Friday, February 25, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Mississippi River Collaborative
I've spent half of this week in Nashville, Tennessee participating in a Mississippi River Collaborative meeting with some of the best people you'd ever want to cross paths with.  If you've never heard of the Mississippi River Collaborative or visited the Collaborative's web site (here it is), take a few moments to become acquainted with this group of organizations dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico.

The Federal budget for both the 2011 and 2012 Fiscal Years has been an ongoing theme of our discussions this week, with concern over proposed cuts to programs that help the Collaborative members and many others meet restoration and conservation goals being paramount. I've placed the latest news on the Federal budget machinations at the head of the "Twitter Postings for the Week," below.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week: 
Federal Budget-
  • Environmentalists Warn of Natural Debt as Budget Cuts Loom - TIME -
  • House efforts in funding bill to block EPA programs and regulations move to the Senate
  • GOP aides: House Republicans plan to pass 2-week stopgap spending bill next week with $2 B/wk in cuts
  • Top Senate Dems putting together 7-month continuing resolution including some cuts outlined from Obama’s proposed 2012 budget
  • Senate leaders summarily dismiss House Speaker John Boehner's 2-week stopgap spending measure
Agriculture -
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) laments Congressional resistance to addressing farm subsidy issues (bottom of article) 
  • IA State U to lead $20 M study of cornĂ­s climate impact
  • Amendment to House funding bill blocks EPA from spending any money to allow E15 ethanol blend gas sales
  • Smallest corn inventories in 37 years a sign farmers failing to produce enough grain to meet demand
  • Environment America report: Agribusinesses spent millions to block regulations
  • Bill Clinton warns against using too much corn for fuels; industry responds
  • Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) outlines guiding principles for next Farm Bill (pdf file)
In the States -
  • TN groups voice their concerns re: gas well fracking and state regs to Tennessee Oil and Gas Board
  • Kentucky appeals Court ruling allowing groups to intervene in clean water enforcement case vs coal mining companies
  • New TN environmental chief was previously lawyer representing those challenging EPA and the state in pollution cases
  • 11% budget cut proposed for MN Pollution Control Agency, MPCA head says agency will still make progress
Flooding, Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • NOAA: Another Spring of Major Flooding Likely in North Central US
  • Association of State Dam Safety Officials: 4,400 of US's 85,000 dams susceptible to failure
  • Coon Rapids Dam Commission recommends $17 M dam upgrade to keep Asian Carp from migrating up Mississippi River
Events -
  • 11th Annual Kaskaskia River Watershed Summit, March 7, Carlyle Lake
  • National Symposium on Low Impact Development, nonpoint sources & Surface Water Issues; Philadelphia, Sept 25-28
  • March 15 Round Table to highlight value of collaborations in Agriculture, Food, Nutrition & Natural Resources R&D
  • Attending the Mississippi River Collaborative meeting today and tomorrow in Nashville TN
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Invasive alga Didymosphenia geminata ("Didymo" or "Rock Snot") threatens Missouri streams
  • Research: more CO2 means stronger weeds; more resistant to herbicides; article:; study:
  • Coon Rapids Dam Commission recommends $17 M dam upgrade to keep Asian Carp from migrating up Mississippi River
  • RT @Interior: Sec. Salazar announces new draft vision for future of the National Wildlife Refuge System:
Other news-
  • EPA seeks public comment on plan to perform retrospective reviews of regulations
  • Northeast-Midwest Institute's February Update on Mississippi River Basin issues: (PDF file)
  • Clean Water America Alliance announces 2011 US Water Prize winners; includes National Great Rivers Research & Ed Cntr
  • EPA OIG report: agency needs better controls over staff resources (pdf file)
Political Scene -
  • Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO-8th) announces that she won’t run against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in 2012
Last word- “The right answer to a fool is silence.” — Afghan Proverb . . . and with that, I'll shut up!

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