Wetland Science News
PHYS.org – May 12, 2015
Wetlands created 20 years ago between tile-drained agricultural fields and the Embarras River were recently revisited for a new two-year University of Illinois research project. Results show an overall 62 percent nitrate removal rate and little emission of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. "Slowing down the rate of flow of the water by intercepting it in the wetland is what helps to remove the nitrate," says Mark David, a University of Illinois biogeochemist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. for full story, click here.
By Daniel Strain – Bay Journal – April 13, 2015
Whitbeck is a wildlife biologist at the Blackwater refuge, which occupies around 28,000 acres of forests, marshes and water in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Today, he’s interested in the transitions that are occurring across this landscape. Over the decades, Lake Blackwater — which occupies around 4,000 acres at the center portion of the refuge — has grown bigger and bigger, Whitbeck said. And acres and acres that were once marshland have been covered in water, killing off the plants there. For full article, click here.
By Carrian Storrs – Environment 360 – March 16, 2015
Rising high in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California, the Santa Ana River flows westward through cities and towns with a total population of nearly 5 million. Along the way, it receives so much sewage that 90 percent of its flow during the dry summer season is effluent, which is cleaned again and again at several dozen wastewater treatment plants. Near the end of its 96-mile course, the Santa Ana comes to a seeming standstill in the Prado Wetlands. Covering 425 acres, the wetlands site — designed by engineers — consists of a series of rectangular ponds, through which the river’s gentle flow is controlled by dam-like weir boxes. It takes about a week for water to traverse the wetlands, during which time cattails and other vegetation help remove nitrogen, phosphorous, and other contaminants. For full story, click here.
Contact: Cathy Milbourn (News Media Only), Milbourn.firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-564-7849, 202-420-8648, 202-564-4355 – EPA – Release Date: April 7, 2015
EPA has announced that it is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA researchers will develop a mobile app to inform water quality managers of changes in water quality using satellite data on cyanobacteria algal blooms from three partnering agencies-- NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The multi-agency project will create a reliable, standard method for identifying cyanobacteria blooms in U.S. freshwater lakes and reservoirs using ocean color satellite data. Several satellite data sets will be evaluated against environmental data collected from these water bodies, which allows for more frequent observations over broader areas than can be achieved by taking traditional water samples. For full story, click here.
By Bob Berwyn – Summit County Citizens Voice – March 30, 2015
A new study by researchers at Waterloo University supports the EPA’s proposed new rule for protecting discontinuous wetlands by showing that those smaller marshy patches function best as a group. Interconnected pockets of wetlands form a landscape mosaic which provide unique habitat and safe breeding grounds for species such as salamanders and migratory birds. Many traditional wetlands conservation projects tend to overlook that “edge” function and mistakenly focus on preserving only total wetland area, with no consideration of ecosystem services provided by different wetland types. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Applications, shows wetland loss follows a strong pattern, with smaller, isolated wetlands being lost in much greater numbers than larger wetlands. For full story, click here.
By Carey Gillam – REUTERS – March 31, 2015
U.S. regulators will put new restrictions on the world's most widely used herbicide to help address the rapid expansion of weeds resistant to the chemical, Reuters has learned. The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it will require a weed resistance management plan for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's immensely popular Roundup weed-killer. The agency has scheduled a conference call for next week with a committee of the Weed Science Society of America to discuss what the final plan for glyphosate should entail, said Larry Steckel, a Tennessee scientist who chairs the committee. For full story, click here.
By Allison Mills – Michigan Tech – March 11, 2015
Fluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles of shoreline. The Great Lakes is an important focus of Michigan Technological University research. The coastal wetlands map is an extension of that focus, expanding on previous maps created through the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, MTRI research scientist and the project leader for the wetlands map, says establishing standard methods was crucial. “This is the first map to span the entire basin, and it’s important to have a consistent map over the entire area,” she says, explaining that inconsistencies impact data analysis and implementation of management strategies “if you don’t know the accuracy of the map or how it’s changing from one place to another.” For full story, click here.