Friday, January 21, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Journal of Environmental Quality Article Details Nutrient and Sediment Concentrations and Corresponding Loads during the Historic June 2008 Flooding in Eastern Iowa

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research article published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality describes the transport of substantial amounts of nutrients and sediment from Iowa watersheds into the Mississippi River during a period of severe flooding in many parts of the Midwestern United States in the winter and spring of 2007–2008 and again during a period of extensive rainfall in June 2008.

The USGS researchers (L. Hubbard, D. W. Kolpin, S. J. Kalkhoff and D. M. Robertson) analyzed their own sampling data, along with research by others documenting the 2008 extent of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic (or dead) zone to conclude that the nutrient loading from the June 2008 flooding "exacerbated the already-low oxygen conditions in the Gulf of Mexico resulting from the high Mississippi River spring loading due to above-normal precipitation in the Midwest."  The paper's authors also conclude that their study "clearly demonstrates how important flood events can be to the annual nutrient and sediment load of both small streams and large rivers," finding that "a significant portion of the total yearly nutrient flux can be exported during one extreme event."

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week: 

In the States -
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • NRCS: $26 M available to retire marginal or damaged cropland in southern MN that frequently or occasionally floods
Agriculture -
  • Private Landowner Technical Assistance Program-grants for orgs helping farmers w/ conservation; deadline Feb 15
  • Worldwatch Institute report: World hunger best cured by innovation & small-scale agriculture &
  • US farmers expected to plant >10 M extra acres in spring to help replenish low grain supplies
  • NY Times editorial: cut farm subsidy billions that distort food prices, encourage over farming & inflate land prices
  • Next-generation (cellulosic) biomass plants will be named today as recipients of federal loan guarantees
  • Government supports development of new ethanol feedstocks with guaranteed loans to ease dependence on corn
Water Quality-
Events -
  • 2011 Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium, February 27 - March 2, Oconomowoc, WI
  • Mississippi River Research Consortium 43rd Annual Meeting abstracts are due Saturday, January 22
  • 2011 Land Grant and Sea Grant National Water Conference January 31- February 1, Washington, DC
  • Upper Mississippi River Basin Assoc meetings' agendas listed-open to public; February 15-17, St. Louis, MO
  • August 2011 National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration abstract submission deadline tomorrow, Jan 21
  • Hold the dates: April 7 & 8 National Agricultural Landscape Forum co-hosted by ATF & USDA; Washington DC; details to come
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Army Corps announces additional public meetings on Great Lakes & Mississippi River interbasin invasives study
  • Fish and Wildlife Service wants to add 2 mussel species found in IA to national list of endangered species
  • Mississippi River eagle viewing article from Washington Post travel section
  • New species of "giant" crayfish found in deepest part of a commonly explored Tennessee creek
Other news-
  • See National Great Rivers Research and Education Center latest e-news update here
  • Check out the newly launched Delta Dispatches Blog with info on coastal Louisiana restoration at
  • And here's EDF's latest edition of "Delta Dispatches" newsletter with the latest news on Coastal La. restoration
  • Public comment period on $2.9 billion Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet restoration plan extended to Feb. 14
Political Scene -
  • Leading conservative House Republicans issue proposed budget cut summary &
  • Sen. Conrad (D-ND), who announced intent not to run for re-election, is 1 of strongest supporters of farm subsidies
  • House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) Announces Committee Democrats
  • House Agriculture Committee reorganizes panel’s subcommittees (NSAC summary)
  • House Natural Resources Committee Democratic Members Announced
  • GOP announces House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee subcommittee leadership & assignments
  • Democrats announce House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee subcommittee leadership
  • Minnesota Republican Party Website Seeks to Cast Klobuchar in Liberal Light
  • Jim Miller, USDA Undersecretary for Farm & Foreign Ag Service to be Sen. Conrad's senior aide on Farm Bill negotiations
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee sets agenda for the year: (pdf file)

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