Friday, October 5, 2012

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

USDA Hosting Partner Update on Mississippi River Basin Healthy Waters Initiative
On October 9, at 9 AM (Eastern Time), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service will host a "Partner Update" on the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Waters Initiative ("MRBI"). The briefing will be in USDA's Whiten Building (Room 107-A), at 12th Street and Jefferson Avenue, SW in Washington, DC, but there will also be an ability to "attend" by the phone and Internet. For more details, including how to RSVP for the meeting and attend remotely, see the USDA invitation at this link.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

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  • Drought lingers in Upper Midwest, northern half of Great Plains and West - little to no rains fall; dry week forecast
  • Drought showing no sign of letting up in several key Midwest farming states, winter crops may be at risk
  • Elevated drought-related contaminants add to the challenge growers face as drought deepens and extends
  • Farming lifestyle strained as dry conditions continue
Farm Bill-
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Farm Bill Expired-What Does It Mean and What Happens Now?
  • Agricultural organizations issue joint statement on the expiration of the 2008 farm bill
  • Crop insurance-conservation issue comes up in  Des Moines Register editorial board meeting with Rep. Boswell (D-IA)
  • Democrats seek to blame House Republican leaders for the farm bill’s official expiration on October 1
  • Farm Bill issue continues to come up in political races this election year
Agriculture -
  • Warm, dry weather means U.S. corn and soybean harvest pace is fastest since USDA began collecting data in 1981
  • Commentary: "Feeding the world sustainably: Agroecology vs. industrial agriculture"
  • New study: Herbicide-resistant crops promote 'super weeds'
  • US ethanol industry push to expand going slow; many gas-station owners wary about blend containing 15% ethanol
Water Quality -
  • The eutrophication (ten) commandments (meant to summarize the state of eutrophication science) (PDF file)
  • Louisiana company could be penalized for unpermitted discharges from chemical storage site during/after hurricane
  • USEPA approves joint MN MPCA and WI DNR St. Croix River cleanup plan to reverse declining water quality
  • EPA to appeal court ruling that it overreached in setting mountaintop removal mining water-quality criteria
  • Kenner, LA seeks permits to build pipeline carrying 17 million gallons of treated sewage/day into wetlands
  • ABC News story regarding toxic blue green algae on Lake Petenwell in Wisconsin and in Ohio (video)
  • EPA Office of Science and Technology free Water Quality Standards course; Dec 10-14, Washington DC; info and apply
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • National Wildlife Federation calls Mississippi River floodway levee project wasteful and an environmental threat
  • Citing possible Missouri River dam failure and inundation, environmental group wants nuclear plant to remain closed
  • Wetland issues among many that have blocked the permitting of a proposed Louisiana landfill for over 18 years
  • Supreme Court hears Arkansas arguments that it is owed compensation from Army Corps for timber damage due to flooding
  • Water for fracking is center of conservancy district controversy in southeastern Ohio and
  • St Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial: Senators push for river funding; jobs await action
  • Commentary: Flood of money won't improve rivers (by Robert E. Criss; Washington University)
In the States -
Forestry -
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • U.S. Army Corps asks for comments on invasive species pathways between Mississippi-Great Lakes basins
  • Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign to launch fall bird migration tour
  • Investment in Iowa: How helping neighbors to the south battle carp will help Minnesota
  • Minnesota: St. Peter Community Dedicates Prairie Restoration Project
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Gulf of Mexico dead zone researcher named one of this year's MacArthur Fellows
  • Army Corps approves $2.9 billion Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet restoration plan: demands Louisiana pay 35% of cost
Resource Extraction -
Federal Budget -
  • Bloomberg Business News: Sun sets on laws as money keeps flowing with U.S. Congress gone (PDF file)
  • White House: agencies should plan fiscal year 2013 spending (starting October 1) as if Congress will undo budget sequester
  • Senate leaders are closing in on a path for dealing with the Federal spending "fiscal cliff"
  • Eight US Senators plan to begin cobbling together a plan to avoid Federal budget fiscal cliff
  • Democratic and Republican Senate leaders distance themselves from bipartisan group of lawmakers' deficit talks
Mississippi River at Memphis,
  • Mississippi River Collaborative meeting was held this week in Memphis, TN. A terrific group to check out!
  • Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds meeting October 31 - November 1, Iowa Soybean Association headquarters Ankeny, IA
  • EPA Watershed Academy webinar on new Water Quality Portal for water quality data; Oct 23, 1-3 PM ET
  • Clean Water Network celebrates Clean Water Act's 40th Anniversary; Oct. 18; Rayburn Bld., Capitol Hill; Washington, DC
  • International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society; Madison, WI; Nov.  7-9
  • 2013 Ohio Stormwater Conference call for abstracts
  • Wisconsin Wetlands Association 2103 conference call for presentations (December 21 deadline)
  • Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition 25th anniversary celebration Oct. 27 Charleston, WV
  • 13th Annual St. Louis Earth Day Symposium: Climate Trends: Impacts and Adaptation; call for presentations
  • National Academies Meeting: Sustainability Linkages in the Federal Government ; Oct 11; 9 AM-1230 PM ET, Washington, DC
  • North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition seeking abstracts for presentations at StormCon 2013
e-Newsletters, Publications and Journals -
  • October 4 "Delta Dispatches" issue reports on efforts to restore the Mississippi River Delta
  • October 2012 National Great Rivers Research and Education Center E-News Update
  • Soil and Water Conservation Society weekly "Conservation NewsBriefs"
Other news-
  • NPR Talk of the Nation: Planning For A Sustainable Mississippi River
  • University of Nebraska study: Signs of global warming are appearing in several Great Plains and Midwest states 
  • EPA launches website that allows users to submit Freedom of Information Act requests to multiple agencies
  • Canton, Missouri planning Mississippi River and water-based amenities like levee walk and pond for bird-watching
  • Illinois River Road website new interactive feature helps travelers plan trips along historic and scenic routes
  • Ecologists Debate Best Way to Restore Land At Ecosummit 2012
  • New paper: Energy/environment one of six "headwinds" that could preempt further consumption and U.S. economic growth
Political Scene -
  • Audubon Society and ConservAmerica partner in bid to diffuse partisanship in Congressional environmental debates
  • Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) bid to regain Senate seat looks bleak
  • U.S. Senate candidates Baldwin and Thompson (Wisconsin) agree over stopping Asian carp spread but on little else
Last Word -  "I don’t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together."  - Barry Commoner, biologist and pioneering environmentalist, who died Monday in New York City at age 95.

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