Friday, October 29, 2010

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Report: Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico
The Committee on Clean Water Act Implementation Across the Mississippi River Basin of the National Research Council released a report on Thursday, entitled "Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico."  The report offers strategic advice and priorities for addressing Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico water quality management and improvements.  The report committee members and authors found that there is general agreement that significant progress can be made under existing statutory authority and budgetary processes.  However, they note, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether national water quality goals can be fully realized without some fundamental changes to the Clean Water Act.
Key findings of the report include:
1. A basin wide action plan—developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, its partner federal agencies, and the Mississippi River States—would address nutrient-related water quality problems throughout the Mississippi River Basin and the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
2. A stronger and more coordinated commitment from the Environmental Protection Agency, its partner federal agencies, the Congress, the Administration, and the Mississippi River Basin States is needed to help develop long-term, adaptive and collaborative actions for effectively addressing water quality problems across the Mississippi River Basin and into the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
3. Establishing establish a numeric limit for the amount of nutrients in the waters of the northern Gulf would act as an endpoint for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi River States to set water quality standards for nutrients throughout the basin.
4. Support and advice from the Environmental Protection Agency could strengthen the activities of the Department of Agriculture Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative. 
Links to the full report, its abstract and a summary can be found on this National Academies Press web page.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week:  
Mississippi River Collaborative press release on NRC Mississippi basin nutrient report & recommendations (pdf file)
National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's River Research Facility Dedicated
USDA draft report: More intense farm conservation efforts needed in Chesapeake Bay region to reduce N & P runoff
New USDA program will pay farmers & forest owners to experiment with cellulosic energy crops
Invasive alga (Rock Snot') Prompts Missouri to Consider Ban on Felt-Soled Boots
NSAC's “Conserving habitat through the Federal farm bill: A Guide for Land Trusts and Landowners” (pdf file)
Today attending Horinko Group's Engaging the Public for River Sustainability and Livable Communities; info here:
The Northeast-Midwest Institute’s October Update on Mississippi River Basin issues is now available on line (PDF file)
Upper Mississippi River Basin Assoc meetings Nov 16-18; Rock Island, IL open to public
Democratic Party-2011 poised to shrink back to earlier form: more coastal & urban; less Southern, Midwestern & rural
Cook Political Report’s pre-election House outlook is Democratic net loss of 48-60 seats

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