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2014 Annual Update USACE National Wetland Plant List
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:09

U.S. Arm;y Corps of Engineer – 2014

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

Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:05

PHYS.org – April 10, 2014

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

Proposed wetland protection model put to public
Monday, 31 March 2014 13:41

By Elizabeth McSheffrey – Daily Herald Tribune – March 30, 2014

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

VIMS professor links sea star die-off to blue crab, lobster diseases: Rising sea temperature, contaminants to blame
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

By Cortney Langley – The Virginia Gazette – March 11, 2014

As dramatic videos of the West Coast sea star die-off make the rounds on social media, a Virginia Institute of Marine Science professor has been quietly studying similar catastrophes closer to home.  "Two years ago, there was a smaller mortality event on the East Coast," said Marine Science Professor Jeffrey Shields, who specializes in parasitic and microbial diseases. "What's more disconcerting is that we don't know what's causing it. With the sea stars, their epidermis is being attacked by something."  Shields sees parallels between the "Sea Star Wasting Syndrome," as the mysterious attack has come to be known, and his own research into similar infections in crabs and lobsters. VIMS is also working on a sea star pathogen in the Gloucester lab.  For full story and to view photos, click here.

Marsh Magic: 7 Amazing Wetlands to Visit This Spring
Monday, 07 April 2014 14:02

The Weather Channel – April 3, 2014

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

Localities get bigger role in cleaning up stormwater
Monday, 24 March 2014 13:23

By Rusty Dennen – Fredericksburg.com – March 22, 2014

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

Study Demonstrates Climate Benefits of Estuary Restoration
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:09

Restore America's Estuaries

Restore America's Estuaries has released the findings of a study on the climate mitigation benefits of restoring tidal wetland habitat in the Snohomish Estuary, located within the nation's second largest estuary, Puget Sound.  The study finds climate mitigation benefits from wetland restoration and provides a needed approach for assessing carbon fluxes for historic drained and future restored wetlands which can be transferred and applied to other geographies.  The report, "Coastal Blue Carbon Opportunity Assessment for Snohomish Estuary: The Climate Benefits of Estuary Restoration," finds that currently planned and in-construction restoration projects in the Snohomish Estuary will result in at least 2.55 million tons of carbon dioxide sequestered from the atmosphere over the next 100 years.  This is equivalent to the 1-year emissions for 500,000 average passenger cars.  If plans expanded to fully restore the Snohomish Estuary, the sequestration potential jumps to 8.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, or, in other terms, equal to the 1-year emissions of about 1.7 million passenger cars.  This report is a collaborative effort of Restore America's Estuaries, Environmental Science Associates, EarthCorps, and Western Washington University.  Funding was provided by NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation.  To view the press release and the report, click here.

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