Friday, September 17, 2010

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Great Waters Coalition Seeking New "Great Water" Restoration Nominees
The Great Waters Coalition is soliciting petitions from members of the restoration community who are interested in designating their ecosystem as a “Great Water.”  The Mississippi River system is one such Great Water.  The Coalition hopes that the addition of various ecosystems will broaden the Coalition base, build lobbying capacity and protect more of the nation’s most important waterways. An ecosystem will be considered by the Coalition as a Great Water candidate if it:
  1. is of a large geographic scale and is either an aquatic freshwater, estuarine, coastal marine, or coastal ecosystem, or a combination; and is of substantial national significance because of its size, uniqueness, productivity, importance to society, and sensitivity to national and interstate policy.
  2. has a comprehensive restoration plan in place, in development, or there are stakeholders advocating for the creation of a comprehensive restoration plan.
  3. has federal, state, regional, tribal and local partners working together to move restoration of the water resource forward.
The three Coalition co-chairs will evaluate each petition and make recommendations to the Coalition Steering Committee, which will then make a decision and convey the decision to the petitioner.
The deadline to submit petitions is October 29.  Petitions should be submitted to Caroline Wick at  Additional information regarding the Great Waters Coalition can be found at

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Confluence Field Station Dedication Planned
The public has been invited to the dedication of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Confluence (NGRREC) Field Station in Alton, Illinois on October 26.  NGRREC was formed in 2002 to explore important questions about river systems, the environment and their impact on the communities, and to keep the public informed. The new Confluence Field Station will serve to enhance NGRREC'S reputation as a premier river research institution, and will be the first institution of its kind to offer a comprehensive river system research and education program.  For more information about the new, LEED-certified facility and the dedication ceremony, see this web site.   More information about NGRREC can be found at

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week
In the States -
  • Southern MN Beet Sugar Cooperative violated discharge permit by sending millions of gallons of wastewater into ditch
  • State says IA livestock farmers can continue to apply manure on frozen ground in emergencies for 5 more years
  • IN officials: 200,000 gallons of hog manure were spayed onto field upstream of 106,000+ June fish kill
  • IL EPA: Dairy-farm runoff may have caused 40,000+ fish kill in central IL
Studies and Reports -
  • "Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges" Report to Be Released Today
  • Watershed Management Website to be Launched by Nature Conservancy and IBM
  • Sustainable Water Resources Management, Volume 3: Case Studies on New Water Paradigm (pdf file:
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • Amidst confusion & controversy, FEMA delays planned new Mississippi River floodplain mapping rollout in IL region
  • MN DNR updating land use requirements for 72 miles of Mississippi River from Hastings to Dayton
  • Hearings to examine reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program; Wed, Sep 22, 2010 2:00 PM
  • U of MN River Talk blog: Who Determines the Future of Urban Riverfronts?
  • RT @MinnesotaNews: Des Moines to offer buyouts of flood-prone trailer parks
Agriculture -
  • Farm management choices key to healthy ecosystems; organic farming promotes higher beneficial fungal diversity
  • Farm Bill programs could be in jeopardy as lawmakers try to craft 2012 bill (look under "budget")
  • Some Preliminary Steps Toward Regulating Nonpoint Source Pollution
  • New administration Gulf hypoxia report critical of agriculture’s role, particularly through corn production
  • USDA ERS's “Rural America at a Glance, 2010 Edition” report released yesterday
  • IA Farm Bureau & National Farmers Union like idea of ending Farm Bill fixed payments
Events -
  • Sept 24 DC Briefing on High Levels of Nitrogen & Phosphorus in Waters Across the Nation &
  • Call for presentations open for WI Wetlands Association’s 16th Annual Wetlands Conference; abstract deadline Nov 15.
  • National Great Rivers Research & Education Center Confluence Field Station Dedication; Alton, IL; Oct 26
  • Ottawa area Illinois River Sweep will run from 9 AM to noon this Saturday
  • IL DNR offers free fishing at state parks on Sept. 18 to celebrate “It's Our River Day”
  • Water Quality Workshop: How to Prepare a Third Party TMDL for the EPA, Chicago IL October 5
Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Outdoors panel recommends > 2 dozen MN projects for land conservation legacy funding
  • Zebra Mussels Found in Wisconsin Lake (seems like it's a new lake each week)
  • Endangered & Threatened Wildlife & Plants: 5-Year Status Reviews of 7 Midwest Species, pp 55820-55823
International Perspective -
  • 4500+ will meet in Montreal starting this Sunday to discuss global water challenges
Other News -
  • U of MN's Bell Museum Oct 3 premier of film-"Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story"-postponed; reasons unclear
  • The Biodiversity Project & Mississippi River Network are in search for Mississippi Rive Basin Policy Manager:
  • US Urged to Take Action to Head off Looming Freshwater Crisis
  • Massive Fish Kill Hits Mississippi River Near Oil Spill
  • Watch freshwater mussels "grow" in this live "musselcam" (interesting and humorous)

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