Friday, August 24, 2012

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  


Click map to see larger version
  • Here is the latest U.S. Drought Monitor weekly map (August 21)
  • Financial Times: Drought and climate scepticism in the corn belt
  • Midwest rainstorms provide drought relief; experts: not enough to mitigate lasting devastation to corn and soybeans
  • US's most withering drought in decades got worse in several key farming states last week
  • Farm Belt  drought not an immediate threat to create another Dust Bowl or widespread crop failure
  • Standard & Poor's: Private crop insurers could lose $5 billion or more from drought claims
  • US drought will lead to price increases next year as effect of animal feed shortages trickles through supply chain
  • Kentucky cattle farmer feeding cattle candy to fatten them up in face of drought feed impact
  • Mississippi River saltwater intrusion from Gulf triggers scramble to ferry in emergency supplies
  • Low water levels have led Coast Guard to periodically close 11-mile Mississippi River stretch to ships this month
  • Ninety-seven vessels were stranded Monday on the Mississippi River near Greenville, MS due to low water
  • Frantic bid to keep drought-hit Mississippi River open for business as hundreds of barges lie stranded
  • In Midst of a Drought, Keeping Traffic Moving on the Mississippi
  • Squeezing barges through narrow and shallow Mississippi River channels becomes expensive, sometimes impossible, chore
  • Drought disrupts everyday tasks in rural US Midwest
Federal Policy
  • Army Corps of Engineers has more than a dozen dredging vessels working Mississippi River to mitigate drought impacts
  • Green groups worry Congress will cut USDA Conservation Reserve Program amidst drought
Farm Bill-
  • University of Missouri: “Impacts of Selected Provisions of the House Agriculture Committee and Senate Farm Bills”
  • Louisville Courier-Journal: Farm bill languishes while fields bake in drought
  • 39 organizations roll out coalition's demand that Congress pass 5-year farm bill before programs expire in September
Agriculture -
  • Opinion editorianl piece on the ethanol mandate and food prices on CNN
  • Study released on agricultural commodity transport issues in light of deteriorating roads, highways, locks, dams, ports
Water Quality -
  • Illinois EPA calls for factory farm to cease waste spraying, clean up spill at Hooper Branch and Beaver Creek
  • Tennessee Clean Water Network Files 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue  company  over alleged clean water violations (pdf)
  • Federal judge: Tennessee Valley Authority was responsible for massive 2008 coal ash spill outside of Knoxville, TN
  • USEPA outlines Emory and Clinch rivers' bottom coal ash cleanup options: Leave it, cover it or scoop it
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Are Water Wars in Missouri River's Future? (re: Army Corps reallocation analysis)
  • Public meetings Aug 20-29; Army Corps MO River Municipal & Industrial Reallocation (potential water supply changes)
  • In Illinois: Rebirth of a Wetland: Emiquon restoration receives international recognition
Forestry -
  • Industries claim in court US Forest Service illegally regulates national forests; gives scientists "improper influence"
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • In Oklahoma: $100,000 Grant to Restore Migratory Bird Habitats
  • Minnesota Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program fall funding cycle closes 9/26 (re: prairies, wetlands, forests)
  • Interior and Commerce departments propose new rule designed to simplify designation of new critical habitat
  • There are 19 potential Asian Carp pathways between the Great Lakes and carp-infested Mississippi River basin
  • Biologists refining methods of dealing with invasive Asian carp
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Funding for 2012 cycle of Gulf of Mexico Foundation's Community-based Restoration Partnership now available
  • September 26-28 Upper Mississippi River Conference early-bird registration ends September 7 
  • America's Great Watershed Initiative Summit, Sept. 26-27; St. Louis, MO
e-Newsletters, Publications and Journals -
Other news-
  • Revamped "" US federal website offers "one-stop shop" for planning outdoors trips
  • EPA awards $16.9 Million to Louisiana to help fund safe public drinking water systems
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report: Watershed and fish habitat restoration projects create jobs (pdf)
Political Scene -
  • Competing internal polls show Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17) leading challenger Cheri Bustos (D) by between 9 and 13%
  • Poll: in US Senate race McCaskill (D) leads Akin (R), 48 to 38 % among 500 likely Missouri voters
Last Word - 
"I mean, what kind of people would elect someone like that to Congress?" - Comedian Stephen Colbert in part 67 of his 434-installment series, "Better Know a District," when he took a look at Minnesota's 5th congressional and interviewed its U.S. Congressman, Keith Ellison.

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