland Science
To download a brochure, click here.
|March 26, 2014|
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
Maine Association of Wetland Scientist (MAWS): 2014 MAWS Winter Conference and Annual Meeting
March 26-28, 2014
New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) Annual Conference: NEAEB 2014 Reboot!
Statistical Workshop for Water Resources will be held on March 25-26, 2014.
|March 26-29, 2014|
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
|85th Annual Conference of the Northwest Scientific Association: The Future of Forests & Forest Management Change, Uncertainty, & Adaptation|
|March 30-April 4, 2014|
|American Water Works Association: Sustainable Water Management Conference|
|April 2-4, 2014|
2014 Great Plains LID Research and Innovation Symposium
|April 3, 2014|
Hickory, North Carolina
|Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the University of North Carolina Workshop: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Planning and Design |
|April 4-5, 2014|
State College, Pennsylvania
Society of Wetland Scientists Mid-Atlantic Chapter Conference: Wetland Mitigation, Restoration and Ecology
There will also be a special workshop led by Dr. Robert Brooks of Penn State University and Riparian on Using Natural Reference Wetland Data for Wetlands Mitigation and Restoration Projects.
April 24 and 25, 2014 The New School, New York, New York
|The Center for Public Scholarship 31st Social Research Conference: "Climate Change Demands We Change. Why Aren't We?,"|
|April 25-26, 2014|
Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts
|The Society for Ecological Restoration-New England Chapter and the Conway School Conference: Designing for Success: Ecological Restoration|
|May 5-8, 2014|
Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Arizona
Chiricahua Leopard Frog Wetland Restoration Workshop
to request registration materials.
May 12-14, 2014
May 15-17, 2014
3rd Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology
|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 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
|57th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research: Ecosystem in Transition|
June 9-11, 2014
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
International Conference on Engineering & Ecohydrology for Fish Passage (Fish Passage 2014)
|July 27-August 1, 2014|
Fort Worth, Texas
16th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference
August 10-15, 2014
99th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All Ecology
Abstract deadline is February 27, 2014.
September 14-18, 2014
International Wetlands Conference: Wetland Biodiversity and Services: Tools for Socio-Ecological Development
Abstract deadline is June 1, 2014.
November 1-6, 2014
Gaylord National Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Restore America’s Estuaries 7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration and 24th Biennial Meeting of The Coastal Society: Inspiring Action, Creating Resilience
Call for proposals deadline is February 28, 2014.
November 17-20, 2014
Charlotte, North Carolina
North Carolina State University: EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference
Abstract deadline is June 1, 2014.
March 17-21, 2014
Wetland Delineation Course offered by Florida Gulf Coast University, Everglades Wetland Research Park
Instructors: Ralph Tiner and William J. Mitsch.
April 8-9, 2014
Course: Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation – Coastal Plain offered by Duncan & Duncan
This course will also be held on December 4-5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. For a complete list of wetland courses for 2013, click here.
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 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.
|SPECIAL EVENTS |
|May 16, 2014|
Endangered Species Day
Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them. For more information, click here.
To find and event near you, click here.
For more wetland events, meetings, conferences, and courses nationwide, visit the ASWM calendar.
There are new jobs posted on the Wetland Jobs board. For the latest wetland jobs, click here.
- USDA to Invest in Prairie Pothole Landscape Effort
- Farm bill passes after three years of talks
- Wetlands Conservation Extension Act Advances
- Interior Secretary Jewell, Director Ashe Announce $16.5 Million in Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands
- Senate committee approves Tahoe Restoration Act
- ASWM to Host Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar on Mapping Forested Wetland Inundation
- ASWM Members’ February Webinar
- Keystone XL Pipeline: 4 Animals and 3 Habitats in Its Path
- Farm Bill Compromise Will Change Programs and Reduce Spending
- In the State of the Union, Obama pledges strong action on climate
- Support for wetland restoration dramatically increased over past decade, survey shows
- US study: Puerto Rico estuary highly contaminated
- From Alaska to Florida, 21 attorneys general join fight to halt Chesapeake Bay cleanup
- Mexico Unveils Wetlands Protection Plan
- Drugs in drinking water higher than expected
- Monarch butterflies drop, migration may disappear
- Environmentalists slam new bay pact
- USDA Offers Hurricane Sandy Victims a New Opportunity to Enroll Land into Easements
- EPA's 5-Year Plan Gets Mixed Reactions from Water Industry
- Northern Mystery: Why Are Birds of the Arctic in Decline?
- Sea Change: Struggling With the Next Steps
- Service and Conservation Corps Will Soon Add “Waders in the Water”
- EPA Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants to Support Research to Protect America’s Urban Watersheds with Green Infrastructure
- Chemical spill in West Virginia only latest, most high-profile case of coal tainting US waters
- Secretary Jewell Presents 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards
- EPA Announces Request for Applications for National Center for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Modeling Research
- Planning for Sea Level Rise Adaptation at the Site Scale in New Jersey
- AK: EPA releases Bristol Bay Assessment
- AK: Native Alaskans Grapple With Global Warming
- CA: Golf course to revert to wetland under plan
- CA: San Joaquin River restoration flow stopped early to save water
- CA: Bay Area Democrats, Central Valley GOP clash over water
- CA: California drought threatens coho salmon with extinction
- CA: During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break
- CO: Developer Dips in Wetlands
- DE: EPA tries to map a toxic legacy on and under Metachem site
- DE: Delaware DNREC releases “Wetlands 101: Wetlands & Sea Level Rise” YouTube Video
- FL: Whales beaching at unusual rate in Florida
- FL: Swiftmud launches largest restoration project ever in Tampa Bay
- FL: Record 829 Manatee Deaths in 2013 Puzzle Scientists
- FL: Advocates Say Canal Project Improving Florida Bay
- HI: Some say erosion at Kuhio Beach due to sand replenishment project
- IL: Record levels of banned insecticide found in Illinois otters
- IA: Groups seek to strengthen Clean Water Act rules
- KS: Big drop in Missouri River water levels becoming critical problem
- KY: Louisville looks to expand natural filtration of Ohio River drinking water
- LA: New Louisiana plan relies heavily on diversions to reduce nutrients causing Gulf 'dead zone'
- LA: Dolphins in 'bad shape' after BP oil spill: study
- ME: As ocean becomes more acidic, will ‘dead mud’ consume Maine’s bountiful shellfish flats?
- MD: Maryland Water Supplier Gets Sued for Violating Clean Water Act
- MD: EPA, MDE, Prince George’s County Announce Public, Private Partnership Model to Accelerate Green Stormwater Controls and Support Local Job Creation
- MA: Recycling companies settle environmental violation allegations in Massachusetts
- MA: Chatham homeowner faces 11 wetland violations
- MI: Science in the sky: Acquisition of unmanned vehicle to help with CMU wetland research
- MI: Michigan rivers polluted by human, animal waste more than double previous estimates
- MI: Emergency harbor dredging: Who pays? How much?
- MI: Removing Dam Improves Dissolved Oxygen Levels in River
- MN: Seasons of the St. Louis River Photo Contest
- NH: NH landowner, developer to pay $40K in wetlands violations
- NH: UNH Stormwater Center Awarded Nearly $1M from EPA for Philadelphia Green Infrastructure Project
- NJ: Long Branch Beach Restoration Update
- NM: Senators seek plan to help bring back the beavers and protect wetlands
- NM: State maintains Copper Rule; environmentalists fear ground water pollution
- NY: Fourth tank discharging into kill
- NY: Pete Seeger's advocacy for Hudson River endures
- NY: Clammers sue city for post-Hurricane Sandy sewage pollution that tainted shellfish
- NC: Duke: 2nd leaking pipe at coal ash dump no danger
- OK: Peoria Tribe-NEO wetlands nearing completion
- OR: Scientists, Conservation Groups Oppose Oregon Logging Plan
- OR: Oregon Minnow Is the First Fish Recovered From Endangered Species List
- OR: Mushrooms used to clean up urban streams
- PA: Train carrying Canadian oil derails, leaks in Pennsylvania
- PA: Mitigation banks see green in Marcellus drillers' permit crunch
- TX: Harris County Flood Control District creates, restores wetlands on the Katy Prairie
- TX: New testing finds contamination in North TX water spreading
- TX: Dredge Disposal Kills Seagrass
- VA: Proposed fracking in national forest meets broad opposition
- WA: Grays Harbor wetlands among three awarded federal grant funding for restoration
- WA: Feds Declare Salmon Fishery Disaster for Washington Tribes
- WV: 'Significant' slurry spill blackens Kanawha creek
- WV: Mon Forest getting grant to help streams, habitat
- WV: Senate passes chemical storage tank bill
- WV: DEP order: Dismantle Freedom tank farm
- WV: MCHM leak inquiry will take about a year
- WI: Agencies Work to Restore Cat Island Barrier Chain
- Researchers Predict Future Bird/Wetland Scenarios Under Climate Change
- U.S. Geological Survey Climate Projection Portal Available for Use
- EPA Releases Climate Assessment Update to National Stormwater Calculator
- Hydropower Struggle: Dams Threaten Europe's Last Wild Rivers
- Climate change means we will have to get used to flooding
- Penguins, even in Argentina, at risk from climate change, study says (+video)
- Funding cuts spell end of oilsands peatlands research
- FEMA: Caught Between Climate Change and Congress
- Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change
- NASA: Cracked sea ice stirs up Arctic mercury concern
- NOAA Releases Regional Climate Impacts and Outlooks
- NOAA Global Analysis - December 2013
RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS
- Banking of Nature Report
- Daylighting Streams: Breathing Life into Urban Streams and Communities
- Put people at the centre of wetland protection – report
- Why global water shortages pose threat of terror and war
- How bad swamps became good wetlands
- Dumping of dredge spoil approved by Great Barrier Reef authority
- City Sea Otters Live Better Than Their Country Cousins [Slide Show]
- You Can’t Stop Urban Flooding
- 3 Tips for Utilities On Effective Consumer Outreach
WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENTS
- EPA Webinar: 2014 Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference
- EPA Webinar: Threshold Analysis to Support Decision Making
- 2014 Climate Leadership Conference, CA
- International Stormwater and Urban Water Systems Modeling Conference
- Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) Annual Environmental Conference
- The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the University of North Carolina: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Planning and Design Workshop
- Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day
- Southeastern Natural Resources Graduate Student Symposium hosted by the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University
- 79th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference
- Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law: 2014 Annual Conference on Moving Beyond Recession: What’s Next?
- AWRA Wisconsin Section 38th Annual Meeting: Mining and Wisconsin Waters
- Stream Mechanics Workshop 2: Geomorphic and Function-Based Assessments
- 2014 Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference: Accelerating Progress in BUI Removals and AOC Delisting
- Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) 16th Annual Conference
- 17th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists: Research, Case Studies & Anecdotes: The Latest in Wetland Science
- Maine Association of Wetland Scientist (MAWS): 2014 MAWS Winter Conference and Annual Meeting
- New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) Annual Conference: NEAEB 2014 Reboot!
- 85th Annual Conference of the Northwest Scientific Association: The Future of Forests & Forest Management Change, Uncertainty, & Adaptation
- American Water Works Association: Sustainable Water Management Conference
- 2014 Great Plains LID Research and Innovation Symposium
- Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the University of North Carolina Workshop: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Planning and Design
- Society of Wetland Scientists Mid-Atlantic Chapter Conference: Wetland Mitigation, Restoration and Ecology
- The Center for Public Scholarship 31st Social Research Conference: "Climate Change Demands We Change. Why Aren't We?,"
- The Society for Ecological Restoration-New England Chapter and the Conway School Conference: Designing for Success: Ecological Restoration
- Chiricahua Leopard Frog Wetland Restoration Workshop
- The Association of Climate Change Officers: Climate Strategies Forum
- 3rd Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology
- 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
- 6th IEEE/Oceanic Engineering Society Baltic Symposium 2014: “Measuring and Modeling of Multi-Scale Interactions in the Marine Environment”
- 57th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research: Ecosystem in Transition
- International Conference on Engineering & Ecohydrology for Fish Passage (Fish Passage 2014)
- 16th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference
- 99th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All
- International Wetlands Conference: Wetland Biodiversity and Services: Tools for Socio-Ecological Development
- Restore America’s Estuaries 7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration and 24th Biennial Meeting of The Coastal Society: Inspiring Action, Creating Resilience
- North Carolina State University: EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference
- Wetland Delineation Course
- Course: Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation – Coastal Plain
- Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop
- Online Wetland Design Class, University of Louisville
- Endangered Species Day
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
"WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by Alan Grant, Editor; Marla Stelk, 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