Friday, May 7, 2010

Mississippi River Water Resource News for the Week

An Iowa State University study released on March 30 concludes that if Midwest farmers switched from producing corn to growing produce that is eaten in the Midwest (i.e., fruits and vegetables), they could generate thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars. AP coverage of the story can be seen here, and a summary of the study, with links to the study and a media release, here.

The Society for Wetland Scientists, Restore America’s Estuaries, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Law Institute are co-hosting a Panel Discussion entitled "Resilient Wetlands = Prosperous Economies; How Restoring and Conserving Wetlands Supports Economic Productivity," on Wednesday, May 19; from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC-215. RSVP by May 14 to or (202) 939-3829. For more information, and for a Flyer on the panel, see here (pdf file).  Following the panel discussions, the National Wetlands Awards Ceremony will be held at the same location, from 6-8 p.m. There, the panel hosts "will honor a diverse group of individuals for their extraordinary commitment to conserving wetlands" ( for more information, see

The House Committee on Agriculture has scheduled several new hearings through the remainder of May to discuss issues surrounding the development and discussions of the 2101 Farm Bill (schedule can be found here). Here is a recap of House Agriculture Committee 2012 Farm Bill hearings to date.

In a May 4 media release, the USDA announced that Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a "Summit of Rural America: A Dialogue for Renewing Promise," on June 3 in Hillsboro, Missouri. The purpose of the day-long Summit will be to dialogue with stakeholders and gather information, ideas and opinions that the USDA can use to inform program and policy development and implementation. Read the full media release here.

The National Park Service has announced that it is the recipient of a 2010 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation for "In a New Light: Connecting At-Risk Teens to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway through Nature Photography," an innovative partnership project between the Riverway, Northwest Passage, and local arts and educational organizations. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. It is one of a group of eight rivers in the country that first received this recognition. For 255 miles, the St. Croix River and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest. Read more here.

EPA is hosting a webinar entitled "EPA's Role in Water Resources Management for a Changing Climate" on May 11, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT. According to the agency, the webinar is intended to "provide an overview of EPA climate change activities in water resources management with an emphasis on adaptation. It is designed to give participants an overview of U.S. regulatory and policy development in the climate change field. Featured speakers include: Joseph Siegel, Attorney and Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist, Office of Regional Council, U.S. EPA, Region 2; Karen Metchis, Senior Climate Advisor, U.S. EPA's Office of Water; James Goodrich, Senior Environmental Scientist, U.S. EPA's Office of Research and Development." EPA's Climate Change home page is here. To register for the webinar, visit this page.

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