Friday, July 25, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Minnesota DNR Contractor Catches Two Asian Carp Upstream of Previous Sightings  
Mississippi River Lock and Dam System
(click to enlarge)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) contractors netted two adult non-native Asian carp, one a bighead carp and the other a silver carp, in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River in the Cottage Grove, Minnesota area on July 17. Because of the ability of Asian carp and many other non-native fish to compete with and displace native species, invasive fish are a significant threat to native biodiversity and the economy in the Mississippi River watershed. Pool 2 is formed upstream of the Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam 2 at Mississippi River mile 815.2 near Hastings, Minnesota.  For more details on the sighting, see this MN DNR press release and our related overview.

This Week, Next Week and Beyond
The U.S. House is scheduled to be in session just 16 more days until the November mid-term election: four more this month, no days in August, ten days in September and two days in October.  This link leads to a listing of the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for next week's four legislative days that relate to Mississippi River Basin water resources.  That activity is unlikely to include any meaningful action on spending bills.  Some time during September, the House will likely vote on a stop-gap measure to prevent a federal government shutdown on October 1, deferring most of the big spending decisions until after the midterms.  Here is a link to the abridged, one-paragraph version of the past week.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • 2014 Gulf of Mexico dead zone smaller than usual, measuring about 2,600 square miles and bearing out predictions http://ow.ly/zrs5E
  • Association of State Wetland Managers: "Clean Water Act Jurisdiction, Polluters and Clean Water" http://ow.ly/zoaS7
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection cites mountaintop-removal mine over runoff threat to nearby stream http://ow.ly/zodpw
  • Grasslands conversion to farmland may increase water pollution in Southeastern Minnesota http://ow.ly/zokz1
  • USEPA awards over $11 million to Oklahoma to assist communities in improving water quality and infrastructure http://ow.ly/zrj54
  • USDA delays roll-out of new water quality best management practices on National Forest System lands http://j.mp/1zYn3NN (proposed rule open for 30 days additional public comment)
  • A new poll finds support in the business community for the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” rule. http://j.mp/1pcz2hZ
  • Legislation streamlining regulation of wastewater discharges from ships passes Senate Committee press release: http://ow.ly/zxnaX bill: http://ow.ly/zxnsc story: http://ow.ly/zxnDd
  • Federal judge finds Alpha Natural Resources subsidiary liable for discharging selenium-polluted water at West Virginia mine http://ow.ly/zzxUz
  • Local officials tell House committee they want more flexibility on wastewater mandates http://ow.ly/zzz5a
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) pressures Federal Emergency Management Agency to finish updating U.S.  flood maps by 2017 http://ow.ly/zxmQJ
  • Western Kansas will be forced to adjust to the reality of a shrinking Ogallala aquifer http://ow.ly/zuBJa
  • USDA to provide $262 million for rehabilitation assistance for 150 dams in 26 states http://ow.ly/zoe1n (list of projects by state: http://ow.ly/zodVu)
  • Minneapolis' "golden age of river traffic" never arrived http://ow.ly/zrt4Z (and follow-up article: http://ow.ly/zrt7W)
  • Federal regulators give two Nebraska utilities more time to evaluate Missouri River flooding hazards at nuclear power plants http://ow.ly/zuEpv
  • Resources for the Future discussion Paper: Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy http://ow.ly/zx0Ov (PDF file)
  • Metropolitan Council (Twin Cities) outlines options for augmenting White Bear Lake with Mississippi River water http://ow.ly/zxl3x
Falling corn prices are raising fears
that many U.S. farmers will
suffer their first losses in years
Agriculture -
Climate and Weather -
  • July 22 US drought update: Widespread precipitation in River Basin, plus unseasonably cool air, lead to general drought relief http://ow.ly/wmTdv
  • NOAA: On heels of May's record, June's average global temperature sets a new record at 61.2F, 1.3F higher than June's 20th Century average ow.ly/zpw2S
  • NY Times: Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.; Maps and charts show changing extent of the drought http://ow.ly/zzwKL
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
The longear sunfish, Lepomis megalotis, is a freshwater fish
in the sunfish family Centrarchidae
  • Sunfish found in Mississippi River;s Iowa waters likely a rare longear sunfish http://ow.ly/zuDwy historically found in now-rare backwaters 
  • NY Times: Conservation effort to protect the sage grouse has put different environmental interests at odds http://ow.ly/zoai1
  • House members request USDA report on cost, feasibility of Lesser Prairie Chicken conservation measures http://ow.ly/zrikS
  • La Crosse, Wis. experienced millions of mayflies from a Mississippi River hatch on Sunday; may have contributed to car crash http://ow.ly/zrtoA (and they show up on radar: http://ow.ly/zurYB)
  • Two Asian Carp Species Caught by Minnesota DNR Contractor Upstream of Previous Sightings; MN DNR release: http://ow.ly/zxuuH
  • Chinese subsidiary aims for big Asian carp catch near Indianola, Mississippi http://ow.ly/zxqER
  • Successful pollinator habitat program in Europe is being launched in the Mississippi Delta http://ow.ly/zrtPy
In the Cities -
  • Trout Brook in St. Paul’s North End to see daylight once again as part of Nature Sanctuary and Regional Trail project http://ow.ly/zoCYE
  • $1 million FEMA grant to Eddyville, Iowa aimed at protecting city from Des Moines River flooding http://ow.ly/zrrAk
  • Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District will receive $756,350 in DOT  funds to construct a new Mississippi River Passenger Ferryboat Terminal in Moline, Illinois http://ow.ly/zrZn3
  • GreenStep Cities sprout in Minnesota promoting environmentally sustainable standard operating practices http://ow.ly/zuyTW
In the States-
  • Nebraska Natural Resources Commission lays groundwork for projects intended to preserve state's long-term water supply http://ow.ly/zoBZW
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency survey says: Minnesotans want clean water for fish http://ow.ly/zs2lU
Gulf Coastal Region-
Resource Development -
  • Obama administration plans to raise amount of ethanol, other biofuels that must be blended into U.S. fuel supply http://ow.ly/zzAOg (also see: http://ow.ly/zzAYu)
  • How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota http://ow.ly/zouod
  • Wisconsin frac sand facility operates two high-capacity wells without permit, faces $52,500 in fines http://ow.ly/zuyno
Federal Budget -
  • House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) expects House will consider a stopgap funding bill in September to avoid a government shutdown http://ow.ly/zxUM8
  • $34 billion spending bill for energy and water programs for fiscal year 2015 released  by Senate appropriators http://ow.ly/zzyzo
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • 2014 National Forum on Contaminants in Fish; September 22-24,  Alexandria, Virginia http://ow.ly/zoeqb
  • Public meetings will be held by the Mississippi River Commission in August at various Mississippi River locations http://ow.ly/zzv74
  • Save the date: 18th International Soil Conservation Organization Conference, El Paso, Texas; May 31-June 5, 2015 http://ow.ly/zv8MQ
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
Other news-
  • New rules require additional IDs to enter federal facilities for persons with a driver’s license issued by 12 states, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana and Oklahoma in the Mississippi River Basin. http://ow.ly/zx1Q2
  • Department of Interior designates Mississippi Delta as a National Heritage Area http://ow.ly/zoCxK
  • Louisiana and Iowa led all U.S. states in the value of industrial construction projects during 2013  http://ow.ly/zuCJO
Politics and People-
  • American voters say they really, really hate Congress, unless it's their own representative, that is http://ow.ly/zzOty
  • New Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge manager Sabrina Chandle brings "river-deep" expertise http://ow.ly/zuD8p
  • Election of North Dakota's agriculture commissioner is all about oil http://ow.ly/zs2KT
  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy does not officially become House Majority Leader until August, but for all intents and purposes, he is already http://ow.ly/zoyad
Your Moment of Zen -
It's mating season for the millions of mayflies emerging from the Mississippi River near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Source: NWS

Capitol Hill Next Week - What to Watch For

As the clock ticks down toward the mid-term election in 102 days, the U.S. House is scheduled to be in session four more days this month, no days in August, ten days in September and two days in October.  Below are the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for next week's four days that relate to Mississippi River Basin water resources. Links are provided to the relevant committee web pages, and, where appropriate, to pieces of legislation. Many Congressional proceedings are webcast live, and these should be, as well (follow the appropriate link). All times are Eastern.  This page will be updated as warranted.

Monday
  • House Rules Committee meeting to discuss the rules for full House consideration of H.R. 4315,  the "21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act," 5:00 PM, room H-313 The Capitol.
Tuesday
Wednesday

What We Learned This Week - "Are You a Good Fish or a Bad Fish?"

As predicted, the 2014 Gulf of Mexico dead zone is smaller than usual, measuring about 2,600 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware.  If you're from Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana or Oklahoma, take more than your driver's license to gain entry into the halls of Congress and other federal facilities under new screening requirements. Most small business owners say they would support the provisions of the Obama Administration's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule.  A new study shows once more that climate models are indeed reliable.  As if to affirm that confirmation, we've broken the world temperature record in June after posting a hottest-ever May. On a related note, the Gulf of Mexico coast is ill-prepared for the inevitable sea-level rise. There is good news and bad news of the "Finding Nemo" variety: The good news - a sunfish found recently in Iowa's Mississippi River waters is likely a rare longear sunfish.  The bad news - two Asian carp species were found by a Minnesota DNR contractor well upriver from where they were previously observed.  The La Crosse, Wisconsin area has experienced millions of mayflies emerging from a Mississippi River hatch, which may have contributed to a car crash.  The happiest city in the US according to a new study is Lafayette, Louisiana.  Oh, "Minneapolis-golden-age-of-river-traffic," we hardly knew ye!  Insurers are reaping the benefits of a significant uptick in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma (2,300 so far in 2014), but the causes of the increase there and elsewhere in the region are unclear. American voters say they really, really hate Congress, excluding their own representative, that is. This year's Kentucky Senate race is on track to be the most expensive U.S. Senate contest ever, and it has a new candidate: a "terribly frank" Gil Fulbright has entered the race, although he won't be appearing anywhere on the November ballot.  And last, but not least, the theme for this year's Annual Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats in Portage des Sioux, Missouri is "Noah's Ark."  In keeping with that theme, the event had to be rescheduled from July 19 to August 9 because of Mississippi River flooding.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Capitol Hill This Week - What to Watch For

Below are the U.S. House and Senate activities currently scheduled for this week that relate to Mississippi River Basin water resources.  Links are provided to the relevant committee web pages, and, where appropriate, to pieces of legislation. Many Congressional proceedings are webcast live, and these should be, as well (follow the appropriate link).  All times are Eastern.  This page will updated as warranted.



Wednesday:
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy hearing on Modernizing the Business of Environmental Regulation and Protection; 10:00 AM, room 2322 Rayburn House Office Building.
  • House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs hearing on several bills, including: H.R. 3409, To amend the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to require that any expansion of a national wildlife refuge must be expressly authorized by statute. “the National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Limitation Act;” H.R. 5026, To prohibit closing or repurposing any propagation fish hatchery or aquatic species propagation program of the Department of the Interior unless such action is expressly authorized by an Act of Congress, and for other purposes. “the Fish Hatchery Protection Act;” and H.R. 5069, To amend the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act to increase in the price of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps to fund the acquisition of conservation easements for migratory birds, and for other purposes. “the Federal Duck Stamp Act;”  10:00 AM, room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.
  • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing: “Insuring our Future: Building a Flood Insurance Program We Can Live With, Grow With, and Prosper With;”  2:30 PM, room SD-138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. 
  • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Executive Session to consider several bills, including S. 2094, Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, regarding the regulation of discharges incidental to normal ship operations in navigable waterways; 2:30 PM, room 253 Russell Senate Office Building.
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on several bills, including S. 2392, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of East Rosebud Creek in Carbon County, Montana, as components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System; and S. 1641, to establish the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area; 2:30 PM, room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Thursday:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Two Asian Carp Species Caught by Minnesota DNR Contractor Upstream of Previous Sightings

Mississippi River Lock and Dam System
(click to enlarge)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) has announced that its contractors netted two adult invasive (or non-native) Asian carp in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River in the Cottage Grove, Minnesota area on July 17. One of the carp was a Bighead carp weighing about 40 pounds. The second was a Silver carp that weighed about 20 pounds.    Because of the ability of Asian carp and many other non-native fish to compete with and displace native species, invasive fish are a significant threat to native biodiversity and the economy in the Mississippi River watershed.  The River's Pool 2 is formed upstream of the Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam 2 at Mississippi River mile 815.2 near Hastings, Minnesota (see map to the right).  The pool extends upstream to the Ford Dam, and includes the backwater lakes of Baldwin Lake, River Lake, Spring Lake, Mooers Lake and Grey Cloud Slough.

Prior to last week's catch, Bighead carp had not been detected above the mouth of the St. Croix River near Prescott, Wisconsin; and Silver carp had not been detected above Pool 5A near Winona, Wisconsin.  Pool 5A is formed by Lock and Dam 5A, located near Fountain City, Wisconsin and Goodview, Minnesota around Mississippi River mile 728.5.

Large numbers of several species of non-native, Asian carp have been progressively making their way upstream in the Mississippi River Basin for decades, since their release in the 1970s into the Lower Mississippi River from fish farming operations. Since then, Bighead, Silver and Grass carp (and less extensively Black carp) have been captured throughout much of the Mississippi River watershed from Louisiana to South Dakota, Minnesota and Ohio. Populations of both species are well-established in the Mississippi River and its tributaries downstream of Pool 16, formed by Lock and Dam 16, near Muscatine, Iowa (around river mile 457.2).

The MN DNR plans to continue its Asian carp sampling effort this week in an attempt to determine if additional and smaller carp are in the upper reaches of Pool 2.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What We Learned This Week - There Be Dragons in Kansas


A Federal appeals court upheld USEPA initiatives aimed at reducing water pollution from mountaintop removal mining, but several coal-state lawmakers didn't appreciate the ruling.  In other court water news, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld Iowa's water quality regulations.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy hopes to unmuddle the misunderstandings and misstatements surrounding the Administration's proposed waters of the United State rule.  There be dragons in Kansas.   And there be men in North Dakota: Thanks to vast amounts of Bakken shale oil, North Dakota has the greatest concentration of men (51%) of any state besides Alaska.  The New Madrid Seismic Zone in the Mississippi River valley may not be as hot of an earthquake hot-spot as some think.   Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is running for re-election this year, and 100 of his fellow Republicans just endorsed his Democratic challenger. The Louisiana U.S. Senate race contains one fewer Republican contestant than at the beginning of the week. The odds of a strong El Nino, which would disrupt weather worldwide, are increasingly unlikely, while the odds that the planet is warming seem to be increasing.  U.S. House Republicans continue to push through fiscal year 2015 appropriations bills, but none will be going anywhere fast, as the Democratically-controlled Senate has yet to pass one.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has apparently backtracked on an earlier commitment to put spending bills on Senate floor this summer.  Speaking of partisanship, nurture may not be as powerful as nature when it comes to partisanship. And there may not much hope of that changing in the next generation: Millennials' political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, "totally incoherent."  The turnouts of both fish and anglers were strong for Illinois River Asian carp bowfishing tournament. In the short-term, the bowfishers won, but don't count the carp out yet.  And last but not least, "happy 100th birthday" to the Congressional Research Service, which marked its centennial on Wednesday (the Legislative Reference Service was established in the Library of Congress in 1914).

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Ecosystem Restoration Conference to Include Mississippi River Basin and Gulf Coast Focus
The biennial Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration (CEER) will be held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana from July 28 through August 1, and will include a particular focus on ecosystem restoration in the Mississippi River Basin and the Louisiana coast. CEER is a joint effort of the National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration and the Society for Ecological Restoration. To register to attend CEER 2014 visit this page.  For more details about the Conference and its agenda, see the CEER web site.

House Committee Advances Bills Restricting U.S. EPA Clean Water Activities
On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced three pieces of legislation during a Committee mark-up session. The bills would limit the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ability to apply Clean Water Act protections to surface waters under various situations, and would impact the proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule, mountaintop removal mining waste disposal into streams, and the EPA's ability to veto certain Army Corps of Engineers permits. For more details on the bills and their intended impacts, read this summary.

Next Week in Congress
There are quite a few hearings scheduled for next week that relate to Mississippi River Basin's water resources, including hearings on flood insurance affordability, U.S. EPA regulations, FEMA's disaster response ability, and several pieces of legislation.  You can see an overview of the week ahead here.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
  • EPA: 'I'm going to get this right,' McCarthy says of muddled water rule http://ow.ly/z8gVT
  • NRDC and the American Farm Bureau debate debating the Obama administration's controversial Waters of the U.S. proposal http://ow.ly/zdDtn
  • American Farm Bureau Federation proposed clean water rule analysis http://ow.ly/zhkZL targets EPA acting water administrator blog post http://ow.ly/zhl3g
  • National Farmers Union asks for more clarity on several issues in Administration's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule http://ow.ly/zhrOo
  • Federal appeals court upholds USEPA initiatives aimed at reducing water pollution from mountaintop removal mining http://ow.ly/z8g6R (see related article, below)
  • Coal-state lawmakers plan legislative response to appeals court ruling upholding Obama administration initiatives  http://ow.ly/z8Xat
  • Estimated 1M gallons of saltwater leak from ND pipeline; unknown amount entered Lake Sakakawea tributary (Missouri River reservoir) http://ow.ly/z8HEh
  • In fertile Missouri floodplain, farmers scratch their heads over EPA Clean Water Act proposal (Greenwire) ow.ly/zgG7a
  • Mississippi River red oak bottomlands accrue significant amounts of nitrogen flowing downstream ow.ly/zg871
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • EPA releases new Flood Resilience Checklist tool to help communities prepare for, deal with and recover from floods http://ow.ly/z81mp
  • Federal Register notice: America's Marine Highway Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Public Comment Period (includes Mississippi River Basin)http://ow.ly/z9738
  • Middle Mississippi River floodwaters receding, but it will be some time before River is fully within its banks http://ow.ly/zaT96
  • Upper Mississippi River reopened to recreational vessel traffic http://ow.ly/zaTCF locks reopen after being closed http://ow.ly/zaTNt
  • Flood potential can be inferred as much as 5–11 months in advance using data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment  twin satellites http://ow.ly/zaXbz
  • St. Francis Levee Board votes unanimously to open up access to the Mississippi River levees in Arkansas for use as trails http://ow.ly/zdABf
Agriculture -
  • Jonathan Coppess and Barrett Kirwan (University of Illinois) Policy Matters blog - “Exploring Environmental Regulation of Agriculture” http://ow.ly/zj2Bv
  • House lawmakers rip USDA on farm bill progress http://ow.ly/z7QvM
  • Missouri and Illinois farmers have encountered half a dozen different "superweed" species immune to glyphosate http://ow.ly/z8d1S
  • Social Media, Online Resources Help a Minnesota Rancher Succeed ow.ly/zgDMy
  • 'Peak soil' threatens global food security http://ow.ly/zj4cW (corn, other monocultures, lower soil fertility) http://ow.ly/zj4k8
Climate and Weather -
Click to enlarge
  • American Meteorological Society's 2013 State of the Climate report (24th edition) released Thursday shows a warming planet http://ow.ly/zhcv6
  • NOAA: first 6 months of 2014 coldest since 1993 in southern Mississippi River Valley, western Great Lake states http://ow.ly/zei14
  • US drought update: dryness expands into Tennesee and Ohio River valleys; drought eases somewhat in Plains and Missouri River valley http://ow.ly/wmTdv
  • Kansas "won’t be as affected by climate change as some states;" but effect on agriculture "too close to call" http://ow.ly/z8QkV
  • Odds of a strong El Nino, which would have disrupted weather worldwide, are increasingly unlikely http://ow.ly/zaGG7
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Kansas to develop lesser prairie chicken program in hopes of getting federal government to back off listing species as threatened http://ow.ly/z8ci3 and http://ow.ly/z8cBw
  • Turnout "strong" for Illinois River Asian carp bowfishing tournament http://ow.ly/zaVKS (Ed. note: angler turnout and carp turnout)
  • Parties moving toward consensus on short-term measures to mitigate Asian carp movement from Mississippi basin to Great Lakes http://ow.ly/zbmiz
  • U.S. appeals court upholds dismissal of lawsuit seeking barriers to keep Mississippi basin Asian carp out of Great Lakes http://ow.ly/zbmY7
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists seek alternatives to cranberry pollination by honeybees http://ow.ly/zb1UC
  • Fish and Wildlife Service releases new policy providing incentives to voluntarily conserve species soon to be at risk of extinction http://ow.ly/ziV35
In the Cities -
  • Stewards of the Earth: Chattanooga churches going green as part of their faith
    Mississippi River at New Orleans
    http://ow.ly/z8dOQ
  • Iowa City City Council discusses Iowa River restoration and future flood mitigation plans http://ow.ly/zaVto
  • EPA awards $60,000 to New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board to implement a Green Infrastructure Monitoring Project http://ow.ly/zhmv4
  • EPA $52K+ grant will help train public to monitor, track 8 urban wetland restoration projects near Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans) http://ow.ly/zhobJ
  • EPA and Groundwork New Orleans increase stormwater resilience in New Orleans by conducting neighborhood workshops http://ow.ly/zj38T
In the States-
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Massive Louisiana coastal wetland restoration project is getting its funding from a private equity firm http://ow.ly/z8duH
  • Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) proposes bill amendment to define state waters 9 miles south into Gulf of Mexico http://ow.ly/zaSHm
  • Final plan now available for third phase of Early Restoration following the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill http://ow.ly/zbHuX
  • Business-led coalition forms to advance sustainable restoration efforts in Louisiana wetlands, rivers, deltas and coastline http://ow.ly/zbINw
  • EPA awards $60K to Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to protect, restore New Orleans’ south shore lake front ow.ly/zh8Hy
Forestry -
  • Louisville, Kentucky receives $400K USDA grant to increase nature-based recreational opportunities in Jefferson Memorial Forest http://ow.ly/yAUHr
  • USDA awards funds to promote development of rural wood to energy projects http://ow.ly/zdGHw; 5 Mississippi River Basin states to benefit ow.ly/zdGyD
Resource Development -
  • Expansion of hydropower in United States limited by economics and policy, not a lack of physical capacity http://ow.ly/z8Y18
  • Updated summary of selected USGS products on possible impacts of energy development on water resources ow.ly/zg8px
Federal Budget -
  • House last week passed its sixth fiscal 2015 appropriations bill (energy and water); Senate has yet to pass one http://ow.ly/z8bCb
  • Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) backtracks on his commitment to put spending bills on Senate floor this summer http://ow.ly/z8Lrz
  • House Appropriations Committee moves FY 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill on to full House http://ow.ly/zbWAO (along a party line vote of 29-19)
  • House Republican appropriators pass riders aimed at EPA regulations following Interior and Environment bill mark-up http://ow.ly/zdC0l
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • NRCS to host Midwest and Plains listening sessions in July to gather input on proposed technical changes to wetland determinations http://ow.ly/ziVOE
  • EPA to hold July 22, Chicago listening session on Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) loan pilot program http://ow.ly/zbSBx (signed into law earlier this year as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act)
  • July 28-August 1 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration to Include Mississippi River Basin and Gulf Coast focus http://ow.ly/zblgq
  • Upper Mississippi River Basin Association schedules August 5-6 Upper Basin meetings in East Peoria, Illinois; details ow.ly/z7Rv5
  • Mississippi River Watershed Education Symposium; National Great Rivers Research and Education Center; East Alton, Illinois, Nov. 14-15 http://ow.ly/z86yB
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Link to July 8 and 16 Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's "TUWaterWays" e-newsletters: ow.ly/z7ONR
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Waterfront Bulletin for July 2014 http://ow.ly/z7Td0
  • The Wetlands Initiative’s "World of Wetlands" July newsletter http://ow.ly/z80nq
  • Bi-weekly Green Lands Blue Waters update, highlighting Continuous Living Cover on Mississippi River Basin farm land ow.ly/z8RTt
  • Summer edition of the Army Corps of Engineers' "Our Mississippi" magazine http://ow.ly/zaMcY
  • American Farmland Trust July issue of E-news http://ow.ly/ziVg6
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Feedlot Update - July 17, 2014 http://ow.ly/zj22Y
Other news-
  • Bipartisan sportsmen's bill becomes another election-year casualty http://ow.ly/z7UP4 (also see: http://ow.ly/z7YMg)
  • Coalition of Ohio farm, industry, government, environmental groups to roll out poll this week to assess important water issues http://ow.ly/z8G10 and http://ow.ly/z8G31
  • A four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River at Stillwater, MN will ease transportation woes, but environmental impact concerns remain http://ow.ly/z8NkW
  • JOB: University of Wisconsin Aquatic Sciences Center seeks an assistant director for research and student engagement http://ow.ly/ziW6Q
  • New USGS earthquake hazard assessment map: New Madrid Seismic Zone in Mississippi River valley remains a "bone of contention" http://ow.ly/zj1Ek
Politics and People-
  • A 'do-nothing Congress'? - current session of Congress is on track to pass historically fewer laws of substance http://ow.ly/z89qM
  • State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican bidding for Louisiana’s competitive U.S. Senate seat, withdraws candidacy http://ow.ly/z8KIS
  • Which federal agencies have gained and lost the most employees since the start of the Obama administration? http://ow.ly/z8OMN
  • Union representing EPA employees responds to Administrator McCarthy's support for faster firing ability http://ow.ly/zbRVW
  • Over 100 Republican politicians, former elected officials endorse Paul Davis, Democratic challenger to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) http://ow.ly/zdA03
  • Bob Perciasepe, U.S. EPA's longest-serving Deputy Administrator, will leave his post next month ow.ly/zha2a
  • State Sen. Chris McDaniel will challenge the Mississippi GOP Senate primary runoff results “within the next ten days” ow.ly/zgCNO
  • Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Tex.) will likely run for chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress ow.ly/zg8Pg
Last Word -
It is critical that the House and Senate act on the Interior bill and put the brakes on the EPA’s regulatory approach that is intent on expanding the federal government’s reach and harming our economy.” – Rep. Ken Calvert (R-California) speaking on the House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which includes an amendment (or "rider") that would restrict the government's ability to implement a proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule.