Friday, November 19, 2010

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (Teleconference Today)
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in collaboration with other Federal, State and local agencies as well as non-governmental entities, is conducting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) pursuant to provisions of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. GLMRIS will explore options and technologies, collectively known as aquatic nuisance species (ANS) controls, that could be applied to prevent and reduce the risk of ANS transfer between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through aquatic pathways.  The GLMRIS team is hosting a teleconference today at 11 AM EST (10 AM Central) to answer questions the public may have regarding recently released documents or upcoming public scoping meetings. On November 9 USACE released the GLMRIS study plan to the public. The study plan outlines the scope of work and study process.
On December 15 USACE will hold the first of several public scoping meetings at the Gleacher Center in Chicago to receive comments from the public regarding the proposed study. Locations of additional scoping meetings are still being confirmed for meetings in the January-February timeframe. Specific details on dates and locations on those meetings will be release by USACE when finalized.

Call-in information for today's call:
USA Toll-Free: (888) 830-6260
The study documents and other information about GLMRIS and the scoping meetings are available on the GLMRIS website.

Dams and Consequences
Last week I had the pleasure to participate in the "Experiments on Rivers: The Consequences of Dams-An Interdisciplinary Conference;" hosted by the University of Minnesota's Institute for Advanced Study and held at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory in Minneapolis, Minnesota (some photos here).  The conference goal with respect to dams was to raise questions and explore complexities, provoke reflection, consider new perspectives and suggest future lines of inquiry in diverse disciplines and practices.  And at that promoting that goal, the Conference excelled. Links to the various talks by conference participants can be found here.

At the end of the conference Terry Cook from The Nature Conservancy (who addressed TNC's Sustainable Rivers Project) and I were paired in a final session ("Where Might We Go from Here?") meant to ground conference attendees in pragmatic, policy and programmatic frames of reference. Terry's excellent talk, and my talk, entitled "The Once and Future King" (at about the 34-minute mark) can both be viewed at the Session 4 link.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week: 

In the States -
  • IA panel gives initial approval to proposed CAFO rules designed to bring IA into Clean Water Act compliance
  • Critics worry that IA clean water regs will favor concentrated feedlots & leave state's streams/rivers polluted
  • Lake Rebecca (Rockford, MN) gets a dose of alum for algae blooms in an attempt to sequester phosphorus
  • Cities worried about MN DNR Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area rules
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
Agriculture -
Wastewater and Stormwater-
  • Prairie Rivers Network's "Stormwater Management: Guide to Managing Stormwater with Green Infrastructure" (pdf)
Events -
  • 76th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference March 14-19, 2011; Kansas City MO
  • StormCon, Surface Water Quality Conference, August 21 – 25, seeking abstracts; submission deadline December 14
  • EPA webinar: "Climate Change Adaptation Tools for Addressing Water Issues" Dec. 2, 2010; 1-3pm EST
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Rare sunfish reacts positively to TNC wetland restoration efforts in IL River floodplains
  • Endocrine disruptors affecting male fish in Minnesota lakes
  • French Television focuses on Asian carp solution proposed to be located along Mississippi R in Grafton IL
  • Kaskaskia River sites to benefit from Ducks Unlimited assistance under new scope of work
  • Tundra swans now congregating on Mississippi River backwaters and pools
  • Corps on their study re: stopping invasive species migration btwn Great Lakes & Mississippi watersheds: could take years
  • Senate & House bills would list bighead carp among invasive & other "illegal" plants & wildlife under the Lacey Act
Other news -
  • USGS study "Mercury in Indiana Watersheds" - Coal-fired power plants contaminate fish, water
Mississippi River Basin politics -
  • Decisions on House committee leadership positions in next Congress won't come until December
  • Rep. Melissa Bean’s (D-IL) US House reelection bid ends as she concedes IL seat to Republican Joe Walsh
  • Bills up for vote next year for farms, highways & water projects will put fiscal conservatives to early test
  • Who will Democrats find to put on House Agriculture Committee?

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