Wetland Breaking News: January 2015

                   
   
IN THIS ISSUE:

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

NATIONAL NEWS

STATE NEWS

WETLAND SCIENCE

RESOURCES &
PUBLICATIONS

POTPOURRI

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

INDEX

Wetland Breaking News - January 2015

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Wetland Breaking New - January 2015

All photos by
Jeanne Christie, ASWM

     

EDITOR'S NOTE

POWERFUL PEEPERS

I have to say the world never ceases to amaze me. And the internet is a portal to all of the wonderful weirdness that exists out there. In preparation for writing this month’s Editor’s Note, my mind wandered in and out of potential topics to include – serious or not serious – anecdotal or advisory. I asked for Jeanne’s advice and somehow we ended up with the decision that it should somehow include frogs. Really it was more of a “you had to be there” joke, but I took it and decided to try and run with it.

And somehow my brain said, hey – what about an article that discusses what frogs do when their wetlands ice over. I don’t know why – it just did. Most likely because we’ve had an incredible week of subzero temperatures here in Maine and, not being a scientist, I started to worry about the peepers. I assumed that they hibernate, but I figured I would confirm my hunch with an internet search. Did you know that there is an actual game called “Frog on Ice?” Apparently it’s an app (of course, right?) but it’s not anything like the game “Frogger” that I grew up with. Still it looks like fun and the frogs in this game are much better equipped for survival than in the old game.

But back to my search. And here’s where it gets interesting - according to the National Geographic, spring peepers hibernate under logs or behind loose bark on trees. In fact, they can allow most of their bodies to freeze during winter hibernation and still survive. How strange, I thought. Now if I tried to hibernate under a log or behind some loose bark in subzero temperatures I would not last very long. But these fragile little frogs that sing so beautifully every spring somehow have the fortitude to do so.

So what is the moral of this story? I suppose it’s that we are stronger than we think. So as you prepare to face the challenges of 2015, remember that if the peepers can come out singing, so can you!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Marla J. Stelk

     
                   

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Council on Environmental Quality Releases Draft Guidance on Considering Climate Change in NEPA Reviews

Council on Environmental Quality – December 18, 2014
As part of an ongoing effort to modernize implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and promote effective and transparent environmental reviews, the Council on Environmental Quality has released updated draft guidance for Federal agencies on how to consider greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change in their NEPA analyses, as well as final guidance on conducting programmatic NEPA reviews. These measures will increase the efficiency of environmental reviews and help agencies make informed decisions. The guidance notes the importance of coastal wetlands as natural carbon sinks where restoration could be considered as an alternative for their ability to mitigate or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The document is available for a 90-day public comment period here.

Fight over Keystone XL continues, landowners vow to fight until very end

By Josh Egbert – KMTV News – December 17, 2014
TransCanada has until mid-January to acquire the land needed to build the Keystone XL Pipeline through Nebraska. A new offer from the company is on the table for landowners. For Nebraska farmers and ranchers, their land means more than just green grass and space. They say, they will not go down without a fight. For full story, click here.

President Obama declares waters in and near Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas leasing

By Lisa Demer – Alaska Dispatch News – December 16, 2014 – Video
President Obama on Tuesday declared Bristol Bay “a beautiful natural wonder” and designated its salmon-rich waters indefinitely off limits for oil and gas leasing. Environmentalists say the move provides significant protection not just for the iconic Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, but for crab, herring, halibut and groundfish, including the lucrative pollock fishery. And salmon returning to the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers pass through the waters that had been considered for drilling. For full story and to view video, click here.

Earth faces sixth ‘great extinction’ with 41% of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo

By Robin McKie – The Guardian – December 13, 2014
A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world’s mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of mammal species and 13% of birds are similarly threatened. Many species are already critically endangered and close to extinction, including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla. But also in danger of vanishing from the wild, it now appears, are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example. For full story, click here.

The Role of Psychology in our Work

By Amy Nelson – Biohabitats – 2014
As we work to restore ecosystems, conserve biodiversity, and regenerate human connections to the landscape, we know that whole systems solutions require interdisciplinary approaches. But are we including the discipline of psychology? We ought to. Not only can psychologists help us become more resilient to environmental doom and gloom so we can continue to work for a better planet; they bring unparalleled insight into the main cause of environmental degradation–human behavior. For full story and to view video, click here.

ASWM’s Members’ Webinar: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message January 28, 2015

Members’ Webinar: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message will be held on January 28, 2015. Presented by Karen L. McKee, Ph.D, Scientist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey.

This is a two-part webinar, with both sessions offered on January 28, 2015

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET
Webinar Part 1: Demystifying the Science Filmmaking Process

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET
Webinar Part 2: An Introduction to Science Videography

Videography skills will become increasingly important for the scientist, resource manager, and consultant to keep pace with the rapid changes in communication technology and audience expectations for media-rich information. Have you wanted to use video to convey a science message but were reluctant to try because video making seems difficult, time-consuming, and expensive? This two-part webinar is designed to demystify the filmmaking process and introduce participants to science videography. For more information, click here.

ASWM’s Wetland Restoration Webinar: Playa and Rainwater Basin Restoration – February 17, 2015

Wetland Restoration Webinar: Playa and Rainwater Basin Restoration will be held on February 17, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Rich Weber, NRCS Wetland Team, CNTSC and Ted LaGrange, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission. For more information, click here. To register, click here.

Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: An Overview of NOAA's MAPTITE Tool for Coastal Restoration Planning – February 18, 2015

Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) Webinar: An Overview of NOAA'S MAPTITE Tool for Coastal Restoration Planning will be held on February 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Chris Paternostro, NOAA. For more information, click here. To register, click here.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

EPA proposes expanded oversight of uranium mining

By Manuel Quiñones – E & E Publishing, LLC – January 14, 2015
U.S. EPA is proposing new water protection and monitoring regulations for a controversial form of uranium mining, according to a copy obtained by Greenwire. Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the proposed rule Dec. 31, and the agency is scheduled to make it public in the near future. The proposal comes under EPA's effort to address concerns surrounding in-situ recovery uranium extraction sites. For full story, click here.

Scientists: Great Lakes teeming with tiny plastic fibers

By John Flesher – Mercury News – January 9, 2015
Scientists who have reported that the Great Lakes are awash in tiny bits of plastic are raising new alarms about a little-noticed form of the debris turning up in sampling nets: synthetic fibers from garments, cleaning cloths and other consumer products. They are known as "microfibers" — exceedingly fine filaments made of petroleum-based materials such as polyester and nylon that are woven together into fabrics. For full story, click here.

Environmental groups seek to force federal regulation of clean water in Ky., W.Va.

By Bill Estep – Kentucky.com – January 7, 2015
Environmental groups are seeking a court order that would force federal regulators to answer a demand that they stop letting state officials enforce federal clean-water rules in Kentucky and West Virginia, the groups announced Wednesday. Several groups argue the two states have done a poor job enforcing controls on pollution draining from surface coal mines, resulting in widespread damage to streams and rivers. For full story, click here.

Report says the Chesapeake Bay is improving in areas but there is still reason for concern

By Scott Shenk – Fredericksburg.com – January 6, 2015
A program to clean up the Chesapeake Bay is working, but improvements are not going as well as hoped. “The bay is improving, but it’s still a system dangerously out of balance,” Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William Baker said Monday when the organization released its 2014 State of the Bay report. The report, released every two years, gave the bay a score of 32, on a scale of 1 to 100. The score, a D-plus, is the same as the 2012 report. In 2010, the bay scored a 31. For full story, click here.

Nutrient pollution trading in limbo in Maryland as it expands in Virginia

By Timothy B. Wheeler – Baltimore Sun – December 16, 2014
While the Obama administration is touting Virginia's pollution trading program as an "innovative market-based approach" to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland's trading effort remains stuck in limbo after years of study and debate. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality joined Virginia's Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Fairfax County Tuesday to endorse that state's trading program. Federal officials called it a model for other states struggling with the high costs of cleaning up polluted waterways. For full blog post, click here.

McConnell Says Senate Will Target EPA Proposed Waters of U.S. Regulation

By Anthony Adragna – Bloomberg BNA – January 5, 2015
New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised to go after a proposed Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule this year, including it in an ever-expanding list of rulemakings Republicans plan to stop or impede.

At issue is a joint proposed rule from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction over the nation's waters and wetlands. Republicans and some Democrats have called the proposal a radical expansion of the agency's authority and warned it could cripple agricultural, ranching and other industries. For full story, click here.

Monarch butterfly eyed for possible U.S. endangered species protection

Raw Story – December 30, 2014
Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday. Monarch populations are estimated to have fallen by as much as 90 percent during the past two decades because of destruction of milkweed plants they depend on to lay their eggs and nourish hatching larvae, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. For full story, click here.

Transfer of Polluted Water Into Clean Water Is Incompatible With Statute, States Say

By Amena H. Saiyid – Bloomberg BNA – December 26, 2014
Unregulated transfer of polluted water into clean water is incompatible with the Clean Water Act's basic goals of protecting the quality of individual water bodies, nine states and one Canadian province jointly told a federal appeals court. In a brief filed Dec. 23 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York and Washington as well as the province of Manitoba claimed that a 2008 Environmental Protection Agency rule that excludes inter-basin transfers from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting requirement is contrary to the Clean Water Act and prior court rulings. For full story, click here.

EPA, Rockefeller Foundation Team Up for Resilient Cities

By Lek Kadeli – EPA Blog – It All Starts with Science – December 22, 2014
EPA recently announced a partnership to help communities across the United States and around the world achieve that very definition of city resilience by supporting 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Agency sustainability scientists and other experts will help urban communities take actions today to realize vibrant and healthy futures. 100 Resilient Cities was launched in 2013 to provide urban communities with access to a network of expertise, innovative tools, and models that will help them meet and bounce back even better from serious challenges—from chronic stresses such as air pollution and diminishing access to clean water, to more sudden events including floods, “superstorms” and other weather events, and acts of terrorism. For full blog post, click here.

Great Barrier Reef at risk from 'rushed' sediment dumping plan at Abbot Point

By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – December 21, 2014
A plan to dump dredged sediment onto a sensitive wetlands area beside the Great Barrier Reef near Abbot Point would lead to much more slurry being pumped into the waters of the reef than officially estimated, a report has warned. In its submission to the federal government, the environment group WWF cites expert advice that the project’s modelling underestimates by nearly 30% the amount of sediment and water that would be discharged into the ocean through a pipe from the wetlands ponds. A total of 1.7m cubic metres of dredged seabed will be mixed with nearly 12.5m cubic metres of seawater to create the slurry, which will be stored within ponds in Queensland’s Caley Valley wetlands. The seabed is being removed in order to expand the Abbot Point port, a coal export terminal near Bowen. The ponds will be constructed near new railway lines running from Abbot Point. For full story, click here.

World's beaches being washed away due to coastal development

By John Vidal – The Guardian – December 15, 2014
The world’s beaches are being washed away as coastal developments increase in size and engineers build ever higher sea walls to defend against fierce winter storms and rising sea levels, according to two of the worlds’ leading marine geologists. The warning comes as violent Atlantic and Pacific storms this week sent massive 50ft waves crashing over sea defences, washed away beaches and destroyed concrete walls in Europe, North America and the Philippines. “Most natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of the shore,” said Andrew Cooper, professor of coastal studies at the University of Ulster. For full story, click here.

Congress moving toward 5-year commitment to Great Lakes cleanup

By Jerry Zremski – The Buffalo News – December 9, 2014
The federal government’s big-money commitment to restoring the Great Lakes is now almost certain to continue another five years thanks to House passage Tuesday of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative of 2014. The bill, which passed by voice vote, authorizes $300 million in federal funding for each of the next five years for Great Lakes programs. The legislation, which is expected to be approved by the Senate and sent to President Obama for his signature later this week, establishes a path forward for a program that has brought $1.6 billion to the lakes since 2010. The multi-agency effort has worked to clean up pollution, restore shorelines, combat invasive species and protect fish and wildlife, but Brian Smith, associate executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said that’s just the start of the work that’s needed. For full story, click here.

Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Grants Deadline Feb. 2, 2015

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Urban Waters Federal Partnership is seeking applications for projects that develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations. Fundable projects include wetlands creation and restoration; green infrastructure and stormwater management; citizen’s science and volunteer water monitoring; coastal habitat, riparian, urban forest restoration and other water quality protection and restoration projects in local communities. The grant program gives priority to projects located in underserved, environmentally overburdened communities. Deadline is February 2, 2015. For more information, click here.

 

STATE NEWS

AL: National Wildlife Federation recommends 5 Alabama projects for oil spill restoration funding

Dennis Pillion – AL.com – December 11, 2014
In a report released this week the National Wildlife Federation recommended oyster reef creation, land acquisition and watershed restoration among Alabama-based projects that should be given priority as federal and state officials begin dividing up fine money collected from BP and other companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NWF's Gulf Restoration Program director David Muth said the report highlights projects that live up to the aim of the RESTORE Act, which is to support overall ecosystem restoration and improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico. For full story, click here.

CA: Supreme Court Allows Scientifically Sound Protections for California’s Bay-Delta Estuary to Stand

eNews Park Forest – January 12, 2015
The Supreme Court today let stand a federal plan to protect California’s vital Delta ecosystem. The Court refused to hear an appeal brought by agribusinesses trying to undermine protections for the Delta smelt under the Endangered Species Act. For full story, click here.

CA: Chemicals’ phaseout a 'success story’ for S.F. Bay wildlife

By Jane Kay – SFGate – December 28, 2014
Ten years after government regulations forced an industry phaseout of once common but toxic flame retardants, a new study of San Francisco Bay has shown a steep decline in the presence of the chemicals in the bay’s wildlife. For full story, click here.

CA: State's drought having pronounced effect on wildlife

By Veronica Rocha – Los Angeles Times – December 28, 2014
Starving baby squirrels in parts of Northern California are so hungry that they are jumping out of their nests to search for food and getting lost on the way home. The increase in suddenly motherless squirrels is just one example of how the state's prolonged drought has affected wildlife, experts say. For full story, click here.

CA: Leave it to beavers: CA joins other states in embracing the rodent

By Samanth Clark – Santa Cruz Sentinel – December 20, 2014
Californians are crossing their fingers for more rain after three punishing years of drought have left streams, rivers and wetland parched. One animal has the potential to restore these dry landscapes. With their industrial buck teeth and flat tails, beavers and their dams offer a defense against drought, a solution to reversing the effects of climate change. For full story, click here.

CA: California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons

By Kurtis Alexander – SFGate – December 16, 2014
NASA satellites that have been tracking California’s troubled water supplies from space generated a first-ever estimate of how much water the state needs to recover from the drought — an astonishing 11 trillion gallons. In other words, a whole lot. The findings, released by a panel of federal scientists Tuesday, reinforce the current thinking that it may be years before the state’s water situation normalizes, while offering a precise deficit figure based on aerial measurements of mountain snowpack and underground water basins. For full story, click here.

CO: Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time

By Brian Clark – Howard National Geographic – December 16, 2014 – Video
Behind Patiño, 45, cottonwood and willow trees formed a dense thicket, interspersed with honey mesquite seedlings and a thick understory of shrubs. Bees swarmed. A crissal thrasher sang prettily. A pair of white-crowned sparrows chittered at the shadow of a marsh hawk passing overhead. Just months ago, this area was a barren wasteland, said Patiño. But last April he and a crew of workers from the nearby village of Miguel Alemán planted the trees. With fertile soil and steady sun—and just enough irrigation water—the trees have already grown ten feet tall (three meters), enough to shade his dogs. This 250-acre plot in the Mexicali Valley, south of Yuma on the Arizona border, is part of an innovative effort to restore small parts of the two-million-acre (8,100-square-kilometer) Colorado River Delta. Thanks to dams and canals that have diverted water to farm fields and cities, the Colorado no longer reaches the sea, and its delta has been desiccated. For full story and to view video, click here.

FL: Moving water south next step in Everglades restoration

By Chad Gillis – news-press.com – January 8, 2015
There are two big problems facing hydrologists and engineers working to restore flows in the historic Everglades: inadequate water drainage and storage infrastructure and too much phosphorus in Lake Okeechobee. A committee of the South Florida Water Management District met Thursday in West Palm Beach to discuss how state and federal agencies can best remove pollution from Lake Okeechobee before redirecting that water south to Everglades National Park. For full story, click here.

FL: Warming world's rising seas wash away some of South Florida's glitz

Nick O'Malley – WA Toady – December 20, 2014
What was not so widely reported was that South Beach stank of shit. There is no nice way to put it. The place smelled of human waste. There had been a brief, heavy downpour but the water could not escape, so the sewers backed up and filled the roads. The traffic slowed to walking pace or seized entirely, and the models tottering between the restaurants and hotels and clubs had to pick wide arcs on the pavements to avoid the nasty pools swelling from the gutters. Only the people seemed to take it in their stride, perhaps because this sort of thing is no longer unusual in and around Miami. A couple of days later I stood on a sealed road in a park in the southern suburbs of Miami – again ankle deep in water – with Harold Wanless, chairman and professor at the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami, to discuss why the place was so wet. The answer was not complicated. "The ocean has risen," he says with laugh. "It is what it is." For full story, click here.

IA: Iowa's Largest City Sues Over Farm Fertilizer Runoff In Rivers

By Dan Charles – npr – January 12, 2015
Des Moines, Iowa, is confronting the farms that surround it over pollution in two rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Des Moines Water Works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. It's a novel attempt to control fertilizer runoff from farms, which has been largely unregulated. For full blog post, click here.

LA: Gov. Bobby Jindal asks state Supreme Court to uphold law banning wetlands damage suit against oil companies

By Mark Schleifstein – NOLA.com-The Times-Picayune – January 9, 2015
Gov. Bobby Jindal has asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of a law passed to block the east bank levee authority's wetlands damages lawsuit against more than 80 oil, gas and pipeline companies. Attorney Jimmy Faircloth, who lobbied the 2014 Legislature on behalf of Act 544for the governor's office, filed paperwork with the Supreme Court Tuesday. The filing challenges a Dec. 3 judgement by 19th Judicial District Court Judge Janice Clark that declared the law unconstitutional. For full story, click here.

LA: BP wants oil spill settlement administrator off the case; files request with appeals court

By Jennifer Larino – NOLA.com-The Times-Picayune – December 24, 2014
BP has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling blocking its bid to oust oil spill claims administrator Patrick Juneau, arguing the lower court "manifestly erred" in its decision to keep Juneau in place. In a Tuesday (Dec. 23) filing at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the British oil giant asked the court to overturn the lower court ruling and order Juneau's removal. For full story, click here.

ME: Restoring 'Urban Impaired' Waterways: Maine's 5-year Effort Bearing Fruit

By Irwin Gratz – MPBN News – December 30, 2014
The state is now half-way through a 10-year effort to clean up Long Creek in South Portland. The creek and its tributaries drain an area that includes the Maine Mall, Portland Jetport, office parks and busy roads. In a historic agreement in 2009, the Environmental Protection Administration allowed all the affected businesses in the area to join in a single environmental permit governing water quality. In the second of two reports, Irwin Gratz looks at the progress that's being made. For full story, click here.

ME: Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine

By Michael Wines and Jess Bidgood – The New York Times – December 14, 2014
In the vast gulf that arcs from Massachusetts’s shores to Canada’s Bay of Fundy, cod was once king. It paid for fishermen’s boats, fed their families and put their children through college. In one halcyon year in the mid-1980s, the codfish catch reached 25,000 tons. Today, the cod population has collapsed. Last month, regulators effectively banned fishing for six months while they pondered what to do, and next year, fishermen will be allowed to catch just a quarter of what they could before the ban. For full story, click here.

ME: Concern for endangered salmon halts Brunswick culvert project

By Kevin Miller – Portland Press Herald – November 26, 2014
Brunswick officials have been forced to delay replacing a culvert that was overwhelmed during a massive rainstorm last August, washing out part of the road, as they seek a federal permit and an assessment of potential effects on endangered Atlantic salmon. City crews were preparing to install the replacement culvert on River Road this month when they learned that the project requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, that permitting process triggers a review by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists because the small stream flows into the Androscoggin River, a federally designated Atlantic salmon watershed. For full story, click here.

MD: Maryland Department of the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Trust Nontidal Wetland Grant Program

Contact: Tom Leigh – Chesapeake Bay Trust
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust) announce a new partnership to provide funds for nontidal wetland projects throughout Maryland. The goal of this program is to implement cost-effective wetland projects to provide valuable wetland functions, including increasing habitat for a wide range of species and improving water quality, flood attenuation, recharge of groundwater, and aesthetics in the State’s local watersheds and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, Youghiogheny River, and Atlantic Coastal Bays. For more information, click here or go directly here. Application deadline is March 12, 2015.

MA: Failed projects and weak oversight lead to loss of state’s wetlands

By Beth Daley and Jess Aloe – New England Center for Investigative Reporting – December 21, 2014
Three decades ago, Massachusetts became a darling of the environmental movement for requiring developers to replace virtually every square foot of wetlands they destroyed to build houses, parking lots and shopping malls. The policy was designed to slow the destruction of one of nature’s most underappreciated resources: Swamps, marshes, seasonal ponds and other soggy places that filter pollution, host threatened species and control floodwaters. Today, the state’s landscape is pocked with hundreds of examples of that policy’s failure, an examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found. For full story, click here.

MA: Cape Cod Mystery: A Surge of Stranded Turtles

By James Gorman – The New York Times – December 12, 2014
For as long as anyone knows, young sea turtles have ventured up the East Coast, leaving warm seas to feed on crabs and other prey. And some of them have lingered too long in northern waters and been stunned when the season turns cold. Around this time of year, volunteers regularly patrol the beaches of Cape Cod Bay to rescue turtles that wash up at high tide — six of seven species of sea turtles are endangered — so they can be rehabilitated and relocated to warmer shores in the South. But this year the usual trickle of stranded turtles has turned into a flood, and nobody seems to know why. For full story, click here.

NJ: Large Oil Slick Threatens Sandy Hook Bay, Seals

By Brian Thompson – NBC New York – December 12, 2014
A large oil slick that threatened New Jersey's Sandy Hook Bay had grown smaller by Friday. The oil slick, which was 2 miles long and 400 feet wide on Thursday, had shrunk to 1 mile long and 50 yards wide. Oil from the slick started washing up on parts of the shoreline Thursday afternoon, though the source of the spill was unclear. Authorities worried the sheen could endanger the population of seals that migrate there each winter, the U.S. Coast Guard and parks officials told NBC 4 New York Thursday. For full story and to view video, click here.

NC: Sediment from failing Asheville airport wall reached wetlands

By Tonya Maxwell – Citizen-Times – December 30, 2014
Sediment has washed out of a failing retaining wall at the Asheville Regional Airport and pushed into nearby wetlands, state officials found after inspecting the property Monday. Airport officials and project engineers also met at the Ferncliff Park Drive site to determine the best approach for making repairs to the wall — about 1/4 mile long and four stories tall at its peak. The wall collapsed at one end and buckled on the other, airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey wrote in a statement. For full story, click here.

NC: A legal maneuver could absolve Duke Energy of its responsibility for coal ash dumps

By Billy Ball – INDY Week – December 17, 2014
In the television commercial, Paul Newton, North Carolina president of Duke Energy, strolls through a garden on a warm, spring day. A bee lands on a flower. Crickets chirp. A tree bathes in the sun.
Newton wears no tie or coat; the sleeves of his sky-blue shirt are rolled just above his wrists. Duke wants to be a good neighbor, he says.

"Because safely delivering reliable power and ensuring the well being of our customers and communities is important to me and to all of us at Duke Energy," he concludes.

"That's a bunch of crap," says Bobbie Mendenhall, who lives in Moncure, near an abandoned brick mine where Duke Energy plans to dump more than a ton of toxic coal ash. "He's just concerned with his big income."

Mendenhall can no longer stomach this commercial, part of Duke's public relations push to counter the bad publicity of the utility's February coal ash spill on the Dan River. For full story, click here.

PA: Report: Pennsylvania needs to step up farm runoff, stormwater controls for Bay cleanup

By Ad Crable – Lancaster Online – January 7, 2015
Efforts to reduce farm runoff and urban stormwater in Pennsylvania are lagging behind the state's vow to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The top conservation group involved in the Bay’s restoration releases a State of the Bay report every two years on the federal-state effort. The new assessment found improvements in dissolved oxygen, water clarity, oysters and underwater grasses in the Bay. But scores declined for levels of phosphorus running into the Bay, and numbers of striped bass and blue crabs. For full story, click here.

UT: The water question: Tapping into one of Utah's biggest challenges

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret News – December 1, 2014
As the snow this weekend finally begins to fall in the mountains and Utah hopes for a banner snowpack this year, water managers know one season will not douse the challenges the state faces when it comes to water. Utah is wrestling with a multibillion-dollar problem with solutions that are rarely appealing — pipeline construction, higher water rates or restrictions on watering — but they are priorities that may emerge as the state's leaders begin to grapple with the enormity of the challenge ahead. For full story, click here.

VT: Vermont, USDA announce $16M to clean Lake Champlain

By Wilson Ring – Rutland Herald – January 1, 2015
Vermont has been awarded a $16 million federal grant to help farmers pay for conservation projects designed to keep runoff and other pollution from reaching Lake Champlain, federal and state officials announced Wednesday. An additional $710,000 will be used for conservation planning, the officials said during a news conference at the State House in Montpelier. While most of the money is destined for Vermont, some will be used for projects in New York. For full story, click here.

VA: Pipeline raises water concerns; Dominion says will protect waterways

By Rachael Smith – Times Dispatch – December 11, 2014
Among many residents’ concerns surrounding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would run through Nelson County, one deals with the most basic of human needs — water. Taylor Smack, owner of Blue Mountain Brewery and Blue Mountain Barrel House in Nelson County, is a member of The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Brewers for Clean Water. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among other craft brewers about clean water issues and how the resource contributes to making great beer, Smack said. Smack is one of many Nelson County residents who has expressed concerns at meetings, in letters to the editor, and in interviews about how the pipeline proposed by Dominion Resources could potentially affect water sources in the region. For full story, click here.

WA: Judge rules: Dairy polluted groundwater

By Ross Courtney – Yakima Herald – January 1, 2015
In a wide-ranging ruling Wednesday, a federal judge found that one of the Yakima Valley’s largest dairies, the Cow Palace near Granger, has polluted groundwater through its application, storage and management of manure, posing possible “imminent and substantial endangerment” to the public consuming the water and the environment. In a ruling that could set a national precedent for manure management, U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice of Spokane wrote: “Any attempt to diminish the Dairy’s contribution to the nitrate contamination is disingenuous, at best.” For full story, click here.

WA: Stormwater runoff is killing Puget Sound

By Sharon Salyer – HeraldNet – December 21, 2014
Taking in the view from the pier on the city’s waterfront, it’s hard to sense anything could be wrong with Puget Sound. The water is clear. It’s a popular place for people to cast their fishing lines or to toss metal-mesh crab pots into the water. Seals occasionally bob up among the rows of boats in the nearby marina. In winter, rafts of goldeneye ducks float on the waves near the ferry dock. For all this, Puget Sound, with 2,500 miles of shoreline, isn’t nearly as healthy as it looks. And that’s one of the biggest challenges facing the Puget Sound Partnership, the state organization charged with improving the Sound’s health. For full story, click here.

WV: On MCHM leak anniversary, groups get set for push to relax water protections

By Ken Ward, Jr. – WV Gazette – January 9, 2015
As they gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of the Elk River chemical leak, residents and a few government officials braced themselves for what they expect to be a major push to undo some new and some longstanding protections for West Virginia’s drinking water. Leaders of a group called the West Virginia Safe Water Roundtable said they hope to rally residents to oppose weakening the new chemical tank safety bill and defeat efforts by industry lobbyists to eliminate a policy that designates — and aims to protect — all state rivers and streams as potential drinking water sources. For full story, click here.

WV: Second Freedom executive wants Goodwin removed from case

By David Gutman – WV Gazette – December 24, 2014
A second Freedom Industries executive, who was indicted by federal prosecutors in connection with January’s chemical leak, wants those prosecutors taken off the case, saying that they were victims of the chemical leak and thus cannot be impartial prosecutors. Dennis P. Farrell, a former owner and president of Freedom, has joined his former colleague Gary Southern in asking a judge to remove U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and his entire office from the case.

The two men and two other former Freedom executives, William E. Tis and Charles E. Herzing, were indicted last week and each charged with three counts of violating environmental laws after Freedom Industries’ tank farm leaked about 10,000 gallons of coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River, contaminating the Kanawha Valley’s drinking water. For full story, click here.

WV: Indictments in West Virginia chemical spill case

By John Raby AP – The Big Story – December 17, 2014
Four former chemical company executives and two lower-level employees have been charged in a January spill that contaminated a river and left 300,000 residents around West Virginia's capital without usable water for drinking and bathing for days. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charged ex-Freedom Industries presidents Gary Southern and Dennis P. Farrell and two others with failing to ensure that the company operated in a reasonable and environmentally sound manner the steel tank that leaked the coal-cleaning chemical. For full story, click here.

WI: ‘Beneficial reuse’ of coal ash could contaminate drinking water statewide

By Ron Seely, Cole Monka, Rachael Lallensack, et. al. – WisconsinWatch.org – December 26, 2014
It’s not a good sign when even the dogs won’t drink your tap water. “They sniff it and then drink the bottled water we pour,” said Frank Michna of Caledonia, one of hundreds of southeastern Wisconsin residents whose wells are contaminated by pollutants that may be coming from buried coal ash. For full story, click here.

 

WETLAND SCIENCE

Asian carp eDNA found above barrier, feared to be in Great Lakes waters

By Mark Johnson – Petoskey News – January 13, 2015
Several recent water samples came back positive for silver carp eDNA above an electrical barrier system near Chicago and environmentalists are concerned the species of Asian carp may have reached the Great Lakes. A total of 23 results came back positive for silver carp eDNA, a species of Asian carp, in several locations throughout the waterway system, including six from the North Shore Channel, five from the Chicago River, eight from Lake Calumet and four from Little Calumet River. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in Petoskey is especially concerned by this latest round of positive results. For full story, click here.

Scientists: Weather plays big role in Lake Erie 'dead zones'

By John Flesher – Detroit Free Press – January 6, 2015
A newly released study says cutting phosphorus levels is important for Lake Erie but isn't a cure-all for one of its biggest environmental hazards: "dead zones" where fish can't survive. The report by researchers with the Carnegie Institution for Science says the lake's biggest dead zone on record formed in the summer of 2012. Phosphorus runoff from farms was partly responsible. But drought and low flows from tributary rivers were even bigger factors. For full story, click here.

Global carbon emissions to rise 2.5% in 2015

By Sophie Yeo – Responding to Climate Change – January 5, 2015
Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise by around 2.5% in 2015, an increase on 2013 levels but lower than the average over the past decade, according to analysts at consultancy firm PwC. Economic momentum around the world is expected to pick up over the coming 12 months, with PwC and the International Monetary Fund predicting growth of 3.5-3.8%, compared to 3.3% in 2014. “Global GDP is expected to grow at 3.5% per year, and so if we’re decarbonising our economy about 0.9% per year, it’s reasonable to expect emissions to grow 2.5% in 2015,” said PwC’s sustainability director Jonathan Grant, who worked on their Global Economy Watch report. For full story, click here.

Mapping Estuarine Environments

By Marguerite Huber – EPA Blog – It All Starts with Science – January 5, 2015
As the spots that link freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the ocean, estuaries thrive as productive environments that support distinctive communities of plants and animals. Current and historic data on estuary conditions are necessary for researchers to make informed decisions on protecting and preserving these unique environments. But with approximately 2,000 estuaries along the five US coastal regions (Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii), scientists have amassed a lot of data to keep track of, and it’s spread out among many different agencies and organizations. Traditionally, it has been a challenge to pull all that information together to see the big picture. EPA’s Estuary Data Mapper application changes that by providing a fast, easy way for researchers to zoom into a specific estuary of interest and find current, available data for that system. For full blog post, click here.

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity

By Peter Dykstra – Environmental Health News – January 3, 2015
The 114th Congress convenes this week. The last time a Congressional anti-science caucus was this strong may have been during the Scopes Monkey Trial ninety years ago. But that’s not the worst part of it: The folks who want to gut government research and deny climate change are virtually guaranteed perpetual re-election and jobs for life. Let’s get straight to the moral of this story: Entrenched anti-science isn’t going away. Not soon, maybe not in our lifetimes. Every one of the most ardent congressional climate deniers who chose to run won re-election, mostly by runaway margins, and probably have jobs for as long as they want them. A landscape of gerrymandered “safe” districts and wide-open campaign cash spigots make their futures even safer, even as their behavior helps make our own a little more bleak. For full story, click here.

New study suggests invasive species work together to dominate local habitats

By Sammy Hudes – The Globe and Mail – December 23, 2014
The spread of invasive species in local ecosystems could spell trouble for native plants and insect colonies, as a new study out of the University of Toronto suggests that the interaction between multiple foreign species help each other accelerate their dominance. The findings say that the combination of two or more invasive species interacting with one another could hasten their spread in habitats foreign to them, leading to further degradation and environmental change. For full story, click here.

Climate changes, habitat loss cited as threats to 314 bird species

By Rick Wills – Tribe Live – December 20, 2014
If bird watchers in Pennsylvania think they are seeing less of some species — the ruffed grouse, scarlet tanager, wood thrush and Baltimore oriole — they are right. Those birds could go the way of the once-prevalent Passenger Pigeon and are among hundreds at risk of disappearing, according to a report by the Audubon Society and another jointly prepared by the Fish & Wildlife Service and the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. The projected declines, the studies each say, reflect climate changes and the disappearance of natural habitats. For full story, click here.

Coastal Sprawl and a Last Stand for Wetlands in China

By Cui Zheng – Caixin Online – December 19, 2014
Sprawling urban and industrial development along China's 18,000 kilometer east coast is a lifeline for the nation's economy but a threat to the region's dwindling wetlands. And as the wetlands disappear, so do migrating birds. A recent study by the environmental organization Wetlands International blamed industrial development for shrinking the flocks of migratory shorebirds that regularly fly over eastern China. The phenomenon has affected 22 of 25 types of birds studied. Separately, Chinese and American researchers who recently studied coastal development linked a dramatic decline in global biodiversity and ecosystems to wetland shrinkage in eastern China. For full story, click here.

Leading the Way for Carbon Finance Investments in Coastal Wetland

Contact: Steve Emmett-Mattox – Restore America’s Estuaries – December 17, 2014
Today, the first global Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration Methodology is one step closer to full approval, having cleared the first of two independent assessments required by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). This methodology details the procedure that project developers must follow to generate carbon offsets and will allow carbon rich coastal wetlands to earn carbon credits. Coastal wetlands have only recently been included in the carbon market, and there has been a need for wetland and seagrass restoration methodologies to spur carbon project development. Carbon credits can then be sold to businesses, organizations, agencies, and individuals who want to offset their carbon emissions, adding an incentive to invest in coastal wetland restoration projects. For full story, click here.

Stream app turns Great Lakes citizens into scientists

By Chelsea Moneau – Great Lakes Echo – December 15, 2014
At the bottom of Chris Lowry’s research project homepage is a bold motto: “We are all scientists.”
It’s a mantra that Lowry, an assistant professor of hydrogeology at the University of Buffalo, follows while seeking to understand how water moving through watersheds changes over time across the Great Lakes region.

He can’t collect data from more than 50 places at once himself. So Lowry is recruiting citizen scientists in Michigan, Wisconsin and New York.

His new phone app, CrowdHydrology, allows anyone to send information on stream depths in specific locations with the swipe of a thumb. It will be unveiled today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. For full story, click here.

Study reveals spread of invasive species in Great Lakes

Grand Valley State University – December 15, 2014
Researchers from Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, along with researchers from nine other universities working in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, have found invasive faucet snails in many new locations throughout the Great Lakes basin over a three-year period. The snails carry parasites that are deadly to native waterfowl, including ducks and coots. For full story, click here.

Ramsar focuses on Arctic wetlands

Ramsar – December 11, 2014
Arctic peatlands, glacier forelands, rivers, lakes, wet tundras, seashores and shallow bays make up the largest part of the Arctic (at least 60% of the surface) and constitute a significant part of the world’s wetlands and freshwater resources. Arctic wetlands store enormous amounts of carbon in frozen peat and soil, as long as the insulation by an undisturbed peat layer is preventing the underlying permafrost from melting. Accelerated climate change in the Arctic provokes rapid environmental change, easier access to oil and gas, minerals and fisheries, This threatens ecosystems through the retreat of sea ice, permafrost thawing, atmospheric warming, habitat fragmentation, de-synchronisation of predator-prey life cycles, overharvesting of wildlife and of globally migratory bird and mammal populations, and ocean acidification (factors highlighted in UNEP’s “view from the top” in 2013). For full story, click here.

Help U.S. Cope with Climate Change: Enter NASA-USGS Data App Challenge

NASA News – December 11, 2014
NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United States in coping with climate change. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge, conducted through the NASA Tournament Lab, a partnership with Harvard University hosted on Appirio/Topcoder, kicks off Monday, Dec 15 and runs through March 2015. The challenge supports the efforts of the White House Climate Data Initiative, a broad effort to leverage the federal government’s extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to spur innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in order to advance awareness of and preparedness for the impacts of climate change. The challenge was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dec. 9. For full story, click here.

USGS study says Chesapeake tributaries are warming, and pollution may increase

By Darrly Fears – The Washington Post – December 10, 2014
A slight increase in air temperature over the past half-century has caused waters to warm more than two degrees in tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, a change that could reduce the expected benefits of the multibillion-dollar bay cleanup plan and eventually alter the behaviors of marine animals, a new study says. The mean temperature of the bay’s tributaries is about 2 1/2 degrees higher now than in 1960 as a result of climate change, according to the study by two U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists. Although that doesn’t seem like much, warmer water allows phosphorous, a type of nutrient pollution, to rise from sediment in the bay at a faster rate. For full story, click here.

 

RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS

Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence (Final Report)

EPA – January 15, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Office of Research and Development has finalized the report Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence. The report reviews more than 1,200 peer-reviewed publications and summarizes current scientific understanding about the connectivity and mechanisms by which streams and wetlands, singly or in aggregate, affect the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. The focus of the report is on surface and shallow subsurface connections by which small or temporary streams, nontidal wetlands, and open waters affect larger waters such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries. For more information and to download report, click here.


POTPOURRI

Fukushima radiation: US West Coast will likely see peak by end of 2015

By Pete Spotts – The Christian Science Monitor – December 29, 2014
Scientists keeping tabs on the eastward voyage of radioactive byproducts from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power-station disaster in Japan suggest that radioactivity from the byproducts should peak off the US and Canadian coasts by the end of next year. After that, they are expected to begin a gradual decline to background levels. For full story, click here.

Abbot Point dredge spoil dump site 'worst possible' for environment, documents show

ABC News – December 23, 2014
The Queensland Government has known for more than two years that the site where it proposes to dump millions of tonnes of dredge spoil at Abbot Point was the worst of seven possible options for port expansion from an environmental point of view.

Experts working for North Queensland Bulk Ports, a government-owned corporation which operates the Abbot Point terminal, reported in September 2012 that the site west of the port where the State Government now proposes to dump the spoils offered the lowest cost option for reclamation and expansion and was nearest to the coast. For full story, click here.

Great wall of trees keeps China's deserts at bay

By Fed Pearce – New Scientist – December 20, 2014
CHINA is holding back the desert, for now. The Great Green Wall – a massive belt of trees being planted across China's arid north in what might be the largest ecological engineering project on the planet – seems to work, according to a new study. "Vegetation has improved and dust storms have decreased significantly in the Great Green Wall region, compared with other areas," says Minghong Tan of the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research in Beijing. But whether planting trees is a long-term solution remains disputed. For full story, click here.

After Oil Spill in Bangladesh's Unique Mangrove Forest, Fears About Rare Animals

By Caroline Alexander – National Geographic – December 16, 2014
Oil from a wrecked tanker is creating a disaster in the waters of Bangladesh's Sundarbans, the largest contiguous tidal mangrove forest in the world and a haven for a spectacular array of species, including the rare Irrawaddy and Gangetic dolphins and the highly endangered Bengal tiger. "This catastrophe is unprecedented in the Sundarbans, and we don't know how to tackle this," Amir Hossain, chief forest official of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, told reporters. For full story, click here.

Congress to Nutritionists: Don't Talk About the Environment

By Dan Chanrles – npr – December 15, 2014
A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices. Congress now has slapped them down. For full blog post, click here.

EPA Administrator: Enviro Groups Must ‘Reflect Communities They Serve’

By Anthony Advincula – New America Media – December 12, 2014
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday that the nation's leading environmental institutions would be more effective at protecting public health if they were more diverse. “We know that as we look at issues like clean water, clean air and climate change, the low-income communities and communities of color are always the worst affected by pollution,” McCarthy told a group of environmentalists, nonprofit and community leaders during a briefing organized by Green 2.0 and New America Media. “We have to bring the benefits of clean air and clean water to those who need them the most, to those who need their voices be heard…That is what diversity means to me.”

The EPA administrator made her remarks to more than 100 people, including about 20 reporters from ethnic media, at the National Press Club. For full story, click here.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS    
             
WEBINARS     MEETINGS
  TRAINING
   
             
WEBINARS          
                   
JANUARY 2015          
                   
January 28, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Members' Wetland Webinar Series: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message
         
                   
January 29, 2015
2:00 p.m. EDT
      Forester University webinar: Voodoo Hydrology— Pitfalls of Urban Hydrology Methods & What You Need to Know          
                   
January 29, 2015
12 noon-1:15 p.m. EDT
     

Antioch University Webinar: Green Infrastructure and Flood Resiliency-Land Use Management as an Adaptation Strategy in the Built Environment

This webinar is part of the series, Weathering Change: Local Solutions for Strong Communities, presented by Antioch University New England, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For more information on this webinar series, click here.
         
                   
FEBRUARY 2015                  
                   
February 5, 2015
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET
      Webcast: Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Watershed Assessment in USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project          
                   
February 17, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Wetland Restoration Webinar: Playa and Rainwater Basin Restoration
         
                   
February 18, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      Association of State Wetland Managers Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar: An Overview of NOAA's MAPTITE Tool for Coastal Restoration Planning
         
                   
February 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. ET
      USDA NRCS Science and Technology: Reed Canarygrass: Research and Control Methods
         
                   
MARCH 2015                  
                   
March 3, 2015
3:00 p.m. EST
      NFFA Webinar: EPA Adaptation Workbook: Lessons Learned in San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico          
                   
March 9, 2015
5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
      Ecological Landscape Alliance Webinar: Water Conservation: Landscape Design Strategies          
                   
March 17, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Wetland Restoration Webinar: Pacific Coast Wetland Restoration
         
                   
March 18, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. EST
      The Center for Watershed Protection Webinar: The Runoff Reduction Method & Its Applications. For more information, click here. To register, click here.          
                   
MEETINGS        
                   
JANUARY 2015                  
                   
January 29-31, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
      Local Government Commission: 14th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities          
                   
January 29-31, 2015
New Haven, Connecticut
      The International Society of Tropical Foresters, Yale Chapter Conference: Conserving biodiversity across multiple use landscapes through strategic governance and land-use planning          
                   
FEBRUARY 2015          
                   

February 3-5, 2015
Stevenson, Washington

     

River Restoration Northwest Symposium

Pre-symposium Short Courses - February 2
Field Trip - February 6

         
                   
February 6, 2015
Fort Myers, Florida
      24th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference: Runoff Rundown: Emerging Technology and Best Management Practices for Managing Stormwater          
                   
February 8-11, 2015
Dubuque, Iowa
      Partnership for River Restoration and Science in the Upper Midwest: Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium          
                   
February 10-12, 2015 Albuquerque, New Mexico       The Tamarisk Coalition 2015 Conference: Advancing Riparian Restoration in the West          
                   
February 11-12, 2015
San Jose, California
      Citizen Science Association: Citizen Science 2015          
                   
February 11-13, 2015
Syracuse, New York
      SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry: Conversations in the Disciplines Depolarizing the Environment. Thinking broadly about science, policy and politics          
                   
February 16-19, 2015
Houston, Texas
      Consortium for Ocean Leadership: 2015 Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference          
                   
February 17-19, 2015
Boise State University

Boise, Idaho
      Great Basin Consortium Conference: Climate programs, water limitations, and geospaces in the Great Basin          
                   
February 21, 2015
Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, Florida
      Friends of the Orlando Wetlands: 15th Annual Orlando Wetlands Festival          
                   

February 23-25, 2015 Washington, DC

      Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Climate Leadership Conference          
                   
February 24-25, 2015
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
      Front Range Student Ecology Symposium. Abstracts and Photo submissions due Friday, January 23, 2015 by 5pm MST online.          
                   
February 24-26, 2015
Madison, Wisconsin
      Wisconsin Wetlands Association 20th Anniversary Wetland Science Conference: Telling Our Stories
         
                   
February 24-27, 2015
Portland, Oregon
      The Society for Northwestern Vertenrate Biology (SNVB) and Northwest Partners in Amphibian and Repitle Conservation: Defining a New Ecological Baseline: Pacific Northwest Fauna and Flora in the Anthropocene          
                   
February 25-26, 2015
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
     

International Conference on Water Management Modeling

Abstract deadline is February 3, 2015
         
                   
February 28, 2015
Worcester, Massachusetts
      Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions: Annual Environmental Conference
         
           
MARCH 2015          
                   
March 4, 2015
Washington, DC
      Ecological Society of America workshop: Communicating Climate Science
         
                   
March 5-6, 2015
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
     

Wisconsin Section of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA): Wisconsin Water Resources and Agriculture

         
                   
March 10-12, 2015
Ft. Collins, Colorado
     

High Altitude Revegetation Committee and Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration joint 2015 Conference and Workshop: The High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice

         
                   
March 10-12, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
      Canadian Water Network (CWR): Connecting Water Resources 2015 - From Knowledge to Action          
                   
March 12-13, 2015
Denver, Colorado
      2015 Annual Land Use Conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities          
                   
March 15-18, 2015
Portland, Oregon
      American Water Works Association Sustainable Water Management Conference
         
                   
March 19, 2015
Southbury, Connecticut
      2015 Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists          
                   
March 21, 2015
Worcester, MA
      Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition 25th Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference: Gaining Ground: Conserving Our Common Wealth
         
                   
March 24-26, 2015
Las Cruces, New Mexico
     

Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop: Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources

         
                   
March 25, 2015
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
      New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC): Stormwater Utility Workshop          
                   
March 25-27, 2015
Berkeley, California
     

UC Berkeley, in partnership with the National Park Service and National Geographic Society: Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century

         
                   
March 26-28, 2015
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
      Society for Ecological Restoration Mid-Atlantic Chapter Annual Conference: Working Together to Ecologically Restore the Mid-Atlantic Region          
                   
March 28-29, 2015
Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana
     

2015 Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference

         
                   
March 30-April 1, 2015
Los Angeles, California
      2015 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Spring Specialty Conference on Water for Urban Areas          
                   
March 30-April 2, 2015
North Charleston, South Carolina
      Association of State Floodplain Managers: Coastal GeoTools Conference          
                   
APRIL 2015                  
                   
April 10-11, 2015
Vancouver, British Columbia
      International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses          
                   
April 23-30, 2015
Nairobi, Kenya
     

International Institute for Environment and Development: 9th annual International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation

         
                   
April 27–29, 2015
Syracuse, New York
     

New York State Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association: 15th Annual Meeting

         
                   
April 28-29, 2015
Freeport, Maine
      NEIWPCC 26th Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution: The Watershed Approach: Addressing Today's Challenges with an Eye on the Future          
                   
MAY 2015                  
                   
May 3-5, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
      American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE): Climate Change Symposium - Adaptation and Mitigation          
                   
May 5-8, 2014
Orlando, Florida
      National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference: Training & Education, Moderated Exchanges, Networking          
                   
May 6-7, 2015
Castlegar, BC, Canada
      Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology: Regulated Rivers: Environment, Ecology, and Management Conference          
                   
May 6-8, 2015
Sandusky, Ohio
      The Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners and the Ohio Stormwater Association: 2015 Ohio Stormwater Conference          
                   
May 12-14, 2015
St. Louis, Missouri
     

EcoAdapt: National

         
                   
May 25-29, 2015
Burlington, Vermont
     

International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR): 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research

         
                   
May 31-June 4, 2015 Providence, Rhode Island

     

2015 Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting: Changing climate. Changing wetlands

         
                   
JUNE 2015                  
                   
June 1-5, 2015
Buffalo, New York
      University at Buffalo’s Summer Workshop Series in Stream Restoration          
                   
June 15-17, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana
      American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Specialty Conference: Climate Change Adaptation

Abstracts due by February 13, 2015.
         
                   
June 22-24 2015
Groningen, The Netherlands
     

University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Fish Passage 2015

Important Dates
         
                   
July 2015
                 
                   
July 5-10, 2015
Portland, Oregon
      9th Annual IALE World Congress: Crossing Scales, Crossing Borders; Global Approaches to Complex Challenges

Call for presentations deadline: March 1, 2015
         
                   
July 21-23, 2015
Breckenridge, Colorado
      Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference          
                   
July 27-August 2, 2015
Nagoya Japan
     

XIX INQUA Congress Quaternary Perspectives on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Civilization

Abstract deadline: December 20, 2014
         
                   
AUGUST 2015                  
                   
August 2-5, 2015
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
      21st International Conference on Environmental Indicators          
                   
August 9-14, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
     

The Ecological Society of America: Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA's Centennial

Abstract deadlines
         
                   
August 23-27, 2015
Manchester, England
      Society of Ecological Restoration 6th World Conference on Ecological Restoration: Towards Resilient Ecosystems: Restoring the Urban, the Rural and the Wild          
                   
August 23-28, 2015
La Crosse, Wisconsin
     

4th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science

         
                   
August 23-28, 2015
Stockholm, Sweden
      Stockholm International Water Institute: 2015 World Water Week          
                   
SEPTEMBER 2015                  
                   
September 23-25, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland      

Resource Institute, Inc.: Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference

Abstract deadline: January 15, 2015
         
                   
NOVEMBER 2015                  
                   
November 16-18, 2015
Greater Portland, Maine
      Think Blue Maine Partner Maine Stormwater Conference. Abstract deadline is Friday, March 27, 2015.          
                   
TRAINING        
                   
JANUARY 2015                  
                   
January 26-27, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
      Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education course: Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter          
                   
January 26-29, 2015
Sacramento, California
      Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training          
                   
FEBRUARY 2015                  
                   
February 4, 2015
Framingham, Massachusetts
      New England Wild Flower Society: Wetland Shrubs in Winter
         
                   
February 9-12, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana
      Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training          
                   
February 9-13, 2015
San Diego, California
      Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Basic Wetland Delineation          
                   
February 18-19, 2015
McClellan, California
      The Floodplain Management Association course: 2015 Floodplain Manager’s Guide to Public Participation          
                   
MARCH 2015                  
                   
March 10-12, 2015
McClellan, California
      The Floodplain Management Association course: 2D HEC-RAS Modeling          
                   
March 16-18, 2015
Naples, Florida
      Everglades Wetland Research Park course: Treatment Wetlands          
                   
March 23-26, 2015
Nashville, Tennessee
      Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Delineation Training          
                   
APRIL 2015                  
                   
April 23, 2015
Sacramento, California
      UC Davis Extension course: CEQA and Climate Change: An In-Depth Update          
                   
MAY 2015                  
                   
May 26-29, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
      Rutgers Office of Continuing Education course: Methodology for Delineating Wetlands. Instructors: Ralph Tiner and Mallory N. Gilbert. Register by May 12, 2015 and save.          
                   
JUNE 2015                  
                   
June 15-18, 2015
Hastings, Michigan
      Institute of Botanical Training: Wetland Flora Workshop

Other dates: June 29-July 2, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa and July 13-16, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana
         
                   
June 22-25, 2015
State College, Pennsylvania
      Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed          
                   
SPECIAL EVENTS                  
                   
February 2, 2015       World Wetlands Day 2015: Wetlands for our Future          
                   
April 24-25, 2015
Great Bend, Kansas
      The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, along with Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, The Nature Conservancy, and the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, hosts this 2-day birding festival every other year on odd numbered years.          
                   

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


JOBS

Wetland Breaking News - January 2015


INDEX

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Council on Environmental Quality Releases Draft Guidance on Considering Climate Change in
    NEPA Reviews
  • Fight over Keystone XL continues, landowners vow to fight until very end
  • President Obama declares waters in and near Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas leasing
  • Earth faces sixth ‘great extinction’ with 41% of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo
  • The Role of Psychology in our Work
  • ASWM’s Members’ Webinar: How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message – January 28, 2015
  • ASWM’s Wetland Restoration Webinar: Playa and Rainwater Basin Restoration – February 17, 2015
  • An Overview of NOAA's MAPTITE Tool for Coastal Restoration Planning – February 18, 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

  • EPA proposes expanded oversight of uranium mining
  • Scientists: Great Lakes teeming with tiny plastic fibers
  • Environmental groups seek to force federal regulation of clean water in Ky., W.Va.
  • Report says the Chesapeake Bay is improving in areas but there is still reason for concern
  • Nutrient pollution trading in limbo in Maryland as it expands in Virginia
  • McConnell Says Senate Will Target EPA Proposed Waters of U.S. Regulation
  • Monarch butterfly eyed for possible U.S. endangered species protection
  • Transfer of Polluted Water Into Clean Water Is Incompatible With Statute, States Say
  • EPA, Rockefeller Foundation Team Up for Resilient Cities
  • Great Barrier Reef at risk from 'rushed' sediment dumping plan at Abbot Point
  • World's beaches being washed away due to coastal development
  • Congress moving toward 5-year commitment to Great Lakes cleanup
  • Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Grants Deadline Feb. 2, 2015

STATES NEWS

  • AL: National Wildlife Federation recommends 5 Alabama projects for oil spill restoration funding
  • CA: Supreme Court Allows Scientifically Sound Protections for California’s Bay-Delta Estuary to Stand
  • CA: Chemicals’ phaseout a 'success story’ for S.F. Bay wildlife
  • CA: State's drought having pronounced effect on wildlife
  • CA: Leave it to beavers: CA joins other states in embracing the rodent
  • CA: California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons
  • CO: Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time
  • FL: Moving water south next step in Everglades restoration
  • FL: Warming world's rising seas wash away some of South Florida's glitz
  • IA: Iowa's Largest City Sues Over Farm Fertilizer Runoff In Rivers
  • LA: Gov. Bobby Jindal asks state Supreme Court to uphold law banning wetlands damage suit against oil companies
  • LA: BP wants oil spill settlement administrator off the case; files request with appeals court
  • ME: Restoring 'Urban Impaired' Waterways: Maine's 5-year Effort Bearing Fruit
  • ME: Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine
  • ME: Concern for endangered salmon halts Brunswick culvert project
  • MD: Maryland Department of the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Trust Nontidal Wetland Grant Program
  • MA: Failed projects and weak oversight lead to loss of state’s wetlands
  • MA: Cape Cod Mystery: A Surge of Stranded Turtles
  • NJ: Large Oil Slick Threatens Sandy Hook Bay, Seals
  • NC: Sediment from failing Asheville airport wall reached wetlands
  • NC: A legal maneuver could absolve Duke Energy of its responsibility for coal ash dumps
  • PA: Report: Pennsylvania needs to step up farm runoff, stormwater controls for Bay cleanup
  • UT: The water question: Tapping into one of Utah's biggest challenges
  • VT: Vermont, USDA announce $16M to clean Lake Champlain
  • VA: Pipeline raises water concerns; Dominion says will protect waterways
  • WA: Judge rules: Dairy polluted groundwater
  • WA: Stormwater runoff is killing Puget Sound
  • WV: On MCHM leak anniversary, groups get set for push to relax water protections
  • WV: Second Freedom executive wants Goodwin removed from case
  • WV: Indictments in West Virginia chemical spill case
  • WI: ‘Beneficial reuse’ of coal ash could contaminate drinking water statewide

WETLAND SCIENCE

  • Asian carp eDNA found above barrier, feared to be in Great Lakes waters
  • Scientists: Weather plays big role in Lake Erie 'dead zones'
  • Global carbon emissions to rise 2.5% in 2015
  • Mapping Estuarine Environments
  • It's not the heat, it's the stupidity
  • New study suggests invasive species work together to dominate local habitats
  • Climate changes, habitat loss cited as threats to 314 bird species
  • Coastal Sprawl and a Last Stand for Wetlands in China
  • Leading the Way for Carbon Finance Investments in Coastal Wetland
  • Stream app turns Great Lakes citizens into scientists
  • Study reveals spread of invasive species in Great Lakes
  • Ramsar focuses on Arctic wetlands
  • Help U.S. Cope with Climate Change: Enter NASA-USGS Data App Challenge
  • USGS study says Chesapeake tributaries are warming, and pollution may increase

RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

  • Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence (Final Report)

POTPOURRI

  • Fukushima radiation: US West Coast will likely see peak by end of 2015
  • Abbot Point dredge spoil dump site 'worst possible' for environment, documents show
  • Great wall of trees keeps China's deserts at bay
  • After Oil Spill in Bangladesh's Unique Mangrove Forest, Fears About Rare Animals
  • Congress to Nutritionists: Don't Talk About the Environment
  • EPA Administrator: Enviro Groups Must ‘Reflect Communities They Serve’

WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING

Webinars

  • How to Use Video to Communicate a Science Message
  • Voodoo Hydrology— Pitfalls of Urban Hydrology Methods & What You Need to Know
  • Green Infrastructure and Flood Resiliency-Land Use Management as an Adaptation Strategy in the Built Environment
  • Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Watershed Assessment in USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project
  • Playa and Rainwater Basin Restoration
  • An Introduction to NOAA’s MAPTITE Tool
  • Reed Canarygrass: Research and Control Methods
  • EPA Adaptation Workbook: Lessons Learned in San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico
  • Water Conservation: Landscape Design Strategies
  • Pacific Coast Wetland Restoration
  • The Runoff Reduction Method & Its Applications

Meetings

  • Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities
  • Conserving biodiversity across multiple use landscapes through strategic governance and land-use planning
  • River Restoration Northwest Symposium
  • Runoff Rundown: Emerging Technology and Best Management Practices for Managing Stormwater
  • Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium
  • Advancing Riparian Restoration in the West
  • Citizen Science 2015
  • Urban Riparian Symposium
  • Conversations in the Disciplines Depolarizing the Environment. Thinking broadly about science, policy and politics
  • 2015 Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference
  • Climate programs, water limitations, and geospaces in the Great Basin
  • 15th Annual Orlando Wetlands Festival
  • Climate Leadership Conference
  • Front Range Student Ecology Symposium
  • Anniversary Wetland Science Conference: Telling Our Stories
  • Defining a New Ecological Baseline: Pacific Northwest Fauna and Flora in the Anthropocene
  • International Conference on Water Management Modeling
  • Annual Environmental Conference
  • Communicating Climate Science
  • Wisconsin Water Resources and Agriculture
  • The High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice
  • Connecting Water Resources 2015 - From Knowledge to Action
  • Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities
  • Sustainable Water Management Conference
  • 2015 Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists
  • Gaining Ground: Conserving Our Common Wealth
  • Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources
  • Stormwater Utility Workshop
  • Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century
  • Working Together to Ecologically Restore the Mid-Atlantic Region
  • 2015 Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference
  • Water for Urban Areas
  • Coastal GeoTools Conference
  • International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
  • 9th Annual International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation
  • New York State Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association: 15th Annual Meeting
  • The Watershed Approach: Addressing Today's Challenges with an Eye on the Future
  • Climate Change Symposium - Adaptation and Mitigation
  • National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference: Training & Education, Moderated Exchanges, Networking
  • Regulated Rivers: Environment, Ecology, and Management Conference
  • 2015 Ohio Stormwater Conference
  • National Adaptation Forum
  • 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research
  • Changing climate. Changing wetlands
  • University at Buffalo’s Summer Workshop Series in Stream Restoration
  • Specialty Conference: Climate Change Adaptation
  • Fish Passage 2015
  • Crossing Scales, Crossing Borders; Global Approaches to Complex Challenges
  • Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference
  • Quaternary Perspectives on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Civilization
  • 21st International Conference on Environmental Indicators
  • Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA's Centennial
  • Towards Resilient Ecosystems: Restoring the Urban, the Rural and the Wild
  • 2015 World Water Week
  • Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
  • Think Blue Maine Partner Maine Stormwater Conference

Training

  • Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter
  • Wetland Delineation Training
  • Wetland Shrubs in Winter
  • Wetland Delineation Training
  • Basic Wetland Delineation
  • 2015 Floodplain Manager’s Guide to Public Participation
  • 2D HEC-RAS Modeling
  • Treatment Wetlands
  • Wetland Delineation Training
  • CEQA and Climate Change: An In-Depth Update
  • Methodology for Delineating Wetlands
  • Wetland Flora Workshop
  • Planning Hydrology, Vegetation, and Soils for Constructed Wetlands

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Wetlands for our Future
  • Wings N Wetlands Birding Festival

PRINT THIS ISSUE

Wetland Breaking News

The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News is a monthly e-newsletter. Wetland Breaking News is an edited compilation of wetland-related stories and announcements submitted by readers and gleaned from listservs, press releases and news sources from throughout the United States. WBN chronicles the legislative, national and state news relevant to wetland science and policy, wetland regulations and legal analysis of Supreme court cases from the past month; it also links to new publications and resources available to wetland professionals as well as events and training opportunities for those working in water resources and related fields. Wetland Breaking News has been published for over ten years and ASWM has been a think-tank and source for wetland science and policy news and discussion for over 30 years.

Wetland Breaking News - January 2015The 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 news@aswm.org.

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

All photos by Jeanne Christie, ASWM

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