Friday, September 10, 2010

Mississippi River Water Resource News for the Week

Growing Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters
A NOAA report issued last Friday (September 3), entitled "Scientific Assessment of Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters," assesses the increasing prevalence of low-oxygen “dead zones” in U.S. coastal waters (including the notable Gulf of Mexico dead zone off the mouth of the Mississippi River), and outlines a series of research and policy steps that might help reverse this decades-long trend. The full news release (pdf file) and report (pdf file) can be found at this White House web site.

Wetlands of International Importance
More than 300,000 acres in four Midwest states have been designated the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Wetlands of International Importance. The designation recognizes the land as important to the environment and economy in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, according to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The designation marks the 27th U.S. wetland to be so designated under the Convention on Wetlands.  The designation proposal was endorsed by the Department of Natural Resources of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and seven members of Congress from the respective states.  The designation will be celebrated October 10 through a variety of public events in the region (news article here).

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week:

Wildlife and Invasives -
  • WI DNR now accepting project pre-proposals re: WI Wildlife Action Plan implementation through Wildlife Grants Program
  • Ohio State U professor: Asian carp threats greatly exaggerated based on Mississippi R experience
  • Officials poisoned Illinois river in Asian Carp campaign against advice of scientist
  • WI DNR survey shows diverse bird population & highlights protection efforts in Lower WI River Valley
  • > 300,000 acres in 4 states designated Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Wetlands of International Importance

Agriculture -
  • Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) welcomes Iowa Farm Bureau call for an end of direct subsidy payments to farmers
  • Iowa Farm Bureau delegates urge end to farm bill direct payments
  • Gulf's 'dead zone' swelled this summer to one of largest areas on record

Events -
  • Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference New Orleans, LA, October 2–6;
  • Getting in Step Watershed Outreach Workshop; Sept 16; 10-5; Indianapolis, IN; email w name organization & phone #
  • EPA Sept 15 webcast: “A Watershed Dialogue: How Can we Build the Capacity and Effectiveness of Watershed Groups?”
  • Free lecture: "Contaminants, Water & Our Health: New Lessons from Wildlife" Sept 14 @ 7 PM U of MN St. Paul campus
  • “Friends of the Illinois River” seek volunteers to help with annual IL River Sweep; Sept 18
  • Congressional briefing in DC (open to public)-Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams & Groundwater; Sept 24; 9:30-11 AM
  • Urban Water Sustainability Council Hosts Green Infrastructure Conference; Philadelphia Sept 6-7;

International Perspective -
  • International conference: If "massive and complex" water challenges not resolved soon, future looks grimly devastating
  • Lessons from massive flooding in Pakistan: time for a new river paradigm & Mississippi River implications

In the States -
  • Water quality trending toward the positive in MN River Basin
  • EPA issues order to halt hazardous activity of MO company potentially affecting H2O quality near Mississippi River
  • Downstreamers and upstreamers uniting over Minnesota River-Lake Pepin issues

Studies and Reports -
  • USGS: Many Urban Streams Harmful to Aquatic Life Following Winter Pavement Deicing (anyone surprised?)
  • New NOAA Report Warns of Expanding Threat of Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters

Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • Corps of Engineers concludes Mississippi River Pool 6 drawdown near Winona, MN to manage aquatic vegetation
  • Developers look to Mississippi River as source of renewable power
  • Army Corps' Mississippi River Project announces Lock & Dam 15 Visitor Center to sponsor Sept 26 guided nature walk
  • New coalition supports SW IL levees along Mississippi
  • EPA determines that Army Corps presented insufficient information to support Missouri River dredging permits

Other News -
  • Report: Midwest can foster regional economic growth by capitalizing on its vast freshwater resources (pdf file)
  • Public comment on EPA's "Coming Together for Clean Water: Strategy for Achieving Clean Water" ends September 17
  • Time to nominate rivers for American Rivers' 2011 America’s Most Endangered Rivers report (pdf file of form:

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