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

bos2WOTUS Revised: Proposed Federal Rule Retracts the Reach of the Clean Water Act

By Wendy Manley – Forest Network – December 19, 2018
The controversial definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which establishes the reach of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA), may be changing yet again. On December 10, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (COE) announced proposed regulations to describe which waters trigger federal permit requirements for activities that occur in, or discharge to, such waters. The COE issues permits for dredging and filling of WOTUS under CWA Section 404, while EPA (and states with delegated CWA authority) issue permits for discharging stormwater and wastewater to WOTUS under Section 402. As the CWA lacks a statutory definition, the scope of the term is left to the COE and EPA. Read full story here.

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Bay Foundation grades health of the Chesapeake Bay a D+

By Rachel Felver – Chesapeake Bay Program – January 8, 2019
The first assessment of Bay health in 2019 shows mixed results. In the biennial “State of the Bay” report, issued by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the health of the Bay dropped one point, lowering its score from a C- in 2016 to a D+ in 2018. While underwater grasses and dissolved oxygen show promising signs of resiliency, nutrients and water clarity contribute heavily to the lower score. Read full blog post here.

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bos2Farm Bill by the Numbers

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition –  December 21, 2018
The farm bill is complex package of legislation – like other authorizing bills, the bill’s primary focus is on policies and programs, but unlike many authorization bills, the farm bill also provides direct funding for many of the programs it authorizes. Farm bill programs, therefore, have two ways to receive funding: mandatory (or direct) funding through the farm bill, and annual funding through the appropriations process. Because mandatory funding provided by authorizing legislation is substantially larger than appropriated funds, which programs receive mandatory funding and how much is always a contentious issue in farm bill debates. This post provides a high-level overview of some key spending pieces included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Read full blog post here.

 

 

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Putting some mussel into river restoration

By Rebecca Chillrud – Chesapeake Bay Program – January 02, 2019
Maryland’s Patapsco River, which flows through central Maryland into the Chesapeake Bay, hasn’t been home to the eastern elliptio, a freshwater mussel species, for 50 to 100 years. That’s about to change, as a group of scientists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to plant baby mussels in the Patapsco in an attempt to reestablish their populations, clean the water and improve the health of the ecosystem. Read full blog post here.

 

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bos2Making Waves: 5 Steps the 116th Congress Should Take to Restore the Health and Productivity of America’s Oceans

By Alexandra Carter and Miriam Goldstein – Center for American Progress – December 18, 2018
The 2018 elections sent a clear message: Americans value conservation. Voters elected representatives and senators who vowed to protect public lands and waters and stand against the Trump administration’s many attacks on the environment. Now, as the 116th Congress prepares to start work in January, it is time to put these principles into practice. Read full story here.

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The Value of Snow

By Jessica D. Lundquist – EOS – December 18, 2018
The fall colors are moving from the trees to the sidewalk, and the morning walk to the bus stop seems colder each day. “Do you think it will snow today?” my son asks each morning. “I want it to snow!” We live in Seattle and, if we’re lucky, we will get snow on one day in December or January. But the desire for snow is widespread. Read full story here.

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bos2Exploring the Ecosystem of the U.S.- Mexico Border

By Margaret Wilder – Scientific American – December 6, 2018
The wetlands are springing back to life in the Colorado River delta located mostly in Mexico just at the border with the United States. The endangered Yuma clapper rail croaks a funny song in the tall reeds that rise up out of the unexpected marshes in the Ciénega de Santa Clara. The snowy egret, vermilion flycatcher and Gila woodpecker are surging back in the Laguna Grande wetlands and the endangered yellow-billed cuckoo is found anew at this key stopover on the Pacific migratory bird flyway. Lured by water and habitat fix-ups through binational restoration efforts, bobcats and beavers are making a comeback, too.  Read full blog post here.

 

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Cutting the Salt in Winter Road Maintenance

By Jeremy Hinsdale – State of the Planet – December 13, 2018
Entire floors of the Port Authority bus terminal on lock down for crowd control. Kids with special needs trapped on school buses for up to ten hours. Stranded motorists abandoning their cars and setting out on foot across the George Washington Bridge in a driving snow. New Yorkers are no strangers to transit nightmares, but the city’s lukewarm response to last month’s pre-winter storm may go down as one its most epic winter fails. Severe weather can be a trial by fire for politicians, and no city official wants to be in the firing line after a mass transit mutiny. Despite the city’s failure to anticipate last month’s storm, when forecasts rapidly escalated from an inch or so of wintry mix to six inches of snow, the city’s response to winter weather has remained aggressive since Bloomberg’s time in office. This is especially true when it comes to the use of road salt, today’s weapon of choice in the battle with Old Man Winter. Read full blog post here.

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bos2Climate Change is No Longer a Future Problem

By – The Hill – December 3, 2018
For years, climate change has been discussed in the context of tomorrow — a problem for future generations — with specific impacts left largely to the imagination. This may be changing now as apocalyptic climate-related disasters awaken the public to the realities that come with a warmer planet. Read full opinion here.

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Looking to Nature: Mobilizing Constructed Wetlands for Resource Recovery

By Paxia Ksatryo and Tamara Avellán – SDG – November 29, 20218
With 80% of wastewater being released untreated into the environment and 892 million people still practicing open defecation, our communities and environment are at risk. Thus, it is no surprise that clean water and sanitation are prioritized in the UN SDGs. Committed to safeguarding a sustainable future, the SDGs aim to address global challenges by 2030. Linked to social and economic development, wastewater management is a vital component in achieving SDG 6, most notably in developing countries (Target 6A). Read full story here.

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