Wetland Breaking News - October 2015

                     
   
IN THIS ISSUE:

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

NATIONAL NEWS

STATE NEWS

WETLAND SCIENCE

RESOURCES &
PUBLICATIONS

POTPOURRI

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

INDEX

 

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Wetland Breaking New: October 2015

All photos by
Jeanne Christie, ASWM

       

EDITOR'S NOTE

Collaboration

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller)

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015This was the spirit in which the idea of developing a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) was born.

Signed on September 30th, 2015 by Jeanne Christie, ASWM Executive Director, and on October 7th, 2015 by Kimberly Ponzio, SWS President, the MOC creates a formal partnership between ASWM and SWS, recognizing the fact they share the common goal of encouraging sound science in wetland research, management, restoration, policy, and conservation. A copy of the MOC can be found here. This agreement will pave the way for greater collaboration between both organizations to promote and enhance protection and management of wetland resources, to promote application of sound science to wetland management efforts, and to provide training and education for our members and the public. ASWM and SWS will cooperate on communications, workshops, symposia, conferences, publications and other knowledge-sharing efforts.

The world of “Wetlandia” is too small to work in isolation. I’m sure you all find as I have, that whenever I go to a wetland conference, I always see familiar faces. And when I meet someone new, I find out that they are directly connected to someone else I know. Forging a partnership between ASWM and SWS just made sense. We remain completely independent organizations, but this agreement provides a path for us to cross-pollinate ideas, combine forces on projects and initiatives, and reduce overlap of activities. ASWM is very excited to work more closely with our friends and colleagues at SWS and looks forward to our future accomplishments.

In celebration,

Marla J. Stelk, Editor
Wetland Breaking News


     
                     

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015

EDITOR'S CHOICE

'Report Card' Gives Mississippi River Basin a D+

By Jim Salter – ABC News – October 14, 2015
A report card is out on the Mississippi River basin, and the grade is not good: a D+, with an aging transportation infrastructure topping the list of concerns. The report by America's Watershed Initiative, released Wednesday in St. Louis, assesses categories such as the abundance of clean water, flood control and risk, ecosystem health, the economy and recreation on the river and its watershed, which includes the Missouri, Tennessee and Ohio rivers and other tributaries. All told, the watershed touches parts of 31 states and covers two-fifths of the continental U.S. For full story, click here.

EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants Program Request for Proposals is OPEN!

EPA October 13, 2015
The mission of EPA’s Urban Waters Program is to help local residents and their organizations, particularly those in underserved communities, restore their urban waters in ways that also benefit community and economic revitalization. For the 2015/2016 grant cycle, EPA seeks to fund projects that address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with emphasis on underserved communities. Under this announcement, the EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants for projects that will advance EPA’s water quality and environmental justice goals. Note that, proposed project activities must take place entirely within one of the Eligible Geographic Areas, as illustrated on the interactive map provided on the Urban Waters Small Grants mapping website. For more information, click here.

Healthy Soils Reduce Water Pollution

By Brett Walton – Circle of Blue – October 13, 2015
On a bright October morning in a hotel parking lot, Greg Scott turns on the rainfall simulator. The machine’s swiveling nozzle sprays fat drops on five soil samples held in trays a few feet below. Some soil is bare; other samples are planted with prairie grass, wheat, and other field crops. Within minutes dirty, sediment-saturated water begins flowing off the plots that are not anchored by vegetation. In the other trays, the drops soak into the ground. The little water that does run off the planted trays is much cleaner, the color of green tea. The lesson of the artificial cloudburst is clear: neglect the soil and water will suffer. For full story, click here.

The Visualize Your Water Challenge Seeks Compelling Data Visualizations

Gisuser – October 7, 2015
Nutrient pollution is one of the nation’s most difficult environmental challenges. While nutrients are essential compounds for functioning ecosystems and the production of food, fiber, and livestock feed, excessive nutrient levels can dramatically alter aquatic environments and threaten economic and human health. Today, EPA, USGS, ED, the Great Lakes Observing System, and Esri are announcing the “Visualize Your Water” Challenge. This Challenge seeks to engage the innovative spirit of high school students in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watershed states to create compelling visualizations about nutrient pollution using geographic information system (GIS) software in conjunction with water quality data collected through Federal, state, and local efforts. For full blog post, click here.

‘Mr. Clean Water Act' faces his biggest challenge

By Jeremy P. Jacobs and Annie Snider – E&E Publishing, LLC – September 30, 2015
Veteran Justice Department attorney Steve Samuels’ license plate made him a celebrity among environmentalists everywhere he drove. “CWA 404.” The District of Columbia plate refers to Clean Water Act Section 404, the law’s primary wetlands provision. In his 30 years at DOJ, Samuels has become the government’s most recognizable expert on the law — though he concedes no layperson ever asked about his license plate. Now Samuels faces his greatest challenge: defending the Obama administration’s controversial Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, which defines which wetlands, marshes, bogs, ponds and streams qualify for Clean Water Act protections. The rule took effect at the end of August, and 31 states, countless industry groups and even a few environmental nonprofits are now challenging it in courts across the country. For full story, click here.

NFFA Webinar: Overview of the new MAST Tool to assist municipalities, state agencies, utilities and NGOs in developing adaptation projects that address their financial, social and environmental concerns – November 3, 2015

The Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance webinar on Overview of the new MAST Tool to assist municipalities, state agencies, utilities and NGOs in developing adaptation projects that address their financial, social and environmental concerns will be held on November 3, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presented by Dr. Samuel Merrill, GEI Consultants, Inc. For more information and to register for this webinar, click here.

ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting – Part 2: Panel Discussion on State Wetland Permitting Considerations – November 4, 2015

ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting - Part 2: Panel Discussion on State Wetland Permitting Considerations will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Co-hosted by the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). For more information and to register, click here.

ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration November 19, 2015

Novel Ecosystems and Restoration will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2015. Presenters – Joy Zedler, Professor of Botany and Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Marilyn Jordan, Former Senior Conservation Scientist, The Nature Conservancy on Long Island, NY. For more information and to register, click here.

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

U.S., Alaska says will not seek additional $92 million from Exxon for Valdez spill

By Victoria Cavaliere – PlanetArk – October 16, 2015
U.S. and Alaska state officials announced on Wednesday they will no longer seek an additional $92 million from Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay for environmental cleanup and restoration stemming from the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill nearly three decades ago. In court documents filed on Wednesday, the state of Alaska and U.S. Justice Department said they were dropping remaining judicial action and would no longer seek the additional money from Exxon due to the recovery of several species, including ducks and sea otters, living in Alaska's Prince William Sound. "Although we will not be pursuing Exxon for additional damages, our decision today does not close the book on lingering oil," Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said in a statement. For full story, click here.

Wildlife federation files suit over pipeline spills

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue – Deseret News – October 8, 2015
The National Wildlife Federation announced Thursday it is suing the federal government over its failure to ensure adequate regulatory oversight of the nation's oil pipelines. “We hope today’s action will be a catalyst for long-overdue protections that benefit people, communities and wildlife,” said Mike Shriberg, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “The federal government needs to enforce the law to prevent oil pipeline disasters from fouling our water and threatening our communities and iconic places.” For full story, .

Record $11.5 Million Will Support Cleaner Water, Improved Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Globe Newswire – October 6, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the recipients of a record $11.5 million in grants for restoration, conservation and environmental outreach across the Chesapeake Bay watershed's six states and the District of Columbia. The 44 projects will leverage more than $22.2 million in matching funds for a total of $33 million to support and advance the efforts of partners and localities to achieve a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. For full news release, click here.

A Shifting Approach to Saving Endangered Species

By Erica Goode – The New York Times – October 5, 2015
When the Obama administration announced last month that it would not add the greater sage grouse to the endangered species list, some conservation groups predictably criticized the ruling. “It’s a sign that politics as usual has taken over the process,” said Erik Molvar of WildEarth Guardians, which had lobbied to protect the bird. A more surprising development was that many other environmental organizations applauded the decision and the Interior Department’s proactive approach: With the threat of regulation under the Endangered Species Act hanging in the background, the department prodded states, federal agencies and private landowners to work together on a conservation plan that could make an endangered listing unnecessary. For full story, click here.

BP Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill Is Raised to $20.8 Billion

By Coral Davenport and John Schwartz – The New York Times – October 5, 2015
The Justice Department on Monday announced a final settlement with the oil giant BP of $20.8 billion for its role in the disastrous 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, raising the total from the initial $18.7 billion settlement announced in July. At either amount, it is the largest environmental settlement — and the largest civil settlement with any single entity — in the nation’s history. The United States attorney general, Loretta Lynch, called the filing of the final settlement “a major step forward in our effort to deliver justice to the gulf region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy — the largest environmental disaster our nation has ever endured.” For full story, click here.

Climate plans by 140 nations mark progress, but not enough: experts

By Alister Doyle – PlanetArk – October 2, 2015
Plans submitted by 140 nations to limit their greenhouse gases would go some way towards tackling climate change, but not enough to prevent the planet from warming by well over 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, experts say. The plans by countries from Albania to Zimbabwe, led by top emitters China and the United States, were submitted by an informal United Nations deadline on Thursday as building blocks towards a climate accord that negotiators will try to clinch at a summit in Paris in December. For full story, click here.

USDA commits $4M in several states to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality

WaterWorld – October 2, 2015
In a first round of funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will commit $4 million to several states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to help agricultural landowners with accelerating stream and riverbank tree plantings that can reduce soil sedimentation and field and animal waste runoff, ultimately improving water quality. Delaware, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia have each been approved for an additional $1 million under the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) to increase or maintain acres enrolled in Chesapeake Bay Riparian Forest Buffer conservation. For full story, click here.

U.S. FWS and The League of United Latin American Citizens Sign Historic Partnership Agreement

Equities.com – October 2, 2105
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has signed an historic partnership agreement with the oldest and largest Latino advocacy organization in the United States, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The organizations will work together to engage Latino families in outdoor recreational sports on public lands and raise awareness and action on wildlife conservation issues that impact Latino health. The partnership will also provide new opportunities for urban youth to experience the natural world and promote career interest in conservation and the biological sciences. For full story, click here.

Land and Water Conservation Fund bites the dust. Now what?

By Phil Taylor – E&E Publishing, LLC – October 1, 2015
At midnight last night, the light flickered out on one of the nation's most popular conservation programs. But the political battle over the Land and Water Conservation Fund is sure to rage on into the fall, as lawmakers debate how to divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives each year. The 50-year-old law, which was authorized at $900 million, pays for federal land acquisitions, private land conservation easements, state recreation projects and endangered species grants. It's been funded annually by revenues from offshore oil and gas development, accumulating an unappropriated balance of roughly $20 billion. Appropriators will still be able to draw from that fund when it comes time to pass another spending bill Dec. 11. But the program's expiration means oil and gas companies have stopped paying into it. That has increased the stakes for the program's backers in Congress. For full story, click here.

Court says BLM lacks authority to regulate fracking

By Ellen M. Gilmer – E&E Publishing, LLC – October 1, 2015
The Obama administration does not have authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, a federal judge decided yesterday. In a major blow to the Bureau of Land Management and environmentalists who support stricter fracking oversight, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming enjoined BLM's years-in-the-making fracking rule, blocking enforcement of the new regulation while the court considers industry and state challenges. For full story, click here.

U.S. court orders EPA to rewrite ship ballast water dumping rules

By Jonathan Stempel – Reuters – October 5, 2015
A federal appeals court in New York ordered the government to rewrite its rules regulating the discharge of ballast water by ships, in a victory for environmental groups that said the rules were too lenient and threatened the nation's waterways. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday said the Environmental Protection Agency acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" when it decided in 2013 to follow an international standard governing the discharge of harmful organisms, though technology was available to adopt a higher standard. Writing for a 3-0 appeals court panel, Circuit Judge Denny Chin also said the EPA, using its authority under the Clean Water Act, should have considered onshore facilities to treat ballast water rather than focus on pollution controls aboard ships, where a lack of space might limit their effectiveness. For full story, click here.

EPA Announces National Limits to Reduce Toxic Pollutants Discharged into Waterways by Steam Electric Power Plants

Contact Robert Daguilard – EPA – September 30, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized a rule that will reduce the discharge of toxic pollutants into America’s waterways from steam electric power plants by 1.4 billion pounds annually, as well as reduce water withdrawal by 57 billion gallons per year, resulting in an estimated benefit of $463 million per year to Americans across the country. Toxic pollutants include mercury, arsenic, lead, and selenium, which can cause neurological damage in children, lead to cancer, and damage the circulatory system, kidneys, and liver. For full news release, click here.

Environmental Markets Could Sell Farmers On Conservation

By Grant Gerlock – Net News – September 28, 2015
Farmers are used to playing the commodity markets when they sell their crop. But a different kind of market could be emerging. Federal regulators are advancing the idea of environmental markets to get more farmers practicing conservation. The idea is that farmers could generate credits by farming in ways that store carbon, filter out water pollution, or preserve wildlife habitat. Those credits could be bought, sold, and traded by companies that need to balance out their own emissions or pollution. For full story, click here.

U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking 'trust gap' before Paris

By Valerie Volcovici – PlanetArk – September 25, 2015
A looming federal budget confrontation and Republican hostility to UN global-warming talks threaten a U.S. down payment into a key climate-aid fund, money considered vital to a climate deal in Paris this December. President Barack Obama had requested $500 million in the 2016 budget for the first tranche of its $3 billion pledge into a UN-administered Green Climate Fund (GCF) that would help poorer countries make a transition to clean energy technologies and adapt to climate change. But Congressional Republicans have vowed to oppose that spending request, and the wider dispute between the President and Republicans over the federal budget has raised the possibility that Obama will not be able to guarantee that U.S. funding before the December summit. For full story, click here.

Pope's climate push is 'raving nonsense' without population control, says top US scientist

By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian – September 24, 2015 – Video
One of America’s leading scientists has dismissed as “raving nonsense” the pope’s call for action on climate change – so long as the leader of the world’s 1 billion Catholics rejects the need for population control. In a commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, Paul Ehrlich, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, argues that Pope Francis is simply wrong in trying to fight climate change without also addressing the additional strain on global resources from population rise. “That’s raving nonsense,” Ehrlich told the Guardian. “He is right on some things but he is just dead wrong on that.” For full story and to view video, click here.

Greater sage grouse denied U.S. Endangered Species Act protection

By Keith Coffman – PlanetArk – September 24, 2015
A long-simmering debate in the American West over the fate of a ground-dwelling bird reached a climax on Tuesday as the Obama administration denied Endangered Species Act protections to the greater sage grouse in favor of less rigid habitat conservation measures. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the need to list the charismatic bird as threatened or endangered was averted by the success of "unprecedented" collaboration among state and local governments, scientists, ranchers and other private interests over the last five years. She credited those efforts with significantly reducing threats to the sage grouse across 90 percent of its breeding habitat, staving off any immediate risk of extinction. For full story, click here.

Top science book prize won by woman for first time

By Ian Sample – The Guardian – September 24, 2015
The most prestigious science book prize in Britain has been won by a solo female writer for the first time in its 28-year history. Gaia Vince, a journalist and broadcaster based in London, was named the winner of the 2015 Royal Society Winton prize for Science Books at a ceremony in London on Thursday evening. Vince quit her job as an editor at the journal, Nature, to spend more than two years travelling the world to research her book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: a Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made. The word Anthropocene was coined in the 1980s to describe what some regard as a new epoch in Earth’s geological history: one in which humans replace nature as the most influential force on the planet. For full story, click here.

Farm Bureau will take Chesapeake Bay water quality fight to Supreme Court

Farm Futures – September 22, 2015
The American Farm Bureau plans to take its fight over EPA Chesapeake Bay pollution limits to the Supreme Court, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a group in support of the limit plans. Joining AFBF in the effort to overturn two lower court decisions on the blueprint will be the National Association of Homebuilders. AFBF has requested an extension of time to ask for the Supreme Court to hear the appeal. For full story, click here.

Nearly Half the World's Marine Animals Wiped out in Single Generation

By Lucy Cormack – The Sydney Morning Herald – September 17, 2015
Humanity's mismanagement of the ocean has led to the loss of almost half the world's marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish in a single generation, a World Wide Fund for Nature report says. The emergency edition of WWF's Living Blue Planet Report revealed a 49 per cent decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2012. For some fish this figure was almost 75 per cent. For full story, click here.

American Rivers and Partners Petition EPA to Control Stormwater

By Liz G. Deardorff – American Rivers – The River Blog – September 17, 2015
Leaving no stone unturned, or more accurately no significant stormwater source uncontrolled, American Rivers, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Clean Air Council petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure control of significant sources of pollution that contribute to costly local clean-up efforts and are not already adequately addressed by urban stormwater programs. For full blog post, click here.

Federal Court to EPA: No, You Can't Approve This Pesticide That Kills Bees

By Tom Philott – MotherJones – September 11, 2015
On Thursday, a federal appeals court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a pesticide called sulfoxaflor. Marketed by agrichemical giant Dow AgroSciences, sulfoxaflor belongs to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which have been implicated by a growing weight of evidence in the global crisis in bee health. In a blunt opinion, the court cited the "precariousness of bee populations" and "flawed and limited data" submitted by Dow on the pesticide's effects on beleaguered pollinating insects. For full story, click here.

Drilling boom brings rising number of harmful waste spills

Billings Gazette – Associated Press – September 8, 2015
Carl Johnson and son Justin are third- and fourth-generation ranchers who for decades have battled oil field companies that left a patchwork of barren earth where the men graze cattle in the high plains of New Mexico. Blunt and profane, they stroll across a 1½-acre patch of sandy soil — lifeless, save for a scattering of stunted weeds. Five years ago, a broken pipe soaked the land with as much as 420,000 gallons of oil field wastewater — a salty and potentially toxic drilling byproduct that can quickly turn fertile land into a dead zone. The leaked brine killed every sprig of grama and bluestem grasses and shinnery shrubs it touched. For full story, click here.

EPA's spill pales in comparison to everyday mine leaks

Manuel Quiñones – E&E Publishing, LLC – September 8, 2015
Politicians, activists, tribes and media outlets have expressed shock at last month's abandoned mine spill in Colorado, which sent 3 million gallons of polluted water down the Animas River. But environmental advocates and groups that have for decades been trying to clean up the legacy of unregulated mining say the incident pales in comparison to the broader problem of tens of thousands of mines leaking across the country. For full story, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015STATE NEWS

AK: Climate change and glacial uplift in Southeast's rural communities

By Mary Catharine Martin – Capital City Weekly – October 14, 2015
Climate change is already affecting the way Southeast Alaska's Native communities harvest and gather traditional foods, according to a recent Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station study. The study paired both social and physical sciences, analyzing how climate change and glacial uplift are impacting the land, and how those changes affect the people that live there. Its ultimate goal is to help people figure out ways to adapt to the changing environment. For full story, click here.

AK: Alaska Seeks Federal Money to Move a Village Threatened by Climate Change

The New York Times – October 3, 2015
One of the most eroded Native Alaskan villages on the state’s coast is being considered as a possible national model for moving entire communities whose futures are threatened by natural disasters escalated by climate change. The state is hoping to kick-start an exodus from the village of Newtok, about 500 miles west of Anchorage, through a national competition for states and local governments vying for a slice of nearly $1 billion in grants to be awarded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency’s National Disaster Resilience Competition is being promoted as an effort to address climate change and extreme weather. For full story, click here.

AR: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2016 EQIP Applications through Nov. 20, 2015

USDA – October 8, 2015
Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Nov. 20, 2015, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2016 program year. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center. Individuals and other entities actively engaged in agricultural production are eligible to participate in EQIP. The EQIP deadline is for consideration in the local, state and initiative funding categories. For more information, go here.

CA: Report: San Francisco Bay needs major wetland overhaul to stem sea-level rise

By Paul Rogers – Marinij.com – October 18, 2015
San Francisco Bay is in a race against time, with billions of dollars of highways, airports, homes and office buildings at risk from rising seas, surging tides and extreme storms driven by climate change. And to knock down the waves and reduce flooding, 54,000 acres of wetlands — an area twice the size of the city of San Francisco — need to be restored around the bay in the next 15 years. For full story, click here.

CA: Yolo farmers bank water for the future

By Felicia Alvarez – Davis Enterprise – October 14, 2015
Brace yourself, El Niño is (possibly) coming. As the heat of summer fades to autumn’s crisp, cool air, local farmers are preparing their land to make the most of what could be a hefty rainy season. Craig McNamara — a lifelong advocate for sustainable agriculture — is adding a water-banking and pumping system to his Winters farm, Sierra Orchards, in anticipation of winter rains. “We’re trying to prepare in as many ways as possible,” McNamara said. “Any extra drop counts.” For full story, click here.

DE: Wetland loss the issue in Delaware Bay

By Molly Murray – Delawareonline – September 5, 2015
Jonathan Sharp, a professor emeritus at the University of Delaware, studied the chemistry of Delaware River and Bay for more than 30 years, watching from a front-row seat as water quality began to improve with the passage of the Clean Water Act. And while there have been many environmental changes in the estuary, a long-term shift in temperature is not one of them. “There’s so much variability,” he said. But water temperature isn’t the only factor that influences fish populations.
As temperatures warm around the globe, as is projected, sea level is expected to continue to rise. For full story, click here.

FL: Storing water and restoring wetlands

By Kevin Lollar – news-press.com – October 8, 2015 – Video
Surrounded by various species of marsh grass, the great egret stood mirrored in the clear, shallow water of the 300-acre Halfway Pond Preserve in Lehigh Acres. Four years ago, the preserve, also known as Mirror Lake, was lifeless dry sand, scarred by all-terrain vehicle tracks. But Phase 1 of a partnership between the South Florida Water Management District and the Lehigh Municipal Services Improvement District has turned dry sand into a wetland. For full story and to view video, click here.

FL: Florida needs $16.5 billion for drinking water infrastructure

By Jason Dearen – The Ledger – September 27, 2015
With a burgeoning population and aging water systems, Florida will need $16.5 billion in funding over the next 20 years just to maintain its existing drinking water infrastructure, according to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In most places across the country, the promise of clean, cheap, readily available water has been taken for granted, but that has begun to change. Farm runoff has polluted municipal water sources, and the aging underground networks of pipes that carry water to homes and businesses rupture all too frequently. Just as with crumbling bridges or congested highways, the solutions don't come cheap. For full story, click here.

IA: Human Activity Affecting Microbes in Soil

Newswise – September 23, 2015
New research from an Iowa State University ecologist shows that agricultural inputs such as nitrogen and phosphorous alter soil microbial communities, which may have unintended environmental consequences. Adding nitrogen and phosphorous, commonly used as fertilizers, to the soil beneath grasslands shifts the natural communities of fungi, bacteria and microscopic organisms called archaea that live in the soil, said Kirsten Hofmockel, an associate professor in the ISU Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. For full story, click here.

KS: Wichita Gets Wild With New City Park

By Anna Clark – Next City – September 11, 2015
In a rare fusion of nature preservation and economic development, Wichita will soon see its urban wetlands become a public park. In doing so, it is upending the classic template of a park as a place of well-mowed green space and tennis courts, and replacing it with a vision that is more wild and native. And in one graceful step, the wetlands project will also improve stormwater management and improve the value of nearby commercial projects. For full story, click here.

LA: 'It’s not going to look like they want': Landscape plans for Baton Rouge lakes will be expensive, maybe impossible, wetland expert says

By Amy Wold – The Advocate – October 18, 2015
A wetland specialist is concerned the plans for sloping banks on the proposed revamped Baton Rouge lakes won’t stand the test of time once plants mature and native flora take hold. “If they build a nice sloping shoreline, it’s not going to look like they want in about a year,” said Andy Nyman, a professor of wetland ecology at LSU who has experience with wetland plants. Maintenance of a sloped shoreline will be much more intensive and expensive, and in some cases impossible, with the planted wetlands planned, Nyman said. For full story, click here.

LA: Judge: Corps must pay full $3 billion cost of restoring MR-GO wetlands

By Mark Schleifstein – NOLA.com-The Times-Picayune – August 27, 2015
The Army Corps of Engineers must pay the full $3 billion cost of restoring wetlands destroyed by the agency's improper construction and maintenance of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a federal judge in New Orleans ruled Thursday (Aug. 27). In a major victory for Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ruled the corps improperly tried to stick the state with 35 percent of the restoration cost. When the state declined to pay, the corps refused to begin the restoration program, all in violation of Congressional intent, Africk ruled. For full story, click here.

MD: Mallows Bay may become National Marine Sanctuary

By James Hash – WUSA 9 – October 6, 2015 – Video
Mallows Bay in Charles County, Md. is well known as the nation's largest collection of historic shipwrecks. But time and nature could turn the bay into a National Marine Sanctuary. They're not much to see on first glance, but the tiny islands that dot the bay are the remnants of decades-old shipwrecks. "Those swampy islands are shipwrecks in the process of de-evolution," Don Shomette, a marine archeologist said. The ships were built to transport war supplies to Europe during World War I, but were abandoned here in the 1920's. "It is an environment which is evolving. it is a living laboratory of nature and humankind interacting in a way that we really don't know a lot about," Shomette said. And this living laboratory is set to become the nation's 15th National Marine Sanctuary. For full story and to view video, click here.

MD: Harris Creek reef restoration at 350 acres, is largest ever

By Karl Blankenship – Bay Journal – October 6, 2015
Harris Creek was once home to nearly 1,500 acres of Maryland’s best oyster reefs, but in recent decades its oyster population — like those in much of the Bay — had dramatically dwindled. When biologists surveyed the creek a few years ago, “we barely found an acre that was functioning at what we would consider the historic level,” said Stephanie Westby, oyster project coordinator with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chesapeake Bay Office. In fact, only a few hundred thousand oysters remained. With few oysters to rebuild them, the reefs had deteriorated. In short, Harris Creek looked like much of the rest of the Chesapeake, where oyster numbers are estimated to be at 1 percent or less of their historic abundance. That was then. For full article, click here.

MI: In toxic Lake Erie algae battle, Michigan shows a sign of progress

By Garret Ellison – MLive – September 30, 2015 – Video
New data indicates that harmful algal bloom-fueling phosphorus in a Lake Erie tributary has been reduced by nearly 50 percent in the past seven years, a drop that state officials are attributing to conservation farming practices. Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, credited techniques like installing soil buffer strips, windbreak trees and subsurface tile drainage filter structures at farms in the Western Lake Erie basin for the 49 percent total drop in phosphorus in the River Raisin since 2008. For full story and to view video, click here.

MI: New Interactive Application for Habitat and Wildlife Restoration on the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Commission – September 17, 2015
The Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), today announced the release of an updated and improved Great Lakes Restoration Database (GLRD), available at habitat.glc.org. Originally launched in 2013, the website showcases habitat restoration projects implemented under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a multiyear program that is addressing the biggest threats to the health of the Great Lakes. The website provides individual factsheets and powerful visual tools to view the location and footprint of more than 600 habitat restoration projects across the eight-state Great Lakes region. For full story, click here.

MN: Lead shot ban proposed for state wildlife management areas

By Doug Smith – Start Tribune – October 13, 2015
Nine years ago a citizens advisory committee told the Department of Natural Resources it was someday inevitable that lead shot would be restricted for shotgun hunting because of concerns over lead’s toxicity. That day might be near. The DNR announced this week a proposed rule requiring hunters to use nontoxic shot on state wildlife management areas (WMAs) in Minnesota’s farmland zone. If approved, the lead-shot ban would begin in 2018. It would not affect WMAs in the forest region or private land, state forest and county forest land. For full story, click here.

MN: Minnesota wetlands are healthy overall

Hutchinson Leader – September 29, 2015
As Minnesota’s 2015 waterfowl hunting season began Saturday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is releasing two reports on the health of wetlands around the state. The health of a wetland’s vegetation can impact its quality as a habitat for ducks, geese, insects and other animals. The two reports — “Status and trends of wetlands in Minnesota: Depressional Wetland Quality Assessment (2007 to 2012)” and “Status and Trends of Wetlands in Minnesota: Vegetation Quality Baseline” — look at the quality of vegetation in the more than 10 million acres of wetlands in Minnesota. For full story, click here.

MT: Judge blocks lower Yellowstone dam over fish worries

By Matthew Brown – Billings Gazette – September 8, 2015
A federal judge has blocked construction of a dam planned along the Yellowstone River near the Montana-North Dakota border over worries that it could harm an endangered fish population. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to do adequate environmental studies before deciding to move ahead with the $59 million irrigation project northeast of Glendive. For full story, click here.

NJ: NJ judge denies bid by environmental groups to block Exxon settlement

By James M. O’Neill – NorthJersey.com – October 9, 2015
A New Jersey judge on Friday denied a bid by environmental groups to block a $225 million settlement between Exxon Mobil and the Christie administration that is meant to compensate the state for decades of pollution that damaged wetlands around two of the oil company’s former refineries in Linden and Bayonne. The environmentalists and state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, had asked the judge for the legal standing to intervene in the case so they could appeal a recent decision by the judge to approve the controversial settlement. Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan denied that request. The environmentalists said they would take their case to the state’s appellate court. For full story, click here.

NJ: EPA to review $43M dredging plan for Pompton Lake

By James M. O’Neill – NorthJersey.com – October 6, 2015
Details of a $43 million plan to remove 10,600 dump trucks' worth of contaminated sediment from the bottom of Pompton Lake have been submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. It is expected to take three years to remove the contamination as well as tainted soil from the shoreline, according to the plan. The pollution came from a munitions factory DuPont once operated in the area. Chemours, a DuPont spinoff that is responsible for cleaning up old DuPont sites across the country, expects work on the project to start next June. For full story, click here.

NY: Pilot Program Aims to Save Jamaica Bay’s Shrinking Marshes

By Lisa W. Foderaro – The New York Times – October 14, 2015
At first glance, the five rectilinear islands that bob off the south shore of Jamaica Bay look like an art installation cooked up in a studio in Williamsburg or Bushwick. But the structures, which resemble giant planters and are filled with smooth cordgrass, have an ecological purpose. They are helping to protect a quarter-mile ribbon of marshland that hugs the shore in the Rockaways by slowing the onslaught of waves, which are small but relentless. For full story, click here.

NY: New York gets $1M for watershed protection

By Brian Tumult– pressconnects – October 5, 2015
New York is getting $1 million in federal money to plant trees and shrubs to intercept fertilizer, pesticides, animal waste and sediment along streams and rivers that feed into the Chesapeake Bay. The grant, announced Thursday, is part of a long-term plan to improve water quality in the multi-state Chesapeake Bay watershed. The money will go primarily to farmers and large land owners with property along waterways such as the Chemung, Chenango and Susquehanna rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. For full story, click here.

NC: Environmental groups challenge state settlement with Duke Energy

By Anne Blythe – The Charlotte Observer – October 13, 2015
Conservation groups have asked judges in Wake and Mecklenburg counties to reject a $7 million agreement between the state and Duke Energy to settle years of groundwater contamination violations. In court documents filed on Tuesday, attorneys from the Southern Environmental Law Center say an administrative law judge overstepped his bounds last month when he signed off on an agreement between the utility and the state Department of Environmental Quality that let Duke off the hook for a $25 million fine levied earlier in the year. For full story, click here.

NC: Wetland park doing its job after heavy rainfall

By Susanna Black– WECT 6 – October 6, 2015
A 17-acre man-made wetland is serving its purpose after heavy rain moved through North Carolina this week, according to the City of Wilmington. The J.E.L Wade Wetland rose considerably, taking in rain water that could have flooded a nearby neighborhood. The wetland park, funded by the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, was built to treat drainage from the Hewlett’s Creek watershed. Because the Wade wetland is functioning so well, the City of Wilmington is looking to build similar ones in other places. For full story, click here.

OH: Buchtel classrooms are uprooted to the wetlands

By Doug Livingston– Ohio.com-Akron Beacon Journal – October 9, 2015
Buchtel students took an eight-minute bus ride this week to learn in another world. As they exited Akron westward along Copley Road, concrete sidewalks and cramped houses surrendered to nature. The school bus turned down a narrow dirt driveway off a country road in Copley Township. Students peered out windows as gnarly limbs wrapped overhead and vines obstructed the view on either side. This would be their classroom for the week: a soggy wetland. For full article, click here.

OH: Toxic Algae Outbreak Overwhelms a Polluted Ohio River

By Michael Wines – The New York Times – September 30, 2015The Ohio River, transformed by mining and industrial waste and sewage overflows into the nation’s most polluted major waterway, has a new and unexpected tormentor this fall: carpets of poisonous algae. Pads of toxic blue-green algae have speckled nearly two-thirds of the 981-mile river in the last five weeks, experts say, in an outbreak that has curbed boating, put water utilities on alert and driven the river’s few hardy swimmers back to shore. For full story, click here.

PA: Fracking Study Ties Water Contamination to Surface Spills

By Lisa Song– InsideClimate News – October 13, 2015
Residential water wells near Marcellus shale fracking in northeast Pennsylvania were more likely to contain higher levels of diesel-like chemicals, especially if the gas well had a history of environmental health and safety violations, according to a peer-reviewed paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But the study found the contamination came from surface spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid, not fracking compounds that were injected deep underground. It also found the contamination levels likely were not a threat to human health. For full story, .

TX: Development Co. replants area wetlands

By Julie Butterfield– Community Impact – October 7, 2015
The Woodlands Development Company and The Woodlands Township have partnered to revive a wetlands pond in Hughes Landing by bringing back native plant species to the area. Jim Carman, vice president of commercial development with the Howard Hughes Corporation, said the Development Company and the township knew the wetlands needed updated flora. “As part of the whole Hughes Landing [development], there was an existing wetlands that, over time, deteriorated with nonnative plants and species in it—and trash,” Carman said. “We looked at the master plan and said, ‘Let’s look at the wetlands and make it beautiful and of interest to the public.’” For full story, click here.

VA: Local wetland areas named state conservation sites

By Caitlyn Seed– The Cavalier Daily – October 13, 2015
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has named two wetland areas official state conservation stites. The department named the wetlands conservation sites after the Charlottesville-based Center for Urban Habitats completed a survey to classify ecosystems present. The study aimed to determine the probability that rare and endangered species live in the wetlands. Also, Dominion Energy has proposed an alternate route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that runs through the area. For full story, click here.

VA: James River shows improved health on annual report card

By Leslie Middleton – Bay Journal – October 14, 2015
The health of the James River has improved enough since 2013 to get its first “B” grade in 40 years, according to the 2015 State of the James “report card” released by the James River Association today. Measured against benchmark goals in fish and wildlife, habitat, pollution reductions, and protection and restoration actions, the river scored 61 percent (or B minus), which is 4 points above the last assessment of 57 percent (C plus) conducted in 2013. For full article, click here.

WA: Coweeman wetland and fish conservation project proposed near Kelso

Contact: Camille St. Onge – Washington State Department of Ecology – October 16, 2015
A 320-acre site near Kelso is being proposed as a joint wetland and fish conservation bank that would improve ecosystems along the Coweeman River and other streams. The Washington Department of Ecology is proposing to approve the Coweeman bank jointly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Fisheries Services and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If approved, this will be the first joint wetland and fish conservation bank in Washington. For full story, click here.

WA: Olympia shoreline program receives final approval

Contact: Chase Gallagher – Washington State Department of Ecology – October 6, 2015
Following a public process for input and review, a comprehensive update to Olympia’s shoreline master program has been approved by the Washington Department of Ecology. The comprehensive update revises the existing shoreline program for approximately 30 miles of shoreline within the city and it's Urban Growth Area, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, and administrative procedures and definitions. The finalized program includes shorelines along Percival Creek, Capitol Lake, Chambers Lake, and Budd Inlet. For full news release, click here.

WI: Impacts of Clean Water Act Visible in Wisconsin

By Susan Bence – WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio – October 20, 2015
Before the Clean Water Act, what came out of wastewater pipes was essentially unregulated. When Dave Fowler moved here decades ago to work for Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Milwaukee River was not a destination. “Back in 1980, when I was on that river on a barge, I wouldn’t have wanted to eat my lunch out there. Now I’m seeing hundreds and hundreds of kayakers and boaters enjoying the downtown of Milwaukee because the river and the harbor are now considered a recreational opportunity, not an open cesspool,” Fowler says. For full story, click here.

WI: Conservationist Hopes International Designation Will Inspire Wetlands Awareness

By Chris Malina – Wisconsin Public Radio – October 7, 2015
A leading Wisconsin conservationist is applauding the recent international recognition of a stretch of wetlands and prairie near the Wisconsin-Illinois border. The Chiwaukee Prairie — 4,000 acres near the shore of Lake Michigan — was designated in September as a "wetland of international importance" under the Ramsar Convention, becoming only the 38th such place in the United States. "It’s a great honor for the state of Wisconsin," said Steve Richter, director of conservation programs for the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. "It’s really recognizing the partnership that really took place to protect and restore wetland communities that are really, really important to the state’s citizens." For full story, click here.

 

WETLAND SCIENCE

Toxic road runoff kills adult coho salmon in hours, study finds

By Sandi Doughton – The Seattle Times – October 9, 2015 – Video
A new study shows that stormwater runoff from urban roadways is so toxic to coho salmon that it can kill adult fish in as little as 2½ hours. But the research by Seattle scientists also points to a relatively easy fix: Filtration through a simple, soil-based system. “It’s basically … letting the Earth do what it does so well, what it has done for eons: cleaning things up,” said Julann Spromberg, a toxicologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and co-author of the report published Thursday in the Journal of Applied Ecology. For full story and to view video, click here.

Scientists say a dramatic worldwide coral bleaching event is now underway

By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – October 8, 2015
For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year — with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016. For full story, click here.

Predictable ecosystems may be more fragile

By Adam Hinterthuer – PHYS.org – October 7, 2015
When it comes to using our natural resources, human beings want to know what we're going to get. We expect clean water every time we turn on the tap; beaches free of algae and bacteria; and robust harvests of crops, fish and fuel year after year. As a result, we try to manage the use of our resources in a way that minimizes their variability. We seek a predictable "status quo." But a new study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says managing our environment for predictable outcomes is risky. In fact, more often than not, it backfires. For full story, click here.

How a Manmade Tidal Lagoon Could Change the Future of Clean Energy

By Feargus O’Sullivan – CityLab – October 7, 2015 – Video
Just outside the Welsh city of Swansea, the U.K. is planning one of the most innovative power plants ever constructed. It’s not the plant’s size that is striking, though it could ultimately provide power to 155,000 homes for 120 years. It’s the source of its power that breaks ground: tides channeled into an artificially constructed lagoon. For full story and to view video, click here.

We’re risking a mass extinction of frogs — and they’re the ‘canary in the coal mine’

By Chelsea Harvey – The Washington Post – October 5, 2015
While there’s been extensive research attempting to predict the future of Earth’s vulnerable plants and animals, there have been comparatively few studies investigating the extinctions that have occurred in the past. Looking backward is an important method of understanding how extinction rates have changed over time, the environmental factors that have influenced them and how seriously they have affected Earth’s ecosystems. Now, a researcher from Macquarie University in Australia has published a study examining recent extinctions within two vulnerable groups of animals — reptiles and amphibians — and the results are cause for alarm. Most notably, they indicate that approximately 200 frog species have already gone extinct, and hundreds more may be on their way out. For full story, click here.

New water-tracing technology helps protect groundwater

ENN-Environmental News Network – September 30, 2015
UNSW Australia researchers have used new water-tracing technology in the Sydney Basin for the first time to determine how groundwater moves in the different layers of rock below the surface. The study provides a baseline against which any future impacts on groundwater from mining operations, groundwater abstraction or climate change can be assessed. For full story, click here.

Soils protect the natural environment

By Kansas State University –Ag Professional – September 29, 2015
Managing the health of the world’s largest filter – soil – means protecting the larger environment and the other resources it contains. Clean water and clean air are dependent on having a healthy soil for a particular environment, whether that environment is rural or urban. For full story, click here.

U.S. seeks to protect threatened bull trout

By Laura Zuckerman – Reuters – September 29, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday unveiled measures to help the threatened bull trout, a native fish whose cold-water streams in Western states could be warming due to climate change, but conservationists said the plan was too timid. Under the plan, due to take effect on Wednesday, bull trout populations will be divided into six recovery units across five states, and efforts will be made to reduce threats such as the invasion of non-native fish species and barriers like temporary dams that stop the trout from swimming upstream to spawn. For full story, click here.

2015 National Wetland Plant List Proposed Updates

The Swamp School – September 29, 2015
On September 14, 2015, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced the availability of the draft National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) 2015 and its Web address to solicit public comments. The public will now have the opportunity to comment and vote on the proposed update of wetland indicator status ratings for 186 plants species in select Corps wetland regions. The following is from the Federal Register (80 FR 55103). If you wish to provide a comment, you can do so by filling out this Google Form. Comments are due by midnight November 13, 2015. For full blog post, click here.

When Conservation Means Killing

By Julie M. Johnson –Ensia – September 28, 2015
The fight continues at the site of the World War II Battle of Midway in the North Pacific. But rather than an attack by foreign forces on the U.S. Navy, this assault is by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service against the invasive plant Verbesina encelioides. Introduced in the 1930s, this insidious yellow aster has choked the three islands comprising the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge with mats of growth that inhibit albatross nesting. For two years, staff regularly sprayed the invasive plants with herbicides. They receded, crews reintroduced native plants conducive to albatross nesting, and the endangered birds’ survival rates are increasing. For full story, click here.

500-Year Floods Coming to New York Every 24 Years, Study Says

By Phil McKenna – InsideClimate News – September 28, 2015
New York City is vulnerable to rising seas and larger, more powerful storms that result in more frequent and intense flooding and what was once a 500-year flood prior to human-induced climate change now occurs on average once every 24 years. This is according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Flood heights are increasing and have increased since the pre-anthropogenic era, not only because of rising sea levels but also because of the impact that climate change is having on tropical cyclones," said lead author Andra Reed of Penn State University. Reed and colleagues made their conclusions based on climate models that simulated tropical storms and subsequent flooding for the region beginning in 850. They found that average flood height increased by more than 4 feet from 850 to 2005. For full story, click here.

Coca-Cola Leaves It to Beavers to Fight the Drought

By Erica Gies –takeparat – September 23, 2015
What do Coca-Cola and beavers have in common? It sounds like the setup of a bad joke, but the fates of beavers and bottlers look increasingly intertwined. Coke is funding the deployment of beavers in the United States to build dams and create ponds that can replenish water supplies for local ecosystems and, ultimately, people. Coca-Cola received a ton of bad press a decade ago for drawing down groundwater near one of its plants in India, depriving local farmers of water for their crops. Funding beavers’ work is part of the company’s commitment to replenishing the water it consumes. For full story, click here.

Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer – InsideClimate News – September 21, 2015
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity. For full story, click here.

Pilot Project Tests Wetland vs. Nitrates

By Donnelle Eller – The Des Moines Register – September 13, 2015
About 1,000 acres of rich northwest farmland drain into a 10-acre wetland, where grasses, cattails and other vegetation help hardworking microbes remove nitrates from the water before they can enter the Des Moines River. The pilot project, one of five wetlands constructed at the same time the drainage systems were rebuilt, works to offset nitrate losses from the tile it connects with. With an aging tiling network that drains 12 million acres, the state faces a unique opportunity to construct the conservation practices needed to dramatically improve Iowa’s water quality, says Sean McMahon, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance. For full story, click here.

Southern Ocean showing 'remarkable' revival in carbon absorption ability

Emma Howard –The Guardian – September 10, 2015
The Southern Ocean, which acts as one of the natural world’s most effective sponges for absorbing carbon dioxide, is showing signs of an unexpected revival in its ability to do so, according to scientists. The oceans absorb around a quarter of emissions caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, reducing the speed of climate change. About 40% of this occurs in the Southern Ocean, which surrounds the Antarctic, making it the planet’s strongest ocean carbon sink. The researchers said the new findings are surprising and remarkable. For full story, click here.

Big Data Improving Ecosystems, from Chesapeake Bay to Colombia

By Karin Krchnak – Huffington Post Blog – September 9, 2015
Every single living thing on this planet needs fresh water in some way. We depend on water for food, energy, health and sanitation, and almost everything we use on any given day. Yet despite our incredible dependence on water, it’s largely managed behind closed doors, governed based on scarce or inaccurate information, and out of reach for millions of people. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.5 million people die from waterborne diseases each year; more than 700 million people lack access to safe drinking water; and 2.5 billion don’t have access to improved sanitation facilities. For full blog post, click here.

Disastrous’: Low snow, heat eat away at Northwest glaciers

By Sandi Doughton – The Seattle Times – September 8, 2015 – Video
In more than three decades of field work, Mauri Pelto has taken the measure of Washington’s glaciers during seasons of record-breaking snow and years that broke skiers’ hearts. But he’s never seen anything like this summer. “The best word for it is disastrous,” said Pelto, who recently wrapped up his annual survey in the North Cascades. On mountain after mountain, he and his team encountered bare ice and gushing meltwater on glaciers that would normally be blanketed with snow. On average, Pelto estimates glaciers across the rugged mountain range will lose 5 to 10 percent of their volume before the summer is over. “This is the single biggest volume loss in the last 50 years,” said Pelto, a Nichols College glaciologist. For full story and to view video, click here.

Male Frogs May Be Turning Female Thanks to Estrogen in Suburban Waste

By Douglas Main – Newsweek – September 7, 2015
A surprising study has found that frogs in suburban lakes tend to be mostly female, and suggests that urbanization and estrogenic wastes are likely turning male frogs female. In a study published September 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers sampled hundreds of young frogs from 21 ponds in Connecticut, which were all geographically close but varied widely in terms of how developed their immediate surroundings were. The scientists, led by Yale University researcher David Skelly and doctoral student Max Lambert, were surprised to find that the extent of development was strongly linked to the proportion of females; ponds in forests contained lower proportions of females, whereas males were in the minority in some areas of the ‘burbs. For full article, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News: October 2015RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS

Status and Trends of Wetlands in Minnesota: Vegetation Quality Baseline

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency September 2015
To protect wetlands, both the United States (U.S.) federal government and the state of Minnesota have adopted a broad policy goal to achieve no-net-loss and promote increases in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of wetlands. As no-net-loss is advanced through a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory programs at many levels of government, targeted monitoring efforts are required to determine whether policy goals are being met. To do so, Minnesota has initiated several random surveys to measure the status and trends of both wetland quantity and quality. For full report, click here.

Performance of Natural Infrastructure and Nature-based Measures as Coastal Risk Reduction Features

By Shannon Cunniff and Aaron Schwartz Environmental Defense Fund September 2015
This report represents the review of the state of knowledge on the performance of natural and nature-based infrastructure as compiled from existing literature and participant input obtained during an expert workshop. It provides an accessible summary of the most current state of understanding of the risk reduction performance of natural infrastructure. For more information, click here or to download report, go here.

 

Wetland Breaking News: October 2015

POTPOURRI

Americans are increasingly dependent on just two crops, and it’s putting us all at risk

By Deena Shanker – Quartz – October 13, 2015
Corn and soy are in nearly every meal that Americans eat. From high-fructose corn syrup sweetening sodas to soy-based livestock feed transformed into steaks and nuggets, a few major crops dominate the US food chain. Now, new research highlights just how worrisome this trend is for the country’s food security. In a study published in August in PLOS One, US researchers have quantified for the first time how much species diversity we are losing, due to our focus on major commodity crops—up to 19% in some areas. For full story, click here.

Pact May Mean A Cleaner Tijuana River

By Brooke Binkowski – KCET.org – October 12, 2015
The marshes and streams between the United States and Mexico, just east of the Pacific Ocean, are often cluttered with trash and clogged with raw sewage after rains. The runoff and jetsam aren't just one country's fault, but represent problems caused by both countries. But an unprecedented agreement between the United States and Mexico to clean up the Tijuana River Watershed, which extends across the international boundary, may be the beginning of a new era on the western edge of the border. At least, that's what environmentalists are hoping. For full story, click here.

Editorial: EPA protects our air, water and quality of life

The Des Moines Register – Editorial – October 9, 2015
There seems to be no shortage of Republicans who want to rein in, if not entirely dismantle, the Environmental Protection Agency. Iowa's Sen. Joni Ernst even campaigned on a pledge to eliminate the agency, saying, “Our states know best how to protect their natural resources,” perhaps forgetting that much of the environmental work performed by the states is at the behest of the EPA. What would a neutered EPA look like? To answer that question, one need look no further than the recent scandal involving Volkswagen and its concoction of phony emissions data. For full opinion, click here.

Deforestation and Drought

By Jim Robbins – The New York Times – October 9, 2015
Like California, much of Brazil is gripped by one of the worst droughts in its history. Huge reservoirs are bone dry and water has been rationed in São Paulo, a megacity of 20 million people; in Rio; and in many other places. Drought is usually thought of as a natural disaster beyond human control. But as researchers peer deeper into the Earth’s changing bioclimate — the vastly complex global interplay between living organisms and climatic forces — they are better appreciating the crucial role that deforestation plays. For full story, click here.

A Really Good Day: Building the East Capital Urban Farm

By Jeff Corbin – EPA Connect – October 8, 2015
As much as I love my job, and as proud as I am of the work that EPA does every day, I must admit that some days are just better than others. I’m speaking of those days when you get to be part of something that just makes you feel good. Something that makes you say: “We did well today…this is what we are all about.” Two weeks ago, I had one of those days. Let me tell you how this all started. For full blog post, click here.

Biofuel from whisky byproducts better than ethanol, says maker

PlanetArk – October 5, 2015 – Video
A Scottish company is planning the large-scale commercial production of biobutanol made from the waste products of whisky fermentation. Jim Drury went to find out more. To view video, click here.

Connecting diverse communities and groups helps strengthen our collective watershed work

Chesapeake Bay Program – October 1, 2015
For ten years, individuals and groups from around the Chesapeake Bay region have been invited to connect with and learn from one another at the annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum, hosted by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. This year’s Forum, held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, focused on highlighting ten years of progress and sharing strategies to get new results for the Chesapeake Bay and its communities. The Forum was also organized in a way that allowed for new voices of the Chesapeake to be heard and new relationships to form. For full blog post, click here.

The Age of Loneliness

By Meera Subramanian– Guernica Magazine – September 15, 2015
Ten years ago, I went into the woods I loved to decide whether or not to leave them. I walked through the wide open door of the barn where I lived, on the green side of Oregon, veered west between the overwintering garden and the greenhouse where the rosemary thrived, and passed through grassy fields that flushed into knee-high carpets of silken violet petals when the camas came into bloom. At the edge of the property, I climbed into the forest, leaving the open meadow behind and bushwhacking steeply uphill into a remnant parcel of old-growth Douglas fir trees. For full article, click here.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

WEBINARS

   

MEETINGS

   

TRAINING

     
                   
WEBINARS          
                   
OCTOBER 2015                  
                   
October 28, 2015
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET
      EPA Webinar: Ocean and Coastal Acidification. Presenter: Jason S. Grear, Ph.D., EPA. Register here.          
                   
October 28, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET
      The South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint: From planning to action          
                   
October 29, 2015
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET
      Environmental Law Institute will host Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin Webinar Series: Model Wetland Ordinance and Stormwater Management          
                   
NOVEMBER 2015          
                   
November 3, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      NFFA Webinar: Overview of the new MAST Tool to assist municipalities, state agencies, utilities and NGOs in developing adaptation projects that address their financial, social and environmental concerns          
                   
November 4, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting - Part 2: Panel Discussion on State Wetland Permitting Considerations. Co-hosted by the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)          
                   
November 12, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET
      National Park Service Ocean Parks Centennial          
                   
November 12, 2015
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET
      Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin Webinar Series: Floodplain Acquisition Programs: Improving Community Resilience and Achieving Habitat Benefits          
                   
November 12, 2015
1:00 p.m. ET
      The Swamp School’s Wetland Plant Identification Webinar: Sedges, Grasses and Rushes of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic          
                   
November 18, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET
      Center for Watershed Protection webcast: Checking in on Post-Construction Stormwater Management          
                   
November 18, 2015
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET
      EPA Webinar: Monitoring and Early Detection of Invasive Species in Lakes          
                   
November 19, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration          
                   
DECEMBER 2015                  
                   
December 8, 2015       EPA's Green Infrastructure Program 2015 Webcast Series: Ahead of the Curve – Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities. Information will be available here in late November.          
                   
December 9, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Climate-Smart Conservation for Wetlands          
                   
December 16, 2015 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET       EPA Webinar: Ecosystem Services Approaches to Restoring a Sustainable Chesapeake Bay and its Tributary Watersheds          
                   
December 3 and 10, 2015
1:00 p.m. ET
      The Swamp School’s Wetland Tree Webinar – 2 part webinar          
                   
JANUARY 2016
                 
                   

January 14, 2016
1:00 p.m. ET

     

The Swamp School’s 2016 Wetland Status and Trends

         
                   

January 20, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET

     

Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF), in partnership with the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) webinar: Getting your feet wet: An introduction to water quality monitoring and data analysis

         
                   

January 27, 2016
3:00 p.m. ET

     

ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Wetlands and Nutrient Uptake

         
                   
MEETINGS        
                   
OCTOBER 2015                  
                   
October 28-29, 2015
Logan, Utah
      Utah State University Restoring the West Conference 2015: Restoration and Fire in the Interior West          
                   
October 28-31, 2015
San Diego, California
      California Invasive Plant Council: 24th Annual Cal-IPC Symposium.
         
                   
October 28-30, 2015
Acme, Michigan
      Michigan Department of Environmental Quality: 9th Biennial State of Lake Michigan and 15th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Joint Conference          
                   
October 29, 2015
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Ballard Spahr’s 4th Annual Green Infrastructure Conference          
                   
NOVEMBER 2015                  
                   
November 2, 2015 Raleigh, North Carolina       Stewards of the Future: Water for a Growing World, hosted by NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences          
                   
November 2-3, 2015
Sacramento, California
      University of Arizona, Southwest Climate Science Center: 2015 Southwest Climate Summit          
                   
November 3-5, 2015
Little Rock, Arkansas
      Natural Areas Association: 2015 Natural Areas Conference          
                   
November 3-5, 2015
Boston, Massachusetts
      2015 Rising Seas Summit: Transforming Decision Making Developing Adaptive Infrastructure and Advancing Solutions          
                   
November 4, 2015 Washington, DC       Climate Economics Seminar: The European Carbon Market and Technological Change          
                   
November 4-5, 2015
Tustin, Michigan
      11th Annual Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Conference          
                   
November 4-5, 2015 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho       Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference
         
                   
November 6, 2015
Toledo, Ohio
      15th Annual Great Lakes Water Conference: Algae, Pipelines and More          
                   
November 6-8, 2015
Manhattan, Kansas
      13th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium          
                   
November 8-12, 2015
Portland, Oregon
      Coastal Estuarine Research Federation Conference: Grand Challenges in Coastal & Estuarine Science; Securing Our Future          
                   
November 12, 2015 Gulfport, Florida       Third Annual ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop: Wetlands Mitigation and Long-Term Stewardship: Financial Challenges and Title Issues          
                   
November 12-13, 2015
Cambridge, Massachusetts
      Association of Climate Change Officers: 2015 Rising Seas Summit
         
                   
November 12-13, 2015 Jacksonville, Florida       Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Annual Meeting          
                   
November 13, 2015
North Linthicum, Maryland
      Maryland Water Monitoring Council 21st Annual Conference: Protecting the Source - Sustaining Maryland’s Waters
         
                   
November 13-15, 2015 San Antonio, Texas       Society of Ecological Restoration: 2015 Annual Conference: Celebrating 20 Years of Ecological Restoration in Texas          
                   
November 14, 2015
Wallingford, Connecticut
      Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetland Commissions (CACIWC): 2015 Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference          
                   
November 15-18, 2015
Minneapolis, MN
      American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America: 2015 Annual Meeting: Synergy in Science: partnering for Solutions          
                   
November 16-18, 2015
Greater Portland, Maine
      Think Blue Maine Partner Maine Stormwater Conference.
         
                   
November 16-19, 2015 Denver, Colorado       AWRA's 50th Annual Water Resources Conference Special session proposals due by May 15, 2015.          
                   
November 16-19, 2015
Tampa, Florida
      National Working Waterfront Network: National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium
         
                   
November 17-20, 2015 Saratoga Springs, New York       North American Lake Management Society 35th International Symposium: North American Lakes: Embracing their History, Ensuring Their Future          
                   
November 18-19, 2015
Manhattan, KS
      Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas          
                   
November 18-19, 2015 Denver, Colorado       Arbor Day Foundation: 2015 Partners in Community Forestry Conference          
                   
November 20-22, 2015 Tucson, Arizona
      Society of Ecological Restoration, Southwest Chapter Annual Conference. Call for abstracts deadline is September 4, 2015.          
                   
DECEMBER 2015                  
                   
December 1-2, 2015
Washington, DC
      Renewable Natural Resources Foundation: Congress on Sustaining Western Water          
                   
December 1-3, 2015
Memphis, Tennessee
      Soil and Water Conservation Society: Nutrient Management and Edge of Field Monitoring: From the Great Lakes to the Gulf          
                   
December 8, 2015
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
      Potomac Watershed Partnership: Winter 2015 Information Exchange. The Exchange is free and open to the public.          
                   
December 14-18, 2015
San Francisco, California
      American Geophysical Union (AGU): 2015 AGU Fall Meeting          
                   
JANUARY 2016                  
                   
January 10-14, 2016
Asilomar, California
      American Society of Naturalists Conference: Unifying Biological Principles Across Disciplines          
                   
January 10-14, 2016
New Orleans, LA
      American Meteorological Society 96th Annual Meeting: Earth System Science in Service to Society          
                   
January 15-16, 2015
East Lansing, Michigan
      Stewardship Network: Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference          
                   
FEBRUARY 2016          
                   
February 1-4, 2016
Tampa, Florida
      2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference: One Gulf: Healthy Ecosystems, healthy communities          
                   
February 3-4, 2016
Wilmington, Delaware
      Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: 2016 Delaware Wetlands Conference: Advancing Wetland Science and Conservation in the Mid-Atlantic Region          
                   
February 4-7, 2016
Ocean City, Maryland
      Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Annual Conference: Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Stewards: Engaging Students, Schools and Communities          
February 9-11, 2016
St. Grand Junction, CO
      Tamarisk Coalition's 13th Annual Conference: The Road to Riparian Restoration          
                   
February 10-12, 2016
Nelson, New Zealand
      National Wetland Trust: National Wetland Restoration Symposium. Submit an abstract by October 30, 2015.          
                   
February 11-13, 2016
Portland, Oregon
      New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Practical Tools & Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities          
                   
February 16-18, 2016
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
      Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan: 11th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference          
                   
February 16-19, 2016
San Antonio, Texas
      International Erosion Control Association Conference: Environmental Connection          
                   
February 21-26, 2016
New Orleans, Louisiana
      2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting          
                   
February 23-24, 2016
Albuquerque, New Mexico
      National Groundwater Association Conference: Hydrology and Water Quality in the Southwest          
                   
February 23-25, 2016
Green Bay, Wisconsin
      Wisconsin Wetlands Association 21st Annual Wetland Science Conference          
                   
February 24-25, 2016
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
      Computational Hydraulics International (CHI): 49th International Conference on Water Management Modeling          
                   
February 25-26, 2016
Albuquerque, New Mexico
      Xeriscape Council of New Mexico: 2016 Land & Water Summit: Creating a New Paradigm for Living in Arid Lands          
                   
MARCH 2016                  
                   
March 6-11, 2016
Sydney, Australia
      International Coastal Symposium (ICS2016): ‘Coasts in Space and Time’          
                   
March 7-10, 2016
Providence, Rhode Island
      American Water Works Association: Sustainable Water Management Conference          
                   
March 8-10, 2016
Seattle, Washington
      2015 Climate Leadership Conference          
                   
March 10-11, 2016
Denver, Colorado
      Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute 25th Anniversary Conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Examining the Past, Exploring the Future          
                   
March 18-19, 2016
Baltimore, MD
      Ecological Society of America's 3rd Life Discovery - Doing Science Education Conference
         
                   
March 20-22, 2016
Scottsdale, Arizona
      National Flood Determination Association 2016 Conference          
                   
March 21-24, 2016
San Diego, California
      Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation, Inc.: 26th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air          
                   
March 29-April 2, 2016
Vancouver, BC
      Society for Applied Anthropology 76th Annual Meeting          
                   
APRIL 2016                  
                   
April 25-27, 2016
Anchorage, Alaska
      2016 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference. Abstract deadline is December 1, 2015.          
                   
MAY 2016                  
                   
May 2-6, 2016
Tampa, Florida
      National Water Quality Monitoring Council: 10th National Monitoring Conference: Working Together for Clean Water          
                   
May 4-6, 2016
Sharonville, Ohio
      Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners and the Ohio Stormwater Association: 2016 Ohio Stormwater Conference. Call for abstracts deadline is October 30, 2015.          
                   
May 10-13, 2016
Fort Worth, Texas
      JT&A, Inc.: 2016 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference          
                   
May 10-13, 2016
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
      4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference: Adaptation Futures is the biennial conference of PROVIA (Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation          
                   
May 20-23, 2016
Mobile, Alabama
     

River Network: River Rally

         
                   
May 31-June 3, 2016
Ann Arbor, Michigan
      23rd IAHR International Symposium on Ice. November 25th, 2015 abstracts due.          
                   
May 31-June 4, 2016
Corpus Christi, Texas
      Society of Wetland Scientist's 2016 Annual Meeting. Symposia and Abstract submissions due by October 16, 2015.          
                   
JUNE 2016                  
                   
June 1-5, 2016 Anchorage, Alaska       79th Annual Ducks Unlimited National Convention          
                   
June 6–10, 201
Guelph, Ontario
      International Association for Great Lakes - 59th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research: Great Lakes Solutions: Integrating Across Disciplines & Scales. Deadline for session proposals is October 30, 2015.          
June 12-14, 2016
Toronto, Canada
      Coastal Zone Canada Association: Coastal Zone Canada Conference          
                   
June 19-24, 2016
Grand Rapids, Michigan
      ASFPM's 40th Annual National Conference: "Great Lakes - Grand Partners". Call for papers open October 31, 2015.          
                   
JULY 2016          
                   
July 11-13, 2016
Sacramento, CA
      2016 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference: GIS and Water Resources
         
                   
July 17-201, 2016
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois
      24th North American Prairie Conference: From Cemetery Prairies to National Tallgrass Prairies
         
                   
July 18-22, 2016
St. Augustine, Florida
      University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Mangrove & Macrobenthos Meeting. Call for abstracts deadline is December 20, 2015.          
                   
July 30-August 3, 2016
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
      4th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4): Making Marine Science Matter. Call for proposals will be open from September 30-November 16, 2015.          
                   
AUGUST 2016          
                   
August 7-12, 2015
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
      2016 Ecological Society of America's (ESA) annual meeting          
                   
August 14-18, 2016 Chicago, Illinois       American Society of Civil Engineers: GEO Sustainability & Geoenvironment
         
                   
August 22-25, 2016 Indianapolis, Indiana       StormCon: Designing the Future of Stormwater. Call for papers deadline is December 9, 2015          
                   
SEPTEMBER 2015          
                   
September 19-24, 2016
Changshu, China
      INTECOL Wetland Working Group, People’s Government of Changshu, Nanjing University: 10th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference          
                   
TRAINING        
                   
OCTOBER 2015          
                   
October 26, 2015
New Brunswick, New Jersey
      Rutgers University Course: Understanding Advanced Stormwater Management Techniques          
                   
NOVEMBER 2015          
                   
November 2-3, 2015 Atlanta Georgia       Duncan & Duncan Wetland & Endangered Species Training course: Interagency Consultation for Endangered Species          
                   
November 2, 2015 - February 14, 2016       The Swamp School Online Field Training: Certified Wetland Botanist - Special Winter Edition          
                   
November 4-5, 2015
Columbus, Ohio
      Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Regional Supplement Wetland Delineation Training. For other dates an locations, go here.          
                   
November 12-13, 2015 Atlanta, Georgia       Duncan & Duncan Wetland & Endangered Species Training Course: Advanced Hydric Soils and Hydrology (Piedmont)          
                   
November 16-18, 2015Naples, Florida       Everglades Wetland Research Park course: River Restoration. Register online by September 30, 2015 for a 10% discount.          
                   
November 16-19, 2015 Raleigh, North Carolina       The Swamp School: Wetland Delineation Training          
                   
November 17-18, 2015 Arlington, Virginia       Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands Delineation          
                   
DECEMBER 2015          
                   
December 1-2, 2015
Anchorage, Alaska
      Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration          
                   
December 3-4, 2015
Denver, Colorado
      Urban Watersheds Research Institute Course: Floodplain Hydraulics Using HEC RAS - 2015          
                   
December 3-4, 2015
Gainesville, Florida
      Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: Wetland Permitting Training. For other dates and locations, go here.          
                   
December 3-4, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
      Duncan & Duncan course: Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation (Piedmont)          
                   
December 7-11, 2015
Front Royal, Virginia
      Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Course: Statistical Downscaling of Global Climate Models in SDSM 5.2          
                   
December 7, 2015-March 21, 2016       The Swamp School's Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training          
                   
December 7, 2015-
March 21, 2016
      The Swamp School's Online Course: Certified Hydric Soils Investigator          
                   
December 8-10, 2015 McClellan, California       Floodplain Management Association: 2D HEC-RAS Modeling Course          
                   
December 9, 2015
St. Michaels, Maryland
      Environmental Concern course: WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands          
                   
December 11, 2015
St. Michaels, Maryland
      Environmental Concern course: POW! The Planning of Wetlands
         
                   
JANUARY 2016          
                   
January 5-8, 2016 Jackson, Mississippi       Richard Chinn Environmental Training, Inc.: ACOE Wetland Delineation, Waters of the US and Regional Supplement Training. For other dates and locations, go here.          
                   
January 13-March 31, 2016       Online Course: The Swamp School: Principles of Wetland Design          
                   
January 26-28, 2016 Seattle Washington       National Environmental Training Center Course: ArcGIS 10: An Introduction to Environmental Applications          
                   
FEBRUARY 2016          
                   

February 8-12, 2016
San Diego, CA

     

Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Basic Wetland Delineation. For other dates and locations, go here.

         
                   

February 17-18, 2016Kauaʻi, Hawaii

     

Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Wetland Delineation Refresher. For other dates and locations, go here.

         
                   
APRIL 2016                  
                   
April 4-6, 2016
Naples, Florida
      Everglades Wetland Research Park course: Creation and Restoration of Wetlands. Register by February 19, 2016 for a 10% discount.          
                   
SPECIAL EVENTS 2015          
                   
October 29, 2015 Houston, Texas       Texas Coastal Watershed Program: Wetland Field Day at Sheldon Lake State Park          
                   
November 28, 2015       The Wetlands Institute: Wetland Wonderland          
                   
February 2, 2016       World Wetlands Day 2016: Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods          
                   

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



Wetland Breaking News - October 2015


INDEX

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • 'Report Card' Gives Mississippi River Basin a D+
  • EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants Program Request for Proposals is OPEN!
  • Healthy Soils Reduce Water Pollution
  • The Visualize Your Water Challenge Seeks Compelling Data Visualizations
  • ‘Mr. Clean Water Act' faces his biggest challenge
  • NFFA Webinar: Overview of the new MAST Tool to assist municipalities, state agencies, utilities and NGOs in developing adaptation projects that address their financial, social and environmental concerns November 3, 2015
  • ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting – Part 2: Panel Discussion on State Wetland Permitting Considerations – November 4, 2015
  • ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration – November 19, 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

  • U.S., Alaska says will not seek additional $92 million from Exxon for Valdez spill
  • Wildlife federation files suit over pipeline spills
  • Record $11.5 Million Will Support Cleaner Water, Improved Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • A Shifting Approach to Saving Endangered Species
  • BP Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill Is Raised to $20.8 Billion
  • Climate plans by 140 nations mark progress, but not enough: experts
  • USDA commits $4M in several states to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality
  • U.S. FWS and The League of United Latin American Citizens Sign Historic Partnership Agreement
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund bites the dust. Now what?
  • Court says BLM lacks authority to regulate fracking
  • U.S. court orders EPA to rewrite ship ballast water dumping rules
  • EPA Announces National Limits to Reduce Toxic Pollutants Discharged into Waterways by Steam Electric Power Plants
  • Environmental Markets Could Sell Farmers On Conservation
  • U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking 'trust gap' before Paris
  • Pope's climate push is 'raving nonsense' without population control, says top US scientist
  • Greater sage grouse denied U.S. Endangered Species Act protection
  • Top science book prize won by woman for first time
  • Farm Bureau will take Chesapeake Bay water quality fight to Supreme Court
  • Nearly Half the World's Marine Animals Wiped out in Single Generation
  • American Rivers and Partners Petition EPA to Control Stormwater
  • Federal Court to EPA: No, You Can't Approve This Pesticide That Kills Bees
  • Drilling boom brings rising number of harmful waste spills
  • EPA's spill pales in comparison to everyday mine leaks

STATE NEWS

  • AK: Climate change and glacial uplift in Southeast's rural communities
  • AK: Alaska Seeks Federal Money to Move a Village Threatened by Climate Change
  • AR: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2016 EQIP Applications through Nov. 20, 2015
  • CA: Report: San Francisco Bay needs major wetland overhaul to stem sea-level rise
  • CA: Yolo farmers bank water for the future
  • DE: Wetland loss the issue in Delaware Bay
  • FL: Storing water and restoring wetlands
  • FL: Florida needs $16.5 billion for drinking water infrastructure
  • IA: Human Activity Affecting Microbes in Soil
  • KS: Wichita Gets Wild With New City Park
  • LA: 'It’s not going to look like they want': Landscape plans for Baton Rouge lakes will be expensive, maybe impossible, wetland expert says
  • LA: Judge: Corps must pay full $3 billion cost of restoring MR-GO wetlands
  • MD: Mallows Bay may become National Marine Sanctuary
  • MD: Harris Creek reef restoration at 350 acres, is largest ever
  • MI: In toxic Lake Erie algae battle, Michigan shows a sign of progress
  • MI: New Interactive Application for Habitat and Wildlife Restoration on the Great Lakes
  • MN: Lead shot ban proposed for state wildlife management areas
  • MN: Minnesota wetlands are healthy overall
  • MT: Judge blocks lower Yellowstone dam over fish worries
  • NJ: NJ judge denies bid by environmental groups to block Exxon settlement
  • NJ: EPA to review $43M dredging plan for Pompton Lake
  • NY: Pilot Program Aims to Save Jamaica Bay’s Shrinking Marshes
  • NY: New York gets $1M for watershed protection
  • NC: Environmental groups challenge state settlement with Duke Energy
  • NC: Wetland park doing its job after heavy rainfall
  • OH: Buchtel classrooms are uprooted to the wetlands
  • OH: Toxic Algae Outbreak Overwhelms a Polluted Ohio River
  • PA: Fracking Study Ties Water Contamination to Surface Spills
  • TX: Development Co. replants area wetlands
  • VA: Local wetland areas named state conservation sites
  • VA: James River shows improved health on annual report card
  • WA: Coweeman wetland and fish conservation project proposed near Kelso
  • WA: Olympia shoreline program receives final approval
  • WI: Impacts of Clean Water Act Visible in Wisconsin
  • WI: Conservationist Hopes International Designation Will Inspire Wetlands Awareness

WETLAND SCIENCE

  • Toxic road runoff kills adult coho salmon in hours, study finds
  • Scientists say a dramatic worldwide coral bleaching event is now underway
  • Predictable ecosystems may be more fragile
  • How a Manmade Tidal Lagoon Could Change the Future of Clean Energy
  • We’re risking a mass extinction of frogs — and they’re the ‘canary in the coal mine’
  • New water-tracing technology helps protect groundwater
  • Soils protect the natural environment
  • U.S. seeks to protect threatened bull trout
  • 2015 National Wetland Plant List Proposed Updates
  • When Conservation Means Killing
  • 500-Year Floods Coming to New York Every 24 Years, Study Says
  • Coca-Cola Leaves It to Beavers to Fight the Drought
  • Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago
  • Pilot Project Tests Wetland vs. Nitrates
  • Southern Ocean showing 'remarkable' revival in carbon absorption ability
  • Big Data Improving Ecosystems, from Chesapeake Bay to Colombia
  • ‘Disastrous’: Low snow, heat eat away at Northwest glaciers
  • Male Frogs May Be Turning Female Thanks to Estrogen in Suburban Waste

RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

  • Status and Trends of Wetlands in Minnesota: Vegetation Quality Baseline
  • Performance of Natural Infrastructure and Nature-based Measures as Coastal Risk Reduction Features

POTPOURRI

  • Americans are increasingly dependent on just two crops, and it’s putting us all at risk
  • Pact May Mean A Cleaner Tijuana River
  • Editorial: EPA protects our air, water and quality of life
  • Deforestation and Drought
  • A Really Good Day: Building the East Capital Urban Farm
  • Biofuel from whisky byproducts better than ethanol, says maker
  • Connecting diverse communities and groups helps strengthen our collective watershed work
  • The Age of Loneliness

WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING

Webinars

  • EPA Webinar: Ocean and Coastal Acidification
  • The South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint: From planning to action
  • Model Wetland Ordinance and Stormwater Management
  • NFFA Webinar: Overview of the new MAST Tool to assist municipalities, state agencies, utilities and NGOs in developing adaptation projects that address their financial, social and environmental concerns
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting - Part 2: Panel Discussion on State Wetland Permitting Considerations
  • National Park Service Ocean Parks Centennial
  • Floodplain Acquisition Programs: Improving Community Resilience and Achieving Habitat Benefits
  • Sedges, Grasses and Rushes of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
  • Checking in on Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  • EPA Webinar: Monitoring and Early Detection of Invasive Species in Lakes
  • ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration
  • EPA's Green Infrastructure Program 2015 Webcast Series: Ahead of the Curve – Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Climate-Smart Conservation for Wetlands
  • EPA Webinar: Ecosystem Services Approaches to Restoring a Sustainable Chesapeake Bay and its Tributary Watersheds
  • The Swamp School’s Wetland Tree Webinar – 2 part webinar
  • The Swamp School’s 2016 Wetland Status and Trends
  • Getting your feet wet: An introduction to water quality monitoring and data analysis
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Wetlands and Nutrient Uptake

Meetings

  • Restoration and Fire in the Interior West
  • California Invasive Plant Council: 24th Annual Cal-IPC Symposium
  • 9th Biennial State of Lake Michigan and 15th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Joint Conference
  • Ballard Spahr’s 4th Annual Green Infrastructure Conference
  • Stewards of the Future: Water for a Growing World
  • 2015 Southwest Climate Summit
  • Natural Areas Association: 2015 Natural Areas Conference
  • 2015 Rising Seas Summit: Transforming Decision Making Developing Adaptive Infrastructure and Advancing Solutions
  • Climate Economics Seminar: The European Carbon Market and Technological Change
  • 11th Annual Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Conference
  • Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference
  • 15th Annual Great Lakes Water Conference: Algae, Pipelines and More
  • 13th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium
  • Grand Challenges in Coastal & Estuarine Science; Securing Our Future
  • Wetlands Mitigation and Long-Term Stewardship: Financial Challenges and Title Issues
  • Association of Climate Change Officers: 2015 Rising Seas Summit
  • Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Annual Meeting
  • Protecting the Source - Sustaining Maryland’s Waters
  • Society of Ecological Restoration: 2015 Annual Conference: Celebrating 20 Years of Ecological Restoration in Texas
  • Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetland Commissions (CACIWC):2015 Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference
  • American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America: 2015 Annual Meeting: Synergy in Science: partnering for Solutions
  • Think Blue Maine Partner Maine Stormwater Conference
  • AWRA's 50th Annual Water Resources Conference
  • National Working Waterfront Network: National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium
  • North American Lakes: Embracing their History, Ensuring Their Future
  • Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas
  • Arbor Day Foundation: 2015 Partners in Community Forestry Conference
  • Society of Ecological Restoration: Southwest Chapter Annual Conference
  • Renewable Natural Resources Foundation: Congress on Sustaining Western Water
  • Nutrient Management and Edge of Field Monitoring: From the Great Lakes to the Gulf
  • Potomac Watershed Partnership: Winter 2015 Information Exchange
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU): 2015 AGU Fall Meeting
  • American Society of Naturalists Conference: Unifying Biological Principles Across Disciplines
  • System Science in Service to Society
  • Stewardship Network: Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
  • One Gulf: Healthy Ecosystems, healthy communities
  • Advancing Wetland Science and Conservation in the Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Stewards: Engaging Students, Schools and Communities
  • Tamarisk Coalition's 13th Annual Conference: The Road to Riparian Restoration
  • National Wetland Trust: National Wetland Restoration Symposium
  • New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Practical Tools & Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities
  • 11th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference
  • International Erosion Control Association Conference: Environmental Connection
  • 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting
  • Hydrology and Water Quality in the Southwest
  • Wisconsin Wetlands Association 21st Annual Wetland Science Conference
  • 49th International Conference on Water Management Modeling
  • 2016 Land & Water Summit: Creating a New Paradigm for Living in Arid Lands
  • International Coastal Symposium (ICS2016): ‘Coasts in Space and Time’
  • American Water Works Association: Sustainable Water Management Conference
  • 2016 Climate Leadership Conference
  • Western Places/Western Spaces: Examining the Past, Exploring the Future
  • Ecological Society of America's 3rd Life Discovery - Doing Science Education Conference
  • National Flood Determination Association 2016 Conference
  • 26th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air
  • Society for Applied Anthropology 76th Annual Meeting
  • 2016 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference
  • 10th National Monitoring Conference: Working Together for Clean Water
  • 2016 Ohio Stormwater Conference
  • 2016 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference
  • 4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference: Adaptation Futures
  • River Network: River Rally
  • 23rd IAHR International Symposium on Ice
  • Society of Wetland Scientists' 2016 Annual Meeting: Protecting wetland ecosystem services. Promoting stronger economies
  • 79th Annual Ducks Unlimited National Convention
  • Great Lakes Solutions: Integrating Across Disciplines & Scales
  • Coastal Zone Canada Association: Coastal Zone Canada Conference
  • ASFPM's 40th Annual National Conference: "Great Lakes - Grand Partners
  • 2016 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference: GIS and Water Resources
  • 24th North American Prairie Conference: From Cemetery Prairies to National Tallgrass Prairies
  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Mangrove & Macrobenthos Meeting
  • 4th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4): Making Marine Science Matter
  • 2016 Ecological Society of America's (ESA) annual meeting
  • American Society of Civil Engineers: GEO Sustainability & Geoenvironment
  • 10th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference

Training

  • Understanding Advanced Stormwater Management Techniques
  • Interagency Consultation for Endangered Species
  • The Swamp School Online Field Training: Certified Wetland Botanist - Special Winter Edition
  • Regional Supplement Wetland Delineation Training
  • Advanced Hydric Soils and Hydrology (Piedmont)
  • Everglades Wetland Research Park course: River Restoration
  • The Swamp School: Wetland Delineation Training
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Wetlands Delineation
  • Northwest Environmental Training Center Course: Habitat Site Restoration
  • Floodplain Hydraulics Using HEC RAS - 2015
  • Wetland Permitting Training
  • Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation (Piedmont)
  • Statistical Downscaling of Global Climate Models in SDSM 5.2
  • The Swamp School's Online Course: Wetland Basic Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School's Online Course: Certified Hydric Soils Investigator
  • Floodplain Management Association: 2D HEC-RAS Modeling Course
  • Environmental Concern course: WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
  • Environmental Concern course: POW! The Planning of Wetlands
  • Delineation, Waters of the US and Regional Supplement Training
  • National Environmental Training Center Course: ArcGIS 10: An Introduction to Environmental Applications
  • Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Basic Wetland Delineation
  • Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Wetland Delineation Refresher
  • Everglades Wetland Research Park course: Creation and Restoration of Wetlands

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Texas Coastal Watershed Program: Wetland Field Day at Sheldon Lake State Park
  • The Wetlands Institute: Wetland Wonderland
  • World Wetlands Day 2016: Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015

Wetland Breaking News - October 2015

 

Wetland Breaking News

The Association of State Wetland Managers' Wetland Breaking News (WBN) 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 fifteen 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 .

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

All photos by Jeanne Christie, ASWM

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