Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week - Early Edition

Calendars and Holidays
Over the next two weeks, the US Senate and House will be having a go at "tag-team" legislating.  All of next week the Senate will be on Memorial Day recess (returning the week of June 6), while following an off-day on Memorial Day, the House remains in session through Friday (the House will be off for a district work week starting June 6). This "early edition," pre-holiday e-newsletter is coming out a day sooner than usual, as your FNB ("Friendly Neighborhood Blogger") is taking off this afternoon for a long Memorial Day weekend outside the Beltway and back in cooler Pennsylvania. Here's wishing you all a safe and rest-filled Memorial Day weekend! 

House Appropriations Committee to Consider Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Spending Bill Next Tuesday
The full House Committee on Appropriations will hold a mark-up meeting on the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill on Tuesday, May 31, at 4:00 PM (Eastern) in Room 2359, Rayburn House Office Building. The meeting will be webcast.  Audio and video of the hearing will be available here, and an audio-only feed will be available here.  During a Tuesday meeting of the Appropriations Agriculture subcommittee, the Agriculture Appropriations Bill was marked up and passed on a voice vote to the full Committee for mark-up.  The bill is primarily designed to set levels of discretionary spending for the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (here is a brief summary of the bill on the Institute's Mississippi River Basin blog, and a bill overview that has been posted on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition blog site).  A list of House Appropriations Committee members and additional Committee member information can be found here.

Report on Farm Bill Negotiation Opportunities
The Northeast-Midwest Institute and The Horinko Group have completed the first phase of what could potentially evolve into a multiphase effort to develop a sustainable, mutual working relationship among agricultural and conservation stakeholders who have not traditionally collaborated on Farm Bill-related issues. The preliminary scoping phase of the project and its outcomes are described in a May 23 report, which is summarized in more detail (with a link to the full report) here.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week:

Current Flooding-
  • Mississippi River flood not only big but also long: will last well into June
  • London Guardian: Americans take a gamble with the Mississippi floods
  • Army Corps: Mississippi River flood-damaged levees must be repaired quickly
  • Fed inspectors check flood damage at >1400 homes & businesses near Mississippi River so far; more surrounded by H2O
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • Massive surge gate installed across Lake Borgne marshes by Army Corps of Engineers
  • Corps: destroyed Birds Point levee could be replaced by mechanical gates if Congress authorizes project
  • Great 2009 compendium of papers re: Upper/Middle Mississippi flood/management issues (PDF 93 p)
  • RT @unifymissriver: Re-engineering Mississippi River's flood defenses considered within climate change context
Water Quality-
Agriculture -
  • 17 farm & food orgs send letter to US House & Senate leaders requesting next farm bill completion in 2012 (pdf)
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation plans to file motion in US District Court to intervene in EPA-Farm Bureau lawsuit
In the States -
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
Federal Budget -
Events -
  • America's Waterway blog: “Who should make such decisions for the future of the Mississippi River?”
  • The May Northeast-Midwest Institute Update on Mississippi River Basin issues is now available
  • May 25 issue of "Delta Dispatches" is now on line; with latest news on Gulf Coast restoration issues
Political Scene -
  • Tim Pawlenty launches campaign for Republican Presidential nomination in Iowa with corn ethanol challenge
Other news-
  • Ohio State U professor touts new national riverine park at confluence of Ohio & Mississippi rivers
Last word
Vicksburg, Mississippi house surrounded by floodwaters

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