Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

bos2America’s views on wildlife are changing

By Brandon Keim – Anthropocene – December 18, 2019
Until a few years ago, anthropomorphism—attributing human mental characteristics to other animals—was synonymous with unscientifically sentimental. Nowadays, thanks to squee-rich social media and scientific research on animal intelligence, anthropomorphism is both common and common-sense. Read full article here.

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Science Panel Staffed with Trump Appointees Says E.P.A. Rollbacks Lack Scientific Rigor

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman – The New York Times – December 31, 2019
A top panel of government-appointed scientists, many of them hand-selected by the Trump administration, said on Tuesday that three of President Trump’s most far-reaching and scrutinized proposals to weaken major environmental regulations are at odds with established science. Read full story here.

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bos2Managing Urban Flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area: From a Concrete Bowl to a Green Sponge

By Cora Kammeyer – Pacific Institute – December 4, 2019
The first fall storm is rolling through the San Francisco Bay Area this week, marking the beginning of the rainy season. While this may mean a reprieve from this season’s wildfires, it also means there’s a new risk: floods. Urban flooding is increasing in the Bay Area for four main reasons: California’s naturally variable precipitation patterns, climate change increasing precipitation extremes, population growth, and aging and insufficient infrastructure. Read full blog post here.

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Scientists struggle to save seagrass from coastal pollution

By Michael Casey and Andrew Selsky – Associate Press – December 23, 2019
Peering over the side of his skiff anchored in the middle of New Hampshire’s Great Bay, Fred Short liked what he saw. Just below the surface, the 69-year-old marine ecologist noticed beds of bright green seagrass swaying in the waist-deep water. It was the latest sign that these plants with ribbon-like strands, which had declined up to 80% since the 1990s, were starting to bounce back with improved water quality. Seven rivers carry pollution from 52 communities in New Hampshire and Maine into the 1,020-square-mile (2,650-square-kilometer) watershed for the bay. Read full story here.

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bos2Could Abandoned Agricultural Lands Help Save the Planet?

By Richard Conniff – YaleEnvironment360 – December 10, 2019
People have lived in Castro Laboreiro, where northern Portugal borders Spain, long enough to have built megaliths in the mountainous countryside and a pre-Romanesque church, from 1,100 years ago, in the village itself. But the old rural population has dwindled away, leaving behind mostly elders yearning for their vanishing culture. Read full story here.

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Conserving Floodplains to Mitigate Future Flood Risk

By Kris Johnson – Sustainability – December 9, 2019
This year was the wettest year on record in the conterminous United States. Flooding was widespread and destructive as rivers over topped their banks and broke through levees. Intense rains inundated farms, cities, and towns, especially in the Midwest. Flooding is one of the most common, and the most costly, natural disasters. Flood insurance losses in the United States have averaged more than $3B annually since 2000 and total costs and impacts to lives and livelihoods is much greater. And population growth and climate change mean these impacts are likely to grow. Read full story here.

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bos2Soaking in the Rain

By Samantha Watters – Maryland Today – November 25, 2019
You might not have thought twice about the thicket at street’s end or that cluster of trees growing wild on the corner, but they make a difference in controlling stormwater runoff, according to a University of Maryland-led study. The study published in the Journal of Environmental Management was based on analysis of urban green spaces in Baltimore. It found that regardless of their sizes, swatches of forest are about as effective at absorbing rainfall as built green infrastructure features like rain gardens, retention areas planted with grasses and perennials that help rain soak into the ground. Read full story here.

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States slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study

By Rebecca Beitsch – The Hill – December 5, 2019
A new report warns that spending cutbacks at state environmental protection agencies have led to thousands of job cuts at a time when the federal government is rolling back regulations. The study from the advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project found that states have eliminated 4,400 positions at agencies responsible for protecting the environment over the past decade. The group argues that the cuts have been especially damaging under the Trump administration and deregulation at places like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Read full story here.

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bos2The EPA Says We Need to Reuse Wastewater

By G. Tracy Mehan, III – Scientific America –November 12, 2019
On September 10, 2019, at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan for public comment—containing 46 proposed actions, to be accomplished by a mix of federal, state, private, local and private stakeholders, in order to promote 10 strategic objectives. For many in the water sector, this was a welcome recognition—a validation, if you will, of a new movement and set of practices and technologies that will impact drinking water, energy, agriculture and industry throughout the nation. Read full blog post here.

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The Clean Water Act Might Just Survive This Latest Attack

By Cale Jaffe – The Regulatory Review – November 25, 2019
The most important Clean Water Act case in more than a decade was recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund are clean water values that have undergirded American law for more than 50 years. Conservationists have been worried that this case could gut one of the foundations of modern environmental law. But the justices’ questions during oral argument provide room for cautious optimism. The Clean Water Act just might survive this challenge. Diminished, perhaps, but not defeated. Read full story here.

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