Wetland Breaking News - September 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: September 2015

All photos by
Jeanne Christie, ASWM

       

EDITOR'S NOTE

Innovation

Most of the environmental problems that we face today are the result of choices that we made in the past. For example, most climate scientists agree that the primary cause of climate change today is from the rate and the way in which we have historically extracted and burned fossil fuels. Similarly, many of our lakes and estuaries are highly contaminated due to the way in which we built and permitted past infrastructure projects such as combined sewer overflows and industrial point source pollution sources from factory outflow pipes.

We’ve learned a lot over the past 100 years, however, and every year we learn a little bit more about how our choices and activities impact our natural resources and our public health. Those past projects were viewed as very innovative at the time and they certainly improved our overall quality of life. The public sewer system design, despite the impacts of the combined sewer overflow, was still a vast improvement over having sewage running through city streets.

The problem is that our infrastructure is not only old and outdated, but very expensive to replace and our entire society is deeply embedded in the use of fossil fuels. Add that to the reality that we have a much larger population now than we did 100 years ago or even 25 years ago. According to the Pew Research Center, the world’s population in 1798 was nearly 1 billion. In 1968, it was around 3.5 billion. And in 2015, it is estimated to be around 7.3 billion. This creates a very complex problem for our generation and future generations to figure out.

I have faith, however, in human ingenuity and innovation. It took a lot of creativity and intelligence to come up with ways to fuel the industrial revolution with fossil fuels. It took a lot of creativity and intelligence to come up with ways to design and construct public infrastructure systems. And we can tap into that source of innovation to come up with ways to solve the mistakes of our past and find ways to manage our finite resources for a larger population. We can’t rely on the status quo or Wetland Breaking News - September 2015the old ways of doing things. You’ll notice in this month’s edition of Wetland Breaking News, we have included a few opportunities for innovation and educational advancement such as the contest to pursue solutions to algae that comes with a $10 million prize. The U.S. EPA is once again offering the Campus RainWorks Challenge to develop innovative approaches for stormwater management. A great example of innovation can be found in the Texas teenager who created a $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution. And we found some free learning sources for GIS and geospatial analysis.

As they say, with every challenge comes an opportunity for advancement. The opportunities are out there – so let’s roll up our sleeves and get going!

Happy September!

Marla J. Stelk
Editor
Wetland Breaking News

     
                     

Wetland Breaking News - September 2015

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Campus RainWorks Challenge Kicks Off to Develop Approaches to Stormwater Management

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Sustainable City Network – September 1, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching its fourth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge for undergraduate and graduate students to design green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and increase resiliency to climate change. Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will propose green infrastructure projects for their campuses, demonstrating how managing stormwater at its source can benefit communities and the environment. Registration for the 2015 Challenge opens Sept. 1 and ends Sept. 30. Registrants must submit their entries by Dec. 18, and winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2016. For full story, click here.

EPA water rule takes effect in some states

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – August 28, 2015
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started enforcing its controversial water pollution jurisdiction rule Friday in all but 13 states. Friday marks 60 days after the rule, known as the Clean Water Rule, was published in the Federal Register and the day that the agency planned to start enforcement along with the Army Corps of Engineers. In response to a petition from 13 states, a North Dakota Federal judge temporarily blocked the rule’s implementation late Thursday, ruling that the states would likely suffer if it took effect and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided. But the EPA is interpreting the North Dakota decision to apply only in the states involved in the litigation. For full story, click here.

Federal judge blocks Obama's water rule

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – August 27, 2015
A federal judge in North Dakota acted late on Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn't act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided. For full story, click here.

Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution

By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian – August 27, 2015 – Video
How to safeguard drinking water for local residents is an ongoing battle, with existing solutions such as chlorination, distillation, boiling and high-tech filtration prohibitively expensive and often reliant on fossil fuels. Now a new filtering device, invented by a US teenager, could provide a cheap and easy way to purify water. The renewable heavy metal filter, designed by 18-year-old Perry Alagappan, removes 99% of heavy metals from water that passes through it. The filter, built from graphene nanotubes, can be rinsed with a vinegar concentrate and reused. The highly concentrated waste can then be evaporated, leaving a deposit of pure metal that can be used in many different applications. For full story and to view video, click here.

Contest pursues solution to algae: $10 million prize

By Tom Henry – The Blade – August 24, 2015
Calling all entrepreneurs: If you have what it takes to stop the world’s growing algae menace, you could win $10 million. The unusual bounty is being offered by the Everglades Foundation of Palmetto Bay, Fla., near Miami. Applications will be accepted starting next June, with another six years of review. In addition to the grand prize, the foundation is dividing up another $1.2 million in prize money over six years to runners-up. In all, 18 prizes and a total of $11.2 million will be awarded. And while initial stories about it suggested the focus was South Florida, the prize director and other foundation officials told The Blade in a conference call last Thursday they are seeking proposals for global solutions, including western Lake Erie. For full story, click here.

EPA Proposes Streamlining Tribal Treatment as a State

EPA – August 10, 2015
Waters on the majority of Indian reservations do not have water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health and the environment. Only 40 of the more than 300 federally recognized tribes with reservations have completed the process of obtaining EPA's approval to be treated in a manner similar to a state (TAS), and adopting standards for their waters that EPA has approved. EPA proposes to streamline how tribes apply for TAS for the water quality standards program and other Clean Water Act regulatory programs. The proposal would reduce the burden on applicant tribes and advance cooperative federalism by facilitating tribal involvement in the protection of reservation water quality as intended by Congress. For full story, click here.

Free Is Sweet! Free Learning Sources for GIS and Geospatial Analysis

Environmental Science & Geospatial Lab – July 23, 2015
FREE– How intriguing the word can be. Last time, we have learned FREE data sources for Geospatial/GIS data in US areas (See “8 Free Geospatial/GIS Data Sources for U.S. Areas“). Of course, in order to process those data properly, it is definitely essential to understand basic concepts of GIS & Geospatial analysis, as well as to learn how to process and analyze particular datasets properly. Hence, here comes a list of FREE learning sources, including GIS software training courses and tutorials, applied learning materials, workshops and webinars related to GIS and/or Geospatial analysis, etc. All of them are Free of Cost. Take advantage of these resources and learn on your own with a bonus benefit–“making your resume more colorful!” For the complete list of free resources, click here.

ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar – Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting – September 29, 2015

ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting will be held on Wednesday, September 29, 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, click here.

ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Wetland Restoration in Urban and Highly Disturbed Landscapes – October 13, 2015

Wetland Restoration Webinar: Wetland Restoration in Urban and Highly Disturbed Landscapes – October 13, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Presenters: Presenters – Tom Ries, President and Founder of Ecosphere Restoration Institute, Steven I. Apfelbaum, Principal Ecologist, Chairman, Applied Ecological Services, Inc. and Alexander J. Felson, PhD RLA, Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Architecture & School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. For more information, click here.

Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC): From Bog to Bosque: Steps in a Successful Landscape Level Wetland Inventory in Northeastern New Mexico – October 21, 2015

Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinar: From Bog to Bosque: Steps in a Successful Landscape Level Wetland Inventory in Northeastern New Mexico will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Presenters: Andy Robertson, Saint Mary’s University and Maryann McGraw, New Mexico Environment Department. For more information and to register, 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, click here.

ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration – November 19, 2015 (tentative date)

Novel Ecosystems and Restoration will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2015 (tentative date). 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, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News - September 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

California officials unveil plans for wildlife bridge over highway

By Alex Dobuzinskis – PlanetArk – September 15, 2015
Officials have unveiled plans for a grassy bridge over a Southern California highway that would provide a safe and natural passage for mountain lions and other animals migrating between wilderness areas. The vegetation-lined bridge over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, just west of Los Angeles, would cost $30 million to build and construction could not begin for years, said California Department of Transportation (CalTRANS) spokeswoman Lauren Wonder. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a government agency, funded a CalTRANS report on the proposed bridge and on Wednesday released the document, which said it was achievable. For full story, click here.

AP Exclusive: Drilling Boom Means More Harmful Waste Spills

By John Flesher – abc News – September 8, 2015
Carl Johnson and son Justin are third- and fourth-generation ranchers who for decades have battled oilfield 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 1 1/2-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 oilfield 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 the Johnsons, the spill is among dozens that have taken a heavy toll: a landscape pockmarked with spots where livestock can no longer graze, legal fees running into the tens of thousands and worries about the safety of the area's underground aquifer. For full story, .

Coal ash contains radioactive contaminants: US study

By Agence France-Presse – InterAksyon.com – September 3, 2015
High levels of radioactive contaminants have been found in coal ash in major coal-producing regions of the United States, raising concern about the dangers of this unregulated waste, researchers said Wednesday. "Levels of radioactivity in the ash were up to five times higher than in normal soil, and up to 10 times higher than in the parent coal itself because of the way combustion concentrates radioactivity," said the study in the September 2 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology. Coal ash is currently unregulated and is stored in holding ponds and landfills near coal-fired power plants, which are blamed for much of the fossil fuel pollution that is leading to climate change. Leaks from these ponds can contaminate groundwater, and experts have long known that coal contains harmful agents such as selenium and arsenic. For full story, click here.

Going Deep: Cautious Steps Toward Seabed Mining

By Charles W. Schmidt – Ehp – Environmental Health Perspectives – September 2015
The deep ocean was once assumed to be lifeless and barren. Today we know that even the deepest waters teem with living creatures, some of them thought to be little changed from when life itself first appeared on the planet. The deep ocean is also essential to the earth’s biosphere—it regulates global temperatures, stores carbon, provides habitat for countless species, and cycles nutrients for marine food webs. Currently stressed by pollution, industrial fishing, and oil and gas development, these cold, dark waters now face another challenge: mining. For full article, click here. To download complete article, click here.

Obama Makes Urgent Appeal in Alaska for Climate Change Action

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Steven Lee Myers – The New York Times – August 31, 2015
President Obama on Monday issued a global call for urgent action to address climate change, declaring that the United States was partly to blame for what he called the defining challenge of the century and would rally the world to counter it. “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now,” Mr. Obama said here at an international conference on the Arctic. “We’re not acting fast enough. I have come here today, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second-largest emitter, to say that the United States recognizes our role in creating the problem, and we embrace our responsibility to help solve it.” For full story, click here.

Rules Proposed to Improve Hazardous Waste Management, Better Protect Waterways

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Sustainable City Network – August 31, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste. “These rules provide businesses with certainty and the flexibility they need to successfully operate in today’s marketplace,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards.” For full story, click here.

The key to water security could be lurking in a New Mexico sewage farm

By Mark Harris – The Guardian – August 28, 2015
The sulphurous springs of Yellowstone National Park are scalding, tainted with heavy metals and acidic enough to eat through clothing. But their murky depths are also home to an algae that scientists claim could one day help provide cleaner, healthier water around the world. “Galdieria sulphuraria is one of the most interesting microorganisms on the planet,” says Peter Lammers, a professor in algal bioenergy at Arizona State University. “It grows in a witches brew, can degrade over 50 organic molecules and even photosynthesise like a plant.” That makes it ideal, Lammers says, to use somewhere even more unpleasant than Yellowstone’s volcanic springs: urban sewage farms. For full story, click here.

'Most important conservation program you've never heard of' set to expire next month

By Bill Theobald – az central - The Arizona Republic – August 25, 2015
Conservation advocates are worried the looming expiration of a fund for buying park and forest land and funding local recreation projects may get lost in the shuffle when Congress returns after Labor Day. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expires Sept. 30, has been the primary source of money to acquire land for the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management. For full story, click here.

Insecticide found in half of sampled U.S. streams

KTVZ.com – August 18, 2015
The U.S. Geological Survey found insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the nation and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published Tuesday in Environmental Chemistry. This study, conducted from 2011 to 2014, represents the first national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings. The research spanned 24 states and Puerto Rico and was completed as part of ongoing USGS investigations of pesticide and other contaminant levels in streams. For full story, click here.

U.S. EPA to propose rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas sector

Reuters – August 17, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations on Tuesday aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by up to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, sources familiar with the issue said on Monday. The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration's strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change and come just two weeks after the president unveiled a sweeping rule to slash carbon emissions from the country’s power plants. For full story, click here.

Rise of ‘Shoreline Hardening’ Threatens Coastal Ecosystems

Roberta Kwok – Conservation Magazine – August 6, 2015
The United States is covering its coasts in armor. “Shoreline hardening,” which refers to the process of adding structures such as seawalls or jetties, has become increasingly popular over the past century. In a new study, researchers estimate that more than 14,000 miles of US coastline have been transformed in this way — and the changes could spell trouble for ecosystems. These structures offer a less friendly environment for species, and they can increase erosion and cause habitats such as intertidal zones and wetlands to shrink. For full article, click here.

Obama's Clean Power Plan Gets a Jolt of Support from Corporations

By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News – July 31, 2015
Three hundred sixty-five companies and investors sent letters on Friday to more than two dozen governors supporting the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to significantly reduce carbon emissions from power plants, urging even the most recalcitrant states to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the new rules. The Clean Power Plan, expected to be issued in final form as early as Monday, has drawn significant opposition, particularly from Republicans and the fossil fuel industry, but the corporate push counters the argument that the regulations are bad for American business. For full story, click here.

Wetland Breaking News - September 2015

 

Wetland Breaking News - September 2015STATE NEWS

AK: This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea

By Maria L. La Ganga – Los Angeles Times – August 30, 2015
This is what climate change looks like, up close and personal. In this town of 403 residents 83 miles above the Arctic Circle, beaches are disappearing, ice is melting, temperatures are rising, and the barrier reef Kivalina calls home gets smaller and smaller with every storm. There is no space left to build homes for the living. The dead are now flown to the mainland so the ocean won't encroach upon their graves. Most here agree that the town should be relocated; where, when and who will pay for it are the big questions. The Army Corps of Engineers figures Kivalina will be underwater in the next decade or so. For full story, click here.

AK: Concerns mount over whale deaths in Gulf of Alaska

By Ryan Schuessler – The Washington Post – August 24, 2015
Researchers are scrambling to determine what’s behind the death of 30 whales in the Gulf of Alaska as unusually warm ocean temperatures continue to wreak havoc on the region. Since May 2015, 14 fin whales, 11 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified specimens have been found dead along shorelines in the Gulf of Alaska, nearly half of them in the Kodiak Archipelago. Other dead whales have been reported off the coast of British Columbia, including four humpbacks and one sperm whale. This year’s total is roughly three times the annual average for the region, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare the deaths an “unusual mortality event.” For full story, click here.

AK: Senators take aim at federal wetland regulations in Wasilla hearing

By Zaz Hollander – Alaska Dispatch News – August 18, 2015
Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan hammered federal officials over national wetland protections they say hamper development in Alaska during a rare Senate oversight hearing in Wasilla Monday. Murkowski and Sullivan peppered a federal panel with questions about Clean Water Act wetlands mitigation rules that sometimes require payment or that land be set aside to make up for loss of wetlands. They also critiqued a Bureau of Land Management process underway to establish new “areas of critical environmental concern” for protection. While wetlands in the Lower 48 have decreased by half in the last 200 years, Alaska has lost just one-tenth of 1 percent, Murkowski said, adding that 43 percent of the state is categorized as wetland. For full story, click here.

CA: California's Sierra Nevada snowpack is the lowest in 500 years

By Doyle Rice – USA Today – September 15, 2015
The snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains this year has fallen to its lowest level in at least the past 500 years, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a peer-reviewed British journal. The finding underscores the severe drought afflicting the state, now in its fourth year, and raises the prospect of more water shortages that could impact agriculture and hydroelectric power production, and exacerbate wildfires. For full story, click here.

CA: Research Says 27 Percent of California’s Drought Attributable to Climate Change

By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News – August 20, 2015
As California’s four-year drought has drinking and groundwater reserves at dangerously low levels, households rationing water and the agricultural sector struggling to keep its crops alive, the question has been: how much of a culprit is climate change? New research published Thursday now says as much as 27 percent of the drought can be attributed to global warming. For full story, click here.

CA: Central Valley sinking fast because of groundwater pumping

By Kurtis Alexander – SFGate – August 20, 2015
The floor of the Central Valley is sinking at a record pace as drought-gripped farmers pump out the groundwater beneath them, new satellite data show. In some places the ground is dropping nearly 2 inches a month, according to measurements taken by the state and NASA. The sinking soil is dragging roads, bridges and other infrastructure with it, raising concern that state pumping restrictions scheduled to take effect in five years won’t arrive in time to head off costly damage and environmental ruin. For full story, click here.

CO: Danger to Animas River short-lived

By Peter Marcus – The Burango Herald – September 3, 2015
An independent study of water quality in the Animas River after the Gold King Mine spill shows major human health concerns were short-lived, though slight spikes in pollution might occur with runoff. Mountain Studies Institute, a nonprofit scientific research organization with an office in Durango, found a spike in metals as the orange plume passed through Durango on Aug. 6. But that spike quickly returned to conditions similar to how the river looked before the incident, according to samples. For full story, click here.

CT: Nitrogen’s threat to the Sound

By Bill Cummings – ctpost – September 7, 2015
It comes from the tens of thousands of septic systems serving homes along Long Island Sound, from old cesspools, fertilized farmlands and the rains that wash across manicured lawns. Nitrogen, the enemy of a healthy Sound, is pouring into the waterway from near and far. “We have to look at all of the sources of nitrogen, such as septic systems,” said Curt Johnson, director of Save the Sound, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the waterway. “This is something we have not paid attention to,” he said. For full story, click here.

CT: Amid Controversy, Selectmen Appoint New Inland Wetland Commissioners

By Steven M. Mazzacane – The Branford Seven – August 19, 2015
The Board of Selectmen appointed three new members to the Inland Wetlands Commission, but not without Democrats and the chairman of ILW speaking up against the move. In the objections, opponents admitted that a sitting member was also being used as an expert witness, raising legal issues. Cosgrove stated he was making the changes to bring balance to the Inland Wetland Commission that was largely dominated by Richard Orsen, an expert in Inland Wetlands issues. For full story, click here.

GA: Loggerhead Sea Turtles Reach Another Nesting Record In Georgia

The Chattanoogan.com – September 2, 2015
In 2004, the number of loggerhead sea turtle nests on Georgia’s barrier island beaches plunged to 358, the fewest since comprehensive surveys began in the state in 1989. This summer, the season count has reached 2,292 nests, the most since 1989 and the latest in a string of strong nesting seasons that point toward a recovery for Georgia’s primary nesting marine turtle. Mark Dodd, coordinator of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources sea turtle program, has undergone a similar sea-change in his outlook for loggerheads, a species federally listed as threatened. For full story, click here.

IN: IU environmental scientist part of team awarded NSF grant for tidal marsh study

Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom – September 2, 2015
A team that includes Indiana University environmental scientist Christopher Craft has been awarded a $665,000 National Science Foundation grant to study tidal marshes along the U.S. East Coast and their vulnerability to climate change, sea-level rise and other environmental forces. The three-year grant will fund a study by researchers at IU, Villanova University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of South Carolina. A principal investigator, Craft is the Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “We’re going to be collecting data along the entire East Coast,” Craft said. “The goal is to develop an understanding of which of these wetlands are most at risk and which ones we don’t need to be so worried about.” For full story, click here.

KY: Coast Guard closes part of Mississippi River after oil spill

REUTERS – September 3, 2015
The U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday it closed part of the Mississippi River after oil was spilled in a collision between two tow boats near Paducah, Kentucky. A safety zone was implemented on the river and it was closed to all traffic except response vessels between mile markers 939-922, the agency said in statement. A maximum of 250,000 gallons of slurry oil could have been released following the collision at mile marker 937 late on Wednesday, the Coast Guard said, adding that it was working to determine the actual volume spilled. For full story, click here.

KY: Agencies Conserve Imperiled Species in Eastern Kentucky; Propose delisting for one plant, and positive steps for a darter

Contacts: Tom MacKenzie, Kristen Peters and Marie Walker – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – August 31, 2015
State and Federal conservation agencies came together here today to celebrate partnerships that are delivering conservation successes in eastern Kentucky. After more than two decades of collaboration and conservation work in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the white-haired goldenrod – a plant unique to eastern Kentucky – from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For full news release, click here.

LA: Obama may back Louisiana use of offshore oil revenue for coastal restoration, state official says

By Mark Schleifstein – NOLA.com-The Times-Picayune – August 28, 2015
President Barack Obama held out hope to state officials on Thursday (Aug. 27) in New Orleans that his administration might back down from plans to redirect 35 percent of federal offshore oil and gas revenue from Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states to the general budget, according to a news release issued late Thursday by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. According to the news release, Obama told CPRA Chairman Chip Kline that he's willing "to work with Louisiana and other Gulf states to create a mechanism for sharing of federal offshore oil and gas revenues." For full story, click here.

LA: Ten Years After Katrina, Here’s What’s Happening to Louisiana’s Coastline

By Peter Moskowitz – Vice News – August 27, 2015
It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, crippling New Orleans and highlighting America’s vulnerability to natural disaster. In the aftermath, a central question has been whether New Orleans — and other areas along the coast — can be rebuilt better, stronger, and more equitably. But with coastal development swallowing up wetlands, canal dredging by oil and gas companies ruining coastlines, and global warming pushing up sea levels, Gulf Coast residents are wondering whether the land on which they live will continue to exist at all. For full story, click here.

LA: Crop dusters seed mangroves by air to save Louisiana wetlands

By Jed Lipinski – NOLA - The Times-Picayume – August 26, 2015 – Video
Dropping mangrove seedlings from the air onto salt marshes in southeast Louisiana has the potential to reduce wetlands loss more cheaply and effectively than other coastal restoration techniques currently in use, say proponents of the idea. New Orleans-based Tierra Resources announced Wednesday (August 26) that a three-year pilot project, conducted in partnership with ConocoPhillips, succeeded in planting mangroves via crop-duster airplane at three one-acre sites in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes. For full story and to view video, click here.

ME: Fed up with EPA, LePage retaliates with threat

By Colin Woodard – Portland Press Herald – September 11, 2015
A threat by Gov. Paul LePage to give key regulatory powers back to the federal government would likely result in lengthy water permitting delays, an official for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. LePage, frustrated with “aggressive regulatory overreach” by the EPA over Maine’s tribal waters, has threatened to relinquish key powers granted to the state under the federal Clean Water Act and return them to the EPA. The threat was outlined in a letter to Maine’s congressional delegation Aug. 31 and repeated by Patricia Aho, the outgoing environmental protection commissioner, in a letter sent the same day to the EPA. For full story, click here.

ME: Judge orders Mallinckrodt to fund mercury cleanup plan for Penobscot River

By Kevin Miller – Portland Press Herald – September 2, 2015
A federal judge ordered Mallinckrodt US LLC on Wednesday to pay to develop a detailed plan to clean up mercury in the Penobscot River, potentially setting the stage for what would be one of the largest and costliest environmental remediation projects in Maine history. In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. said an engineering firm will study the range, cost and practicality of removing the toxic heavy metal from the river bottom near Orrington down to the mouth of Penobscot Bay. Woodcock agreed with the two plaintiffs, the Maine People’s Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council that the Penobscot estuary “continues to suffer irreparable harm from ongoing mercury contamination.” The cost for cleaning up the contaminated riverbed south of the former HoltraChem site in Orrington has been pegged at $130 million. For full story, click here.

MD: Environmentalists call for moratorium on Shore poultry growth

By Timothy B. Wheeler – The Baltimore Sun – September 8, 2015
Several environmental groups called Tuesday for a moratorium on new poultry houses on the Eastern Shore, warning that the industry's expansion will worsen the region's pollution problem before new regulations designed to address it can take effect. The Environmental Integrity Project, in a new report, said that at least 200 poultry houses have been permitted or sought approval recently on the Delmarva Peninsula. Somerset County approved construction of around 70 houses alone, it said, while neighboring Accomack County, VA has received applications for 84 new houses and Delaware's Sussex County has added 50 since 2014. For full blog post, click here.

MD: EPA: Maryland farmers lead in pollution reduction efforts

By Sarah Fleischman – SoMdNews – Southern Maryland Newspapers – September 4, 2015
Hard work is paying off for Maryland farmers, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed an evaluation of the state’s animal agriculture regulations and programs, which found that Maryland has a “robust and well-implemented state program.” In addition to reviewing Maryland’s programs, the EPA also issued assessments for Delaware and West Virginia. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs. The assessment looked at Maryland’s implementation of federal and state regulatory programs as well as voluntary ones to meet nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution reduction commitments in its Watershed Implementation Plan under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, according to a press release from the EPA. For full story, click here.

MD: The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Trust seek proposals for nontidal wetland projects in Maryland

Chesapeake Bay Trust – 2015
The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Trust seek proposals for nontidal wetland projects in Maryland. This program seeks to implement cost-effective wetland projects to provide valuable wetland functions, including habitat for a wide range of species and improved water quality, flood attenuation, recharge of groundwater, and aesthetics in the State’s local watersheds and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, Youghiogheny River, and Atlantic Coastal Bays. For more information, click here. Deadline to apply is December 10, 2015. To view full Grant Program, click here.

MA: Palmer race track owner, builder settle wetland habitat violations lawsuit

Telegram.com – August 20, 2015
The owner and the builder of a sports car race track in Palmer will each pay $125,000 to settle allegations that during construction they irreparably destroyed or damaged wetland resources, altered or destroyed breeding habitats for protected species, and violated the terms of permits issued for the project, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced Thursday. The track owner, Palmer Motorsports Park, LLC, will also grant to the state Department of Fish and Game permanent conservation restrictions on 309 acres of land surrounding the track to protect the natural resources that remain there, and will restore those areas at the project site that were not irreparably damaged, according to the attorney general's office. For full story, click here.

MI: Michigan confirms two new invasive species

Contact: Sarah LeSasge and Seth Herbst – Michigan Department of Environmental Quality – September 4, 2015
The DEQ and Department of Natural Resources today confirmed two new invasive species in Michigan waters. DEQ staff recently confirmed a freshwater alga commonly known as didymo or rock snot growing in extensive mats in the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie. Additionally, DEQ staff recently discovered New Zealand mud snails in the Pere Marquette River near Ludington. Unlike other types of nuisance algae, didymo thrives in cold, clean water. Under the right conditions, didymo can grow into thick mats that cover the river bottom. New Zealand mud snails are each only about 1/8 of an inch long, and can be difficult to see. However, they often cluster in high densities, and compete with native snails and other macroinvertebrates for food and space. For full story, click here.

NC: Research fish biologist concerned with drainage from coal ash storage in Lee County

By Steve DeVane – Fayobserver.com – September 7, 2015
A Wake Forest University professor is concerned about liquid that will be drained out of coal ash storage sites in Lee and Chatham counties. Duke Energy officials say the liquid, which is called "leachate," will be properly treated. Duke has contracted with Charah Inc. to move about 7.5 million tons of coal ash to abandoned, open-pit clay mines in the Lee County community of Colon. The company plans to move about 5.7 million tons of coal ash to the Brickhaven mine in Chatham County. The storage plans are part of Duke Energy's effort to clean up about 130 million tons of coal ash from 14 sites in North Carolina. The sites came under scrutiny after a coal ash spill in February 2014 at one of Duke Energy's facilities. Nearly 40,000 tons of coal ash from a plant in Eden coated the Dan River. For full story, click here.

NC: Conservationists protest killing of endangered North Carolina red wolves

By Barbara Liston – PlanetArk – September 4, 2015
The federal wildlife service on Thursday stood by its decision to authorize recent killings of two highly endangered North Carolina red wolves on private property, despite plans by conservationists to sue. Three conservationist groups said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made only cursory attempts to remove the wolves from private property between 2014 and 2015 before allowing the landowners to kill them in violation of the Endangered Species Act. For full story, click here.

NC: Proposed NC bill could allow more pollution waterways, environmentalists say

By Steve Sbraccia – WNCN.com – August 11, 2015 – Video
Environmentalists worry a proposed change in state law would result in more pollution entering the state’s rivers and other waterways pollution that requires taxpayers to foot the bill for cleanup. House Bill 44, which deals with Local Government Regulatory Reform, contains scores of provisions affecting everything from the size of state roads, to regulations for signs at construction sites. It also contains a measure that would reduce or eliminate the so-called buffer zones which line the state’s rivers and waterways. The bill would reduce buffer zones from 50 to 30 feet and sometimes allow them to be removed completely and replaced with grass. Environmentalists say that’s a problem. For full story and to view video, click here.

ND: North Dakota farm and conservation groups agree on who will employ biologists to help with voluntary conservation

By Dave Thompson – Prairie Public News – September 4, 2014
North Dakota agriculture and conservation groups have reached an agreement concerning who will employ farm bill biologists. Those biologists will work with farmers on voluntary conservation programs. Farm groups raised some concerns – because the Natural Resources Conservation Service had not only employed biologists from Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever to handle those programs – they were housed at NRCS offices. Now, the agreement means the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts will house the farm bill biologists. For full story, click here.

OH: Toxic Algae Bloom on Ohio River Continues to Spread

TRF.com – August 31, 2015
The toxic algae bloom on the Ohio River is spreading, and now other areas of the Ohio Valley are urging boaters and swimmers to keep clear. There are two specific areas the Monroe County Health Department is warning people about that tested positive for the algae. Sunfish Creek in Clarington, a tributary of the Ohio River is covered in a green slime. The Monroe County Health Department has posted signs people and pets are advised not to touch or drink the water. For full story, click here.

OH: County residents happy to stem the tide of disappearing wetlands

By Nancy Allen – The Daily Standard – August 22, 2015
When Gary Gross thinks of the wetland on his property at U.S. 127 and Sites Road in Hopewell Township, he smiles. "When Matt laid it all out and proposed it to me, he showed me a CAD drawing before it was installed and I said, 'Hey, it looks like a smiley face.'" Matt Heckler, a Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District technician, designs wetlands for county landowners. He said Gross' plan originally called for excavating a lot more dirt from the area, but unstable muck ground that could swallow up heavy machinery made that impossible. The soil types on Gross' land lent themselves to digging in certain areas which resulted in that specific shape, Heckler explained. The wetland was built in 2008 using a government program that pays landowners to take land out of agricultural production. Other similar government programs exist that pay to create new or enhance existing wetlands, Heckler said. Called nature's kidneys for their ability to filter out impurities and excess nutrients in water, much of the wetlands in the U.S. have disappeared over the years due to development and farming. For full story, click here.

PA: Seeking Clarity: Penalties loom for Pa.'s failure to meet fed water pollution standards

By Davaid Weissman – York Dispatch News – September 3, 2015 – Video
Wrightsville resident Brynn Kelly remembers always being the kid falling behind during summer camp nature walks when she was younger. She'd hold up the rest of her group, taking in her entire surroundings. Brynn's passion for nature and wildlife has only grown as she's gotten older, with plans to focus on environmental science and education in college. But that passion leads to frustration with Pennsylvania's water pollution. Earlier this year, Brynn wrote a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, urging the York County Democrat to make the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint a greater priority in Pennsylvania. The blueprint is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's reference to a combination of the Environmental Protection Agency's bay total maximum daily load (TMDL), established in 2010 to reduce water pollution, and subsequent watershed implementation plans (WIP) developed by each of the six watershed states and the District of Columbia to implement state-specific cleanup plans. But much like Brynn at her former summer camps, Pennsylvania is falling behind. For full story and to view video, click here.

UT: Restoration Efforts for Sage Grouse Habitat Shown to Benefit At-Risk Songbirds

Contact: Reynaldo Leal – USDA NRCS – September 9, 2015
Restoring habitat for sage grouse also helps many other sagebrush-dependent species, including two at-risk songbirds, according to a new report released today by the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI). SGI, a partnership led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), found that populations of Brewer’s sparrow and green-tailed towhee climbed significantly in places where invading conifer trees were removed in an effort to restore sagebrush habitat. The study shows that three years following the removal of invading conifers in a project area in southern Oregon, the number of Brewer’s sparrows increased by 55 percent, while the number of green-tailed towhees increased by 81 percent, as compared with sites not restored. These two songbirds, both identified as species of conservation concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), serve as early indicators of the effectiveness of restoration work. For full story, click here.

VT: Vermont farm pollution agreement reached

By Dave Gram – Burlington Free Press – September 4, 2015
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and an environmental group announced Friday their blueprint for reducing farm pollution flowing into Lake Champlain, a plan they put in the form of a signed agreement to settle the group’s lawsuit. Under the agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation, Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross said, he will issue a revised decision on a plan to reduce phosphorus-laden runoff from farms in northern Vermont’s Missisquoi River basin. He said he will issue the decision following a public hearing in October. For full story, click here.

VT: New Clean Water Rules May Mean Tough Choices for Some Small Farmers

By Mitch Wertlieb – VPR – August 31, 2015
Vermont’s small farms have always been subject to state clean water standards, but now the state’s near 7,000 small farms are facing a new reality: farm inspections. For the first time, small farms will have to certify with the state and undergo routine farm inspections to make sure they're doing everything they can to keep pollutants out of the water. For full story, click here.

VA: Honeywell agrees to $13 million in improvements and $300,000 penalty in Hopewell spills

By Rex Springston – Richmond Times-Dispatch – August 24, 2015
Virginia environmental officials and Honeywell have reached an agreement calling for the company to make more than $13 million in improvements at its Hopewell chemical plant and pay a $300,000 penalty following several spills there. The state Department of Environmental Quality announced the deal, a proposed consent order, Monday. The public can comment on the order through Sept. 23. The order then goes to the State Water Control Board for final approval Oct. 1. DEQ officials serve as staff to the water board. The issue involves spills of materials such as nitric acid, methyl ethyl ketone, caprolactam, oil and gasoline from mid-2013 to early this year, DEQ officials said. For full story, click here.

WA: Officials breach levee to open wetlands to salmon recovery

q13Fox.com – August 28, 2015
Bulldozers have removed about 1,500 linear feet of a levee in the Snohomish River Estuary in order to reopen 350 acres of historic wetlands to threaten salmon. The Tulalip Tribes and officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries division say the breach was part of the largest restoration projects so far in the Snohomish watershed. For full story, click here.

WA: Water Quality Standards Proposed for Washington State

U.S. Department of Energy – Sustainable City Network – September 7, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that revises the current federal Clean Water Act human health water quality criteria applicable to waters under the state of Washington’s jurisdiction. The proposed rule would ensure that the criteria are set at levels that will adequately protect fish consumers in Washington from exposure to toxic pollutants. To protect fish consumers in Washington, including tribes with treaty protected rights, EPA proposes to derive the criteria using a Fish Consumption Rate of 175 g/day. The cancer risk level remains at the currently established 10-6 or one-in-one-million benchmark. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. For full story, click here.

WI: Waukesha Plan for Lake Michigan Water Raises Worries

By Monica Davey – The New York Times – August 25, 2015
This city, once famous for its bubbling natural springs, sits about 17 miles from the shore of Lake Michigan. So when the state and federal authorities began demanding that the city address a growing contamination problem in its aquifer, the answer seemed simple: Get water from the big lake. Surely, city leaders imagined, the needs of Waukesha, with a population just over 70,000, would be but a drop from the gigantic Great Lakes bucket, which amounts to one-fifth of the earth’s fresh surface water. That little drop, however, has stirred up a colossal struggle. For full story, click here.

WI: Integrated Water Resource Protection: RIP in Wisconsin?

By Todd Ambs – Wisconsin Academy – Waters of Wisconsin Blog – August 11, 2015
It was a noble effort, the Water Division in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). But like many noble conservation efforts in this state, this too has been recently eliminated. We are told that the changes are needed for efficiency and better integration. The DNR Secretary says that these actions are needed because of the actions of the Wisconsin Legislature. We are told that the current DNR is powerless to change this fact. So the department streamlines, pares back, and works to improve customer service and maintain accountability. For full blog post, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News: Science 2015WETLAND SCIENCE

Diverted groundwater near mines may cause trees to die of thirst, study finds

By Gabrielle Chan – The Guardian – September 7, 2015
A new study has found open-cut mines that modify groundwater levels can affect trees and ecosystems several kilometres away from mine sites. The study has implications for the $1.2bn Shenhua Watermark coalmine and the federal government’s proposed “green lawfare” legislation which aims to limit the power of people to challenge projects unless they are directly affected. For full story, click here.

Despite decades of help, shad is still in trouble

By Rex Springston – Richmond Times-Dispatch – September 6, 2015
The American shad is a silvery beauty, a valuable creature so entwined in our culture that it’s called the “Founding Fish.” Today it’s a foundering fish — despite decades of work to save it. Preliminary findings by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science estimate that the shad populations in the James and York rivers this spring were the lowest since the institute’s shad survey began in 1998. “It’s concerning, but one year doesn’t mean a spiral,” said Eric Hilton, a VIMS fish expert who leads the survey. For full story, click here.

About 35,000 walruses are crammed onto beaches in a tiny Alaska village

By Andrew Freedman – Mashable.com – September 4, 2015
There is nothing straightforward and typical about massive walrus haul outs in Alaska, which have become an annual event as sea ice retreats earlier each summer. An ongoing haul out event at Point Lay, Alaska, has featured thousands of walruses one day, followed by none a few days later, and now tens of thousands again. In fact, this haul out may be nearing a record for the U.S., if the numbers keep increasing. For full story, click here.

Warming Oceans Putting Marine Life ‘In a Blender’

By Carl Zimmer – The New York Times – September 3, 2015
Up in Maine, lobsters are thriving. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reported last month that stocks there reached a record high. Down the coast, however, the story is different. In southern New England, lobster stocks have plummeted to the lowest levels ever recorded, putting many lobstermen out of business. Lobster populations rise and fall for many reasons. But in its new report, the commission singled out one factor that is probably driving the recent changes: The ocean is warming. For full story, click here.

Ten animals that will disappear with Western sagebrush

By Darryl Fears – The Washington Post – September 3, 2015
Forget the greater sage grouse. Just for a second. Sure, the colorful grouse is eye candy. The males dance, wobble and puff out their chests on wide open stages to attract females. It’s a love story. But sage grouse are dominating the conversation on threats to animals in America’s western sagebrush. Other animals of concern also need a voice. For full story, click here.

Using Gypsum to Help Reduce Phosphorus Runoff

By Mike Mills and Parissa Florez – USDA Blog – September 1, 2015
When it rains it pours. Whether we get a passing shower or a day-long downpour, the runoff ends up in rivers, streams and waterways. That runoff may include nutrients from fertilizers, and one of those nutrients is phosphorus. Phosphorus runoff is causing blooms of harmful algae that deplete waterways of oxygen, resulting in “dead zones” that damage ecosystems vital for aquatic life. It’s a problem in many of the waterways we all depend on for recreation and drinking water, including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. Just last year, Maryland’s outgoing governor proposed land use regulations designed specifically to reduce phosphorus runoff in the Chesapeake watershed. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have been looking for ways to address the problem by using gypsum, which binds with phosphorus in the soil and prevents it from running off. For full blog post, click here.

Starry stonewort and other aliens invading US

By Jessica Mendoza – The Christian Science Monitor – August 31, 2015 – Video
A stubborn, squatting species of algae has come to Minnesota’s lakes. On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of non-native starry stonewort in Lake Koronis and Mud Lake, producing dense mats that choke out other plants and form a wall between fish and their natural breeding grounds. The algae is one in a list of invasive pests that conservationists say pose serious risks to the nation’s water bodies in particular and its ecosystems in general. For full story and to view video, click here.

More evidence of Roundup's link to kidney, liver damage

By Brian Bienkowski – Environmental Health News – August 28, 2015
Long-term exposure to tiny amounts of Roundup—thousands of times lower than what is permitted in U.S. drinking water—may lead to serious problems in the liver and kidneys, according to a new study. The study looked at the function of genes in these organs and bolsters a controversial 2012 study that found rats exposed to small amounts of the herbicide Roundup in their drinking water had liver and kidney damage. It is the first to examine the impacts of chronic, low exposure of Roundup on genes in livers and kidneys and suggests another potential health impact for people and animals from the widely used weed killer. For full story, click here.

NASA's latest satellite data reveals global sea level rise

Environmental News Network – August 27, 2015
Global sea levels have risen nearly 3 inches in less than 25 years, with some locations around the world rising more than 9 inches, according to NASA’s latest satellite data. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future. “Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of the Sea Level Change Team. “But we don't know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.” For full story, click here.

Arctic may help remove, not add, methane

By Morgan Kelly – ENN – Environmental News Network – August 25, 2015
In addition to melting icecaps and imperiled wildlife, a significant concern among scientists is that higher Arctic temperatures brought about by climate change could result in the release of massive amounts of carbon locked in the region’s frozen soil in the form of carbon dioxide and methane. Arctic permafrost is estimated to contain about a trillion tons of carbon, which would potentially accelerate global warming. Carbon emissions in the form of methane have been of particular concern because on a 100-year scale methane is about 25-times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. However, new research led by Princeton University researchers and published in The ISME Journal in August suggests that, thanks to methane-hungry bacteria, the majority of Arctic soil might actually be able to absorb methane from the atmosphere rather than release it. For full story, click here.

Invasive plants spread fast in billion-dollar threat: study

By Alister Doyle – Reuters – August 19, 2015
Many of the world's plants are turning "alien", spread by people into new areas where they choke out native vegetation in a worsening trend that causes billions of dollars in damage, scientists said on Wednesday. The invaders include water hyacinth from the Amazon, which has spread to about 50 nations where it crowds out local plants, while Japanese knotweed has fast-growing roots that have destabilized buildings in North America and Europe. Citing a new global database, an international team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature that 13,168 plant species - 3.9 percent of the global total - "have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity". For full story, click here.

Study Shows Sea Level Rise to Threaten West Coast Tidal Wetlands Over the Next 100 Years

Contacts: Karen Thorne and Ryan McClymont – U.S. Geological Survey – August 18, 2015
The U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon State University released a report this week examining Pacific Northwest tidal wetland vulnerability to sea level rise. Scientists found that, while vulnerability varies from marsh to marsh, most wetlands would likely be resilient to rising sea levels over the next 50-70 years. Beyond that time, however, most wetlands might convert to intertidal mudflats as sea level rise outpaces the capacity of tidal marshes to adapt. For full news release, click here.

Harvesting invasive cattails to restore marsh biodiversity

Contact: Jim Erickson – Micigan News – August 14, 2015 – Video
The diesel-powered harvester roars as ecologist Shane Lishawa crashes through dense, 7-foot-tall cattails toward an experimental plot established in the marsh in 2011. "It's now four years later, and we still have a persistently more diverse community," said Lishawa, pointing to various native grasses, sedges and rushes that have sprung up in the test plot still dominated by an invasive hybrid cattail. For full story and to view video, click here.

Earth's frogs threatened by spreading tadpole disease

By Brooks Hays –UPI - United Press International – August 11, 2015
Researchers have found a newly identified parasitic disease in tadpoles -- one that could threaten global frog populations. The unnamed disease is caused by a parasitic protist, a single-celled microorganism, which invades tadpole livers. Scientists at the University of Exeter recently tested tadpoles from six countries across three continents, and found the protists present in a variety of species. For full story, click here.

Study of land snails suggests Earth may have already lost 7 percent of its animal species

By Robert Gebelhoff – The Washington Post – August 11, 2015
Twenty-five years ago, Robert Cowie would climb atop the mountains of Oahu, Hawaii, and find one or two specimens of a brightly colored snail squirming around. As a bioscience researcher at the University of Hawaii, Cowie would note the animal, one of many snail species that were identified as endangered on the island. But it’s been a long time since anyone has seen the snail, and researchers believe that’s probably because it’s gone extinct — along with many of its other sibling snails. For full story, click here.

 

Wetland Breaking News: September 2015RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS

EPA Report: "Managing Water Quality in the Face of Uncertainty"

RAND.org – 2015
EPA and its state and local partners develop implementation plans designed to meet total maximum daily load (TMDL) water quality standards. Uncertainty regarding the impacts of climate change and other drivers may make it difficult for these plans to meet their goals. But the methods and processes used to develop implementation plans typically do not address uncertainty in these key drivers. In this report, EPA used two pilot case studies to explore how Robust Decision Making methods could help EPA and its partners develop implementation plans that are more robust to future change. To access the report, Managing Water Quality in the Face of Uncertainty, click here.

U.S. Geological Survey Releases: "Sea Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists"

Contact: Tom Doyle and Gabrielle Bodin – USGS – August 27, 2015
Designed for the benefit of land managers, coastal planners, and policy makers in the United States and around the world, the handbook explains many of the contributing factors that account for sea-level change. It also highlights the different data, techniques, and models used by scientists and engineers to document historical trends of sea level and to forecast future rates and the impact to coastal systems and communities. Click here for the press release. Click here to access the Handbook.

Effects of different management regimes on mangrove ecosystem services in Java, Indonesia

Wetlands International – December 2014
This report for the first time quantifies the provision of mangrove ecosystem services according to different management regimes. The study concludes that ecosystem service provision depends strongly on the type of management and that mangrove-rich management regimes generally outscore aquaculture regimes. Decision-makers can make management choices depending on the desired outcome in terms of ecosystem services. For more information, click here. Download: Effects of different management regimes on mangrove ecosystem services in Java, Indonesia

 

Wetland Breaking News: September 2015

POTPOURRI

Would You Give Up Your Fleece Jacket to Save Our Lakes, Oceans and Rivers?

By Candice Gaukel Andrews – Good Nature Travel – September 8, 2015
You’ve cut down on the number of plastic water bottles you buy. You make sure to load your groceries into reusable fabric totes, forgoing the plastic bags the store offers. And when you buy canned drinks held together by six-pack rings, you are always careful to cut each one of the plastic straps in half, so that it could never end up as a strangling collar on a seal. But recent research is showing that something else is becoming an even larger threat to our world’s waters than big, plastic items: polar fleece microfibers. From insulating jackets to comfy pajamas, we have been in love with the texture and warmth of synthetic fleece since its debut in the late 1970s. It even appealed to our green sensibilities, since it was a great way to recycle all those discarded plastic milk, soda and water bottles. In fact, in 2015, the outdoor clothing manufacturer Polartec will reach a milestone: it will have turned one billion plastic bottles into fleece. Now, however, we’re learning that our most beloved outdoor fabric has a dark side: it’s polluting our waterways in tremendous and toxic ways. For full blog post, click here.

Calling All Endangered Rivers!

By Jessie Thomas-Blate – The River Blog – September 1, 2015
Every year, American Rivers generates a list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. We have been working hard in recent months to continue to spread the word about threats facing the 2015 listed rivers, and the response has been great, thanks to you! Have you seen our blog series (scroll to the bottom of each river page for links) on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon? Did you catch our blogs on the Edisto River? How about the Columbia River? Perhaps the Harpeth River? Or most recently, the Smith River in Montana? [Next up for September: Rogue and Smith rivers of Oregon and California] We are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for our 2016 report. Nominations are welcomed from any interested groups throughout the United States. For full blog post, click here. Nominations are due by Friday, October 30, 2015. Download the Most Endangered Rivers of 2015

Learn how you can leave a legacy rooted in conservation

By Craig Highfield – Bay Journal – August 31, 2015
Restoring and conserving our private resource lands remains a major goal in improving the Chesapeake. One of the basic objectives of the Alliance’s Forests for the Bay is to help the region’s landowners realize the benefits and gratification they can receive from their woods and through its management — from the array of potential recreational opportunities or periodic income from harvests to the mere enjoyment of privacy or the aesthetics of their land. For full story, click here.

Mapped: The countries that will face the biggest water shortages by 2040

By Ashley Kirk – The Telegraph – August 28, 2015
Many countries around the world will face severe water shortages by 2040, according to a new report by the World Resource Institute. As climate change takes hold around the world, water will become even more scarce in dry areas - while wet areas become even wetter. For full story, click here.

The three wonders of the ancient world solving modern water problems

By Nivedita Khandekar, Geoffrey Kamadi, and Dan Collyns – The Guaridan – August 19, 2015
Across large swaths of the Thar Desert in western India, traditional techniques for harvesting the little amount of rain that falls has helped people survive the powerful effects of the sun for centuries. The most beautiful of these are step wells – known as baolis in Hindi – large, stone structures built to provide water for drinking and agriculture. For full story, click here.

First farm-based wetland built during ‘ground-breaking’ Conservation Expo

The Wetlands Initiative – August 18, 2015
August has been an exciting and ground-breaking month for the Wetlands Initiative—literally! During the week of August 3, 2015, the Wetlands Initiative's senior environmental engineer, Jill Kostel, coordinated construction of the first farm-based wetland designed for nutrient removal in the Big Bureau Creek Watershed in north-central Illinois. The small wetland was built at Thacker Farms in Bureau County during a three-day Conservation Expo, co-organized by TWI and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association (ILICA). Nearly 100 people from 13 counties participated in the expo, learning about various conservation practices and observing the wetland's construction firsthand. For full story, click here.

Factory Farm Runoff Is Polluting Lake Erie, But CAFO Sewers Are Not the Answer

By Laura Orlando – In These Times – July 24, 2015
The Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—are magnificent inland seas that were once as clear as rainwater. Now each is polluted, but Lake Erie, the smallest, by volume, is in the most trouble. Its western basin is heavily industrialized, but the lake’s greatest threat is from the massive influx of organic material from fertilizer runoff, and the urine and feces from large concentrations of animals in factory farms. These nutrients don’t belong in the lake’s aquatic ecosystem. They kill fish by snatching up oxygen as organic material decays and cause toxic algae blooms. If unchecked, excess nutrients can change the ecosystem so much that the lake no longer supports aquatic life. For full story, click here.

Time for personal and agency action to save birds: Drought is hammering migratory species and wetlands

Chinook Observer Editorial – July 21, 2015
National Geographic, authoritative observer of the world’s wonders, on July 16 published a sad online story detailing drought’s impacts on the birds that migrate through West Coast states. Much attention has been given to dying and struggling salmon, but NatGeo highlights how species without much obvious commercial value are losing a battle against bleak conditions. For full editorial, click here.

Sand Pine in my Longleaf – A restoration problem

By Ario Kane – USDA NRCS – Florida
Washington County landowners Buz and Gail Harris own 535 acres in the sandhills. Nearly 30 years ago the land was planted in Choctawhatchee sand pine. About six years ago they cut the sand pine and decided to restore the property to the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem that was historically found in this area. Four years after planting the longleaf, Buz noticed that the sand pine had begun coming back from seed that was left after the cut. In fact the sand pine trees were growing so fast they were starting to crowd out the longleaf in some areas. The sand pines were large enough and the fuel load low enough that prescribed burning was not going to solve the problem. In fact, it is rare in the sandhills that fire can be used to control sand pine regeneration. For full blog post, click here.

Faces of Biology Photo Contest

American Institute of Biological Sciences – April 14, 2015
The American Institute of Biological Sciences photo context theme is "Faces of Biology." Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a natural history collection, on a computer, in a classroom, or elsewhere. The winning photo from the 2014 contest is featured on the cover of the May 2015 issue of BioScience. Submissions must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 30 September 2015. For more information, click here.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

WEBINARS

   

MEETINGS

   

TRAINING

     
                   
WEBINARS          
                   
SEPTEMBER 2015                  
                   
September 23, 2015
2:00 p.m. ET
      Utah State University, Forestry Extension, Division of Forestry webinar: Strategies for Successful Urban Tree Growth in Wet and Dry Sites
         
                   
September 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. ET
      Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) webinar: Developing & Implementing Dam Removal Projects          
                   
September 29, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting. Co-hosted by the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC).          
                   
OCTOBER 2015                  
                   
October 6, 2015
1:00 p.m. ET
      AWRA webinar: History of Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment in the United States          
                   
October 6, 2015       EPA's Green Infrastructure Program 2015 Webcast Series: Winter Weather O&M for Green. More information will be available in late September here.          
                   
October 13, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Wetland Restoration in Urban and Highly Disturbed Landscapes
         
                   
October 21, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC): From Bog to Bosque: Steps in a Successful Landscape Level Wetland Inventory in Northeastern New Mexico          
                   
October 28, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar II. Co-hosted by the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)          
                   
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 12, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET
      National Park Service Ocean Parks Centennial          
                   
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 19, 2015
3:00 p.m. ET
(tentative date)
      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          
                   
JANUARY 2016
                 
                   
January 27, 2016
3:00 p.m. ET
      ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Wetlands and Nutrient Uptake          
                   
MEETINGS        
                   
SEPTEMBER 2015                  
                   
September 23-25, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland      

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

         
                   
September 25-26, 2015
Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania
      Lacawac Ecology Conference (LEC) annual fall conference of Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station          
                   
September 25-27, 2015
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
      Moving the Needle Toward a Restored Bay Watershed: 10th annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum.          
                   
September 26-30, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
      Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference          
                   
September 28-29, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
      2015 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting          
                   
September 28-October 4, 2015 Kelowna and Vernon, BC       British Columbia Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Education Program: Communities Conserving Wetlands.          
                   
September 29-October 1, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
      Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition: 11th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference          
                   
OCTOBER 2015                  
                   
October 1, 2015
Winston Salem, North Carolina
      NC Water Resource Association and NC Association of Environmental Professionals Workshop: Nutrient Management Implications for Mitigation          
                   
October 6-8, 2015
Olympia, Washington
      Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists Conference: From a Watershed Perspective: Integrating Science into Policy. Abstracts due by August 1, 2015.          
                   
October 7-9, 2015
Natural Bridge, Virginia
      Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Office of Environmental Education Conference: What Lies Under Nature’s Bridge: Bridging the Classroom and the Outdoors          
                   
October 7-9, 2015
New York, New York
      6th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science          
                   
October 7-11, 2015
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
      Society of Environmental Journalists: Weather, Water, Energy: News in Every Neighborhood          
                   
October 9, 2015
Southfield, Michigan
      2015 Stormwater Summit          
                   
October 14-15, 2015
University of Wisconsin, Madison
      National Park Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office for the Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium          
                   
October 14-15, 2015
Villanova, Pennsylvania
      Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership: 9th Stormwater Management Symposium          
                   
October 21, 2015
Rockville, MD
      Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA): Stormwater Seminar - Management of Constructed Assets
         
                   
October 21-23, 2015
Tustin, Michigan
      Huron River Watershed Council: 2015 Michigan Aquatic Restoration Conference          
                   
October 28-31, 2015
San Diego, California
      California Invasive Plant Council: 24th Annual Cal-IPC Symposium. Abstracts due by June 15, 2015.          
                   
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. Call for abstracts deadline is June 15, 2015.          
                   
NOVEMBER 2015                  
                   
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 4-5, 2015
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
      Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference
         
                   
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 12-13, 2015
Cambridge, Massachusetts
      Association of Climate Change Officers: 2015 Rising Seas Summit
         
                   
November 13, 2015
North Linthicum, Maryland
      The Maryland Water Monitoring Council 21st Annual Conference: Protecting the Source - Sustaining Maryland’s Waters
         
                   
November 16-18, 2015
Greater Portland, Maine
      Think Blue Maine Partner Maine Stormwater Conference. Abstract deadline is Friday, March 27, 2015.          
                   
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 20-22, 2015
Tucson, Arizona
      Society of Ecological Restoration, Southwest Chapter Annual Conference. Call for abstracts deadline is September 4, 2015.          
                   
DECEMBER 2015                  
                   
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          
                   
FEBRUARY 2016                  
                   
February 1-4, 2016
Tampa, Florida
      The 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference: One Gulf: Healthy Ecosystems, healthy communities. Deadline to submit an abstract is September 18, 2015.          
                   
February 3-4, 2016
Wilmington, Delaware
      The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: 2016 Delaware Wetlands Conference: Advancing Wetland Science and Conservation in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Abstract deadline is October 14, 2015.          
                   
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 21-26, 2016
New Orleans, Louisiana
      2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Submit abstracts by September 23, 2015.          
                   
February 23-25, 2016
Green Bay, Wisconsin
      Wisconsin Wetlands Association 21st Annual Wetland Science Conference. Symposia proposals due by September 30, 2015.          
                   
MARCH 2016                  
                   
March 8-10, 2016
Seattle, Washington
      2015 Climate Leadership Conference. Speaker and Session Proposals open through September 15, 2015.          
                   
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 29-April 2, 2016
Vancouver, BC
      Society for Applied Anthropology 76th Annual Meeting. Abstract Submission Deadline October 15, 2015.          
                   
APRIL 2016                  
                   
April 25-27, 2016
Anchorage, Alaska
      2016 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference. Abstract deadline is December 1, 2015.          
                   
MAY 2016                  
                   
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 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          
                   
TRAINING        
                   
SEPTEMBER 2015                  
                   
September 21-25, 2015
St. Michaels, Maryland
      Environmental Concern Course: Basic Wetland Delineation Professional Course          
                   
September 23-25, 2015
Hays, Kansas
      Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Woody Plants (Trees, Shrubs, and Vines) Identification          
                   
September 28-29, 2015
Bordentown, New Jersey
      Rutgers University Course: Wetland Construction: Planning and Functional Design          
                   
September 28-October 2, 2015
Portage, Wisconsin
      Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Course: Basic Wetland Delineation          
                   
September 30, 2015
Lacey, Washington
      Washington State Department of Ecology, Coastal Training Program course: Selecting Wetland Mitigation Sites Using a Watershed Approach
         
                   
OCTOBER 2015                  
                   
October 5-9, 2015
Humble, TX
      Whitenton Group course: Jurisdictional Waters Delineation Training
         
                   
October 5-December 18, 2015
Online
      The Swamp School Online Certified Wetland Hydrologist Class
         
                   
October 8-9, 2015
Tuckerton, New Jersey
      Rutgers University Course: Identification of Tidal Wetland Plants          
                   
October 17, 2015
St. Michaels, Maryland
      Environmental Concern Course: Project WET 2.0 Register by November 18, 2015.          
                   
October 20-21, 2015
Richmond, Virginia
      Wetland Training Institute, Inc. course: Basic Wetland Delineation eSession with Field Practicum          
                   
October 20-23, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
      Rutgers University course: Methodology for Delineating Wetlands. Instructors: Ralph Tiner and Mallory N. Gilbert          
                   
October 21, 2015
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
      Rutgers University course: Introduction to Wetland Identification. Instructor: Ralph Tiner          
                   
October 23, 2015
Denver, Colorado
      Urban Watersheds Research Institute Course: Overview of WQ Regulations and Compliance - 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 12-13, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
      Duncan & Duncan Wetland & Endangered Species Training Course: Advanced Hydric Soils and Hydrology (Piedmont)          
                   
November 16-18, 2015
Naples, Florida
      Everglades Wetland Research Park course: River Restoration. Register online by September 30, 2015 for a 10% discount.          
                   
DECEMBER 2015                  
                   
December 3-4, 2015
Denver, Colorado
      Urban Watersheds Research Institute Course: Floodplain Hydraulics Using HEC RAS - 2015          
                   
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 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
         
                   
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          
                   
September 26, 2015
Wilmer Park, Chestertown
      Chestertown RiverArts and Washington College Center for Environment & Society and SANDBOX: Chestertown RiverFest          
                   
November 28, 2015       The Wetlands Institute: Wetland Wonderland          
                   

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


JOBS

Wetland Breaking News - September 2015


INDEX

EDITOR'S NOTE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Campus RainWorks Challenge Kicks Off to Develop Approaches to Stormwater Management
  • EPA water rule takes effect in some states
  • Federal judge blocks Obama's water rule
  • Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution
  • Contest pursues solution to algae: $10 million prize
  • EPA Proposes Streamlining Tribal Treatment as a State
  • Free Is Sweet! Free Learning Sources for GIS and Geospatial Analysis
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar – Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting – September 29, 2015
  • ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Wetland Restoration in Urban and Highly Disturbed Landscapes – October 13, 2015
  • Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC): From Bog to Bosque: Steps in a Successful Landscape Level Wetland Inventory in Northeastern New Mexico – October 21, 2015
  • 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 Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Novel Ecosystems and Restoration – November 19, 2015 (tentative date)

NATIONAL NEWS

  • California officials unveil plans for wildlife bridge over highway
  • AP Exclusive: Drilling Boom Means More Harmful Waste Spills
  • Coal ash contains radioactive contaminants: US study
  • Going Deep: Cautious Steps Toward Seabed Mining
  • Obama Makes Urgent Appeal in Alaska for Climate Change Action
  • Rules Proposed to Improve Hazardous Waste Management, Better Protect Waterways
  • The key to water security could be lurking in a New Mexico sewage farm
  • 'Most important conservation program you've never heard of' set to expire next month
  • Insecticide found in half of sampled U.S. streams
  • U.S. EPA to propose rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas sector
  • Rise of ‘Shoreline Hardening’ Threatens Coastal Ecosystems
  • Obama's Clean Power Plan Gets a Jolt of Support from Corporations

STATE NEWS

  • AK: This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea
  • AK: Concerns mount over whale deaths in Gulf of Alaska
  • AK: Senators take aim at federal wetland regulations in Wasilla hearing
  • CA: California's Sierra Nevada snowpack is the lowest in 500 years
  • CA: Research Says 27 Percent of California’s Drought Attributable to Climate Change
  • CA: Central Valley sinking fast because of groundwater pumping
  • CO: Danger to Animas River short-lived
  • CT: Nitrogen’s threat to the Sound
    CT: Amid Controversy, Selectmen Appoint New Inland Wetland Commissioners
  • GA: Loggerhead Sea Turtles Reach Another Nesting Record In Georgia
  • IN: IU environmental scientist part of team awarded NSF grant for tidal marsh study
  • KY: Coast Guard closes part of Mississippi River after oil spill
  • KY: Agencies Conserve Imperiled Species in Eastern Kentucky; Propose delisting for one plant, and positive steps for a darter
  • LA: Obama may back Louisiana use of offshore oil revenue for coastal restoration, state official says
  • LA: Ten Years After Katrina, Here’s What’s Happening to Louisiana’s Coastline
  • LA: Crop dusters seed mangroves by air to save Louisiana wetlands
  • ME: Fed up with EPA, LePage retaliates with threat
  • ME: Judge orders Mallinckrodt to fund mercury cleanup plan for Penobscot River
  • MD: Environmentalists call for moratorium on Shore poultry growth
  • MD: EPA: Maryland farmers lead in pollution reduction efforts
  • MD: The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Trust seek proposals for nontidal wetland projects in Maryland
  • MA: Palmer race track owner, builder settle wetland habitat violations lawsuit
  • MI: Michigan confirms two new invasive species
  • NC: Research fish biologist concerned with drainage from coal ash storage in Lee County
  • NC: Conservationists protest killing of endangered North Carolina red wolves
  • NC: Proposed NC bill could allow more pollution waterways, environmentalists say
  • ND: North Dakota farm and conservation groups agree on who will employ biologists to help with voluntary conservation
  • OH: Toxic Algae Bloom on Ohio River Continues to Spread
  • OH: County residents happy to stem the tide of disappearing wetlands
  • PA: Seeking Clarity: Penalties loom for Pa.'s failure to meet fed water pollution standards
  • UT: Restoration Efforts for Sage Grouse Habitat Shown to Benefit At-Risk Songbirds
  • VT: Vermont farm pollution agreement reached
  • VT: New Clean Water Rules May Mean Tough Choices for Some Small Farmers
  • VA: Honeywell agrees to $13 million in improvements and $300,000 penalty in Hopewell spills
  • WA: Officials breach levee to open wetlands to salmon recovery
  • WA: Water Quality Standards Proposed for Washington State
  • WI: Waukesha Plan for Lake Michigan Water Raises Worries
  • WI: Integrated Water Resource Protection: RIP in Wisconsin?

WETLAND SCIENCE

  • Diverted groundwater near mines may cause trees to die of thirst, study finds
  • Despite decades of help, shad is still in trouble
  • About 35,000 walruses are crammed onto beaches in a tiny Alaska village
  • Warming Oceans Putting Marine Life ‘In a Blender’
  • Ten animals that will disappear with Western sagebrush
  • Using Gypsum to Help Reduce Phosphorus Runoff
  • Starry stonewort and other aliens invading US
  • More evidence of Roundup's link to kidney, liver damage
  • NASA's latest satellite data reveals global sea level rise
  • Arctic may help remove, not add, methane
  • Invasive plants spread fast in billion-dollar threat: study
  • Study Shows Sea Level Rise to Threaten West Coast Tidal Wetlands Over the Next 100 Years
  • Harvesting invasive cattails to restore marsh biodiversity
  • Earth's frogs threatened by spreading tadpole disease
  • Study of land snails suggests Earth may have already lost 7 percent of its animal species

RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

  • EPA Report: "Managing Water Quality in the Face of Uncertainty
  • U.S. Geological Survey Releases: "Sea Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists"
  • Effects of different management regimes on mangrove ecosystem services in Java, Indonesia

POTPOURRI

  • Would You Give Up Your Fleece Jacket to Save Our Lakes, Oceans and Rivers?
  • Calling All Endangered Rivers!
  • Learn how you can leave a legacy rooted in conservation
  • Mapped: The countries that will face the biggest water shortages by 2040
  • The three wonders of the ancient world solving modern water problems
  • First farm-based wetland built during ‘ground-breaking’ Conservation Expo
  • Factory Farm Runoff Is Polluting Lake Erie, But CAFO Sewers Are Not the Answer
  • Time for personal and agency action to save birds: Drought is hammering migratory species and wetlands
  • Sand Pine in my Longleaf – A restoration problem
  • Faces of Biology Photo Contest

WEBINARS, MEETINGS, TRAINING

  • WebinarsStrategies for Successful Urban Tree Growth in Wet and Dry Sites
  • Developing & Implementing Dam Removal Projects
  • ASWM’s Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar Project Siting and Wetland Permitting
  • AWRA webinar: History of Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment in the United States
  • EPA's Green Infrastructure Program 2015 Webcast Series: Winter Weather O&M for Green
  • ASWM’s Improving Wetland Restoration Success Webinar: Wetland Restoration in Urban and Highly Disturbed Landscapes
  • Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC): From Bog to Bosque: Steps in a Successful Landscape Level Wetland Inventory in Northeastern New Mexico
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Solar II
  • 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
  • National Park Service Ocean Parks Centennial
  • Center for Watershed Protection webcast: Checking in on Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  • 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
  • ASWM Members’ Wetland Webinar: Wetlands and Nutrient Uptake

Meetings

  • Resource Institute, Inc.: Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
  • Lacawac Ecology Conference
  • Moving the Needle Toward a Restored Bay Watershed
  • Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference
  • 2015 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting
  • British Columbia Wildlife Federation's Wetlands Education Program: Communities Conserving Wetlands
  • Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition: 11th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference
  • Nutrient Management Implications for Mitigation
  • From a Watershed Perspective: Integrating Science into Policy
  • What Lies Under Nature’s Bridge: Bridging the Classroom and the Outdoors
  • 6th annual Student Conference on Conservation Science
  • Society of Environmental Journalists: Weather, Water, Energy: News in Every Neighborhood
  • 2015 Stormwater Summit
  • Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium
  • Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership: 9th Stormwater Management Symposium
  • Stormwater Seminar - Management of Constructed Assets
  • Huron River Watershed Council: 2015 Michigan Aquatic Restoration Conference
  • California Invasive Plant Council: 24th Annual Cal-IPC Symposium
  • 9th Biennial State of Lake Michigan and 15th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Joint Conference
  • Natural Areas Association: 2015 Natural Areas Conference
  • Transforming Decision Making Developing Adaptive Infrastructure and Advancing Solutions
  • Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference
  • 13th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium
  • Coastal Estuarine Research Federation Conference: Grand Challenges in Coastal & Estuarine Science; Securing Our Future
  • Association of Climate Change Officers will hold the 2015 Rising Seas Summit
  • Protecting the Source - Sustaining Maryland’s Waters
  • 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
  • Society of Ecological Restoration: Southwest Chapter Annual Conference
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU): 2015 AGU Fall Meeting
  • American Society of Naturalists Conference: Unifying Biological Principles Across Disciplines
  • 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference: One Gulf: Healthy Ecosystems, healthy communities
  • 2016 Delaware Wetlands Conference: Advancing Wetland Science and Conservation in the Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Stewards: Engaging Students, Schools and Communities
  • 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting
  • Wisconsin Wetlands Association 21st Annual Wetland Science 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
  • Society for Applied Anthropology 76th Annual Meeting
  • 2016 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference
  • Society of Wetland Scientist's 2016 Annual Meeting
  • 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
  • Mangrove & Macrobenthos Meeting
  • 4th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4): Making Marine Science Matter
  • 2016 Ecological Society of America's (ESA) annual meeting

Training

  • Basic Wetland Delineation Professional Course
  • Woody Plants (Trees, Shrubs, and Vines) Identification
  • Planning and Functional Design
  • Basic Wetland Delineation
  • Selecting Wetland Mitigation Sites Using a Watershed Approach
  • Jurisdictional Waters Delineation Training
  • The Swamp School Online Certified Wetland Hydrologist Class
  • Identification of Tidal Wetland Plants
  • Environmental Concern Course: Project WET 2.0
  • Basic Wetland Delineation eSession with Field Practicum
  • Methodology for Delineating Wetlands
  • Introduction to Wetland Identification
  • Overview of WQ Regulations and Compliance - 2015
  • Understanding Advanced Stormwater Management Techniques
  • Interagency Consultation for Endangered Species
  • Advanced Hydric Soils and Hydrology (Piedmont)
  • Everglades Wetland Research Park course: River Restoration
  • Floodplain Hydraulics Using HEC RAS – 2015
  • Problem and Atypical Wetland Delineation (Piedmont)
  • Statistical Downscaling of Global Climate Models in SDSM 5.2
  • WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
  • POW! The Planning of Wetlands
  • Everglades Wetland Research Park course: Creation and Restoration of Wetlands

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Chestertown RiverFest
  • The Wetlands Institute: Wetland Wonderland

Wetland Breaking News - September 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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