Wetland Breaking News
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Thank you for your continued interest.
I woke up this morning thinking about what is happening in our world, local and afar. There are many problems here and abroad. I worry about people affected by these events. I grieve for the lives lost and the suffering others are enduring. It is a hard time. I know many share my concerns. I also know that it is our collective ability to care and empathize that may be our greatest resource in ultimately solving these problems. I am hopeful for the future.
The good thing is that we live in a country where we have the time and opportunity as individuals to engage in many issues. Some we will engage in and some we will leave to others. But I can take action on those things I can do something about. For me that is working for a better future and part of that future is a healthy environment that supports human health. And that includes wetlands.
Given all these important issues we hear about on a daily basis, you might ask where is there time to think about wetlands? How do we get across the message of how important wetlands are to our community concerning water control, purification, wildlife refuges, and all the other ecological services they provide when we are fighting other big battles in our life?
I suggest we do it when and where we can! For example, I teach a college level Human Ecology class which includes, of course, wetlands. I also teach my kids. I talk to my friends when we are walking through the woods or fishing. Those of us working in wetlands can all find opportunities in our work and volunteer activities and interactions with family and friends to educate and inform and delight and lead by example.
Thank you for listening and use your time efficiently,
Alan Grant, Editor
Lake Erie's algae explosion blamed on farmers
By Emily Chung – CBC News – August 8, 2014Toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie fouled the water that hundreds of thousands of people rely on for drinking, cooking and bathing last week, forcing hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio to rely on bottled water. The slimy green problem is back with a vengeance. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that choke up huge portions of the lake have reemerged as an annual summertime scourge after nearly disappearing for more than a decade. For full story, click here.
Leadership Changes for the Office of Water
By Nancy Stoner – EPA Connect Blog – August 7, 2014
After four and a half years at EPA, Nancy Stoner has left her position as acting Assistant Administrator for Water effective August 8. She has taken a position as Director of the Water Program for the Pisces Foundation. As she departs EPA, she reflects on how Water Unites Us.
After most recently serving as a Senior Advisor for the Office of Water, Ken Kopocis has become the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. He brings more than 25 years of congressional experience, having previously held several senior positions on the staffs of both the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate.
Army Corps of Engineers agrees to disclose dam pollution
By Nigel Duara – The Seattle Times – August 4, 2014
For the first time in its history, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must disclose the amount of pollutants its dams send into waterways in a groundbreaking legal settlement that could have broad implications for the corps’ hundreds of dams nationwide. The corps announced in a settlement Monday that it will immediately notify the conservation group that filed the lawsuit of any oil spills among its eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Oregon and Washington. The corps also will apply to the Environmental Protection Agency for pollution permits, something it has never done for the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. For full story, click here.
Delay Action on Climate Change by 10 Years and Costs Rocket 40%: Report
Maya Rhodan – Time.com – July 29, 2014
The longer the U.S. holds off action to mitigate climate change, the more costly the effort will become, a new report shows. A new report estimates the cost of mitigating the effects of climate change could rise by as much as 40% if action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is delayed 10 years — immediately outweighing any potential savings of a delay. For full story, click here.
New Poll: Small Business Owners Want Strong Clean Water Rules
Contact: Bob Keener – American Sustainable Business Council – July 23, 2014
A new national scientific poll of small business owners released today, found that large majorities favor federal protection of clean water and agree that clean water is necessary for a healthy economy and job creation. Small business owners are important to policy debates because they are essential employers in their communities and considered by many policymakers to form the backbone of the nation’s economy. The poll comes after the EPA released a major proposal, “Waters of the U.S.,” which clarifies that protections of the Clean Water Act should again be applied to headwater streams and certain wetlands, which provide drinking water supplies for one in three Americans. For full press release, click here.
Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance Webinar – Monday, September 8, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
American Society of Civil Engineers Report on How to Address Our Systemic Flood Problems – David Fowler, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Six years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impacts on the US Gulf Coast , the Mississippi Floods of 2011, Hurricane Irene, and Super Storm Sandy the American Society of Civil Engineers(ASCE) issued a call for action urging the nation to address the growing challenge of increasing flood losses in the US and the threat to the safety of the population that lies in the potential paths of such events. Similar reports have been issued by both governmental and non-governmental organizations since Katrina and they echoed the ASCE call. Over the last two years, an ASCE committee examined our national response to this call for action and was charged with writing a final report and make recommendations for approval by the ASCE board. It was clear to the committee that while some progress has been made, in general, the flood challenge continues to receive scant attention and much remains to be accomplished to safeguard the wellbeing of people and property at risk. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Project Webinar –September 9, 2014 – 3:00 pm ET
How Restoration Outcomes are Described, Judged and Explained – Joy Zedler, Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin; Robin Lewis, Lewis Environmental Services, Inc. & Coastal Resource Group, Inc.; Richard Weber, NRCS Wetland Team, CNTSC; Bruce Pruitt, USACE Engineer Research & Development Center; Larry Urban, Montana Department of Transportation. For more information, click here. To register, click here.
Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar – Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Part 1: Use of gSSURGO for Wetland Applications – John Galbraith, Virginia Tech
Part 2: Applications of SSURGO Soil Attributes to Potentially Restorable Wetlands – Kevin Stark, Saint Mary’s University
ASWM’s September Members’ Webinar – Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Ecosystem Service Valuation for Wetland Restoration: What it is, How to do it and Best Practice Recommendations
Webinar Focus: A considerable amount of interest has been building over the years in regard to the potential of “ecosystem service valuation.” However, few natural resource managers understand what it is or how to use it. Since many policy and land use decisions are based on monetary benefit-cost analysis, the value of wetland benefits (as non-commodities) has been historically absent from policy and development discussions and as a result, wetlands were significantly degraded and destroyed. Documenting wetland ecosystem benefits up front through ecosystem service valuation methods provides decision makers with the ability to factor a more comprehensive estimate of the value of wetlands into benefit-cost analyses and may ultimately lead to greater emphasis on actions that restore and protect wetlands. For more information, click here.
Latino groups flex muscle on EPA water reg
By Benjamin Goad – The Hill – August 10, 2014 – Video
Latino groups are rallying behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the United States regulation as they begin flexing their political muscle on issues other than immigration ahead of November’s midterms. Twenty-eight Hispanic organizations have launched a campaign in support of the rule, through which the EPA is seeking to clarify its authority to regulate streams and other smaller bodies of water. The groups say the threat of polluted waterways disproportionately affects Latinos, both in terms of economic and public health concerns. More than a third of the nation’s Hispanic population lives along the Colorado River basin, which stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Mexican border. For full story, click here.
Study: Colorado River Basin drying up faster than previously thought
By Reid Wilson – The Washington Post – July 24 2014
Seven Western states that rely on the Colorado River Basin for valuable water are drawing more heavily from groundwater supplies than previously believed, a new study finds, the latest indication that an historic drought is threatening the region’s future access to water. In the past nine years, the basin — which covers Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California — has lost about 65 cubic kilometers of fresh water, nearly double the volume of the country’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead. That figure surprised the study’s authors, who used data from a NASA weather satellite to investigate groundwater supplies. For full story, click here.
Northwest wildlife refuges to phase out pesticide
By Jeff Barnard – SFGate – July 23, 2014
Federal wildlife refuges in the Northwest and Hawaii will phase out a class of pesticides that are chemically similar to nicotine because they pose a threat to bees and other pollinators key to crop growth. The region covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii is the first in the agency to ban neonicotinoids. There is room for exemptions, but the goal is to phase out the pesticides by January 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Miel Corbett said Monday. For full story, click here.
New conservation funding program favors Pacific Northwest, California
By Eric Mortenson – Capital Pres – July 19, 2014
The Columbia River Basin shared by Oregon, Washington and Idaho is one of eight regions nationally selected for special conservation project funding under a new program announced by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program, or RCPP, combines four older programs into a new initiative. Funding contained in the 2014 Farm Bill, up to $1.2 billion over five years, will be used to improve water and soil health, wildlife habitat and watersheds. The difference from previous programs, Vilsack said during an appearance in Portland Thursday, is an emphasis on collaboration between producers, private land owners, environmental groups, state and local agencies and federal regulators. Expanding the number of conservation partners can leverage federal money, Vilsack said. For full story, click here.
Ten Worst States for Water Pollution
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – July 11, 2014
Industry dumped over 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals into U.S. waterways in 2012, according to a new report by the advocacy group Environment America Research and Policy Center. The report ranked which states are polluting U.S. waterways the most. The top 10, starting with the highest amount of toxic releases: Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio. The Great Lakes were among the hardest hit, swallowing 8.39 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2012. The Chesapeake Bay took in 3.23 million pounds; the Upper Mississippi River absorbed 16.9 million pounds; and the Puget Sound swallowed 578,000 pounds. For full story, click here.
Leaping out of the lakes: Invasive mussels spread across America
By Dan Egan – Journal Sentinel
The last line of defense today against the next zebra mussel invasion of the Great Lakes is a rule that requires overseas freighters to flush their ballast tanks with mid-ocean saltwater before the ships nose into the first navigation lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway. To compel captains to follow this rule, Canadian or U.S. officials board every vessel entering the Seaway and sample each ship's ballast tanks. If a boat fails its salinity test, the skipper basically has a couple of options. For full article, click here.
AK: EPA's new Pebble battle plan stokes fears of wider impact
By Dorothy Kosich – Mineweb – July 22, 2014
Alaska’s Congressional delegation has expressed concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest plan to stop the development of the Pebble Mine in Alaska will go far beyond the Pebble project. Instead of issuing a blanket prohibition of developing Pebble to protect the Bristol Bay watershed, based on EPA’s effort to broaden the scope of its Clean Water Act section 404(c) authority, EPA now is trying to restrict fill activities at the project by proposing caps on how many miles of streams and acres of wetlands could be lost, which may severely impact the Bristol Bay fishery. The Bristol Bay watershed produces half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. For full story, click here.
CA: West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis
By Joby Warrick – The Washington Post – August 17, 2014
When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season. When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail. Now, across California’s vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state’s epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable. For full story, click here.
CA: #Droughtshaming: Californians Take To Twitter To Shame Water-Wasting Neighbors
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – August 12, 2014
As California struggles through a historic drought, some residents have become water conservation tattletales, ratting out water-wasting neighbors on social media. As the Visalia Times-Delta put it, "Drought snitching is now a thing. It's in the national media, it's on Twitter, it's on Instagram and it's on Facebook, so that definitely means it's real." Residents are using social media to call out neighbors who they believe are failing to conserve water. Using the Twitter hashtag #droughtshaming, users are posting photos of what appear to be wasteful acts. For full story, click here.
CA: Divers hammer thousands of urchins to save Palos Verdes Peninsula kelp forests
By Sandy Mazza – Daily Breeze – August 13, 2014 – Video
In one nine-hour day this week, longtime fishermen Terry Herzik and Gary Thompson smashed more than 10,000 purple sea urchins on the floor of a cove off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. But that’s just a drop in the bucket. The pair have millions more of the spiny invertebrates left to hammer, even though they — along with other partners — already have gotten rid of about 1.6 million in just two coves off the Peninsula. For full story and to view video, click here.
CA: California lawmakers considering historic shift in groundwater policy
By Melanie Mason – Los Angeles Times – August 9, 2014
As California continues to endure a calamitous lack of water from the sky, the state could, for the first time, start to regulate water drawn from the ground. Groundwater regulation has been politically poisonous since the state's founding. But lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration are hoping to capitalize on the current parched conditions, and cautious cooperation from once-resistant interest groups, to pass a plan for a groundwater management system by the end of the month. For full story, click here.
CT: Long Island Sound's Ebb And Flow: Water Is Cleaner, But Warming Is New Threat
By George B. Hladky – The Courant – August 18, 201
Long Island Sound has been Connecticut's connection to the world for centuries, a source of sustenance and solace that has helped define who we are as a state. This natural paradise also has become a sewer for our industrialized and urbanized society, a scene of ferocious storms and the focus of intense political debates. And it is now a crucible of the profound changes brought by global warming. For full story, click here.
FL: South Florida park may end commercial fishing
By Jennifer Kay – Florida Today – August 7, 2014
One recent morning at Biscayne National Park, a biologist in scuba gear hovered near a reef, a waterproof clipboard and pencil at the ready to record fish swimming into view. Her pencil rarely moved. There just weren’t that many fish to count. That kind of lackluster reef experience is partly why the National Park Service wants to phase out commercial fishing in the park, which is almost entirely comprised of the bay and reefs between downtown Miami, a waterfront nuclear power plant south of the city and the Gulf Stream. Ninety-five percent of the 172,000-acre park is under water, and its primary appeal to visitors is the opportunity to encounter marine life through snorkeling, diving or recreational fishing and boating. For full story, click here.
FL: Southwest Florida governments not planning for sea rise
By Steve Doane – News-Press – August 2, 2014
Billions of dollars in coastal homes and infrastructure are being threatened by rising sea levels, but you wouldn't know it by the actions of local governments. Other parts of the state are underway with planning and preparations. Southwest Florida is not and that could be costly. Sea level rise is a slow, creeping process — only millimeters a year right now — but the rate is accelerating, according to many scientists. Southwest Florida is at particular risk. The flat topography, porous bedrock and heavily developed coast mean just a few inches of sea level rise could have disastrous consequences. For full story, click here.
FL: Mangroves already on the move in Southwest Florida
By Steve Doane – News-Press – August 2, 2014 – Video
The spidery-looking mangroves stretch about 60 feet from the seawall guarding Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers.The plants separate the park from the Caloosahatchee River and provide welcome greenery. But they have nowhere to move, which means they're doomed to drown in the next hundred years due to sea level rise."They can't move away from the water, which means they probably won't survive," said Jim Beever, principal planner for the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. Mangroves are trees that are tolerant of salt water, but only to a certain extent. They will drown when seawater rises. For full story and to view video, click here.
FL: Deadly Fungus Spreads in Everglades, Killing Trees
The New York Times – July 25, 2014
A fungus carried by an invasive beetle from southeast Asia is felling trees across the Everglades, and experts have not found a way to stop the blight from spreading. Then there's a bigger problem — the damage may be leaving Florida's fragile wetlands open to even more of an incursion from exotic plants threatening to choke the unique Everglades and undermine billions of dollars' worth of restoration projects. Since first detected on the edge of Miami's western suburbs in 2011, laurel wilt has killed swamp bay trees scattered across 330,000 acres of the Everglades, a roughly 2 million-acre system that includes Everglades National Park. The fungus is spread by the tiny redbay ambrosia beetle, which likely arrived in this country in a shipment of wood packing material. For full story, click here.
GA: After 15 years, Ga. ban on aquifer banking expires
By Russ Bynum – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution– August 9, 2014
The underground aquifer that coastal Georgia relies on for its main source of drinking water was considered so pristine that state lawmakers 15 years ago declared it off-limits to well drillers looking for a place to stash extra water for use in periods of drought. That's not the case anymore. The moratorium imposed to protect the Floridan aquifer in 11 Georgia counties, those along and closest to the state's 100-mile coast from Savannah to St. Marys, lapsed July 1 after an attempt in the Legislature to make the regional ban permanent was put on hold. Now area water managers and residents, business organizations and environmental groups are debating whether a relatively small corner of the state — just 7 percent of its 159 counties — should be closed altogether to a technology other states are increasingly turning to. Called "aquifer storage and recovery," or ASR for short, it uses wells that draw water from rivers during peak flows and inject it underground to save up for droughts. For full story, click here.
IL: Lake Michigan safe from toxin that threatened Toledo
By Stehanie K. Baer – Chicago Tribune – August 9, 2014 Video
It didn't surprise experts that Chicago's water supply was not contaminated by an algae bloom toxin that forced officials in Toledo to issue a recent ban on drinking water from Lake Erie. Lake Michigan isn't Lake Erie. "Typically, you wouldn't see blooms or really any significant amount of toxic blue-green algae in Lake Michigan," said Todd Miller, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's Zilber School of Public Health. For full story, click here.
IL: Waukegan reaches milestone in harbor cleanup
By Lisa Black and Dan Hinkel – Chicago Tribune – August 5, 2014 Video
Waukegan Harbor has reached a pivotal moment in its history — one that city leaders hope will revive its sagging economy — with the culmination of a 30-year, $150 million cleanup to rid the shoreline of contamination left by the city’s former industrial giants along Lake Michigan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that the harbor has met requirements to be removed from a list of 43 polluted sites dubbed the “Great Lakes Areas of Concern.” The federal agency will continue to monitor the site for an unspecified amount of time, possibly a few years, before it is officially “de-listed,” officials said. For full story, click here.
IA: Project will restore Moline wetlands
By Alma Gaul – Quad-City Times – July 29, 2014
River Action Inc., based in Davenport, is spearheading a $200,000-plus project to restore a 225-acre wetland in Moline and thereby improve Rock River water quality. River Action announced Monday that it has received a $50,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that, coupled with about $150,000 in in-kind contributions, will help restore the Green Valley Nature Preserve. The little-known wetland owned by the city of Moline is along the Rock River at 60th Street, south of the Green Valley Sports Complex. Through the years, it has become degraded, meaning it does not fulfill its function of filtering water and providing wildlife habitat as well as it might, said Kathy Wine, the executive director of River Action. For full story, click here.
LA: 4 reasons BP's Supreme Court settlement appeal faces an uphill battle
By Jennifer Larino – Nola.com The Times-Picayume – August 5, 2014
BP has spent much of this year working to convince federal courts in New Orleans that a flawed interpretation of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill settlement deal has allowed millions of dollars in payments to go to what it says are undeserving businesses. It's been an uphill battle for the British oil giant, which has lost several rulings on the matter. Legal experts say BP's climb in the courts is about to get a lot steeper. For full story, click here.
LA: Causes of fish skin lesions ruled out, except for BP oil spill, new study says
By Mark Schleifstein – Nola.com The Times-Picayume – August 5, 2014
A team of scientists studying the cause of skin lesions found on fish in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011 and 2012 have been unable to rule out toxic chemicals contained in oil released during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill as their cause, according to a peer reviewed study released Monday (Aug. 4). "We can't say with 100 percent certainty that it was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but we can say what it wasn't," said University of South Florida marine science professor Steven Murawski, principal investigator with the university's Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems, and who served as the senior science adviser at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during and immediately after the spill. For full story, click here.
LA: Gulf's low-oxygen 'dead zone' covers 5,052 square miles along Louisiana's coast
By Mark Schleifstein – Nola.com The Times-Picayume – August 4, 2014
This year's low-oxygen "dead zone" along Louisiana coast covers 5,052 square miles, an area the size of the state of Connecticut but about 800 square miles less than the 2013 dead zone, according to a week-long survey released Monday. The finding, by a team of scientists led by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Director Nancy Rabalais, is within the range estimated in late June by scientists who based their prediction on measurements of the amount of nutrients carried in May by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. The dead zone is mostly caused by excessive nitrogen, mainly from Midwest agricultural runoff. For full story, click here.
LA: Wetlands growth in Wax Lake shows what diversions could achieve, scientists say
By Mark Schleifstein – Nola.com The Times-Picayume – July 30, 2014
The stems of wetland plants formed a stubble across a wide swath of newly-created mud flat at the southern end of the Wax Lake Outlet near Morgan City, part of a new delta fed by the Atchafalaya and Red rivers along the center of Louisiana's coast. An alligator floated just offshore Tuesday morning, as a group of state scientists and members of environmental groups explained how this growing delta represents the only significant addition of new land to the state's coastline in close to a century. They said the new land, more than 18 square miles formed since the early 1970s, is providing hope that man-made sediment diversions along the Mississippi River could produce similar results by 2035, as predicted by the state's coastal Master Plan. It's also helping scientists design diversions to try to rebuild land elsewhere in the state. For full story, click here.
LA: Corps of Engineers raises questions about St. Tammany fracking permit
By Kim Chatelain – NOLA.com - The Times-Picayune – July 21, 2014
The Army Corps of Engineers has raised concerns about a controversial proposal to frack for oil near Mandeville, stating among other things that steps to avoid wetlands impacts have not been taken and noting other possibly less problematic drilling sites have not been considered. The letter the corps issued to Helis Oil & Gas details concerns raised by the corps, EPA, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that must be addressed by Helis Oil & Gas before water quality and wetlands permits for the project can be issued. For full story, click here.
ME: ‘This is a huge success story’: 2 Maine scientists say acid rain effects reversing much faster than expected
By Abigail Curtis – The Bangor Daily News – August 15, 2014
Two Maine scientists are celebrating good news about the environment, after a decades-long study has shown that the negative effects of acid rain have been reversed much faster than expected. Steve Kahl, a sustainability professor at Unity College, said Thursday that the study looked at lakes throughout most of New England and New York, and it found that environmental regulations and the voluntary actions of industry have sharply reduced sulfur emissions in rain and snow. It also found that soils are recovering quickly, without taking centuries to bounce back that some had predicted would be necessary. Finally, the scientists learned that some of the acidity in the watersheds is organic, occurring naturally, and should not be targeted by the Clean Air Act policy. For full story, click here.
ME: EPA official praises Maine, other New England states for climate protection
By Kevin Miller – The Portland Press Herald – August 6, 2014
New England’s market-based approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions shows that states can fight climate change while still improving their economies, the region’s top environmental officials said Wednesday. For full story, click here.
MD: Lake Erie not alone in suffering from harmful algae
By Tim Wheeler – The Baltimore Sun – August 6, 2014
The crisis may have eased in Toledo, but the toxic algae in Lake Erie that contaminated the water supply for 500,000 people in Ohio continues to plague lakes and rivers across the country, including here in Maryland. Lake Williston, a swimming hole for a Girl Scout camp in Caroline County, is off limits this summer because of dangerous levels of a toxin in its water. So is 75-acre Lake Needwood in Rock Creek Regional Park in Montgomery County. Same for Northwest Creek, a 100-acre impoundment on Kent Island in Queen Anne's County. They're all suffering from microcystis, the same toxin-producing blue-green algae that got into the Toledo area's water system last weekend and prompted warnings to residents not to drink from their taps for two days. For full blog post, click here.
MI: Detroit Water Shutoffs 'Human Rights Violations' Says UN Experts
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – August 6, 2014
United Nations experts are calling out Detroit for human rights violations after the city shut off water service for thousands of residents who failed to pay their bills. "Detroit's Water and Sewerage Department began shutting off water to customers who were behind on payments this spring, cutting service for 3,000 in April and 4,500 in May. Around 45,000 shutoff warnings were sent each month," the Huffington Post reported. Detroit People's Water Board and a coalition of environmental and social justice organizations wrote to the United Nations in June saying that authorities must call on Detroit to "respect the human rights to water and sanitation" and "restore services to households that have been cut off immediately." For full story, click here.
MN: Big river, big trouble: Dredges working overtime to open Mississippi
By Jim Anderson – Star Tribune – August 5, 2014
In the bowels of the Dredge William L. Goetz, anchored off the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, the deafening drone of twin Caterpillar power generators are cranking at their full 1,200 rpm, generating more than enough megawatts to light a town the size of nearby Wabasha. Heavy steel cables strain as the dredge’s cutterhead, a nasty-looking steel-toothed ball carried on a large boom, churns into a sandbar below the river’s surface. The cutterhead stirs up the sand, which is then sucked into a network of large pipes strung along a line of barges that carry it to shore, adding to a mountain already about 50 feet high. For full story, click here.
MN: Whip smart: Cottonwood planting takes root as worries grow
By Elizabeth Dunar – MPR News – July 24, 2014
When people hear about Maria DeLaundreau's summer cottonwood planting project, they think she's crazy. Plant more of those messy trees? What about the seeds? "They're clogging up their air conditioners all the time, someone swallowed one on the way to work. The seeds are definitely abundant," she agreed. They're also vital to the health of the floodplain forests. Cottonwoods provide habitat for eagles and shade for other tree species, and many of the young trees are not surviving. A National Park Service survey a few years ago found no cottonwoods smaller than 6 inches in diameter along the 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation Area through the Twin Cities. For full story, click here.
MN: Grasslands conversion may increase water pollution in SE Minnesota
By Tom Meersman – Star Tribune – July 18, 2014
Southeastern Minnesota farmland has been getting a makeover in recent years, and the outcome will degrade private water wells for hundreds of homeowners, according to University of Minnesota researchers. About one-fourth of the grasslands in an 11-county area were converted to growing more profitable corn and soybeans since 2007, raising the likelihood of more fertilizer entering the water that residents drink. “We found evidence that recent trends in grassland loss to agriculture between 2007 and 2012 are likely to increase the future number of contaminated wells by 45 percent,” said University of Minnesota researcher Bonnie Keeler, “leading to millions of dollars in lost income and remediation costs for private households.” For full story, click here.
NY: Cleaner New York waters see surge in whale and shark numbers
By Joanna Walters – The Guardian – August 10, 2014
Humpback whales and great white sharks are surging in numbers in the waters around New York City this summer, in a wildlife bonanza that is delighting naturalists, environmentalists and fishermen – if not necessarily bathers. Off New York and New Jersey, some of the largest creatures in the ocean are being spotted in greater abundance than has been the case for decades. Paul Sieswerda, head of the Gotham Whale volunteer marine wildlife tracking group, believes the increasing abundance of whales around the Big Apple is largely prompted by cleaner waters that have encouraged huge rises in the populations of fish which the whales eat. For full story, click here.
NC: Undocumented Immigrants Denied Water Service In Dallas, NC
By Sara Jerome Water Online July 17, 2014
Residents of Dallas, NC, are advocating for water utilities to provide service to undocumented immigrants. "Latino families in a Dallas mobile home park want change. Several of the families are not legally documented residents, meaning town policy effectively denies them running water," the Gaston Gazette reported. The town requires that residents present identification issued by the U.S. government in order to get water service. Some families lack ID, despite owning homes. For full story, click here.
NC: Ducks Unlimited surpasses 100,000 acres of conservation in NC
The Stanly News and Press – July 21, 2014
Ducks Unlimited is proud to announce that through collaborative efforts with state and federal agencies, other non-profit organizations and private landowners more than 106,000 acres of vital wetland habitat has been conserved throughout North Carolina. North Carolina’s bays, sounds and associated coastal wetlands provide important habitat for hundreds of thousands of Atlantic brant, several species of diving ducks, black ducks and other puddle ducks. Since 1985, DU has worked with partners to conserve important waterfowl habitat across the state. Through more than 130 projects, DU and partners have protected more than 19,000 acres through conservation easements or public acquisition, and restored or enhanced more than 87,000 acres of wetland habitat. For full story, click here.
NC: Cleanup of Dan River ash sparks backlash
By Bruce Henderson – Charlotte Observer – July 19, 2014
Most of the Duke Energy coal ash that spilled into the Dan River in February will stay there, creating a rift between regulators and river advocates over the cleanup. Duke said this week that contractors have finished dredging the largest of the deposits, 2,500 tons of ash and sediment behind a dam in Danville, Va. About 500 tons have been removed from four smaller deposits. That leaves up to 36,000 tons of ash spread along 70 miles of river bottom from the spill site in Eden to Kerr Lake on the North Carolina-Virginia line. Ash contains metals that can be toxic. For full story, click here.
OH: Toledo leaders see big battles on many fronts in water crisis
By Tom Henry – The Blade – August 17, 2014
Toledo faces a quandary in the aftermath of its historic water crisis: Does it focus on reducing the threat of toxic microcystis algae, which temporarily made the tap water for 500,000 Metro Toledo residents unsafe to drink? Or, does it turn up the heat on state and federal lawmakers whom city leaders accuse of taking too much of a business-as-usual approach and delaying overdue improvements to water-treatment plants in Toledo and across the country? For full story, click here.
OH: Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?
By Mariah Blake – Mother Jones – July 24, 2014
On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. "We knew there was something toxic in the water," says an environmental official who was on the scene. "But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public." For full story, click here.
PA: New crop of town stormwater rules means you manage your run-off
By Evan Brandt – The Mercury News – August 16, 2014
So maybe you want to build a new deck on your house. You’ve paid for the lumber, you’ve decided on the dimensions, you’ve hired a contractor. But did you file your plan for what to do with the rain? More often called “stormwater” by engineers, increased state requirements for its management have municipalities across the state quietly adopting ordinances which make property owners increasingly responsible for managing the rain that falls within their property lines. For full story, click here.
SC: Report: Gold mine means 1,100 acres of wetlands will be dug up, destroyed or disturbed
By Sammy Fretwell – The State – July 25, 2014
The federal government has completed its environmental review of what is touted to be the largest gold mine in the eastern United States and will use the information to make a final decision late this fall on the operation north of Camden. Released Friday, the study contains many of the same conclusions as a preliminary report from March that said up to 1,100 acres of wetlands will be dug up, destroyed or disturbed as gold mining is conducted over 15 years near the town of Kershaw. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which conducted the study, will decide on the wetlands permit in November, agency spokesman Sean McBride said Friday. For full story, click here.
TX: Oil Company Buying Treated Effluent From Utilities For Fracking
By Sara Jerome – Water Online – August 13, 2014
The oil and gas company Pioneer Natural Resources is working on a new pipeline to carry treated effluent to fracking sites beginning next year. One advantage for the company is that it could save money by using treated effluent in its water-intensive processes. Pioneer will buy the treated effluent from the City of Odessa, TX. For full story, click here.
TX: M&G asks to desalinate seawater
By Chris Rairez – Caller Time – August 4, 2014
An Italian company says its plans to open an $800 million resin plant on the shores of Nueces Bay are moving forward, but nearby residents are concerned the massive facility may pollute their neighborhood. The 412 acres M&G Resins USA bought in 2012 is undeveloped now. But company officials are prepared to start construction in the third quarter once all permits are obtained. And that’s in the works. M&G has asked the state for permission to divert 25,800 acre-feet of seawater — or roughly 8.4 billion gallons — each year from the Inner Harbor, but people living nearby in the small Dona Park neighborhood are mulling plans to attempt to block the company’s efforts. For full story, click here.
VA: Toxic algae found in James River
TriCities – August 10, 2014
People in Toledo, Ohio, couldn't drink their water last weekend because of a toxin caused by algae in Lake Erie. The tidal James River harbors the same toxic algae and possibly even more algae overall than Lake Erie. So could we see a don't-drink-the-water crisis here? It's possible but unlikely, experts say. Most of our algae, it turns out, are nontoxic, posing more of a problem for fish and other river creatures than people. But all is far from well here. The tidal, freshwater James, from Richmond to well below Hopewell, suffers some of the worst algae outbreaks, or blooms, in the Chesapeake Bay region. For full story, click here.
WA: Once-common marine birds disappearing from our coast
By Craig Welch – The Seattle Times – August 18, 2014
The bird-counters stood in the windy bow chattering into headsets and scanning the Strait of Juan de Fuca with binoculars. “Scoters,” Sherman Anderson said. “Three of them. At 11 o’clock. Look like surfs.” “Marbled murrelets,” he added seconds later. “I see two.” Inside the boat’s cabin, another Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife worker listened through a headset of his own so he could record the tally on a computer. Bird surveys like this and others done by plane are tracking a significant ecological shift in our region — a major decline in once-abundant marine birds. From white-winged scoters and surf scoters to long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls, the number of everyday marine birds here has plummeted dramatically in recent decades. For full story, click here.
WA: Mussels: Unlocking secrets to what's in the water
By Jeff Burnside – KOMO News – July 18, 2014 – VideoAn unusual research study is helping to find many of the underlying causes for contaminated beaches and toxic fish; the very issues making headlines again this month and prompting Gov. Jay Inslee to unveil big new policy initiatives. On a chilly night last October, dozens of volunteers and scientists across the Puget Sound crunched along low tidelands to gather evidence in this unorthodox investigation. For full story, click here.
WV: Judge rules corps can ignore mining health studies
By Ken Ward, Jr. – West Virginia Gazette – August 20, 2014
A federal judge in Charleston ruled this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not have to consider scientific studies linking mountaintop removal to public health problems when the agency approves new Clean Water Act permits for mining operations.U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. on Monday turned down an effort by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other groups to force the corps to consider potential adverse human health effects as part of the review of applications for “dredge-and-fill” permits from strip-mining operators. For full story, click here.
WV: W.Va. American Water repeatedly delayed locating potential Elk River contamination sites
By Ken Ward, Jr. – West Virginia Gazette – August 17, 2014
Back in April 2006, officials from West Virginia American Water told state regulators they were planning to review the Elk River watershed to find out what potential contamination sources were upstream from their Kanawha Valley water treatment plant. Water company officials told the state Bureau for Public Health the same thing in August 2006, and again in March 2008, state records show. Three times over a two-year period, West Virginia American officials marked a “P” — meaning “Planning to do” — next to a question about whether the company was going to “review” the treatment plant’s watershed “for potential contaminant sources.” For full story, click here.
WI: The fine for months of manure spilling? Less than $500
By Lee Bergquist – Journal Sentinel – August 15, 2014
More than 1 million gallons of manure flowed from a small farm for months, say Marathon County officials, quickly filling a storage tank the size of a small basement, then trickling into a wetland and eventually entering the Little Eau Pleine River on the far western edge of the county. The fine? $464.10. In 18 other environmental cases involving farms since 2008, forfeitures levied by the Department of Natural Resources have often exceeded $30,000. In 2009, one farm paid forfeitures and other penalties totaling $85,000, according to DNR records of cases tracked for farms under 700 milking cows. For full story, click here.
‘Street view’ goes undersea to map reefs, wonders
By Jennifer Kay – Herald Online – August 13, 2014
It’s easy to go online and get a 360-degree, ground-level view of almost any street in the United States and throughout the world. Soon, scientists hope people will be able to do the same with coral reefs and other underwater wonders. U.S. government scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the Florida Keys this week in hopes of applying “street view” mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time. It will be like scuba diving from your computer. For full story, click here.
Keeping Tabs on HABs: New Tools for Detecting, Monitoring, and Preventing Harmful Algal Blooms
By Nate Seltenrich – Environmental Health Perspectives – August 2014
Thomas Hoover once worked as a nuclear reactor operator for the U.S. Navy and has installed radar-absorbing technologies on its warships. He has helped design communications satellites and repaired explosive ordnance disposal robots in Iraq. Now his expertise is aimed at another adversary: harmful algal blooms (HABs). Hoover and his colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are building what may be the world’s most powerful and adaptable HAB detection device yet, offering a new range of capabilities to researchers.1 This novel approach to detecting HABs and mapping their size and toxicity is the product of a team of engineers and scientists from MBARI and their collaborators at the University of Washington at Seattle, Arizona State University, the University of Maine at Orono, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Biotoxins Program in Charleston, South Carolina. For full article, click here.
Scientists point to a methane eruption as cause of Siberian hole mystery
By Christa Marshall – E&E Publishing, LLC – August 1, 2014
It was aliens, or maybe a meteorite or a gas explosion. Those were some of the initial explanations for why three sinkhole-like craters gaped open in the Siberian permafrost, spawning a wave of Internet videos and frightening headlines about catastrophic releases of methane from a "dragon breath" of the Earth. Now, some scientists who have visited the holes, or have just monitored them via media reports, say there may -- with an emphasis on may -- be a warming component to their formation. For full story, click here.
Wetlands essential for migrating mallards, MU researchers find
By Eleanor Hasenbeck – The Maneater – July 29, 2014
A recent study involving MU researchers found that wetland sanctuaries, including many Missouri wetlands, are seeing plenty of use from migratory waterfowl. Researchers captured 20 female mallards in their breeding grounds in Saskatchewan, Canada, and 20 more in their wintering grounds in northern Arkansas. They attached satellite harnesses to the ducks and let them fly, tracking their flight patterns for about two years. Data was collected from 2010 to 2012 and band analysis was completed earlier this year. The study is the first of its kind, in that satellite technology allowed researchers to track birds across their entire North American migration route. The satellite technology showed how the waterfowl used wetland sanctuaries with unprecedented accuracy. Researchers were able to see the ducks’ exact position, within 18 meters, on a computer screen as they made their way north and south. For full story, click here.
U.S. coastal flooding on the rise, government study finds
By Ryan McNeill – Reuter – July 28, 2014
Flooding is increasing in frequency along much of the U.S. coast, and the rate of increase is accelerating along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts, a team of federal government scientists found in a study released Monday. The study examined how often 45 tide gauges along the country’s shore exceeded National Weather Service flood thresholds across several decades. The researchers found that the frequency of flooding increased at 41 locations. Moreover, they found that the rate of increase was accelerating at 28 of those locations. The highest rates of increase were concentrated along the mid-Atlantic coast. For full story, click here.
How invasive species changed the Great Lakes forever
By Dan Egan – Journal Sentinel – July 26, 2014
June 1, 1988, the day everything changed for the Great Lakes, was sunny, hot and mostly calm — perfect weather for the young researchers from the University of Windsor who were hunting for critters crawling across the bottom of Lake St. Clair. Sonya Santavy was a freshly graduated biologist aboard the research boat as its whining outboard pushed it toward the middle of the lake that straddles the U.S. and Canadian border. On a map, Lake St. Clair looks like a 24-mile-wide aneurysm in the river system east of Detroit that connects Lake Huron to Lake Erie. Water pools in it and then churns through as the outflows from Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron swirl down into Erie, then continue flowing east over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, and finally out the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. For full story, click here.
Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots
By Danielle Paquette – The Washington Post – July 23, 2014
Sewage gushed up Lori Burns’s toilet. It swept the floor. It wrecked the water heater, the deep freezer, her mother’s wedding veil. This basement invasion was the third in five years. Burns, 40, could no longer afford to pay a cleanup crew. So she slipped on polka dotted rain boots, waded into the muck, wrenched out the stand-pipe and watched the brown water drain. The South Side native, a marketing specialist, estimated damages at $17,000. And that did not include what she could not replace: the family heirlooms, the oriental rugs, her cashmere sweaters. The bungalow had flooded four times from 1985 to 2006, when her parents owned it. Lately, it flooded every other year. Burns felt nature was working against her. In a way, it was. As Washington still fights over whether or not climate change is real, people across the country are already paying costs scientists ascribe to it — sometimes in unexpected places. You might think about climate change in terms of rising sea levels threatening coastal cities. But all over the Midwest, from Chicago to Indianapolis and Milwaukee, residents face just as many difficult issues as changing weather patterns collide with aging infrastructure. The costs — for governments, insurance companies and homeowners — are measured not only in dollars, but in quality of life. For full story, click here.
Genetic Engineering to the Rescue Against Invasive Species?
By Katie Langin – National Geographic Daily News – July 17, 2014
Invasive species wreak havoc worldwide, disrupting native ecosystems and inflicting more than $120 billion in damages annually in the U.S. alone. Many economically—and environmentally—damaging species, such as those mosquitoes, snakes, and carp, defy removal with existing technology. But there is good news. "Gene drives"—which could trigger a precipitous decline in invasive species by tinkering with their genetic machinery—have arrived as a fast-maturing technology, an international team of scientists announced on Thursday. "Once an invasive species arrives in a new habitat and is driving native species extinct, we don't necessarily have a lot of solutions to that. Gene drive technology could potentially cause local extinction [of the invasive species] and restore the original ecosystem," says Kevin Esvelt, a genetic engineer at Harvard University and an author of tandem papers published this week in Science and eLife. For full story, click here.
Australia Kills Off Carbon Tax
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian – July 16, 2014
Australia’s carbon price has been repealed, leaving the nation with no legislated policy to achieve even the minimum 5% greenhouse emissions reduction target it has inscribed in international agreements. After eight years of bitter political debate, during which climate policy dominated three election campaigns and contributed to the demise of two prime ministers, after last week’s Senate drama in which the repeal was again defeated and this week’s lengthy last gasp debate, the Senate has now finally voted to make good Tony Abbott’s “pledge in blood” to “axe the tax”. For full story, click here.
Science Brings Clarity to Shifting Shores
By Lindsay Mann and Jessica Robertson – USGS Science Features – July 16, 2014
Each and every day, waves move sand back and forth, onto and away from beaches. The thin ribbon of sandy barrier islands and beaches along America’s coastline shifts constantly, especially during hurricanes, nor’easters, and other extreme storms. How vulnerable is your favorite beach if a hurricane like Katrina, Ike, or Sandy paid a visit? What did your beach look like 50, 100, or 150 years ago? What might it look like in the future? Since more than 40% of the nation’s population lives in coastal counties on both the East and West Coasts, answering questions like these will help protect millions of citizens who are at risk from changing sea level, retreating shorelines, and extreme coastal storms. For full blog post, click here.
NOAA Climate Program Office Releases 2015-2019 Strategic Plan
Climate Program Office – June 26, 2014
The plan leverages CPO's position at the intersection of NOAA"s science and service missions, the climate research community, and the broader climate enterprise to help guide the office towards its vision: "People, businesses and the environment thriving in the face of climate impacts." The plan will also enable the office to lead a research agenda and forge partnerships that enhance society's ability to make effective decisions. For more about the Strategic Plan, click here. To download CPO Strategic Plan, click here.
Study: 100-Foot Buffers Keep Streams Healthy
Contact: Beverly M. Payton – Stroud Water Research Center – June 17, 2014
Streamside forest buffers, long considered a best management practice, should be at least 100 feet wide on each side to adequately protect freshwater ecosystems from human activities according to an extensive scientific literature review published in the June issue of Journal of American Water Resources Association. “That’s a lot. We know it’s a lot. But this is what the science is saying, and the reward for a wide forest buffer is huge,” said study author Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., director of the Stroud Water Research Center. While the environmental benefits of streamside forest buffers have been known for decades, there was no consensus about how wide an effective forest buffer should be, until now. To read more, click here. To read review, click here.
Report Highlights How Climate Change May Affect Water Supply and Demand in Colorado
CIRES – August 5, 2014
As Colorado's climate continues to warm, those who manage or use water in the state will likely face significant changes in water supply and demand, according to a new report on state climate change released by the Western Water Assessment and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The "Climate Change in Colorado" report is a synthesis of climate science relevant for management and planning for Colorado's water resources. The report examines observed climate trends, climate modeling, temperature projections, precipitation, snowpack, and streamflow. Authors sought to provide information that would be useful to those involved in making long-term decisions about Colorado's water in the face of climate change. To view the press release, click here. Read the full report here.
Project Planning and Management for Ecological Restoration
By John Rieger, John Stanley, and Ray Traynor – Island Press – September 2014Project Planning and Management for Ecological Restoration is a premium tool for anyone working in the field of ecological restoration. It provides a framework for developing, executing, and maintaining successful restoration projects, covering such topics as risk management and goal setting. Illustrations, checklists, and tables are included to help guide restoration practitioners through their projects. For more information, click here.
Online tool helps prioritize where to restore and protect wetlands
University of Minnesota
Helping decision makers prioritize where to restore and protect wetlands is the purpose of a new online tool. The tool helps maximize water quality benefits and funding by predicting likely locations of restorable wetlands with a statewide restorable wetland inventory; locating highly stressed areas most in need of water quality or habitat improvement.; prioritizing areas that have the potential to be, or currently are, high functioning sustainable wetlands.; identifying areas with the greatest benefits in the form of water quality and habitat; and refining prioritizations with aerial imagery and available environmental data. Called the Restorable Wetland Prioritization Tool, it builds on and incorporates previous targeting approaches including the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) and Stream Power Index (SPI) to produce three primary decision layers: Environmental STRESS; Expected BENEFITS; and Expected restoration success or VIABILITY layer. For more information, click here.
Farmers Await Weed-Killer Rule
By Mary Clare Jalonick – Valley News – August 17, 2014
Faced with tougher and more resistant weeds, corn and soybean farmers are anxiously awaiting government decisions on a new version of a popular herbicide — and on genetically modified seeds to grow crops designed to resist it. Critics say more study is needed on the effects of the herbicide and they are concerned it could endanger public health. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to rule this fall on Dow AgroSciences’ application to market Enlist, a new version of the 2,4-D herbicide that’s been around since the 1940s. It’s partly a game of catch-up for the agriculture industry, as many farmers are dealing with weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide commonly used on corn and soybeans now. For full story, click here.
Invader Batters Rural America, Shrugging Off Herbicides
By Michael Wines – The New York Times – August 11, 2014
The Terminator — that relentless, seemingly indestructible villain of the 1980s action movie — is back. And he is living amid the soybeans at Harper Brothers Farms. About 100 miles northwest of Indianapolis, amid 8,000 lush acres farmed by Dave Harper, his brother Mike and their sons, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of weeds refuses to die. Three growing seasons after surfacing in a single field, it is a daily presence in a quarter of the Harper spread and has a foothold in a third more. Its oval leaves and spindly seed heads blanket roadsides and jut above orderly soybean rows like skyscrapers poking through cloud banks. It shrugs off extreme drought and heat. At up to six inches in diameter, its stalk is thick enough to damage farm equipment. For full story, click here.
Canada on mission to map Arctic, lay claim to broader boundaries
By Carol J. Williams – Los Angeles Times – August 11, 2014
Canada has dispatched two icebreakers to map the Arctic seabed beneath the North Pole to support a bid to extend the country's maritime territory deeper into the waterways at the top of the world. A preliminary submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in December laid claim to about 460,000 square miles of undersea territory in the far north. Canada's claim is likely to be challenged by Russia and Denmark, though. Both have asserted sovereignty over Arctic passages and the suspected oil and mineral wealth beneath. For full story, click here.
In Chesapeake Bay waters warmed by summer sun, a deadly pathogen lies in wait
By Caelainn Hogan – The Washington Post – July 26, 2014
The last thing Rodney Donald was expecting during his family’s vacation on the Chesapeake Bay was to almost lose a leg to an aggressive bacteria growing in the brackish waters. “I’ve grown up on the bay my whole life, and I’m 66,” said Donald, propped up in a bed at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, his right leg stretched out, swathed in bandages. “I’d never even heard about it.” Vibrio vulnificus, of the same family as vibrio cholera, is a rapid-spreading flesh-eating bacteria that naturally occurs in saltwater or estuaries, particularly from May to October. For full story, click here.
Many Republicans Privately Support Action On Climate
By Anthony Adragna – Bloomberg – August 15, 2014
In stark contrast to their party's public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem. However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue, since congressional action is probably years away, according to former congressmen, former congressional aides and other sources. For full story, click here.
2015 Climate Leadership Awards Application Period Now Open
The U.S. EPA and its three NGO partners -- the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (The Registry) -- are now accepting applications for the 2015 Climate Leadership Awards, which call national attention to exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. The application period will be open through September 12, 2014, with an early bird deadline of August 8, 2014. EPA’s Climate Leadership Awards webpage details the application process. The Climate Leadership Awards is a national awards program that recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. In February 2012, the first-ever awards were presented to one individual and 20 organizations from across the U.S. who are leading the way in the management and reduction of GHG emissions — both in internal operations and throughout the supply chain. Now in its fourth year, the awards continue to honor and highlight leadership in addressing climate change by reducing carbon pollution and implementing adaptation planning initiatives. For more information, click here.
|August 26, 2014
2:00 p.m. EDT
|U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Webinar:
Development of a Global Change Monitoring Portal: Pilot Project for the Southeastern United States
|September 3, 2014
1:00 p.m.-2:30 EDT
EPA's Green Infrastructure Program Webinar: Green Infrastructure and Smart Growth
September 9, 2014
|Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy Webinar: Climate Change Adaptation for an at Risk Community – Shaktoolik Alaska|
September 9, 2014
|The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Webinar:Extreme Climate Events and Species Population Dynamics: Overriding Influence|
|September 10, 2014
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EST
|Center for Watershed Protection Webcast: Stream Restoration as a Pollutant Reduction Strategy|
|September 16, 2014
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
|Environmental Law Institute Webinar: Key Issues in Setting Water Quality Standards|
September 16, 2014
|The Rock River Coalition and Environmental Law Institute Webinar: The Rock River TMDL, Where Are We Now?|
|September 24, 2014
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT
|U.S. EPA Water Research Webinar: Pharmaceutical Residues in Municipal Wastewater|
|October 1, 2014
3:30 p.m. EDT
The Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) Webinar: Developing forest adaptation strategies for northern forests in an uncertain future
|October 14, 2014
2:00 p.m. EDT
The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Webinar: Climate Change and Federal Land Management: Assessing Priorities Using a Social Network Approach
|October 21, 2014
|The Rock River Coalition and Environmental Law Institute Webinar: Landscape-scale Identification of Actually Restorable Wetlands: An overview of a procedure for identifying restorable wetlands at large scales|
|October 28, 2014
2: 00 p.m. EDT
|The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Webinar: Predicting Climate Change Impacts on River Ecosystems and Salmonids across the Pacific Northwest|
|October 30, 2014
1: 00-2:00 p.m. EDT
|Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network Webinar: Educating the Public about Climate Change Threats Using Role-Play Simulations: The New England Climate Adaptation Project|
|November 4, 2014
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. EST
|EPA Green Infrastructure Program Webinar: Innovative Financing for Green Infrastructure|
|November 11, 2014
3:00 p.m. EST
|The Rock River Coalition and Environmental Law Institute Webinar: Cost Benefit Analysis and Natural Conservation as a Mitigation Strategy|
|November 19, 2014
3:30 p.m. EST
|The Northeast Climate Science Center (NCSC) Webinar: Making decisions in complex landscapes: Headwater stream management across multiple agencies using structured decision making|
|August 25-26, 2014
|Green Roofs for Healthy Cities: Grey to Green: A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure, Focusing on Health|
|August 27-29, 2014
Grand Rapids, Michigan
|Michigan Wetlands Association Conference 2014: New Directions in Wetland Protection and Management|
|September 2-5, 2014
Santa Clara, California
|The 2014 Floodplain Management Association Conference: Keeping Our Heads Above Water|
|September 8-10, 2014
Asheville, North Carolina
North Carolina State University: 2014 Water Education Summit: Think Globally - Act Locally
|September 9-10, 2014
|University of Washington 5th Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science|
|September 17-18, 2014
|The Northeast Shore & Beach Preservation Association 2014 NSBPA Conference on New England Coastal Issues|
|September 24-26, 2014
New York, New York
|Association of Climate Change Officers 2014 Rising Seas Summit: Developing Resources to Inform Decision Making and Planning for Resilience|
|September 27-October 1, 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Water Environment Federation 87th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference|
|October 8-10, 2014
Charleston, South Carolina
|9th Annual Regional Stormwater Conference: "Improving Water Quality through Relationships, Regulations and Research"|
|October 13-15, 2014
|SAVE THE FROGS! Wetland Restoration Workshop. Please contact email@example.com.|
|October 23, 2014
Bronx, New York
|The Wildlife Conservation Society, NOAA and Partners will host the Symposium on Urban River|
|October 23-24, 2014
Practitioners’ Network for large Landscape Conservation 2014 National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation
|October 27-30, 2014
|Association of State Floodplain Mangers 6 th National Mitigation and Floodproofing Workshop and Exposition Post-Disaster Mitigation, Floodproofing and Watershed Restoration: Investing in Resiliency|
|November 17-20, 2014
Charlotte, North Carolina
|North Carolina State University: EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference|
|November 18-19, 2014
|Association of Climate Change Officers 4th Annual Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium|
|November 21, 2014
North Linthicum, Maryland
|The Maryland Water Monitoring Council 20th Annual MWMC Conference: Looking to the Past to Guide our Future. Abstract submission deadline is October 24, 2014|
December 15-19, 2014
|American Geophysical Union’s 47th annual Fall Meeting|
|January 23-24, 2015
East Lansing, Michigan
|The Stewardship Network: 2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference. Call for abstracts deadline is September 19, 2014. Poster Presentation deadline is December 1, 2014.|
|February 3-5, 2015
|River Restoration Northwest 14th Annual Stream Restoration Symposium. Pre-symposium short courses will be held on February 2, 2015 and field trip on February 6, 2015.|
February 10-12, 2015
|Tamarisk Coalition 2015 Conference Advancing Riparian Restoration in the West|
March 12-13, 2015
|The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute 2015 Annual Land Use Conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities|
|March 25-27, 2015
|UC Berkeley, in partnership with the National Park Service and National Geographic Society, presents Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century. Call for abstract deadline is November 1, 2014.|
|May 5-8, 2015
|2015 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference, Training & Education, Moderated Exchanges, Networking. Call for presentation deadline is October 1, 2014.|
|September 9-11, 2014
Fort Collins, Colorado
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center Course: Climate-Smart Conservation
|September 15-18, 2014
National Conservation Training Center,
|The Conservation Fund: Strategic Conservation Planning Using a Green Infrastructure Approach|
|September 22-26, 2014
St. Michaels, Maryland
|Environmental Concern course on Basic Wetland Delineation|
|September 25-26, 2014
|Urban Watersheds Research Institute course on Stormwater BMP and LID Selection, Design & Economics|
|September 30-October 2, 2014
|U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center Course: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments|
|September 30-October 3, 2014
San Antonio, Texas
October 1-2, 2014
The Northwest Environmental Training Center course on Environmental Forensics in Water
October 7-9, 2014
|October 14-17, 2014
National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, West Virginia
|Stream Mechanics course Natural Channel Design Review Checklist Workshop|
|October 15-17, 2014
Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge, Georgia
|Surface Water Identification and Training Course: Conducted by John R. Dorney and Larry Eaton staff of Moffatt and Nichol|
|October 16, 2014
|Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Climate Change Training: Climate Change Adaptation Planning|
|October 20-22, 2014
|Everglades Wetland Research Park Course: Creation and Restoration of Wetlands|
|October 23-24, 2014
|Urban Watershed Research Institute Course: Modelling LID Performance Using EPA SWMM|
|October 28-30, 2014
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center Course: Climate-Smart Conservation
November 6, 13, 20, and December 4, 2014
|Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education course ArcGIS Editing & Data Development|
|November 17-20, 2014
|Richard Chinn Environmental Training: Wetland Delineation Training|
|December 8-9, 2014
St. Michaels, Maryland
|Environmental Concern course Winter Woody Plant ID|
|January 26-27, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
|Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education Course: Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter|
|February 9-13, 2015
San Diego, California
|Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Basic Wetland Delineation|
|March 16-18, 2015
|Everglades Wetland Research Park Course: Treatment Wetlands|
|September 28, 2014||World Rivers is a celebration of the world's waterways. For more information, click here or 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.
- Lake Erie's algae explosion blamed on farmers
- Leadership Changes for the Office of Water
- Army Corps of Engineers agrees to disclose dam pollution
- Delay Action on Climate Change by 10 Years and Costs Rocket 40%: Report
- New Poll: Small Business Owners Want Strong Clean Water Rules
- Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance Webinar – Monday, September 8, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
- ASWM's Improving Wetland Restoration Success Project Webinar – Tuesday, September 9, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
- Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar – Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
- ASWM's September Members' Webinar – Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. ET
- Latino groups flex muscle on EPA water reg
- Study: Colorado River Basin drying up faster than previously thought
- Northwest wildlife refuges to phase out pesticide
- New conservation funding program favors Pacific Northwest, California
- Ten Worst States for Water Pollution
- Leaping out of the lakes: Invasive mussels spread across America
- AK: EPA's new Pebble battle plan stokes fears of wider impact
- CA: West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis
- CA: #Droughtshaming: Californians Take To Twitter To Shame Water-Wasting Neighbors
- CA: Divers hammer thousands of urchins to save Palos Verdes Peninsula kelp forests
- CA: California lawmakers considering historic shift in groundwater policy
- CT: Long Island Sound's Ebb And Flow: Water Is Cleaner, But Warming Is New Threat
- FL: South Florida park may end commercial fishing
- FL: Southwest Florida governments not planning for sea rise
- FL: Mangroves already on the move in Southwest Florida
- FL: Deadly Fungus Spreads in Everglades, Killing Trees
- GA: After 15 years, Ga. ban on aquifer banking expires
- IL: Lake Michigan safe from toxin that threatened Toledo
- IL: Waukegan reaches milestone in harbor cleanup
- IA: Project will restore Moline wetlands
- LA: 4 reasons BP's Supreme Court settlement appeal faces an uphill battle
- LA: Causes of fish skin lesions ruled out, except for BP oil spill, new study says
- LA: Gulf's low-oxygen 'dead zone' covers 5,052 square miles along Louisiana's coast
- LA: Wetlands growth in Wax Lake shows what diversions could achieve, scientists say
- LA: Corps of Engineers raises questions about St. Tammany fracking permit
- ME: ‘This is a huge success story’: 2 Maine scientists say acid rain effects reversing much faster than expected
- ME: EPA official praises Maine, other New England states for climate protection.
- MD: Lake Erie not alone in suffering from harmful algae
- MI: Detroit Water Shutoffs 'Human Rights Violations' Says UN Experts
- MN: Big river, big trouble: Dredges working overtime to open Mississippi
- MN: Whip smart: Cottonwood planting takes root as worries grow
- MN: Grasslands conversion may increase water pollution in SE Minnesota
- NY: Cleaner New York waters see surge in whale and shark numbers
- NC: Undocumented Immigrants Denied Water Service In Dallas, NC
- NC: Ducks Unlimited surpasses 100,000 acres of conservation in NC
- NC: Cleanup of Dan River ash sparks backlash
- OH: Toledo leaders see big battles on many fronts in water crisis
- OH: Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?
- PA: New crop of town stormwater rules means you manage your run-off
- SC: Report: Gold mine means 1,100 acres of wetlands will be dug up, destroyed or
- TX: Oil Company Buying Treated Effluent From Utilities For Fracking
- TX: M&G asks to desalinate seawater
- VA: Toxic algae found in James River
- WA: Once-common marine birds disappearing from our coast
- WA: Mussels: Unlocking secrets to what's in the water
- WV: Judge rules corps can ignore mining health studies
- WV: W.Va. American Water repeatedly delayed locating potential Elk River contamination sites
- WI: The fine for months of manure spilling? Less than $500
- ‘Street view’ goes undersea to map reefs, wonders
- Keeping Tabs on HABs: New Tools for Detecting, Monitoring, and Preventing Harmful Algal Blooms
- Scientists point to a methane eruption as cause of Siberian hole mystery
- Wetlands essential for migrating mallards, MU researchers find
- U.S. coastal flooding on the rise, government study finds
- How invasive species changed the Great Lakes forever
- Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots
- Genetic Engineering to the Rescue Against Invasive Species?
- Australia Kills Off Carbon Tax
- Science Brings Clarity to Shifting Shores
- NOAA Climate Program Office Releases 2015-2019 Strategic Plan
- Study: 100-Foot Buffers Keep Streams Healthy
- Report Highlights How Climate Change May Affect Water Supply and Demand in Colorado
- Project Planning and Management for Ecological Restoration
- Online tool helps prioritize where to restore and protect wetlands
- Farmers Await Weed-Killer Rule
- Invader Batters Rural America, Shrugging Off Herbicides
- Canada on mission to map Arctic, lay claim to broader boundaries
- In Chesapeake Bay waters warmed by summer sun, a deadly pathogen lies in wait
- Many Republicans Privately Support Action On Climate
- 2015 Climate Leadership Awards Application Period Now Open
- Development of a Global Change Monitoring Portal: Pilot Project for the Southeastern United States
- Green Infrastructure and Smart Growth
- Climate Change Adaptation for an at Risk Community – Shaktoolik Alaska
- Extreme Climate Events and Species Population Dynamics: Overriding Influence
- Stream Restoration as a Pollutant Reduction Strategy
- Key Issues in Setting Water Quality Standards
- The Rock River TMDL, Where Are We Now?
- Pharmaceutical Residues in Municipal Wastewater
- Developing forest adaptation strategies for northern forests in an uncertain future
- Predicting Climate Change Impacts on River Ecosystems and Salmonids across the Pacific Northwest
- Landscape-scale Identification of Actually Restorable Wetlands: An overview of a procedure for identifying restorable wetlands at large scales
- Climate Change and Federal Land Management: Assessing Priorities Using a Social Network Approach
- Educating the Public about Climate Change Threats Using Role-Play Simulations: The New England Climate Adaptation Project
- Innovative Financing for Green Infrastructure
- Cost Benefit Analysis and Natural Conservation as a Mitigation Strategy
- Making decisions in complex landscapes
- Grey to Green: A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure, Focusing on Health
- New Directions in Wetland Protection and Management
- Keeping Our Heads Above Water
- 2014 Water Education Summit: Think Globally - Act Locally
- Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference
- 2014 NSBPA Conference on New England Coastal Issues
- 2014 Rising Seas Summit: Developing Resources to Inform Decision Making and Planning for Resilience
- Technical Exhibition and Conference
- Improving Water Quality through Relationships, Regulations and Research
- SAVE THE FROGS! Wetland Restoration Workshop
- Symposium on Urban River Restoration
- 2014 National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation
- 6th National Mitigation and Floodproofing Workshop and Exposition
- EcoStream - Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference
- 4th Annual Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
- 20th Annual MWMC Conference: Looking to the Past to Guide our Future
- American Geophysical Union’s 47th Annual Fall Meeting
- 2015 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
- 14th Annual Stream Restoration Symposium
- Advancing Riparian Restoration in the West
- Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair and Resilient Communities
- Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century
- 2015 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference, Training & Education, Moderated Exchanges, Networking
- Climate-Smart Conservation
- Strategic Conservation Planning Using a Green Infrastructure Approach
- Basic Wetland Delineation
- Stormwater BMP and LID Selection, Design & Economics
- Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments
- Workshop 3: Natural Channel Design Applications in Semi-Arid Environments
- Environmental Forensics in Water
- Climate Change Adaptation Planning
- Natural Channel Design Review Checklist Workshop
- Surface Water Identification and Training Course
- Climate Change Adaptation Planning
- Creation and Restoration of Wetlands
- Modelling LID Performance Using EPA SWMM
- Climate-Smart Conservation
- ArcGIS Editing & Data Development
- Wetland Delineation Training
- Winter Woody Plant ID
- Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: Winter
- Basic Wetland Delineation
- Treatment Wetlands
- World Rivers
The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News is a monthly e-newsletter. Wetland Breaking News is an edited compilation of wetland-related stories and announcements submitted by readers and gleaned from listservs, press releases and news sources from throughout the United States. WBN chronicles the legislative, national and state news relevant to wetland science and policy, wetland regulations and legal analysis of Supreme court cases from the past month; it also links to new publications and resources available to wetland professionals as well as events and training opportunities for those working in water resources and related fields. Wetland Breaking News has been published for over ten years and ASWM has been a think-tank and source for wetland science and policy news and discussion for over 30 years.
The items presented in Wetland Breaking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or of the Association of State Wetland Managers. Send your news items, comments, corrections, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"WETLAND BREAKING NEWS" Compiled and Edited by Alan Grant and Marla Stelk, Editors; Laura Burchill and Sharon Weaver, Assistant Editors. Executive Director: Jeanne Christie. Association of State Wetland Managers, 32 Tandberg Trail, Ste. 2A, Windham, ME 04062. Telephone: 207-892-3399 Fax: 207-892-3089
All photos by Jeanne Christie, ASWM